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King’s Speech 2023 LIVE: Charles sets out Rishi Sunak’s plans at State Opening of Parliament – including ban on cigarette sales, tougher sentences for killers, tackling inflation and crackdown on Channel crossings

Full list of bills presented at King's SpeechThe King's Speech featured 20 bills and one draft bill, including some that have been carried over from t

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Full list of bills presented at King’s Speech

The King’s Speech featured 20 bills and one draft bill, including some that have been carried over from the last parliamentary session to complete their passage in the next. Here is the full list:

  • Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill
  • Trade (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) Bill
  • Automated Vehicles Bill
  • Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill
  • Data Protection and Digital Information Bill
  • Media Bill
  • Arbitration Bill
  • Draft Rail Reform Bill
  • Tobacco and Vapes Bill
  • Leasehold and Freehold Bill
  • Renters (Reform) Bill
  • Football Governance Bill
  • Pedicabs (London) Bill
  • Holocaust Memorial Bill
  • Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill
  • Economic Activities of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill
  • Sentencing Bill
  • Criminal Justice Bill
  • Investigatory Powers (Amendment) Bill
  • Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill
  • Victims and Prisoners Bill

Government is ‘turning its back’ on workers

The Government has been accused of ‘turning its back’ on workers as union leaders criticised the absence again of a promised employment Bill.

TUC general secretary Paul Nowak described the speech as ‘cheap electioneering’.

He added: ‘This is a desperate last throw of the dice from the Conservatives. There is nothing in today’s King’s Speech to fix the country’s problems. Ministers have turned their back on working people.

‘Having promised numerous times to bring forward an employment Bill to tackle insecure work, the Tories have junked this promise and are now attacking people’s fundamental right to strike.

‘Instead of fixing our crumbling public services, the Government is trying to blame paramedics, teachers and other key workers for their failures.

‘With families across the country facing a cost-of-living crisis, rowing back on net zero commitments will do nothing to bring down bills or to deliver better jobs and pay. We can’t go on like this. The Conservatives have broken Britain.’

Michael Gove is to push on with plans to boost renters rights by making it harder for landlords to evict them for no reason despite Tory opposition.

The Housing Secretary’s Renters (Reform) Bill has been carried over from the last session of Parliament in the King’s Speech.

It comes amid complaints about soaring rental costs as landlords pass on higher mortgage and other costs to tenants.

Read the full story from MailOnline’s deputy political editor David Wilcock:

King Charles has used his first state opening of Parliament speech to announce a new independent regulator for English football.

The King confirmed the Government’s plans to create a new body to oversee the game and said it was to ‘safeguard the future of football clubs for the benefit of communities and fans’.

The regulator aims to prevent clubs from joining breakaway leagues, force them to seek approval for any sale or relocation of their stadium and create strengthened owners’ and directors’ tests.

Read the full story from David Coverdale on MailOnline here:

Video shows King’s Speech in full

Here is the King’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament, Charles’s first as monarch, in full:

Rishi Sunak recently vowed to ‘slam the brakes’ on the ‘war on motorists’ and hit out at ‘hare-brained’ schemes such as Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and widespread 20mph zones.

But, despite suggestions the King’s Speech would double-down on pro-car policies, today’s fresh legislative agenda offered few signs of a toughening of Mr Sunak’s crackdown.

The only hint of new action came in a promise to make local councils add the imposition of new speed limits, closed roads or fresh parking restrictions to a central database.

Here’s the full story from MailOnline’s political correspondent Greg Heffer:

Consumer protection from ‘drip pricing’

Consumers are set to receive protection from so-called ‘drip pricing’ under which companies add fees before checkout to an advertised low price online under the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill.

Examples of drip pricing have included airlines inflating a topline fare with fees for luggage space, seat choice and printing out passes.

Consumer group Which? has described drip pricing as ‘an underhanded way of squeezing extra cash out of consumers’ and ‘particularly concerning during a cost-of-living crisis, when it’s more important than ever for shoppers to be able to stick to a budget’.

The law, included in the King’s Speech, will also take action against fake reviews and confusing labels, both of which make it harder for consumers to judge a product or a service.

It will make it harder for ‘unscrupulous’ traders to trap people in subscriptions that they no longer want, a practice that currently cheats consumers out of £1.6 billion a year.

And it includes already announced powers allowing the Competition and Markets Authority to take action against bad business practices without needing lengthy court action.

Concern over delay in major rail reforms

A draft Bill to create a new public sector body to overhaul Britain’s railways has sparked concerns about delays in introducing major reforms.

The establishment of Great British Railways (GBR), first proposed in May 2021, was included in a draft Rail Reform Bill in the King’s Speech.

The Government says the plan must be scrutinised by parliamentarians and industry experts due to the scale and complexity of the changes being made.

But Richard Bowker, former boss of the Strategic Rail Authority, which was a public body providing strategic direction for the industry between 2001 and 2005, said he does not understand why major reforms are taking so long to be delivered.

He said: ‘I am genuinely struggling to see why it is so complex that, two and a half years since the Williams-Shapps plan was announced, we’re still only at this point.

‘Anything that moves us towards a world where government officials have less to do with the day-to-day running things is good news, but why so slow?

‘Time is really of the essence. What have you been doing for two and a half years?’

Page boys outside Parliament today

Page boys are pictured outside the Palace of Westminster for the State Opening of Parliament today:

Page boys outside the Palace of Westminster for The State Opening of Parliament .The State Opening of Parliament marks the formal start of the parliamentary year and sets out the government's agenda for the 2023-24 session, outlining proposed policies and legislation. November 7 2023.

Black Rod had the House of Commons door slammed in her face in line with ancient tradition today before she demanded MPs’ presence in the House of Lords to hear the King’s Speech.

Sarah Clarke, who became the first female holder of the office in its 650-year history when she was appointed in 2018, banged on the closed door three times with her ceremonial staff.

Once the door was opened again, the official – accompanied by the Commons’ Serjeant-at-Arms Ugbana Oyet – told a packed chamber: ‘Mr Speaker, the King commands this honourable House to attend Her Majesty immediately in the House of Peers’.

Read the full story from MailOnline’s history correspondent Harry Howard:

Rishi Sunak unveiled a make-or-break plan to restore ‘pride’ to Britain today in a pre-election King’s Speech.

The Prime Minister insisted the government is ‘rising to the challenge’ as the monarch laid out the legislative package for the next year – and almost certainly the last before the country goes to the ballot boxes.

The plans draws battle lines with Keir Starmer , including pledges to crack down on crime and ease the Net Zero ‘burden’ on Brits.

Read the full story from MailOnline’s political editor James Tapsfield:

Rishi Sunak today confirmed he is pressing ahead with new laws to ban public bodies from targeting Israel with boycotts, disinvestment or sanctions campaigns.

The Prime Minister vowed to prevent local councils from imposing ‘their own politically motivated boycotts of foreign countries’.

As part of the King’s Speech, which sets out the Government’s fresh legislative agenda, Mr Sunak also promised to push forward with the construction of a new Holocaust memorial in central London. Read the full story here:

‘We are stopping the boats’, says Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak, in words accompanying the King’s speech, insisted there are ‘clear’ results from the five priorities he set for the nation to judge him on.

He acknowledged that there is ‘more to do’ on cutting NHS waiting lists, but insisted he had ‘made progress’ after patients waiting for hospital treatment hit a record high.

But he said inflation is down, as he appears on course to cut it in half this year, and that the economy is growing – albeit minimally as the Bank warns of a year of stagnation.

