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Her Majesty will make 11th hour call on delivering Queen’s Speech tomorrow

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The Queen will make a last minute decision about whether to attend the State Opening of Parliament tomorrow as she faces missing it for only the third time.

Her Majesty, who is battling mobility problems, has only missed the Queen’s Speech twice in her 70-year reign – when pregnant.

Prince Charles is expected to step in if she is unable to go, days after announcing that she will not attend any of the summer’s Buckingham Palace garden parties. 

The 96-year-old previously decided to no longer wear her Imperial Crown or Robes of State given their weight and awkwardness and instead wears smart day dress. In 2016 the Queen used a lift rather than the stairs for the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in 64 years. 

The Queen has only missed the event twice – in 1959 and 1963 when pregnant. On those occasions her speech, setting out the government’s legislative plans for the coming year, was read by the Lord Chancellor, Viscount Kilmuir.

Boris Johnson will use this week’s Queen’s Speech to put Britain on the front foot with a ‘Brexit Bills bonanza’.

The Prime Minister will try to put his recent woes behind him and re-energise his administration with a ‘super seven’ set of new laws to take advantage of the UK’s freedom from the European Union – covering everything from slashing red tape to protecting animals.

The Queen gives the 2021 Queen's Speech in May last year. She will decide whether to attend at the last minute

The Queen gives the 2021 Queen's Speech in May last year. She will decide whether to attend at the last minute

The Queen gives the 2021 Queen’s Speech in May last year. She will decide whether to attend at the last minute

The Queen is escorted by Prince Charles during the State Opening of Parliament at the House of Lords on May 11, 2021. The Prince of Wales is expected to step in tomorrow if his mother can't make it

The Queen is escorted by Prince Charles during the State Opening of Parliament at the House of Lords on May 11, 2021. The Prince of Wales is expected to step in tomorrow if his mother can't make it

The Queen is escorted by Prince Charles during the State Opening of Parliament at the House of Lords on May 11, 2021. The Prince of Wales is expected to step in tomorrow if his mother can’t make it

He believes the Bills, due to be announced by the Queen in Parliament tomorrow, will benefit families and businesses across the country as they struggle with the soaring cost of living.

The Tories also hope the new agenda will deliver a ‘Brexit dividend’ in time for the next general election and help them again win the votes of Leave supporters who backed Mr Johnson in 2019.

Lord Chancellor Viscount Kilmuir, who read the Queen's Speech when Her Majesty was missing due to being pregnant

Lord Chancellor Viscount Kilmuir, who read the Queen's Speech when Her Majesty was missing due to being pregnant

Lord Chancellor Viscount Kilmuir, who read the Queen’s Speech when Her Majesty was missing due to being pregnant

The PM said yesterday: ‘I’m proud that my Government is capitalising on the immense opportunity that our new-found Brexit freedoms bring.

‘This relentless drive to deliver on the promise of Brexit is why we’re bringing seven Brexit Bills in the Queen’s Speech.

‘I call them the super seven – and they will benefit families and businesses across the land by changing old EU rules that don’t work for the UK.

‘From data reform to gene-editing to financial services, these Bills will allow us to thrive as a modern, dynamic and independent country,’ he told the Sunday Express.

The Queen’s Speech is also expected to replace the Human Rights Act with a Bill of Rights, making it easier to deport foreign criminals. 

The Government will also seek to use Tuesday’s Queen’s Speech to show that it is responding to the concerns of voters and moving on from scandals involving Tory MPs and the partygate rows over lockdown-busting fines for Mr Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak. 

The Queen still plans to attend the State Opening of Parliament next Tuesday, Buckingham Palace has revealed – but measures are in place to minimise the distance she would have to walk amid her ongoing mobility issues.

Her Majesty will need to walk from a car to the building then through the Robing Room to the Lords Chamber, and she will then have to take three steps up to her throne, from which she delivers her Speech. If the Queen was unable to attend, the likely candidate to read the Speech would be the monarch’s son Prince Charles.

Buckingham Palace has said the Queen ‘plans to attend’ the event but that this would be confirmed on the day. It would be the most high-profile constitutional event she has been able to go to for two years.

