Here's why you won't be seeing the usual pomp and ceremony at the State Opening of Parliament this year
The result of the snap election and the formation of a minority government has resulted in changes being made to the usual pomp and ceremony of the State Opening of Parliament on Wednesday.
So what’s staying the same, and what’s changing? Here’s everything you need to know.
What is the State Opening of Parliament?
The State Opening of Parliament marks the formal start of the parliamentary session and is the only regular time when the three parts which make up Parliament – the Sovereign, the House of Lords and the House of Commons- come together.
This State Opening has been delayed by two days due to the snap election and the Tories’ failure to return a majority government to power.
What will be different this time and why?
The State Opening of Parliament will take place without many of its lavish traditions this year.
As the 2017 ceremony will take place four days after the Trooping the Colour, it was deemed infeasible for the military and the Royal Mews to stage two major events in such a short period.
It means the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will travel to and from the Palace of Westminster by car.
With the loss of the procession and the carriage used to take the Regalia – the Imperial State Crown, the Cap of Maintenance and Great Sword of State – to the Palace of Westminster, it is understood the decision was taken to scale back other ceremonial elements, such as the Queen’s attire.
The 91-year-old monarch will deliver her speech on what is usually the most colourful event of the Parliamentary calendar wearing a day dress and hat, rather than the Imperial state crown and ceremonial robes.
The Queen’s procession to the Chamber of the House of Lords, where she takes the throne and delivers her speech, will also be reduced, with no heralds present.
The Great Sword of State and the Cap of Maintenance, symbols of the Sovereign’s power and authority, will still be carried before the monarch, but will be joined by the Imperial State Crown.
What traditions will stay the same?