Casual State Opening of Parliament 2017 – Charles takes Philip’s place after hospitalisation

Today’s State Opening of Parliament was a casual affair; The Queen opened this year’s parliamentary session with Prince Charles at her side, as Prince Philip is in hospital.

Her Majesty arrived at the Houses of Parliament in a Bentley with The Prince of Wales, instead of the traditional horse-drawn carriages.

The Imperial State Crown arrived ahead of the Royals, also in a car. The crown only leaves the Tower of London for coronations and the opening.

The Queen and Prince Charles arrive by car for the State Opening of Parliament. (Sgt Rupert Frere RL/MoD)

1st Battalion Coldstream Guards provided a Guard of Honour of 96 Rank and File, with The State Colour.

June’s snap election called for a trimmed down ceremony to mark the formal start of the next parliamentary session, with Trooping the Colour having taken place on Saturday, leaving little time for the rehearsals for the event. See what 2015’s looked like with all the pomp and pageantry expected of the event.

Prince Charles held his mother’s hand for her arrival, lastly up the steps to the thrones in the House of Lords, walking behind the Imperial State Crown, held on a pillow. MPs and Lords gathered to hear the traditional speech.

The Queen read out a speech, which sets out the government’s plans for the next year; however, this Queen’s Speech is to last for two sessions. 2018’s State Opening of Parliament has been cancelled, in order to ‘provide stability’ whilst Brexit negotiations are ongoing.

In the programme, there was interestingly no mention of a US State Visit, meaning Trump will not be coming to the UK for at least two years, despite Mrs May saying the visit would take place by the end of 2017.

The Queen reads out the government’s plans for the coming two years in her speech (Channel 5 livestream still)

One Yeoman of the Guard fainted during today’s ceremony, as temperatures in London soared to over 30c. He was lining The Queen’s route to the House of Lords this morning. The guards are also the ones who carry out the ceremonial search of the Houses of Parliament ahead of the State Opening since the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605.


A number of things promised in the Tory manifesto were not mentioned, including grammar schools and social care, but Brexit and mental health were pushed.

This speech comes without a Conservative/DUP coalition, making it a minority government speech.

The Queen then headed to Windsor Castle so she could join her family for the second day of Royal Ascot.

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