IN a break from tradition, the re-arranged Queen’s Speech took place in parliament today with Her Majesty not wearing robes and accompanied by Prince Charles.
She travelled to Westminster by car rather than horse drawn carriage and her crown followed on in a separate car whilst Prince Philip is in hospital.
Another unusual aspect to the event was the fact that she was delivering a speech to cover two years (the 2018 speech having been cancelled) delivered on behalf of her minority government as no deal has yet been reached between the Conservatives and the DUP.
The only real piece of tradition was the annual joke made by veteran MP Dennis Skinner who shouted to Black Rod who had come to collect the MPs “Get your skates on – first race is at half past two” reminding all that this is the week of Royal Ascot.
There was nothing particularly unexpected about the contents of the speech with many of the more controversial planks of the election manifesto removed and a promise by the government to “work with humility and resolve”.
In essence, much of the speech was taken up with the need to make legal preparations for Brexit and to pass into UK law, items which find favour with the government and are currently covered by EU law.
Pensioners will be pleased that the triple lock pension rules will remain in place and means testing for the fuel allowance has been scrapped. In addition, other bills such as the so called Alzheimer’s Act will be put out to consultation.
The government does plan to crack down on the culture of compensation especially with disputed car accidents and it will strengthen laws of domestic violence and ban landlord letting fees.
Whilst it was confirmed that the King and Queen of Spain will make a formal visit to the UK in July, no mention was made of the visit of President Trump and commentators suspect that means that it will be delayed or even cancelled.
Both the Labour and Liberal Democratic parties contend that without a majority, the decision by Mrs May to proceed to announce these proposed bills via Her Majesty is flawed and they intend to produce their own versions for circulation.