He insisted that ‘we are stopping the boats’, arguing that crossings are down on this time last year – though more than 26,600 people have still made it across the Channel unauthorised.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 7: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Keir Starmer lead MPs into the House of Lords Chamber during the State Opening of Parliament, on November 7, 2023 in London, England. The speech delivered by the monarch but written by the government sets out the government's priorities for the coming year. This session of parliament will lead up to the next general election. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Charles & Camilla leave after State Opening

King Charles III and Queen Camilla prepare to depart following the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords Chamber:

Britain's King Charles III and Queen Camilla prepare to depart following the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords Chamber, in London, Britain, November 7, 2023. Leon Neal/Pool via REUTERS
Britain's King Charles III, wearing the Imperial State Crown and the Robe of State, and Britain's Queen Camilla, wearing the George IV State Diadem, prepare to depart after he read the King's speech, in the House of Lords chamber, during the State Opening of Parliament, at the Houses of Parliament, in London, on November 7, 2023. (Photo by Leon Neal / POOL / AFP) (Photo by LEON NEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Black Rod Sarah Clarke strikes the door

Black Rod Sarah Clarke is pictured standing in the Members’ Lobby and striking the door to the House of Commons during the State Opening of Parliament:

Sarah Clarke, Black Rod, stands on the day of the State Opening of Parliament, at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Tuesday Nov. 7, 2023. (Hannah McKay/Pool Photo via AP)
Black Rod Sarah Clarke, stands in the Members' Lobby at the Palace of Westminster ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords, London. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. See PA story POLITICS Speech. Photo credit should read: Hannah McKay/PA Wire
Sarah Clarke, Black Rod, strikes the door to the House of Commons during the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London on November 7, 2023. (Photo by HANNAH MCKAY / POOL / AFP) (Photo by HANNAH MCKAY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Murderers who kill for sadistic or sexual thrills will die behind bars and violent criminals forced to face their victims in court under measures announced in today’s King’s Speech.

A new sentencing bill would force judges to hand down whole-life orders for the most gruesome killings. Rapists and other sexual offenders would also have to serve their entire sentence behind bars, instead of half on licence.

Other measures include giving police the power to enter a property without a warrant to seize stolen goods, such as phones, when they have reasonable proof that a specific stolen item is inside – such as data from a GPS tracker.

Read the full story from MailOnline’s home affairs correspondent Rory Tingle:

Charles III today used the first King’s speech for more than 70 years – his first as British monarch – to pay a poignant tribute to his ‘beloved mother’ Queen Elizabeth II at the State Opening of Parliament.

Addressing MPs and peers in the House of Lords this morning, he spoke of Her Majesty’s ‘legacy of service and devotion’ with his wife Queen Camilla next to him.

It was a historic and emotional moment for the King, who stepped in for his mother in May last year as she battled mobility problems.

Read the full story from MailOnline reporters Harry Howard and Martin Robinson here:

Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s family welcome plans

The mother of a nine-year-old girl who was shot dead in her own home has welcomed the confirmation of plans to make defendants attend court for sentencing hearings.

Cheryl Korbel, whose daughter Olivia Pratt-Korbel was killed in August last year, told Good Morning Britain that the proposals, outlined in the King’s Speech today, gave the family comfort.

She and Olivia’s aunt have campaigned for the change after Olivia’s killer, Thomas Cashman, refused to attend court for his sentencing.

Ms Korbel told the broadcaster: ‘It is a very important step forward. It will bring a little bit of comfort knowing that no other family will go through what we’ve been through.”

She went on: ‘I really did want to address him – for the pain that he’s put us through, that we’re still going through.

‘And to have the audacity to be there for the whole month and then not to turn up on the day of the sentence. It’s disrespectful to the family and to the judge, not to hear the sentence being passed.’

Under the new Sentencing Bill, judges can decide whether to use reasonable force to bring defendants into court. If they refuse, they could face another two years in prison.

Rishi Sunak has set out a fresh legislative programme for the coming parliamentary session while seeking to draw dividing lines with Labour going into the next general election.

The King’s Speech, which is written by the Government, was delivered for the first time by Charles as monarch.

In all, the package featured 20 bills and one draft bill, including some that have been carried over from the last parliamentary session to complete their passage in the next. Click here for is a whistle-stop tour from the PA news agency of each one:

‘Nothing but empty words’, say Lib Dems

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said: ‘The country is crying out for change and hope for a brighter future, instead all Rishi Sunak had to offer was cheap gimmicks and reheated policies.

‘There was nothing but empty words on the biggest issues facing the country, from the NHS crisis to the sewage scandal.

‘There were no real solutions for patients left waiting months in pain for treatment, homeowners seeing their mortgages skyrocket or communities seeing their local rivers ruined by sewage.

‘It shows the Conservative Government is out of touch, out of ideas and deserves to be kicked out of office.’

Criticism over no conversion therapy ban

The failure of the Government to deliver on its previously-promised pledge to ban conversion therapy has been branded ‘an act of frightful negligence’.

Campaigners had been hoping to hear mention of a Bill on the matter in the King’s Speech. But while describing the practice as ‘abhorrent’, the Government has previously added that it is still ‘carefully considering this very complex issue’.

Following the King’s Speech, which made no mention of such a Bill, LGBTQ+ group Stonewall said those affected by conversion therapy practices ‘deserve better’.

Robbie de Santos, director of external affairs at Stonewall, said: ‘The UK Government’s failure to deliver a ban on conversion practices after five years of promises is an act of frightful negligence – in doing so, it has given the green light for the abuse against LGBTQ+ people to continue unchecked.

‘Rather than getting mired in a cynical cultural war, the UK Government should be making decisions based on what the evidence and expertise said. England and Wales’ 1.5 million LGBTQ+ people, and their families, deserve better.’

Tribute from Charles to his late mother

The King paid tribute to his mother the late Queen’s ‘legacy of service and devotion’ today. Watch the video of his remarks at the State Opening of Parliament:

Longest State Opening speech since 2005

The King’s Speech ran to 1,223 words, making it the longest monarch’s speech at a State Opening of Parliament since 2005.

King Charles III sits besides Queen Camilla during the State Opening of Parliament, in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. See PA story POLITICS Speech. Photo credit should read: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire

Crackdown on rogue pedicab operators

A crackdown on rogue pedicab operators in London has been announced in the King’s Speech.

The Government’s Pedicabs (London) Bill will hand Transport for London (TfL) the power to implement a licensing regime for the vehicles.

The transport body will also be given the ability to control fares, ensure drivers undergo criminal record checks and set safety standards for operators and their vehicles.

There have been growing concerns about unsafe pedicabs and passengers being ripped off.

In July, it was reported that a tourist with two children was charged £464 for a 1.3-mile, seven-minute journey.

Pictured below is a file image of a pedicab operator in the West End:

London, UK - May 22, 2023: A pedicab driver parked in Piccadilly Circus, ready for a romantic ride through the city.; Shutterstock ID 2319879963; purchase_order: -; job: -; client: -; other: -

Live exports for slaughter and fattening

The live export of livestock for slaughter and fattening will be permanently banned under legislation announced in the King’s Speech.

The Government’s previous attempt to impose a ban as part of wider animal welfare reforms was scrapped earlier this year, but the new law will be more tightly focused on exports.

It will ban the export of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and horses in a move likely to be welcomed by campaigners, including actress Dame Joanna Lumley, who have long called for a prohibition.

Live exports will still be permitted in some circumstances, including racehorses being allowed to move for breeding and races.

If the Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill passes, it will prevent animals being sent to the continent for slaughter from England, but the UK Government plans to work with the administrations in Scotland and Wales to make this apply across Great Britain.

The measure is possible as a result of Brexit, which allows the UK to break away from the European Union’s rules governing live animal exports.

Although no animals have been exported for slaughter since the Government announced its intention to ban the practice in 2021, the legislation will ensure this is put on a permanent basis.

‘Long-term decisions for future generations’

Concluding the King’s Speech, Charles said: ‘My Government will, in all respects, seek to make long-term decisions in the interests of future generations.

