Britain’s heir to the throne Prince Charles and Prince William took center stage at the opening of Britain’s Parliament on Tuesday, replacing 96-year-old Queen Elizabeth, who missed the big kick arrested for the first time in nearly six decades.
With the Queen forced to step down on Monday due to a recurrence of mobility issues, Charles, 73, arrived at the Palace of Westminster to read the government’s legislative agenda.
Charles, who had attended the Opening of Parliament alongside his mother for the past few years, began reading each bill, saying: “Her Majesty’s Government will do it.”
The official opening of Parliament is an event of great pomp and pageantry, which traditionally sees the Queen ride to the assembly in a state coach, escorted by mounted soldiers in ceremonial uniform, while the Imperial State Crown and other regalia travel ahead in a carriage of theirs.
The monarch dons the robe of state before leading a procession to the upper chamber of the House of Lords, where she sits on a throne and officially opens a new session of Parliament, reading a government-drafted speech outlining its legislative plans.
The Queen has only missed the opportunity twice during her 70-year reign – in 1959 and 1963, when she was pregnant with sons Andrew and Edward.
The Queen, who has missed a number of public engagements since being hospitalized one night last October with an unspecified illness, had to issue ‘letters patent’ to allow Charles and William to play her part during the the constitutional event.