The 96-year-old monarch will travel by car from Buckingham Palace to Westminster on Tuesday under the current plans. She has not used a carriage since 2019 as she finds her state limousine more comfortable.

There will also be a slimmed down – but still spectacular – military ceremony with fewer troops but the same standards of pomp and military splendour involving eight different units, including The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

As the Queen’s car leaves the palace a royal salute will take place and the National Anthem will be played.

The State Opening of Parliament is one of the monarch’s most significant public duties, and involves the reading of the Queen’s Speech outlining the government’s policies and proposed legislation for the new parliamentary session.

The Queen has opened Parliament all but two times during her reign. The exceptions were in 1959, the year she was pregnant with the Duke of York, and 1963, when she was pregnant with the Earl of Wessex.

The ceremony was not held in 2020 and last year a reduced capacity Covid-secure state opening of Parliament was staged on May 11 with the Queen present.

There has been speculation about whether the Queen will fulfil one of her major duties as head of state, especially after it was announced she would not be attending the garden party season and instead would be represented by members of her family.

The Queen, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall during the State Opening of Parliament on October 14, 2019

The Queen, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall during the State Opening of Parliament on October 14, 2019

The Queen, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall during the State Opening of Parliament on October 14, 2019

The head of state has missed a number of major events this year but has been carrying out virtual engagements and her other duties.

Garden parties will be staged from next week for the first time in three years and are important events in the royal calendar as those who have served their country or communities are invited to the monarch’s home.

Buckingham Palace said: ‘Her Majesty The Queen will be represented by other members of the royal family at this year’s garden parties, with details on attendance to be confirmed in due course.’

The Queen attended a service commemorating the life of the Duke of Edinburgh in March with senior royals and a congregation of hundreds.

She reached her Platinum Jubilee in February, overcame a bout of Covid after testing positive that month, and celebrated her 96th birthday privately on April 21 at her Sandringham estate.

Queen Elizabeth II makes her speech at the State Opening of Parliament in London on November 6, 2007

Queen Elizabeth II makes her speech at the State Opening of Parliament in London on November 6, 2007

Queen Elizabeth II makes her speech at the State Opening of Parliament in London on November 6, 2007

Queen Elizabeth II sits on the throne in the House of Lords at the State Opening of Parliament in London on June 20, 2001

Queen Elizabeth II sits on the throne in the House of Lords at the State Opening of Parliament in London on June 20, 2001

Queen Elizabeth II sits on the throne in the House of Lords at the State Opening of Parliament in London on June 20, 2001

Queen Elizabeth II with Duke of Edinburgh after the State Opening of Parliament on November 17, 1999

Queen Elizabeth II with Duke of Edinburgh after the State Opening of Parliament on November 17, 1999

Queen Elizabeth II with Duke of Edinburgh after the State Opening of Parliament on November 17, 1999

The PM (pictured on Friday) will try to put his recent woes behind him and re-energise his administration with a 'super seven' set of new laws to take advantage of the UK's freedom from the European Union – covering everything from slashing red tape to protecting animals

The PM (pictured on Friday) will try to put his recent woes behind him and re-energise his administration with a 'super seven' set of new laws to take advantage of the UK's freedom from the European Union – covering everything from slashing red tape to protecting animals

The PM (pictured on Friday) will try to put his recent woes behind him and re-energise his administration with a ‘super seven’ set of new laws to take advantage of the UK’s freedom from the European Union – covering everything from slashing red tape to protecting animals

Last October, the Queen spent a night in hospital and spent the following three months under doctors’ orders to only conduct light duties and missed a number of prominent events.

The Queen has been using a walking stick in public since she attended a service marking the centenary of the Royal British Legion last October.

It is understood the key factor in other members of the royal family being asked to represent the Queen was the length of time royal hosts spend standing during garden parties which last well over an hour.

The events will be staged at Buckingham Palace on May 11, 18 and 25, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh will be the venue for a party on June 29.

The Queen has given permission for the annual garden party for forces charity The Not Forgotten Association, which supports disabled veterans and serving wounded, to take place at her official London home on May 12, hosted by the organisation’s patron the Princess Royal.

Source: Daily Mail

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