King Charles prepares to hold his first State Opening of Parliament as monarch

King Charles will participate in his first State Opening of Parliament since becoming monarch later this year.

The House of Lords has confirmed that the key date in the parliamentary calendar will take place on November 7.

It marks the official start of the parliamentary year and will see King Charles make a speech.

He undertook this role last year, having stood in to deputise for his mother, the late Queen.

The King’s speech provides the Government with an opportunity to highlight its priorities for the months ahead and set out what laws it wants to pass.

The speech is written by ministers and outlines the Government’s proposed policies. It is not yet known what the contents of the speech will be.

The event is typically a grand affair, and will likely see the King travel from Buckingham Palace to Westminster by carriage. Though last year he travelled in the state bentley.

He is likely to be accompanied by Queen Camilla and his son and heir Prince William – who both joined him at the 2022 State Opening of Parliament.

MPs have their own protocol to follow and before the King’s Speech take place they are summoned to the House of Lords by an official known as Black Rod.

Before they enter the House of Commons, Black Rod has the door shut in their face to symbolise the chamber’s independence from the monarchy.

The public will also see the Imperial State Crown return to the fore, just six months after it was used at King Charles’s Coronation.

Charles will be seated in an elaborate throne with the crown seated beside him. He will then read the speech while seated.

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt confirmed the date in a statement to MPs, with Parliament set to be prorogued – temporarily shut – in the days leading up to the ceremony.

Ms Mordaunt said: “I can confirm that the state opening of Parliament will take place on 7 November 2023.

“As is usual, the current session of Parliament will be prorogued ahead of the King’s Speech and this time will be used to enable logistical and security preparations for the state opening of Parliament. The likely date of prorogation will be confirmed in due course.”

Last year the King stepped in to deputise for his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as the 96-year-old monarch pulled out due to “episodic mobility issues”.

The late Queen had only missed two state openings prior to this, when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward in 1959 and 1963 respectively.

In both instances, the Lord Chancellor read the speech on her behalf.

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