Queen Elizabeth II delivered her speech amidst pomp, ceremony and tradition at the State Opening of Parliament on 18 May 2016.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s procession, escorted by the Household Cavalry, arrived at London’s Houses of Parliament in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach.

Another carriage travels ahead with the Imperial State Crown and regalia.

After arriving at the Sovereign’s Entrance, the Queen goes to the Robing Room.

The Queen, wearing the Imperial State Crown and the Robe of State, leads a procession through the Royal Gallery to the House of Lords.

This year, the Queen and Prince Philip took the lift rather than climbing the royal staircase, to help make official engagements less physically demanding.

Some reports claim the Queen, who turned 90 last month, suffers from sore knees.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall also attended the State Opening.

The Black Rod, the House of Lords official, is sent to summon the House of Commons.

The doors to the Commons are shut in his face: a tradition which goes back to the 17th Century when King Charles arrived to arrest Five Members of Parliament for treason in 1642. The Five Members had already been warned so they were not in the House that day. This was considered a breach of the Constitution, so the House of Commons has maintained its right to question the the monarch’s representative to enter their chamber ever since.

Black Rod strikes the door three times before it is opened, before he announces the Queen commands their presence in the House of Lords.

The Members of the House of Commons follow Black Rod and the Commons Speaker to the Lords chamber, standing at the back, opposite the throne, to listen to the Queen’s Speech as she officially opens Parliament.


The Royal Family, The State Opening of Parliament

UK Parliament, State Opening of Parliament 2016

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