Friday, 10 May 2013

Pomp, Circumstance and Humble Addresses...

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament
As much as I am a republican, I do like a bit of Pomp and Circumstance - and few occasions have as much of either as the State Opening of Parliament when, for a few minutes each year, the Palace of Westminster pays host to Her Majesty the Queen.
After a horse-drawn procession from Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament - and a few minutes donning the full Royal Regalia - she enters the House of Lords to address both members of both houses. She then reads out a short speech which outlines the Government's legislative programme for the coming year.
After the Queen departs, parliament returns to normal with MPs returning to the Commons to debate the speech... but not before two of their number give an "Humble Address" - a vote of thanks to Her Majesty and a semi-serious look at the issues raised (or omitted) in the Speech.
This year, one of those on whom that honour fell was Bristol West's Stephen Williams MP - and you can read my summary of his address over on the Bristol Lib Dem's website.

1 comment:

Raybeard said...

Even though I'm also of Republican leanings I always watch this event. It should be extra 'fun' when King Chas III (or will it be George VII?), with the lovely Queen (Princess?) Consort Camilla by his side, gets his turn at reading out this speech. No doubt he'll be biting his tongue at some of the proposed programme of whatever complexioned government. Shouldn't be too surprising if it gets to a point which makes him break the conventional monarchical silence on personal opinion, which his 'Mummy' has so sterlingly observed - well, except on one occasion when, in the late 1970s, she publicly expressed her dismay that a certain Danish director wanted to make a (reportedly) porno film in Britain about the life of a gay Jesus Christ. But I have total confidence that Charles, in similar circumstances, would keep HIS mouth shut. ;-)