What to expect when King Charles III addresses Commons and Lords

The King and the Queen Consort will receive an address from the speakers of both houses before Charles III speaks in reply

King Charles III will address both Houses for the first time as sovereign on Monday, receiving addresses from the Speakers of both Houses. Here’s what is scheduled for when he attends.

What is the ceremony?

As part of the official mourning period, King Charles and Camilla, the Queen consort, will arrive at the Palace of Westminster to receive addresses from both houses of parliament on the death of the Queen. The ceremony will take place at 10.30am on Monday.

The Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, and the Lords Speaker, Lord John McFall of Alcluith, will give an address on behalf of MPs and peers. Charles will then give a reply to the address.

Who will attend?

MPs and peers will be expected to attend in Westminster Hall for the presentation, and members of the legislatures of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will also attend.

There will be processions before the ceremony for both Speakers of the House of Lords and the House of Commons to Westminster Hall.

Will this be the first time Charles has addressed parliament?

No, Charles took on the duties for his mother at the last state opening of parliament where he read the Queen’s speech, because of her ill health.

What happened when Elizabeth II became Queen?

Elizabeth, then aged 25, was in Kenya when she heard of the death of her father, King George VI, on 6 February 1952. Her succession to the throne was proclaimed at an accession council, similar to what has just taken place for King Charles, attended by members of the privy council and aldermen of the City of London.

It was nine months later when Elizabeth II attended her first state opening of parliament, on 4 November 1952, when she where she read and signed the accession declaration, and made her first Queen’s speech to parliament.

This came before her coronation and was her first major state event. She made the speech from the throne in the House of Lords chamber. Elizabeth attended almost every state opening of parliament, except when she was in the late stages of her pregnancies with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

She also missed the last state opening due to her health, which was attended by Charles and Prince William in her place.


Jessica Elgot Chief political correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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