BeebMaster's Monarchy Pages - State Opening of Parliament May 2013



State Opening of Parliament May 2013


Let's try to get this straight. 2013 was the sixtieth time Her Majesty The Queen opened Parliament. Some online sources say the total is 59, but I agree with the Daily Mail, which arrives at 60.

Her Majesty opened Parliament in 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, March 1974, October 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013. By my reckoning that's sixty times.

Parliament was opened in 1959 and 1963, but not by The Queen, who was pregnant at the time. Instead, the opening was performed by Lords Commissioners (a small committee of peers empowered by Her Majesty to carry out certain functions in Parliament on behalf of the Crown), chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Speech was read by the Lord Chancellor. Parliament was not opened at all during 2011 as the session which was opened in May 2010 ran for two years.

So that's that. 60 times, and I was particularly glad to witness the procession on this sixtieth occasion, which had the added attraction of an extra coach procession in addition to the usual two.

It was only the second time I'd been to see the State Opening, the first in 2003, so it was high time I went back, and so I do hope you will click on the picture links above to learn more about this important annual spectacle.



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