‘My ministers will address inflation and the drivers of low growth over demands for greater spending or borrowing.

‘My ministers will put the security of communities and the nation ahead of the rights of those who endanger it.

‘By taking these long-term decisions, my Government will change this country and build a better future.’

Britain's King Charles III, wearing the Imperial State Crown and the Robe of State, sits beside Britain's Queen Camilla, wearing the George IV State Diadem, as he reads the King's speech from The Sovereign's Throne in the House of Lords chamber, during the State Opening of Parliament, at the Houses of Parliament, in London, on November 7, 2023. (Photo by Alastair Grant / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ALASTAIR GRANT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Some of the main proposals in King’s Speech

The package of 20 Bills and a draft includes proposals to:

  • Subject streaming giants to a new video-on-demand code drafted and enforced by Ofcom that will apply similar standards to those enforced on television
  • Ban the creation of new leasehold houses in England and Wales to improve fairness in the housing market
  • Ending no-fault evictions – but not until a new court process and stronger possession grounds for landlords are in place
  • Pave the way for the introduction of self-driving cars and buses on UK roads by putting in place a legal framework centred on safety and user protection.

King condemns ‘barbaric acts of terrorism’

The King condemned the ‘barbaric acts of terrorism against the people of Israel’ in his address to Parliament.

Charles said: ‘My ministers will work closely with international partners to support Ukraine, strengthen Nato and address the most pressing security challenges.

‘This includes the consequences of the barbaric acts of terrorism against the people of Israel, facilitating humanitarian support into Gaza and supporting the cause of peace and stability in the Middle East.’

King Charles III speaks during the State Opening of Parliament, in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. See PA story POLITICS Speech. Photo credit should read: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire

Concern over rising antisemitic incidents

The Government noted the large rise in antisemitic incidents of late, following the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7.

It said this is a reminder that efforts must continue to drive out antisemitism from society.

The Economic Activities of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill is making a return in the next parliamentary session.

The Bill implements a ban on public bodies imposing their own direct or indirect boycotts, disinvestment or sanctions campaigns against other countries.

The Government said the Bill applies to all countries equally but mentioned in particular the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which it said calls on public bodies to treat Israel differently.

The Government said this is divisive and expressed concern that such campaigns are linked to rising antisemitism in the UK, especially in the wake of the October attack.

Holocaust Memorial Bill returns

A national Holocaust memorial will be built next to Parliament, the Government has pledged as it re-stated its efforts to tackle antisemitism in the wake of the Hamas attack on Israel last month.

A vow to build a Holocaust memorial and learning centre was first made in January 2015. However, the plan for construction in Victoria Tower Gardens in central London ran into difficulties over a 1900 law protecting the parkland.

Today, as part of the King’s Speech, it was confirmed the Holocaust Memorial Bill will return to the next session of Parliament.

Planning permission was granted in July 2021 after a public inquiry and the recommendations of planning inspector David Morgan.

But it was challenged in the High Court by the London Historic Parks and Gardens Trust, which argued against building the centre on the small triangular Grade II-listed park to the south of Parliament.

The London County Council (Improvements) Act 1900 required the land to be used as a public park. The Bill intends to update the legislation, removing the legal obstacle that has prevented the project from going ahead. It would also give the Government powers to use public funding to build and operate the centre.

Tougher sentences for worst offenders

The King’s Speech contained a series of measures ‘to keep communities safe from crime, anti-social behaviour, terrorism and illegal migration’.

Charles told MPs and peers: ‘A Bill will be brought forward to ensure tougher sentences for the most serious offenders and increase the confidence of victims.

‘My ministers will introduce legislation to empower police forces and the criminal justice system to prevent new or complex crimes, such as digital-enabled crime and child sexual abuse, including grooming.’

King Charles III and Queen Camilla arrive for the start of the State Opening of Parliament, in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. See PA story POLITICS Speech. Photo credit should read: Leon Neal/PA Wire

King confirmed smoking and vaping plans

The King confirmed plans set out by Rishi Sunak to effectively ban smoking and vaping in the younger generation.

That mean ‘restricting the sale of tobacco so that children currently aged 14 or younger can never be sold cigarettes, and restricting the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes to children’.

King Charles III and Queen Camilla arrive for the start of the State Opening of Parliament, in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. See PA story POLITICS Speech. Photo credit should read: Leon Neal/PA Wire

Smiles from Sunak and Starmer

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer are pictured smiling at the State Opening of Parliament this morning:

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour Party leader Keir Starmer react on the day of the State Opening of Parliament, at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Tuesday Nov. 7, 2023. (Hannah McKay/Pool Photo via AP)

Announcement on no-fault evictions

The long-awaited ban on so-called no-fault evictions will not be brought in until a new court process and stronger possession grounds for landlords are in place, the Government has confirmed.

Charities and campaigning organisations within the private rental sector have been calling for the abolition of section 21 evictions, saying renters have already had to wait far too long for reform.

Last month, Housing Secretary Michael Gove told Conservative MPs that the ban will not be enacted before a series of improvements are made in the legal system.

Today, the Government insisted it is keeping its manifesto pledge to abolish this part of the current legislation – where a landlord can evict a tenant without providing any reason.

But it confirmed this would not come into effect until landlords’ grounds for possession are strengthened, giving examples of wanting to sell the property, tenants’ repeated serious rent arrears and expanding grounds for when close family members want to move in to the property.

The Government said landlords will be able to evict tenants in as little as two weeks if they breach their tenancy agreement or damage the property.

Stronger powers to evict anti-social tenants

The Government also said it plans to support the 11million private tenants and 2.3 million landlords in England through the Renters (Reform) Bill.

The legislation will include stronger powers to evict anti-social tenants.

Other changes to leaseholder law

A requirement for a new leaseholder to have owned their house or flat for two years before they can benefit from the changes will be removed, so that more leaseholders can exercise their right to the security of freehold ownership or a 990-year lease extension as soon as possible.

The changes will also enable leaseholders in buildings with up to 50 per cent of non-residential floorspace to buy their freehold or take over its management.

This will mean an increase to the 25 per cent non-residential limit, which prevents leaseholders in buildings with a mix of homes and non-residential spaces such as shops and offices from buying their freehold or taking over management of their building.

The Government also plans to improve leaseholders’ consumer rights by requiring transparency over service charges in a standardised, comparable format. This will help leaseholders to challenge any charges which they feel are unreasonable.

Access to redress schemes will also be extended, with more freeholders being required to belong to redress schemes.

A presumption that leaseholders will pay their freeholders’ legal costs when challenging poor practice will also be scrapped.

Why Government is changing leasehold law

The current leasehold system leaves many homeowners trapped in properties or facing high costs to buy their freeholds, the Government said.

In one case it highlighted, someone bought a flat in 2008 with a £300 ground rent and a 10-year doubling clause, meaning the homeowner now pays £600. The homeowner was quoted £25,000 to extend the lease.

In another case, a homeowner who bought a new-build flat in 2020 has seen their ground rent rise from £350 to more than £450 per year.

Around 752,000 households with children and 1.48 million over-65s are leasehold homeowners, according to the Government.

Just over a fifth (22 per cent) of home sales in 2019 were leasehold, or around 238,000 transactions in total, Land Registry figures show.

Nan on creation of new leasehold houses

A ban on the creation of new leasehold houses in England and Wales will be included in a Government shake-up to improve fairness in the housing market.

It will mean that, other than in exceptional circumstances, new houses in England and Wales will be freehold from the outset.

Rip-off charges will also be tackled, with a consultation on capping existing ground rents, to ensure leaseholders are protected from making payments that require no benefit or service in return and can cause issues when homeowners want to sell up.

Reforms to make it easier for leaseholders to purchase their freehold and tackle punitive service charges were outlined in the King’s Speech. The changes could make it easier for people to sell their properties and get mortgages.

