Queen broke with royal tradition to ensure Prince Charles took over speech

Queen's Speech: 'Significant' for Prince Charles to step in says Palmer

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Daily Express royal correspondent Richard Palmer said he thought it was “really significant” that the monarch broke tradition to allow both the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge to take part in the Queen’s Speech. The ceremony, usually carried out by the Lord Chancellor in the absence of the head of state, was performed by the heir to the throne Prince Charles for the first time, while his son and second-in-line to the throne Prince William stood in as a Councilor of State. 

Mr Palmer, speaking on the Royal Round Up, said: “There have been two occasions where the Queen has attended the State Opening of Parliament in 1959 and 1963, when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and then Prince Edward. 

“On those occasions, the Palace followed the pattern of previous reigns where the Lord Chancellor was asked to read the speech. 

“Indeed, in Queen Victoria’s reign, after Prince Albert died in 1861, she was in mourning and she really didn’t go out much for years and years. 

“She didn’t attend the State Opening of Parliament for years and years and the Lord Chancellor did it in her place. 

“And even when she did return in her later years with her family, including the then Prince of Wales, the Lord Chancellor still read out the speech. 

“So, that’s the format that’s been in practice for more than a century.

“I think it was really significant that on this occasion, the Queen decided she did not want the Lord Chancellor to read it, rather she wanted the Prince of Wales to stand in for her. 

“And the way it was done meant that the Duke of Cambridge also had to be there because they were brought in as Councilors of State.” 

The Queen withdrew from the State Opening the night before it was due to take place. 

Buckingham Palace released an official statement at the time stating that she was having to pull out of the event due to “episodic mobility issues”. 

The statement said: “The Queen continues to experience episodic mobility problems, and in consultation with her doctors has reluctantly decided that she will not attend the state opening of parliament tomorrow.”

A No 10 spokesperson added: “The Prime Minister fully respects the wishes of Her Majesty and is grateful to the Prince of Wales for agreeing to deliver the speech on her behalf.”

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The Queen has reluctantly had to cancel or rearrange a number of in-person events since the death of her husband Prince Phillip last year. 

She was pictured with a walking stick in October of last year while on a walk with Princess Anne. 

She was then taken to hospital suddenly to undergo checks, though they proved to be less concerning than originally anticipated. 

And in February of this year, the Queen contracted coronavirus, which she admitted left her feeling “very tired and exhausted.”

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