The Queen delivers a speech during the State Opening of Parliament in May 2016
The Queen delivers a speech during the State Opening of Parliament in May 2016

Queen’s Speech: Why the monarch is not wearing a crown or regal attire in parliament today

Prince Charles is wearing a morning suit instead of Service uniform for the occasion

Sabrina Barr@fabsab5
Thursday 19 December 2019 11:56

Today, Queen Elizabeth II is delivering a speech to mark the State Opening of Parliament, following the Conservative Party’s victory in the general election.

The state opening is traditionally a formal occasion, during which the monarch travels to parliament in a state coach and presents her speech in the House of Commons dressed in regal attire.

However, prior to the general election, it was announced that if the Conservatives achieved a majority, the State Opening of Parliament would be held with “reduced ceremonial elements”.

These “reduced ceremonial elements” include the Queen being transported to parliament in a car, rather than a carriage, and wearing a day dress and hat, as opposed to her ceremonial robes and crown.

On the parliamentary website, it outlines that the reason for this is due to the time of year at which the state opening is being held, namely the “unique circumstances of the general election and the proximity to Christmas”.

Queen Elizabeth II delivers a speech at the June 2017 State Opening of Parliament

As part of the reduced ceremonial state opening, the Prince of Wales is also dressed in a less formal manner, wearing a morning suit as opposed to a service uniform.

The last time a reduced ceremonial state opening took place was in 2017, following the snap general election that saw the governing Conservative Party lose its majority.

The Queen wore a royal blue outfit for the occasion, with some speculating over whether her hat purposely paid homage to the yellow-starred flag of the European Union.

As part of today's proceedings, the 93-year-old monarch was driven to the Sovereign’s Entrance at the Houses of Parliament at approximately 11.15am.

Her parliamentary speech followed shortly afterwards.

To keep up to date with the Queen’s speech and the State Opening of Parliament, follow The Independent‘s live blog here.

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