(CTN News) – Prince Charles took center stage at the opening of the British parliament, replacing the 96-year-old Queen, who missed the event for the first time in nearly six decades. The Queen had to withdraw due to mobility concerns, and 73-year-old Prince Charles took her place at the Palace of Westminster to explain the government’s legislative agenda.
During the state inauguration of parliament, the Queen rides in a state coach escorted by mounted soldiers dressed in ceremonial attire, and the Imperial State Crown rides in its own carriage. A speech prepared by the administration for Prince Charles to describe the government’s priorities for the upcoming year explained that the government was most concerned about boosting the economy and addressing the cost-of-living crisis.
Addressing the UK parliament, Prince Charles said, “Her Majesty’s government’s priority is to grow and strengthen the economy and help ease the cost of living for families.” He further added, “Her Majesty’s government will level up opportunity in all parts of the country and support more people into work. Her ministers will continue to support the police to make the streets safer, and fund the National Health Service to reduce the COVID backlogs.”
Economic crime, schools, animal welfare, railway reform & energy security are among the subjects mentioned in the address.
The address touched on economic crime, schools, animal welfare, railway reform, and energy security. Prince Charles‘ address also contained a number of non-legislative commitments, such as a coded reference to the Northern Ireland Protocol. Moreover, under a new public order bill, guerilla tactics of eco-protesters will no longer be allowed, including locking themselves to roads, pavements, and buildings, and police will be given stronger stop-and-search powers to seize protest gear aimed at groups like Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain.
The Queen watched the speech on TV from her residence and Windsor Castle, where she holds virtual meetings. Toward the end of the eight-minute speech, Prince Charles also mentioned her 70th-anniversary celebrations next month. The Queen had only missed the event twice in her 70-year reign: in 1959 and 1963 when her sons Andrew and Edward were born.