Amid plenty of pomp and pageantry, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II was on official parliamentary business as she travelled through the streets of London on Wednesday.
Escorted by the Household Cavalry, the Queen and her husband Prince Philip took a carriage ride from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster.
They then took their places in the House of Lords where the Monarch, as is the tradition, set out the government’s plans for the year ahead.
Her speech, written by the ruling coalition, comes as it tries to battle back from dismal results at the ballot box in last week’s local elections.
“My government’s legislative programme will focus on economic growth, justice and constitutional reform,” the Queen told parliament. “My ministers’ first priority will be to reduce the deficit and restore economic stability.”
Family-friendly measures, banking reforms and a controversial bill making it easier for authorities to monitor private communications are included.
There will also be moves to reform the non-elected House of Lords upper chamber of parliament despite tension between the two governing parties over the issue.
Some of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative colleagues in parliament firmly oppose that part of the speech made by the Queen, 86, who is marking her Diamond Jubilee – 60 years after coming to the throne.