Friday, May 24, 2024

King Charles III will perform the opening session of Parliament as the monarch, delivering a speech outlining the government’s legislative priorities. The speech, drafted by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, is a constitutional anomaly as it includes policies that may contradict the king’s personal views. This includes the plan to exploit more of Britain’s oil and gas reserves, which goes against King Charles’ advocacy for climate action. Despite this, the king is expected to maintain the political neutrality associated with the British monarchy during the ceremony. The government insists that their proposal to license more fossil fuel extraction does not contradict their commitment to climate change goals. The speech is likely to be the last one before the next general election, and the government is expected to announce policies targeting its core voters, such as measures appealing to motorists. Other legislation to be announced includes crime reforms and a gradual ban on smoking. King Charles has previously deputized for Queen Elizabeth II and is known for his advocacy on various causes. Despite his well-known views, he is expected to maintain neutrality in his delivery of the speech. The state opening of Parliament is a longstanding tradition, dating back to the 14th century, and marks the start of the parliamentary year. Queen Victoria attended regularly but participation waned during her reign. Her successor, Edward VII, revived the ceremony with a grand procession and a personal reading of the speech from the throne.

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