The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill aims to improve homeownership for millions of leaseholders in England and Wales, by making it cheaper and easier for more leaseholders to extend their lease, buy their freehold and take over management of their building.

The standard lease extension term will be increased from 90 years to 990 years for both houses and flats, with ground rent reduced to £0.

This will ensure that leaseholders can enjoy secure ground rent-free ownership of their properties for years to come, without the hassle and expense of future lease extensions.

‘Promote the integrity of the Union’

The King said the Government would ‘promote the integrity of the Union and strengthen the social fabric’ of the UK.

New video-on-demand code from Ofcom

Streaming giants will be subject to a new video-on-demand code, which will be drafted and enforced by Ofcom, it has been announced.

The Government says the Media Bill, announced in the King’s Speech, will make long-term changes to better protect children by applying similar standards for TV to streaming services.

The UK media watchdog will be given the power to draft and enforce the new code to level the rules with traditional broadcasters. Viewers will then be able to formally complain to Ofcom about content on streaming platforms.

Ofcom currently enforces rules set out in the Broadcasting Code, which apply to TV and radio and are designed to protect viewers and listeners from harm. The code includes rules on the 9pm watershed, hate speech, offensive language and product placement.

Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Paramount+, Discovery+, Hayu, ITV X and other streaming services are currently covered by statutory rules enforced by Ofcom.

However, Netflix, which has a European base in the Netherlands, is not regulated by Ofcom but instead by the Dutch media regulator, the Commissariaat voor de Media.

The data behind cigarette ban plans

According to Government documents, smoking costs the UK around £17billion a year, including £10billion every year through lost productivity alone.

This cost dwarfs the £10billion raised through taxes on tobacco products, its figures show.

By creating a smokefree generation, smoking rates among those aged 14 to 30 could be near zero by 2040, calculations predict.

NHS waiting lists announcement

The King’s speech also touched on how the Government would continue to drive down NHS waiting lists and implement new changes to boost the workforce.

Charles said the Government would ‘deliver its plans to cut waiting lists’ in the NHS, with minimum service levels ‘to prevent strikes from undermining patient safety’.

‘Further crackdown on youth vaping’

The King’s speech also promised a ‘further crackdown on youth vaping’ with a consultation currently ongoing on how to protect children while encouraging adult smokers to use vapes to quit.

The consultation is asking people for their views on whether disposable vapes – which are known to be the first choice among children – should be banned or restricted and whether more needs to be done on pricing.

Health campaigners have repeatedly said that offering e-cigarettes for ‘pocket money prices’ encourages children to take up vaping.

Other proposals include restricting the flavours and descriptions of vapes so they are no longer targeted at children, putting vapes out of the sight of children and regulating vape packaging and how products are presented.

Other suggestions in the consultation include on-the-spot fines for retailers who sell to underage children and greater measures to tackle online sales.

One in five children have now tried vaping despite it being illegal for under-18s, while the number of children using vapes has tripled in the past three years.

Government wants ‘smokefree generation’

The Government has set out its plans to phase out the sale of cigarettes and introduce tighter restrictions on vaping to protect children.

The Tobacco and Vapes Bill will restrict the sale of tobacco so that anyone turning 14 this year or younger will never legally be sold cigarettes.

In his speech to Parliament, the King said the Government would ‘introduce legislation to create a smokefree generation by restricting the sale of tobacco … and restricting the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes to children’.

This will effectively raise the age of tobacco sale by one year every year, the Government said, to prevent this and future generations from ever taking up smoking in the first place.

Media Bill removes legal costs threat

The Media Bill will remove a threat that publishers will pay all legal costs if they win or lose a court case, it has been announced in the King’s Speech.

The Government has already made a commitment to repeal Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013, which is not in force.

If enacted, it would have meant that publishers would have to pay legal costs in defamation and privacy cases, for both sides, if not a member of an approved regulator.

Context of the Rail Reform Bill

Plans for Great British Railways (GBR) were first announced by Grant Shapps in a White Paper in May 2021.

The Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail was based on the recommendations of a review carried out by former British Airways chief executive Keith Williams, which was established in September 2018.

GBR was initially due to be launched in early 2024 but was delayed as the Government axed its plan to introduce a Transport Bill during the last parliamentary session, citing the need to prioritise legislation related to the energy crisis.

In March, the East Midlands city of Derby was unveiled by Transport Secretary Mark Harper as the location to host the body’s headquarters.

New body to overhaul Britain’s railways

A draft Bill to create a new public sector body to overhaul Britain’s railways was included in the King’s Speech after speculation that the plan would be dropped.

There were concerns within the industry that Great British Railways (GBR) would not be established, given it has been two-and-a-half years since it was first proposed by then transport secretary Grant Shapps.

The Government says its draft Rail Reform Bill will enable GBR to be formed, to carry out functions such as awarding operating contracts to train companies and managing rail infrastructure.

It argues that the draft Bill must be scrutinised by parliamentarians and industry experts due to the scale and complexity of the changes being made.

It also insists benefits for passengers are introduced without the need for primary legislation, such as simplifying fares and more pay-as-you-go ticketing.

Being in draft form means it is unlikely the legislation will make it on to the statute books in this parliamentary session, or before the next general election, which is expected to take place next year.

King Charles III sits next to Queen Camilla

Photographs show King Charles III sitting besides Queen Camilla during the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster this morning:

Britain's King Charles III sits besides Queen Camilla during the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in London, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023. King Charles III sits on a gilded throne and reads out the King's Speech, a list of planned laws drawn up by the Conservative government and aimed at winning over voters ahead of an election next year. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, Pool)
Britain's King Charles III sits besides Queen Camilla during the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in London, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023. King Charles III sits on a gilded throne and read out the King's Speech, a list of planned laws drawn up by the Conservative government and aimed at winning over voters ahead of an election next year. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, Pool)

New legal framework for self-driving cars

A long-awaited legal framework to enable self-driving cars to be used on Britain’s roads was included in the King’s Speech.

The Government says its Automated Vehicles Bill will provide the sector with the certainty and confidence it needs to develop the technology in the UK. It argues that the legislation will create one of the world’s most comprehensive set of laws for autonomous vehicles.

There have been concerns within the industry that the UK was falling behind other countries, such as the US, in terms of the extent to which self-driving technology can be used on public roads.

The Bill will aim to ensure there is clear legal liability over who or which organisation is responsible during crashes involving self-driving cars. The Government says this will stop users being held accountable in situations where that would not be fair.

Future licensing of new oil and gas fields

The King, a long-standing environmental campaigner, told MPs and peers that the Government would support ‘the future licensing of new oil and gas fields’.

In his speech in the Lords, Charles said the legislation was intended to ‘strengthen the United Kingdom’s energy security and reduce reliance on volatile international energy markets and hostile foreign regimes’.

It would also help the country transition to net zero emissions by 2050 ‘without adding undue burdens on households’.

He added: ‘Alongside this, my ministers will seek to attract record levels of investment in renewable energy sources and reform grid connections, building on the United Kingdom’s track record of decarbonising faster than other G7 economies.’

‘Difficult but necessary long-term decisions’

In the first King’s Speech for more than 70 years, Charles said: ‘The impact of Covid and the war in Ukraine have created significant long-term challenges for the United Kingdom.

‘That is why my Government’s priority is to make the difficult but necessary long-term decisions to change this country for the better.’

He said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s administration was focused on ‘increasing economic growth and safeguarding the health and security of the British people for generations to come’.

The Government would ‘continue to take action to bring down inflation’ and support the Bank of England in that goal by taking ‘responsible decisions on spending and borrowing’.

Video shows Charles arriving in Parliament

A video shows King Charles III arriving to open Parliament for the first time as monarch amid a return to the full pomp and ceremony of the occasion.

