For the second time ever in her reign...
It looks like the upcoming snap election is already causing disruption, with it being announced just yesterday that as a result, there will be big changes made to the annual state opening of Parliament.
For the first time in 43 years and the second time ever in her reign, the Queen will be performing a ‘dressed down’ state opening of Parliament.
While the Queen should traditionally wear the Robes of State, she will be dressing informally this year, opting for a day dress instead and in place of her Imperial State Crown, weighing an impressive 2.5lbs, the Queen will be wearing a hat.
The Duke of Edinburgh will also be dressing down for the occasion, opting for a morning suit rather than his traditional navy uniform, and straying from tradition, the royal couple will arrive at Parliament in a car rather than a carriage, followed by a significantly reduced procession to the Chamber of Lords.
Some were quick to assume that the reason behind the scaled-back ceremony could be related to the Queen’s age, with the monarch having to take the lift up to the House of Lord’s Chamber last year instead of taking the stairs as per tradition. Not to mention, a 2.5lb crown is arguably too heavy for anyone to wear all day, let alone a 91-year-old.
Royal sources have rubbished the rumours, however, insisting that the changes are simply down to the logistics and time constraints of juggling the snap election with other official events and reassuring the public that the Queen would be wearing her crown as usual next year.
A spokesman for Buckingham Palace released the following statement:
‘To allow Her Majesty to attend in support of the parliamentary and constitutional process, The Queen’s programme of engagements has been revised. As a result, the annual service for the Order of the Garter, which had been due to take place on 19th June, has been cancelled. Knights of the Garter and others due to attend have been informed. Additionally, owing to the revised calendar, the State Opening of Parliament will take place with reduced ceremonial elements.’