State Opening of Parliament


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State Opening of Parliament

Early November
This colorful British ritual is observed at the beginning of November when the members of Parliament return after the long summer recess. Crowds assemble in the streets of Westminster, an inner borough of Greater London, in hopes of catching a glimpse of the Queen as she arrives in her horse-drawn coach, dressed in royal robes of state and escorted by the Household Cavalry. The Queen is not allowed to enter the House of Commons because she is not a commoner, so after being met by the Lord Chancellor she is led straight to the House of Lords. Seated on a magnificent throne and surrounded by various church and state officials in their robes, she reads aloud the speech that has been written for her by members of the government outlining their plans for the coming session.
An interesting tradition that accompanies the opening of Parliament is the searching of the cellars of both Houses. This goes back to 1605, when Guy Fawkes and his accomplices tried to blow the Houses up.
CONTACTS:
United Kingdom Parliament, Parliamentary Education Unit
Room 604, Norman Shaw Bldg.
London, SW1A 2TT United Kingdom
44-20-7219-3074; fax: 44-20-7219-2570
www.parliament.uk
The British Monarchy Official Web Site
Buckingham Palace
London, SW1A 1AA United Kingdom
44-20-7930-4832
www.royal.gov.uk
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 199
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References in periodicals archive ?
And for clothes, Di selected from her own wardrobe the ivory Catherine Walker dress she wore for the state opening of Parliament in 1991.
Welsh admitted wounding last December - a day after he had stood guard at the State Opening of Parliament.
Six-year-old Ellie and her parents Paul Bishop and Karen Dunnaway have been invited to attend the State Opening of Parliament by the Queen on November 15.
The official state opening of parliament takes place next Tuesday when the Queen will announce the government's programme of legislation for the next 18 months
The former MP - in a keynote speech in London last night - said: "It is astonishing that a Government which has concerned itself with the number of heralds in the procession at the State Opening of Parliament and which has endlessly preached the doctrine of an `inclusive' society has not been moved to amend the Act of Settlement.
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Last week, MPs showed the extent of their anger by joining the Tories in a rare vote against the Commons motion thanking the Queen for her Speech at the state opening of Parliament.
Gordon Brown's wife Sarah shocked stuffy Westminster by wearing this purple woolly hat to the state opening of Parliament yesterday.
On the prospect that terrorists might try to use big events such as the England rugby victory parade,or the State Opening of Parliament,as cover of an attack,he said: ``We have got considerable experience of dealing with these things in London.
Their days may be numbered but hereditary peers - with titles dating back to the Norman conquest - were yesterday determined to put on a brave face for their final State Opening of Parliament. The Government's controversial Bill to sweep away their centuries-old right to sit and vote in the Lords will be introduced in the next session of Parliament.
The cavalry are most famous for ceremonial duties, such as royal escorts and state opening of Parliament.
The historic State Opening of Parliament must not be "dumbed down" on the altar of New Labour modernism, said Conservatives.

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