PRINCE Charles sat poignantly next to the Queen’s crown today as the monarch missed her first State Opening of Parliament in 59 years.
As The Sun exclusively revealed, Her Majesty, 96, yesterday made the shock call of pulling out at the last minute after speaking to her royal doctor.
Charles, 73, was given the power to deliver the televised speech on the government’s legislative program alongside his eldest son, Prince William, in a historic change of protocol.
He appeared emotional as he gazed at the crown while his mother watched the speech on TV at Windsor Castle this morning. The highly symbolic moment is his role, which comes closest to that of a king.
The Queen’s dramatic withdrawal sparked fresh fears about her health a month before her platinum anniversary party.
It is the first time she has not attended the state opening since 1963, and only the second time ever.
Palace sources have repeatedly reassured Britons that she is not ill and is suffering from “episodic mobility problems”.
However, there are now concerns as to whether she will perform at all at her four-day platinum anniversary starting Thursday, June 2nd.
In her absence, Charles assumed the principal constitutional duties of head of state. It’s a move seen by many as a significant shift in his responsibilities as king in office.
It is also the first time William has attended the state opening wearing a morning suit.
Traveling separately, the Duke of Cambridge arrived before his father and stepmother, pausing to meet dignitaries.
Neither royal sat on the throne, which was instead kept empty.
Charles also chose not to wear a crown and took his place in his naval uniform alongside future queen consort Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
The Queen will have her weekly telephone audience with the Prime Minister on Wednesday. Her Imperial State Crown, Cap of Maintenance and Sword of State were transported in three state limousines to the Palace of Westminster before the service.
It’s also a big day for Boris Johnson, who is trying to get his embattled prime minister back on track with a series of promises in the nine-minute speech.
The PM used the ceremony to ignite a bonfire of Brexit bureaucracy and push his agenda to improve levels after months of distraction.
Key promises include:
- A Brexit bonanza to tear up £1bn of EU red tape was still pounding on businesses
- A ban on eco-idiots locking up buildings and blocking vital services
- A crackdown on kids who skip school with new attendance rules
- Tech bosses prosecuted for flouting strict new social media rules
- Rights for tenants from shameless landlords who kick them out
- City councils are turning streets into outdoor dining centers
- Barring non-minimum wage ferry companies from ports
- A British Bill of Rights to wrest powers from EU judges
- Powers for local authorities to force property owners to use vacant lots
- Give local residents a say in street names
- Stand out with trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand
- Protections for Northern Ireland Veterans from Persecution
- Ban fake online reviews in a digital crackdown
- Ban cruel therapeutic practices for sex reassignment
- Driving away shady money and criminal gangs
However, he warned that the government could not “completely protect people from the rising cost of living”.
The Prime Minister said the “aftershocks of Covid-19 and the biggest war in Europe since 1945” were causing disruption around the world, with all major economies under pressure.
“No country is immune and no government can realistically protect everyone from the effects,” Johnson said.
A total of 38 bills were presented in the speech, including seven measures to scrap EU regulation – covering areas from data reform to gene editing to financial services – as ministers seek to reap the benefits of Brexit.
It included a new crackdown on “guerrilla protests” with prison sentences of up to six months and unlimited fines for those who stick to roads or “hook on” to public transport infrastructure.
CROWN AND OFF
Home Secretary Priti Patel said the measures were necessary to prevent protest groups like Insulate Britain and Extinction Rebellion from “bringing the country to a standstill”.
In a sign of the government’s determination to push it through now, officials said the legislation could be tabled in parliament as early as Wednesday.
Mr Johnson said all measures are part of a broader program to get the country “back on track” after the pandemic, while also tackling cost of living challenges.
In a tweet ahead of the speech, the prime minister said the government was “focused like a laser” on the issues that matter most to the public.
He wrote: “In these challenging times, this government will provide the leadership it takes to deliver for you. Your priorities are our priorities and we focus like a laser on the issues that matter most to you.”
A school law for England was also announced. It will crack down on truancy, strengthen the powers of education control and reform the funding system.
A Media Bill will allow Channel 4 to be privatised, and a Leveling Up and Regeneration Bill will give local leaders the power to rejuvenate High Streets by forcing landlords to rent vacant shop units.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5303803/william-charles-step-in-queen-state-opening-parliament/ Prince Charles poignantly sits beside the Queen’s crown as she misses the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in 59 years