Princess Anne at Sovereign’s Entrance

The Princess Royal arrives at the Sovereign’s Entrance to the Palace of Westminster ahead of the State Opening of Parliament.

Princess Anne will play a role today as Colonel of the Blues and Royals. She is in attendance as Gold Stick in Waiting, and is travelling in the State Landau.

The Princess Royal arrives at the Sovereign's Entrance to the Palace of Westminster ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords, London. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. See PA story POLITICS Speech. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Breaking: Charles praises Queen Elizabeth II

The King paid tribute to his mother the late Queen Elizabeth II’s ‘legacy of service and devotion’ as he conducted the state opening of Parliament for the first time as monarch.

Lindsay Hoyle at State Opening

Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, processes through at the State Opening of Parliament this morning.

Lindsay Hoyle, speaker of the house of commons, walks on the day of the State Opening of Parliament, at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Britain November 7, 2023. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool

Queen Camilla reuses her coronation gown

Camilla, wearing the famous George IV State Diadem for the first time, has chosen to re-use her Coronation gown, designed by Bruce Oldfield, for her first State Opening as Queen.

King Charles III and Queen Camilla arrive at the Sovereign's Entrance to the Palace of Westminster ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords, in London, Britain, November 7, 2023. Victoria Jones/Pool via REUTERS

Protesters chant ‘Down with the Crown’

Loud boos rang out from hundreds of Republic protesters as they chanted ‘Not my King’ and ‘Down with the Crown’ as the King arrived in Parliament Square in his royal carriage.

Long-time LGBTQ rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, joined the protest and described the opening of Parliament as an ‘absurd contradiction’ that is ‘not compatible with democracy’.

The 71-year-old said: ‘It’s an absurd contradiction that an unelected monarch head of state is opening a democratic, elected parliament – that is not compatible with democracy.

‘We want a democratically elected head of state, voted for by the people and accountable to the people, it is what most modern democracies have. Monarchy is an anachronism, it’s a residue from feudalism and before, it’s time we had a democratically-elected head of state.’

The chief executive of Republic, Graham Smith, called the King’s Speech a ‘pantomime’ that advertises ‘how stupid our constitution is’.

Anti-Monarchy pressure group Republic protest outside the Palace of Westminster in London during the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Charles and Camilla at Sovereign’s Entrance

King Charles III and Queen Camilla arrive at the Sovereign’s Entrance to the Palace of Westminster ahead of the State Opening of Parliament today:

King Charles III and Queen Camilla arrive at the Sovereign's Entrance to the Palace of Westminster ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords, London. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. See PA story POLITICS Speech. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Britain's King Charles arrives for the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, November 7, 2023. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool

King’s Guard line up at Buckingham Palace

This stunning photograph shows members of the King’s Guard lining up outside Buckingham Palace as King Charles III and Queen Camilla depart:

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 7: Members of the King's Guard line up outside Buckingham Palace as King Charles III and Queen Camilla depart in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach for the Houses of Parliament ahead of the State Opening of Parliament on November 7, 2023 in London, England. The speech delivered by the monarch but written by the government sets out the government's priorities for the coming year. This session of parliament will lead up to the next general election. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Penny Mordaunt at Sovereign’s Entrance

Leader of the House of Commons, Penny Mordaunt, has arrived at the Sovereign’s Entrance to the Palace of Westminster today ahead of the State Opening:

Leader of the House of Commons, Penny Mordaunt, arrives at the Sovereign's Entrance to the Palace of Westminster ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords, London, Tuesday Nov. 7, 2023. (Victoria Jones/Pool Photo via AP)

Loud boos and chants of ‘Not My King’

Campaign group Republic staged its first major anti-monarchy demonstration in London today since its members were arrested on the day of the King’s coronation.

A few hundred people appeared to have gathered near the House of Parliament and booed as King Charles III and Queen Camilla passed by in the State Coach.

Chants of ‘Not My King’ could also be heard, as this video from Sky News correspondent Ivor Bennett shows:

Imperial State Crown through Norman Porch

The Imperial State Crown is carried through the Norman Porch for the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords this morning:

The Imperial State Crown is carried through the Norman Porch for the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. See PA story POLITICS Speech. Photo credit should read: Toby Melville/PA Wire

Charles and Camilla in State Coach

King Charles III and Queen Camilla travelled from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster in the State Coach this morning:

Britain's King Charles and Queen Camilla leave Buckingham Palace for the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Britain, November 7, 2023. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
King Charles III and Queen Camilla depart Buckingham Palace, London, ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. See PA story POLITICS Speech. Photo credit should read: Lucy North/PA Wire
King Charles III and Queen Camilla depart Buckingham Palace, London, ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. See PA story POLITICS Speech. Photo credit should read: James Manning/PA Wire
Britain's King Charles and Queen Camilla leave Buckingham Palace for the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Britain, November 7, 2023. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Breaking: Charles and Camilla arrive

King Charles III and Queen Camilla have arrived at the Houses of Parliament for the State Opening.

Imperial State Crown at Sovereign’s Entrance

The Imperial State Crown arrives at the Sovereign’s Entrance to the Palace of Westminster ahead of the State Opening of Parliament:

The Imperial State Crown is carried into the Royal Gallery during the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London on November 7, 2023. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The Imperial State Crown arrives at the Sovereign's Entrance to the Palace of Westminster ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords, London. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. See PA story POLITICS Speech. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

King Charles III and Queen Camilla in transit

We’re seeing more pictures now of King Charles III and Queen Camilla travelling in the State Coach as they leave Buckingham Palace

Britain's King Charles III and Britain's Queen Camilla travel in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach as he leaves Buckingham Palace in London on November 7, 2023, for the Houses of Parliament, for the State Opening of Parliament ceremony. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
King Charles III and Queen Camilla depart in the Diamond State Coach from Buckingham Palace, London, ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. See PA story POLITICS Speech. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Britain's King Charles III and Britain's Queen Camilla travel in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach as they leave from Buckingham Palace in London on November 7, 2023 headed for the Houses of Parliament, for the State Opening, of Parliament ceremony. (Photo by Ben Stansall / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Video shows Charles and Camilla departing

The King has left Buckingham Palace to open Parliament for the first time as monarch with a return to the full pomp and ceremony of the occasion, as Queen Camilla re-wears her coronation dress:

Watch State Opening live on MailOnline

Watch the live coverage on MailOnline’s YouTube channel here as King Charles III opens Parliament for the first time as monarch:

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King and Queen leave Buckingham Palace

We’re now seeing the first pictures of King Charles III and Queen Camilla leaving Buckingham Palace this morning ahead of the State Opening of Parliament:

Britain's King Charles leaves Buckingham Palace for the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Britain, November 7, 2023. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
King Charles III and Queen Camilla depart Buckingham Palace, London, ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. See PA story POLITICS Speech. Photo credit should read: James Manning/PA Wire

First pictures of Imperial State Crown

The Imperial State Crown is seen being transferred to the Houses of Parliament.

It has been seven years since a monarch wore the Imperial State Crown at a State Opening, the last time being in 2016.

Containing 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, five rubies and 269 pearls, it weighs more than a kilogramme.

Charles wore the crown on his return journey to Buckingham Palace after his coronation.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: The Imperial State Crown is transported by horse-drawn carriage from Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament ahead of the State Opening of Parliament at Houses of Parliament on November 07, 2023 in London, England. The speech delivered by the monarch but written by the government sets out the government's priorities for the coming year. This session of parliament will lead up to the next general election. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
The Imperial State Crown is taken in the Queen Alexandra's State Coach past protesters holding "Not My King" placards, from the anti-monarchy group Republic as they demonstrate ahead of the State Opening of Parliament, opposite the Houses of Parliament in London on November 7, 2023. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP) (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)

Laughter from Baron Maurice Saatchi

Baron Maurice Saatchi appears animated as members of the House of Lords wait for the start of the State Opening of Parliament.

