The queen pulled out due to “mobility issues”.
Britain’s Parliament opened a new year-long session on Tuesday with a mix of royal pomp and raw politics, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson tries to re-energise his scandal-tarnished administration and revive the economy amid a worsening cost-of-living crisis.
Johnson’s Conservative government set out the laws it plans to pass in the coming year at the tradition-steeped State Opening of Parliament.
"Her majesty's government's priority is to grow and strengthen the economy and help ease the cost of living for families," the speech began.
The ceremony took place without 96-year-old Queen Elizabeth II, who pulled due to what Buckingham Palace called “mobility issues”.
Instead, her son and heir, Prince Charles, read the Queen’s Speech written by the government. Prince William, who is second in line to the throne, also attended the ceremony.
Prince Charles laid out the pieces of legislation the government plans to introduce, including bills on education, animal welfare, transport, and “levelling up” economic opportunity to poorer regions.
The government pledged to reduce COVID backlogs, defend democracy, address inflation, and transition to "cheaper, cleaner and more secure energy."
The speech said they would repeal and reform regulations on businesses and that a new bill would enable law inherited from the EU to be "more easily amended."
The government speech said they will take action to limit migrant Channel crossings.
"Her majesty's government will lead the way in championing security around the world. It will continue to invest in her majesty's gallant forces," Charles read.
The government will also continue to support the Good Friday agreement, which makes sure there is no border in Ireland.
The queen has only missed two previous state openings during her 70-year reign, in 1959 and 1963, when she was pregnant with sons Andrew and Edward, respectively.