Prince Charles has officially opened parliament on behalf of his mother, Queen Elizabeth.

Prince Charles attends State Opening of Parliament

Prince Charles attends State Opening of Parliament

The 96-year-old monarch confirmed on Monday (09.05.22) she would Tuesday's (10.05.22) State Opening of Parliament for only the third time in her reign due to her ongoing mobility issues, and so her 73-year-old son stepped in to read her speech, accompanied by his own son, Prince William - who attended in his role as Counsellor of State - and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

Charles began the speech by telling the House of Lords the UK government's proprity will be to "grow and strengthen the economy" and to address the cost of living crisis, with measures including "reforming and cutting taxes", and supporting the Bank of England with its target of two per cent inflation.

He said: "My Government will level up opportunity in all parts of the country and support more people into work.

“My Ministers will continue to support the police to make the streets safer, and fund the National Health Service to reduce the COVID backlogs.”

And he also stressed the UK's support for the people of war-torn Ukraine.

He said: “In these challenging times, my Government will play a leading role in defending democracy and freedom across the world, including continuing to support the people of Ukraine.”

Other measures announced in the speech included a new Bill of Rights, better regulation of social housing, new powers for the police, farming innovation in the form of bringing forward a Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill, reforms around business regulations, an overhaul of the planning system and improved transport across the UK.

The Prince of Wales concluded his mother's speech by expressing her enthusiasm for the upcoming events planned for her Platinum Jubilee.

He said: "In this year of my Platinum Jubilee, Her Majesty looks forward to the celebrations taking place across the United Kingdom and throughout the Commonwealth, and to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this summer.

"Her Majesty prays that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your counsels."

While the queen - whose previous absences from the State Opening came when she was pregnant with her youngest children, Princes Andrew and Edward - was not in attendance for the event, her Imperial State Crown was placed on a table by Charles after travelling in its own car and being inspected by the Crown jeweller before being handed to the Controller of the Lord Chamberlain's household and carried through parliament to its ceremonial position.

In addition, two ceremonial maces, the Cap of Maintenance - which is crimson velvet trimmed with ermine - and the Sword of State used at the coronation of James II were also taken to parliament as they represent the queen's authority during the State Opening.