Princess Antonia, Duchess of Wellington can also be seen smiling on the right.

Baron Maurice Saatchi and members of the House of Lords await the start of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. See PA story POLITICS Speech. Photo credit should read: Leon Neal/PA Wire
Baron Maurice Saatchi and members of the House of Lords await the start of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. See PA story POLITICS Speech. Photo credit should read: Leon Neal/PA Wire

Members of the House of Lords wait

Members of the House of Lords wait for the start of the State Opening of Parliament this morning:

Members of the House of Lords await the start of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. See PA story POLITICS Speech. Photo credit should read: Leon Neal/PA Wire

Breaking: Charles leaves Buckingham Palace

King Charles and Queen Camilla have left Buckingham Palace to travel to the Houses of Parliament this morning

state opening of parliament

Members of the Judiciary in Parliament

Members of the Judiciary wait for the start of the State Opening of Parliament:

Members of the House of Lords wait for the start of the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023. King Charles III will read out a speech, written by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's government, outlining its legislative plans for the next year. (Leon Neal/Pool Photo via AP)
Members of the Judiciary wait for the start of the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Britain, November 7, 2023. Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool via REUTERS

The King’s Body Guards arrive

Members of The King’s Body Guards of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms arrive on horse-drawn carriaget athe Houses of Parliament ahead of the State Opening today:

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Members of The King's Body Guards of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms arrive on horse-drawn carriage to the Houses of Parliament ahead of the State Opening of Parliament at Houses of Parliament on November 07, 2023 in London, England. The speech delivered by the monarch but written by the government sets out the government's priorities for the coming year. This session of parliament will lead up to the next general election. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

It is a day filled with more history and tradition than perhaps any other.

But this year’s State Opening of Parliament is carries extra meaning, because it is the first one presided over by a King since 1950, when a sickly George VI addressed MPs and Lords amidst Britain’s involvement in the Korean War.

Read the full story from MailOnline’s history correspondent Harry Howard:

Royal Standard flag on Buckingham Palace

The Royal Standard flag has been pictured on top of Buckingham Palace this morning ahead of the State Opening of Parliament.

A new, extra large Royal Standard flag is flown atop Buckingham Palace in London on November 7, 2023 ahead of the State Opening, of Parliament ceremony. (Photo by Ben Stansall / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 7: The Royal Standard flies above Buckingham Palace ahead of the State Opening of Parliament on November 7, 2023 in London, England. The speech delivered by the monarch but written by the government sets out the government's priorities for the coming year. This session of parliament will lead up to the next general election. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Imperial State Crown is on the move

Charles will don the Imperial State Crown today, which has been pictured in transportation this morning.

It has been seven years since a monarch wore the Imperial State Crown at a State Opening, the last time being in 2016.

Republic protests continues amid arrivals

Anti-monarchy pressure group Republic are continuing their protest outside the Palace of Westminster today as attendees arrive and members of the military march past:

Anti-Monarchy pressure group Republic protest outside the Palace of Westminster in London during the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Anti-Monarchy pressure group Republic protest outside the Palace of Westminster in London during the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Anti-Monarchy pressure group Republic protest outside the Palace of Westminster in London during the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Members of the Lords wait for King’s Speech

More members of the House of Lords – including Baroness Dambisa Moyo – are pictured waiting for the start of the State Opening of Parliament this morning:

Baroness Dambisa Moyo and other members of the House of Lords await the start of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. See PA story POLITICS Speech. Photo credit should read: Leon Neal/PA Wire
Members of the House of Lords await the start of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. See PA story POLITICS Speech. Photo credit should read: Leon Neal/PA Wire
Members of the House of Lords await the start of the State Opening of Parliament in London, Britain, November 7, 2023. Leon Neal/Pool via REUTERS

Photos and videos of marching on The Mall

More members of the military are now marching on The Mall ahead of the State Opening of Parliament this morning:

Members of the armed forces on The Mall, London, ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. See PA story POLITICS Speech. Photo credit should read: James Manning/PA Wire
Members of the military march on the day of the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Britain, November 7, 2023. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Members of the armed forces on The Mall, London, ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. See PA story POLITICS Speech. Photo credit should read: James Manning/PA Wire

‘Ceremonial search’ ceremony continues

We’re seeing more pictures now of Yeoman of the Guard taking part in the traditional ‘ceremonial search’ ceremony in the Prince’s Chamber in the Lords:

Yeoman of the Guard take part in the traditional "Ceremonial search" ceremony in the Prince's Chamber in the House of Lords ahead of the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament, in London, on November 7, 2023. (Photo by Richard Pohle / POOL / AFP) (Photo by RICHARD POHLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Yeoman of the Guard take part in the traditional "Ceremonial search" ceremony in the Prince's Chamber in the House of Lords ahead of the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament, in London, on November 7, 2023. (Photo by Richard Pohle / POOL / AFP) (Photo by RICHARD POHLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Yeoman of the Guard take part in the traditional "Ceremonial search" ceremony in the Prince's Chamber in the House of Lords ahead of the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament, in London, on November 7, 2023. (Photo by Richard Pohle / POOL / AFP) (Photo by RICHARD POHLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Princess Antonia waits for State Opening

Princess Antonia, Duchess of Wellington has been photographed waiting for the start of the State Opening of Parliament this morning.

She is good friends with Charles and Camilla and is often seen at royal events.

Princess Antonia, Duchess of Wellington waits for the start of the State Opening of Parliament, in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. See PA story POLITICS Speech. Photo credit should read: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire

Drain searches ahead of State Opening

Police officers search a drain outside Buckingham Palace this morning:

Police officers search a drain outside of Buckingham Palace in London on November 7, 2023 ahead of the State Opening, of Parliament ceremony. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Ceremonial search inside House of Lords

Yeoman warders are pictured taking part in the ceremonial search inside the House of Lords today, which is the traditional start to the State Opening of Parliament.

The search represents the search and finding of gunpowder in the basement of Parliament following the gunpowder plot of 1605.

The Yeoman of the Guard Ceremonial Search takes place ahead of the State Opening of Parliament, in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. See PA story POLITICS Speech. Photo credit should read: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire
Yeoman warders take part in the ceremonial search inside the House of Lords which is the traditional start to the state opening of Parliament. The search represents the search and finding of gunpowder in the basement of Parliament following the gun powder plot of 1605. Photograph by Richard Pohle
The King's Bodyguard the Yeomen of the Guard undertake a Ceremonial Search in the House of Lords Chamber, ahead of the State Opening of Parliament, in the Houses of Parliament, in London, on November 7, 2023. (Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth / POOL / AFP) (Photo by KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Baronesses and Lords wait in chamber

Baroness Charlotte Owen, Naroness Floella Benjamin and Lord Michael Grade are among those now waiting in the House of Lords Chamber this morning ahead of the State Opening of Parliament:

Baroness Charlotte Owen and members of the House of Lords await the start of the State Opening of Parliament in London, Britain, November 7, 2023. Leon Neal/Pool via REUTERS
Baroness Floella Benjamin sits with colleagues in the House of Lords Chamber ahead of the State Opening of Parliament, in the Houses of Parliament, in London, on November 7, 2023. (Photo by Leon Neal / POOL / AFP) (Photo by LEON NEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Lord Michael Grade sits with colleagues in the House of Lords Chamber ahead of the State Opening of Parliament, in the Houses of Parliament, in London, on November 7, 2023. (Photo by Leon Neal / POOL / AFP) (Photo by LEON NEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Royal Horse Artillery pass by palace

These are the latest pictures from Buckingham Palace this morning, as members of the Royal Horse Artillery pass by:

