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Queen Elizabeth II announced on Monday night that she would be replaced by her son, Prince Charles, for the traditional speech from the throne in the British Parliament on Tuesday, May 10, due to her mobility problems.
This is the first time in almost sixty years that the monarch has missed this solemn appointment of British democracy, where she reads the government program during a ceremony with great pomp. She had been absent in 1959 and in 1963 when she was pregnant.
It is also the first time that the Prince of Wales, heir to the crown, has replaced her there, showing the gradual transfer of her tasks to her eldest son, who has already represented her abroad for several years. The Queen’s throne will remain empty, with Prince Charles, 73, and his wife, Camilla, taking their usual seats.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement Monday night:
The Queen continues to have episodic mobility problems and, after consultation with her doctors, has reluctantly decided not to participate in the Speech from the Throne. At the request of His Majesty and with the agreement of the competent authorities, the Prince of Wales will read the Speech from the Throne on his behalf, together with the Duke of Cambridge [le prince William, petit-fils de la reine, deuxième dans l’ordre de succession au trône] also present.
The queen had in recent years given up wearing her heavy crown for this highly codified ceremony that is due to start at 10:30 (12:30 in France). Her absence revives questions about her participation, in early June, in her platinum jubilee celebrations, marking the seventieth year of her reign.
Win back disappointed voters
A few days after the strong setbacks in the local elections, where his party lost some 500 seats, the Conservative Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, hopes with this speech to show that he is concerned about the fall in purchasing power and forget the scandals.
Politically, Boris Johnson will have to convince an increasingly critical electorate. With his triumphant arrival in power in July 2019, the conservative leader had already seen his popularity fall in recent months, in a context of purchasing power crisis, criticism of his management of the pandemic and the “party game” scandal that it was worth a fine. a first for a head of government in office.
If he managed to save his job, for now, in the context of the Ukraine war, the bubbly 57-year-old leader will try to win back disappointed voters for the two years he has left before the next legislative elections. His speech will introduce thirty-eight bills.
His services confirmed the announcement of a bill on education “so that no child is left behind”. Another, on public order, aims to prevent “guerrilla techniques” groups like Extinction Rebellion, hated by their base, who demonstrated by blocking roads or public transport “harming working people, costing taxpayers millions of public money and putting lives at risk”.
Faced with an economy affected by years of pandemic and inflation expected to exceed 10% in the coming months, Boris Johnson has committed to “get the country back on track” and to “pursue urgently [leur] mission to create high-skilled, well-paid jobs that will drive economic growth across the UK”.
It also intends to announce legislation aimed at cutting red tape following the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU), which came into full force on January 31, 2020.
This set of bills, which he called “super seven”, will allow the UK “to prosper as a modern, dynamic and independent country” in “change the old EU rules that don’t work for the UK”explained to the newspaper sunday express.
To make it easier to deport foreign criminals, the government has also said in recent months that it wants to amend human rights legislation that incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights into domestic law.