In his first speech from the throne, British King Charles had to subordinate his own opinion to that of the government.
King Charles III announced the British government’s plans in his speech from the throne on Tuesday. The parliamentary year in Great Britain begins with the royal speech. The king announced, among other things, that new gas and oil fields will be developed in the North Sea, something that may have been difficult for him. Charles is known to be passionate about the fight against climate change.
So it was easier to mention that Great Britain wants to become climate neutral faster than other countries. The new oil fields should make the country less dependent on ‘hostile powers’, according to the king. Other plans he mentioned in the speech included the fight against inflation, humanitarian aid to Gaza, efforts to enable a smoke-free generation and new legislation on self-driving cars.
The royal speech serves to outline the government’s plans. The King delivers the speech, but it was Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who held the pen. For Charles, it was the first speech since he succeeded his mother, Elizabeth, as head of state. This is the first time since 1951 that a King’s Speech will take place instead of a Queen’s Speech. Charles also addressed parliament from the golden throne last year, but he did so as a replacement for his mother.
The King’s Speech is an event full of traditions, some of which are centuries old. The ceremony provides a spectacular spectacle of colorful uniforms, bizarre customs and symbolic objects. The king wears his crown and a meter-long cloak with an ermine collar, the members of the House of Lords – without exception of nobility – are dressed in red cloaks. Some wear a wig.
It was the first time since 2019 that the event took place in full glory. Due to the pandemic and Elizabeth’s deteriorating health, the ceremony has been held in a slightly less lavish form in recent years. In the past, initiatives have been taken to modernize the ceremony, but these usually fell flat. The coronation earlier this year showed that Charles himself also adheres to all the ceremonial customs associated with his position.