Members of Royal Horse Artillery pass by Buckingham Palace on the day of the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Britain, November 7, 2023. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Members of Royal Horse Artillery pass by Buckingham Palace on the day of the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Britain, November 7, 2023. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Members of Royal Horse Artillery ride horses on the day of the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Britain, November 7, 2023. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Yeomen of the Guard walk off a coach

The King’s Bodyguard, the Yeomen of the Guard, are seen walking off a coach this morning as they arrive for the State Opening of Parliament:

The King's Bodyguard, the Yeomen of the Guard, exit a coach as they arrive for the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Britain, November 7, 2023. Justin Tallis/Pool via REUTERS

Protesters gather ahead of State Opening

Anti-monarchy pressure group Republic have been pictured protesting outside the Houses of Parliament next to Westminster Underground station this morning:

Anti-Monarchy pressure group Republic protest outside the Palace of Westminster in London during the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords. Picture date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. King Charles III is delivering his first King's speech as monarch, having previously deputised for the late Queen to open parliamentary sessions. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Protestors from the anti-monarchy group Republic demonstrate ahead of the State Opening of Parliament, opposite the Houses of Parliament in London on November 7, 2023. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP) (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)
Protestors from the anti-monarchy group Republic demonstrate ahead of the State Opening of Parliament, opposite the Houses of Parliament in London on November 7, 2023. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP) (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)

History of the King’s Speech

The House of Commons Library has issued this explainer on the King’s Speech:

King’s Troop moves past Buckingham Palace

The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery Battery has been seen processing past Buckingham Palace and the Queen Victoria Memorial this morning:

Charles will open Parliament as monarch for the first time since his ascension to the throne following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022.

So, where exactly are the best places to catch a glimpse of the King and the Imperial State Crown? Click below to find out more – and for a map of the Procession route:

When it comes to the State Opening of Parliament, one might expect pomp and ceremony to be the order of the day given the importance of the ceremony.

So to find out that the King will kidnap a Member of Parliament may come as a shock to many. But why exactly is this the case? Who is the unlucky individual to be kidnapped by King Charles?

Read this explainer from MailOnline for all you to know about the strange tradition.

‘Bread and butter’ Conservative issues

Senior Tories believe a focus on ‘bread and butter’ Conservative issues will help Rishi Sunak as he seeks to overturn Labour’s opinion poll lead.

Mr Sunak’s allies also believe Sir Keir Starmer’s record as director of public prosecutions – something the Labour leader has often highlighted as a positive – could also be a point of weakness.

One No 10 insider pointed at his 2010 support for a US-style system of first and second degree murder charges, the latter of which might not have attracted a mandatory life term.

But shadow justice secretary Shabana Mahmood said: ‘What further proof do we need that the Tories have completely run out of ideas than witnessing them using the most significant event in the parliamentary calendar to simply repackage ideas they’ve announced multiple times.

‘The Government should be focusing on delivering the prison places we actually need to keep criminals behind bars.’

What is the schedule for the King’s Speech?

Here are the key timings for the King’s Speech in London today:

  • 9.15am: Republic protest in Parliament Square begins
  • 11am: King Charles leaves Buckingham Palace
  • 11.20am: Charles arrives at Sovereign’s Entrance
  • 11.25am: King will deliver his first King’s Speech
  • 11.45am: Charles returns to Buckingham Palace
  • 2.30pm: First day of Commons debate on King’s Speech

What will happen at the King’s Speech?

Sentencing reforms, a smoking crackdown and a move to phase out leaseholds could all be included in the King’s Speech, which Rishi Sunak promised would offer long-term decisions, not ‘short-term gimmicks’.

The state opening of Parliament will also make history, with Charles set to give the first King’s Speech in seven decades to mark the start of the next session of Parliament. Here is a video explaining this morning’s constitutional ceremony.

Camilla will wear the Diamond Diadem

Queen Camilla will wear the famous George IV State Diadem for the first time today.

The Diamond Diadem was worn countless times by Elizabeth II during her reign and is probably the most well recognised of all her pieces of jewellery.

Set with 1,333 brilliant-cut diamonds, it was made for George IV’s extravagant coronation in 1821 and Elizabeth II usually wore it for her journey to and from the State Opening.

She appeared wearing it on coins, banknotes and postage stamps.

2A9A9DG The Diamond Diadem, commissioned by George IV for his coronation and which continues to be worn today by Queen Elizabeth II during the State Opening of Parliament, on display during a preview of the Royal Collection's George IV: Art & Spectacle exhibition in The Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace in London.

How Elizabeth II’s arrival became lower key

In recent years, the late Queen Elizabeth II mostly opted for a dressed down state opening – a functional coat, day dress and hat rather than the weighty crown and robes, often with a lower key arrival by car.

The changes were adopted due to her decreasing mobility as she neared 100, coupled with the pandemic, back-to-back State Openings due to a general election in 2019, and a diary clash with Ascot in 2017.

Elizabeth II is pictured after the State Opening in 2009:

File photo dated 18/11/2009 of Queen Elizabeth II, returns to Buckingham Palace after attending the State opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster, central London. The King will open parliament for the first time as monarch with a return to the full pomp and ceremony of the occasion, as the Queen re-wears her coronation dress. Issue date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Speech King. Photo credit should read: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Murderers who kill for sexual or sadistic thrills will die behind bars under measures to be set out in the King’s Speech today.

The Tories will put crime and sentencing at the heart of their legislative programme for the coming year, as they seek to make law and order a key dividing line with Labour.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak today vows that ‘life needs to mean life’ for a wider range of killers, as a package of criminal justice reforms extends the use of ‘whole life orders’.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman, writing exclusively for the Daily Mail, says the move will ‘accelerate the fight against crime even further’. Read the full story:

Today’s DAILY MAIL COMMENT states:

After a year of rampant inflation , damaging public sector strikes, and a steep cost of living crunch, millions of voters clearly feel the Government is out of touch and out of ideas.

If the Conservatives are to have any chance of redemption, they must first acknowledge that narrative, then reverse it. They must convince the public they are both competent and on their side.

Read the full piece on MailOnline here:

Video shows setting for King’s Speech

It is the monarch’s duty as head of state to formally open each new session of Parliament amid tradition and customs dating back centuries.

Here, this video shows where King Charles will deliver the King’s Speech:

‘Not My King’ placards for demonstration

Members of Republic are now gathering for their first major anti-monarchy demonstration in London since people associated with the campaign group were arrested on the day of the King’s Coronation in May.

Republic is set to gather near Parliament from about 8.30am this morning. Here is a picture of ‘Not My King’ placards waiting to be used today:

Not My King placards ahead of parliament opening

Once King Charles has arrived in the House of Lords, an official known as Black Rod summons MPs to the Lords.

The door of the lower chamber House of Commons is traditionally slammed in Black Rod’s face to symbolise parliament’s independence from the monarchy.

Read more about Black Rod’s role in this story from MailOnline:

New legislation which will clear the way for the introduction of driverless buses, delivery vans and farm machinery is set to be announced in the King’s Speech, according to reports.

The laws would make autonomously operating vehicles more common in some sectors of the economy by the end of the decade, it has been claimed.

A source told a newspaper that the decision would have ‘huge benefits for consumers, reduce road deaths and help decarbonise transport’, while Rishi Sunak is believed to be keen to push the bill through Parliament quickly.

Read the full story on MailOnline:

King’s Speech is ‘not focused on election’

Justice Secretary Alex Chalk rejected the suggestion that the measures in the King’s Speech were focused on a general election, expected next year.

He told LBC this morning: ‘I would respectfully disagree. You’re right, there is a general election in the air, that’s correct.

‘A lot of the things that we are doing are things that we have been thinking about for some time. So I myself personally, when I wasn’t in government last year, I was speaking at the Conservative Party conference, and a lot of what we’re going to do, they’re the very measures that I was talking about then.

