Queen confirmed ‘immense faith’ she has in Prince Charles by passing on ‘most sacred’ duty

Queen's Speech: Prince Charles addresses House of Lords

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The Prince of Wales, 73, made history yesterday when he opened the new session of Parliament and delivered the Queen’s speech. Veteran royal snapper Arthur Edwards said the move shows the trust the Queen, who pulled out due to mobility issues, has in the heir to the throne.

Writing in the Sun, Mr Edwards said: “For the first time the monarch passed on this most sacred of royal duties to her eldest son, confirming the immense faith she has in the Prince of Wales.”

The royal photographer added that it is “becoming increasingly obvious that the weight of our sovereign’s 70 years of service to the nation are now too much for her to carry alone”.

He said: “That is why it is right that Charles should be taking on more and more responsibility.

“We are in a transition from Queen to the future King.”

Charles and Prince William jointly opened Parliament on the Queen’s behalf as Counsellors of State after the monarch delegated the important duty to them.

Charles was joined by Camilla for the occasion giving a glimpse of his future role as head of state.

With the Queen’s advancing years, the move has been interpreted as a significant shift in the heir to the throne’s responsibilities in his role supporting his mother.

The monarch reluctantly pulled out on the advice of royal doctors due to her continued mobility problems.

It marked the first time in almost six decades that she was absent from the occasion.

In his full regalia – Admiral of the Fleet uniform, medals and honour insignia – Charles carried out what one royal commentator described as “another part of his training”.

The Queen’s absence was made more poignant with the glittering and weighty Imperial State Crown placed on a velvet cushion in front of the empty space where she would have sat.

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Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty Magazine, said: “I suppose you could say, it’s another part of his training, one of the many tasks that he’d prefer not to be fulfilling right now.

“But given his mother’s great age there’s a huge inevitability about all this.

“Clearly he would regard it as an honour to be doing it on her behalf.”

The monarch watched the proceedings from Windsor Castle.

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