LONDON (Reuters) – Crown Prince Charles and Prince William took center stage at the opening of Britain’s parliament on Tuesday, replacing 96-year-old Queen Elizabeth who did not attend the major event for the first time in nearly six decades.
With the Queen forced to leave due to frequent mobility issues, Charles, 73, arrived at the Palace of Westminster to read the government’s legislative agenda.
Charles, who had attended the opening of Parliament at his mother’s side in recent years, began to read every bill that said “His Majesty’s Government…”.
The Opening of Parliament is a huge event that traditionally shows the Queen being transported in a chariot, accompanied by soldiers in uniform.
The Queen wears the mantle of state before leading a procession to the House of Lords, where she sits on the throne and formally opening a new session of Parliament, where she reads a letter written by the government outlining its legislative plans.
The Queen has only missed the occasion twice during her 70-year reign – in 1959 and 1963, when she was pregnant with her children Andrew and Edward.
The Queen, who has not attended many public engagements since she was hospitalized for one night last October with an unspecified illness, had to issue “patent letters” to authorize Charles and William to play their part in the constitutional event.
(Reporting by Kate Holton)
Copyright © Thomson Reuters.
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