The sovereign was unable to address the crown speech to Parliament for health reasons: it had not happened since 1963 when she was stopped by the birth of Prince Edward
The throne absent. Queen’s seat removed from the House of Lords: in place of her, the Crown lying on a pillow. It was an unprecedented ceremony in contemporary history, that of this morning in Westminster: because for the first time to read the Queen’s Speech, the speech of the queen that illustrates the government program, it was not the sovereign but the heir to the throne, Prince Charles. A turning point that was seen as the first step towards a de facto Regency.
Elizabeth had to give up for health reasons: “mobility problems”, explained Buckingham Palace. It had happened only twice in the past, when the queen was pregnant respectively with Andrew and Edoardo: but on those occasions the speech was read by the Lord Chancellor, following a precedent set by Queen Victoria (who disliked ceremonies in Parliament). Instead this time the sovereign decided otherwise: and she sent a precise signal asking that the speech was read by his son Carlo, the heir to the throne. To do this, it was necessary to resort to the Regency Act, the Act on the Regency, on the basis of which Elizabeth issued license letters to delegate royal functions.
There is only one historical reference and it dates back to two hundred years ago: when the Parliament was opened by the Prince Regent, the future George IV who had taken over his father’s royal duties George III, now suffering from dementia. The second decade of the nineteenth century was therefore that of the Regency, which left an indelible mark on London, from Regent Street to Regent’s Park.
This time the transfer of powers been limited and temporary, but nonetheless full of meanings: and it can be expected that from now on Charles will replace the queen more and more on official occasions. A “cohabitation” also due to the fact that Elizabeth will never abdicate: still burns the trauma of Edward VIII and therefore she will remain on the throne until death, but with her increasingly fragile health one is needed transition that will see Charles assume in practice the functions of regent. Unless sooner or later you don’t get to one formalization of his status
should the sovereign be completely incapacitated.
Equally significant as the ceremony in Westminsterthey sat next to the heir to the throne his wife Camilla and son William
: she saw her role as next queen consort thus consecrated, while the Duke of Cambridge it represents the future and the continuity of the royal house. Today it was possible to throw one look at the monarchy of tomorrow. But above all for Charles was (almost) the landing point of an existence spent waiting: him the prince who in history has spent several years in the position of heir to the throne, destined to reign but forced to wait. Now arrived one step away from the Crown and above all managed to do so by having Camilla next to him, the woman of his life. But he remains anyway a somewhat melancholy imagethat of a man now old and graying which is still waiting to grasp the final goal of its entire existence. Which today he could somehow savor.
May 10, 2022 (change May 10, 2022 | 18:02)
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