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The Queen was not the only member of the royal family absent from the State Opening of Parliament on Tuesday 10 May, as Kate Middleton did not attend either.
The State Opening of Parliament has long been a crucial moment in the royal calendar, and one Her Majesty hasn’t missed in almost 60 years – until yesterday.
It is the first time in six decades HRH has missed the event, only having missed two speeches throughout her seventy-year reign, both while in the late stages of pregnancy.
For the annual engagement Prince Charles and Prince William took on the Queen’s duties in her absence, as she has been battling ongoing “mobility issues” in recent months.
The Queen’s Speech marks the State opening of Parliament and outlines the government’s plans for the forthcoming year, and the duty can only ever be passed on to Counsellor’s of State.
Prince Charles stepped in for the Queen at the last minute to read the plans on her behalf.
Throughout the 13-minute speech, the Prince of Wales’ wife Duchess Camilla sat beside the future King, in the same location the pair usually sit together.
It was a historic moment for Prince William too, as it was the first time the Prince had ever attended the State Opening of Parliament. The Duke attended the event as a Counsellor of State, a senior member of the Royal Family who is given the honour of acting on the monarch’s behalf.
The arrangement was confirmed on Monday by a spokesperson for the Palace who said: “At Her Majesty’s request, and with the agreement of the relevant authorities, The Prince of Wales will read The Queen’s speech on Her Majesty’s behalf, with The Duke of Cambridge also in attendance.”
Despite the occasion, and milestone for the 39-year-old royal, The Duchess of Cambridge was unable to attend with her husband due to conflicting engagements in her schedule outside of London.
Kate was due to attend the official opening of The Glade Of Light memorial in Manchester. The memorial was a tribute to the victims of the Manchester arena bombing, which tragically took place in 2017.
The Duchess attended the event to show her support, remember those who tragically lost their lives, and lay flowers for the victims, while the Duke of Cambridge held the fort, alongside his father, in London.