For the first time in 43 years, Queen Elizabeth II of Britain on Wednesday did not wear her crown as she delivered the traditional Queen’s Speech and State Opening of Parliament.
The Queen was without her traditional regalia – robes, a golden carriage and a heavy crown. The Queen attended the event without her royal paraphernalia as a result of the recent snap election called by British Prime Minister Theresa May.
The unexpected election meant that the State Opening of Parliament was fixed just days after Trooping of Colour ceremony which traditionally marks the Queen’s official birthday every year.
The proximity of both event meant that there wasn’t enough time for rehearsal and preparation for the events which require grand planning. The Queens Speech was originally set for June 19.
Trooping of Colour usually requires a Sovereign’s Escort from the Household Cavalry Regiment, and the Queen’s route lined by hundreds of service personnel, the Mirror writes.
So, for the first time since 1974, the Queen was dressed in a blue dress with matching hat; devoid of the traditional grandness required for the ceremony.
She also travelled by car instead of the traditional horse-driven carriage to deliver her speech. Instead of wearing the heavy crown, it was carried by an officer of state. The Sword of State and Cap of Maintenance were also carried.
The event was devoid of its usual fanfare that traditionally accompanies the Queen’s arrival at the parliament. She was not accompanied by heralds as she walked to the Chamber of the House of the Lords to sit on her throne to deliver her speech.
The last time the Queen scaled down on the usual pomp of the Queen’s Speech was in March 1974 when the then Labour leader, Harold Wilson, defeated Edward Heath in a snap election similar to that called by Mrs. May on June 8.
Mrs. May lost her majority in the election and needed the fringe Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland to form a government. Though an agreement between the Tory and the DUP hasn’t been finalised.