Prince Charles Opens Parliament, Gives Speech Amid Queen’s Absence

Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth I.
Arthur Edwards/WPA Pool/Shutterstock; Alan Davidson/Shutterstock

Take the first step! Prince CharlesFill in for his mom Queen Elizabeth II, on the opening day of British Parliament — and got a taste of his future on the throne.

The traditional opening remarks were delivered by Prince of Wales, who was 73 years old, and his son. Prince WilliamAnd your wife Camilla, DuchessTuesday, May 10, 2010 at the House of Parliament, London. Charles gave his speech from the Consort’s Throne after the Sovereign’s Throne — which is used by the 96-year-old — was removed amid the queen’s absence.

While addressing members of the government, Charles spoke for 11 minutes and outlined the administration’s plans for the coming years. Some tweaks were made to the speech, with the future king opting to use the phrase “Her Majesty’s government.” (The monarch typically says “my government” while delivering the remarks.)

As he concluded the opening ceremony, the queen’s eldest son reassured those in attendance that Elizabeth was looking forward to her upcoming Platinum Jubilee celebrations this summer. “Her Majesty prays that the blessings of Almighty God will rest upon your counsels,” Charles said.

Tuesday was the third occasion that Her Royal Highness, who has been in power for 70 years, missed the opening ceremonies of Parliament. Buckingham Palace confirmed her absence just one day before the royal engagement.

“The Queen continues to experience episodic mobility problems, and in consultation with her doctors has reluctantly decided that she will not attend the State Opening of Parliament tomorrow,” a statement read on Monday, May 9. “At Her Majesty’s request, and with the agreement of the relevant authorities, The Prince of Wales will read The Queen’s speech on Her Majesty’s behalf, with The Duke of Cambridge also in attendance.”

Elizabeth has been seen using a cane several times in public over the past few months. She was also hospitalized overnight in October 2021 at the suggestion of her doctors. “Her Majesty can continue to undertake light, desk-based duties during this time, including some virtual audiences, but not to undertake any official visits,” a palace statement noted later that month after the queen was advised to rest for “at least” two weeks.

Concern for the royal matriarch’s health continued in February when she tested positive for the coronavirus. A source exclusively revealed that the coronavirus was found in the royal matriarch at the time. Us Weekly that the queen “showed extraordinary courage” throughout her COVID-19 battle.

A second insider revealed that same month that Charles and William, 39, would “be taking on extra duties over the next decade” as they prepare for their respective reigns as king. “[Charles] will ensure that his son is up to speed the ins and outs of the royal family on a deeper level and William will help Charles come up with new, fresh ideas about modernizing the monarchy,” the source told Us, noting that the men would be “working very closely” to create “a slimmed down monarchy.”

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