Queen’s Speech 2013: Prince Charles attends state opening of Britain’s parliament

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This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

The Prince of Wales, Charles along with his wife Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla have attended the State Opening of Britain’s Parliament for the first time in 17 years on Wednesday, as an indication of their growing role to support the Queen Elizabeth II in her official duties.

Previously, Charles has accompanied the Queen to several occasions at the Palace of Westminster 11 times but not since 1996.

Their appearance comes a day after Buckingham Palace has made the announcement that the monarch will miss the Commonwealth summit later this year for the first time in four times as part of a review of her long-haul travel.

The 87-year-old monarch, the head of the Commonwealth, will be represented by heir to the throne, Prince Charles at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in November.

A palace source has said her decision to stay away this year was unrelated to the controversy over Sri Lanka’s human rights record, which has prompted Canada to threaten to boycott the meeting. It is further stressed that the decision did not depict that the Queen would be “slowing down” in her schedule of public engagements.

Camilla has accompanied her husband to the grand ceremonial opening of parliament for the first time as a sign of her own increasing prominence in the royal family.

The Duke of Edinburgh travelled with accompanied the Queen in travel and sat to her left as she delivered the speech to formally open the new session of Parliament.

Charles sat on the Queen’s right during the speech and Camilla sat to the right of Charles.

A spokeswoman for the couple’s Clarence House residence has told: “Their Royal Highnesses’ role is one of support.”

“The Prince of Wales often supports the queen on state occasions, and his and the duchess’s diaries were clear on this occasion.”

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