The Prince of Wales made history when he opened the new session of Parliament alongside the Duke of Cambridge and gave a glimpse of his future role as head of state.
In the absence of the Queen, the heir to the throne and his son provided a sense of continuity amid the pomp and ceremony, and Charles’ reading of the Queen’s Speech was a highly symbolic occasion.
With the Queen’s advancing years, the move has been interpreted as a significant shift in the prince’s responsibilities in his role supporting his 96-year-old mother.
The monarch reluctantly pulled out on the advice of royal doctors due to her continued mobility problems and delegated her role to the prince and the duke, but watched the proceedings on television from Windsor Castle.
In his full regalia – Admiral of the Fleet uniform, medals and honour insignia – Charles, with the Duchess of Cornwall, achieved what one royal commentator described as “another part of his training”, albeit a duty he probably did not want to fulfil given the circumstances.
The speech, written by the Government and setting out the legislative priorities of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s administration, had been circulated in advance featuring the words “My Government” as Charles was tasked with delivering the Queen’s exact words.
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