‘These are things that people like me and others have been thinking about, have been working out, have been doing the intellectual groundwork on and we’re now going to bring them into force.’

Background on conversion therapy ban

The Equality and Human Rights Commission wrote to women and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch last month to insist the so-called conversion therapy ban is ‘needed’ and should be in the King’s Speech setting out the Government’s legislative priorities.

Theresa May first promised to eradicate the practice in 2018, before it was downgraded to not include transgender people by Boris Johnson.

Mr Sunak’s Government said in January it would ban conversion therapy for ‘everyone’, including transgender people.

Labour has pledged to introduce a ‘no loopholes’ trans-inclusive ban on conversion therapy if elected.

The Government has described the practice as ‘abhorrent’ but said it was ‘carefully considering this very complex issue’.

Sunak warned over conversion therapy

Rishi Sunak has been warned that Tory opponents of so-called conversion therapy could try to force a ban through Parliament as legislation seems set to be downgraded.

Whitehall sources indicated that the long-promised ban will not be included in the King’s Speech today, meaning it is unlikely to become law before the next election.

Supporters of a ban argue that the practice of attempting to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity is damaging to LGBT+ people.

But the Prime Minister appears to have backed down after intense lobbying by some of his MPs who argue a law could criminalise parents or teachers who give advice to children.

However Elliot Colburn, a Tory MP who has campaigned for the practice to be outlawed, warned it is ‘not the end of the road’ and threatened to take action in the Commons.

What will be announced on criminal justice?

Among today’s announcements are expected to be plans to force convicted criminals to be in court for their sentencing.

The proposal has been welcomed by some victims’ families, but has also raised questions about how practical such a move would be. It will still be left to judges’ discretion as to when a defendant should be compelled to attend.

A new Bill could also seek to see fewer offenders receiving short-term prison sentences, with low-risk individuals instead receiving community orders.

It comes amid longstanding concerns about overcrowding in full-to-capacity prisons in England and Wales.

Ministers will also likely legislate to ensure judges are required to impose the most severe penalty in the UK’s criminal justice system to the most depraved killers, with exceptions only in extremely limited circumstances.

Rishi Sunak will draw battle lines for a titanic election battle today with a King’s Speech promising to crack down on crime and ease the Net Zero burden.

Tougher justice will be at the heart of the legislative programme for the next year- being laid out by King Charles for the first time as monarch.

It will include plans for killers convicted of the most horrific murders to get whole life orders – meaning they will never be released – while rapists and other serious sexual offenders will not be let out early from prison sentences.

Read the full story from MailOnline’s political editor James Tapsfield:

What’s happening on oil and gas licensing?

The Government plans to mandate annual oil and gas licensing in the North Sea.

Pitched as necessary for energy security, it would require the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) to invite applications for new production licences on an annual basis.

The move is likely to spark criticism from climate campaigners and has already been met with scepticism from Labour, which has committed to not allowing any more exploration licences in oil and gas if it takes power.

Plans for a smoke-free generation

Rishi Sunak may use the speech to introduce a law that would stop children who turn 14 this year and those younger from ever legally buying cigarettes or tobacco in England.

The plan was announced in a Tory Party conference speech a few weeks ago. A personal passion for the Prime Minister, it was hailed by health campaigners as a critical step towards creating a smoke-free generation

Who else will be speaking today?

Alongside the King, a ‘humble address’ motion will kick off several days of debates – usually four or five – among MPs, which ends with a vote.

Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will be among those leading the debate.

Football regulation in King’s Speech

Football governance reform could be included in the King’s Speech today.

Plans for a new independent football regulator were confirmed in February, with the body set to have ‘targeted powers’ to step in and resolve how money flows from the Premier League down the pyramid.

Legislation would be required to bring this into effect, so it may emerge in the King’s Speech.

Is everything in the King’s Speech new?

No. This year, seven bills will be carried over from the last session to complete their passage in the next. This includes the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill and the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill.

The Renters (Reform) Bill which had provoked the ire of some Tory MPs, will also return. It had been intended that this would include a ban on “no-fault” evictions, but it emerged last month that it is now unlikely to be enacted before a series of improvements are made in the legal system.

The Holocaust Memorial Bill will be brought back as well. It was introduced after plans to build a memorial centre in Victoria Tower Gardens, situated next to the Houses of Parliament, ran into difficulties over a 1900 law requiring the land to be used as a public park.

The Bill intends to update the legislation, removing the legal obstacle that has prevented the project from going ahead. It would also give the Government powers to use public funding to build and operate the centre.

The Economic Activities of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill is another making a return in the next session. The Bill implements a ban on public bodies imposing their own direct or indirect boycotts, disinvestment or sanctions campaigns against other countries.

Armed police officers on Whitehall today

We’re now being sent photographs of armed police officers on Whitehall this morning ahead of the State Opening of Parliament:

© Licensed to London News Pictures. 07/11/2023. London, UK. Armed police officers on Whitehall in central London, ahead of The State Opening of Parliament. King Charles III will formally mark the opening of a session of Parliament by delivering a speech known as the King's Speech. Photo credit: Ben Cawthra/LNP
© Licensed to London News Pictures. 07/11/2023. London, UK. A specialist police search team perform a security search along Whitehall, infront of the Cenotaph War Memorial, in central London, ahead of The State Opening of Parliament. King Charles III will formally mark the opening of a session of Parliament by delivering a speech known as the King's Speech. Photo credit: Ben Cawthra/LNP
© Licensed to London News Pictures. 07/11/2023. London, UK. Police officer stand in Parliament Square in central London, ahead of The State Opening of Parliament. King Charles III will formally mark the opening of a session of Parliament by delivering a speech known as the King's Speech. Photo credit: Ben Cawthra/LNP

What is not in the King’s Speech?

Sometimes, it is worth noticing what has been dropped or not included in the King’s Speech.

Legislation to ban conversion therapy is now not expected to be included, in a blow to campaigners. It has also prompted concern among some Tory MPs, including senior figures Alicia Kearns and former minister Dehenna Davison.

The Government has previously committed to ban the practice – which seeks to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity – but there have since been years of delays and U-turns on aspects of the plan.

A Bill on the construction of the HS2 rail line between Crewe and Manchester will also not materialise, after Mr Sunak cancelled the project’s northern leg during the Conservative Party conference.

Leasehold reforms set to be announced

It has already been confirmed that plans to ‘phase out’ leaseholds will be in the King’s Speech.

Housing minister Rachel Maclean confirmed that the much-delayed reform of the home ownership model would be brought forward, but there have been signs that the proposals may be less ambitious than initially pitched by ministers.

The reforms come following mounting concerns about practices in the leasehold sector, including over the levying of hefty charges and a lack of transparency.

The plans are set to include banning new leasehold houses so that all new houses are freehold from the outset. This may differ for flats, where ministers are believed to be planning to deliver a reformed commonhold system.

What is the State Opening of Parliament?

The State Opening of Parliament marks the start of a new parliamentary session and normally takes place annually with MPs, peers and the monarch all in attendance at the Palace of Westminster.

A key component of the ceremony is the King’s Speech, where he sets out the legislative programme for the coming session. The King has no role in setting the legislative agenda, but reads out the list on behalf of the Prime Minister and the Government.

The event is known for its unique customs, some of which date back to the 17th century, as well as the pomp and ceremony that greets the monarch upon their arrival at Parliament.

The sight of Black Road banging on the door of the Commons is one of the best known traditions, as is the taking of one MP ‘hostage’ to secure the safe return of the monarch.

But beyond the royal fanfare, it will offer a key insight into the priorities for Rishi Sunak and his ministers in the short window before the next general election – expected at some stage next year.

(FILES) Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (2nd R) reads the Queen's Speech as he sits by the Imperial State Crown (2nd L), Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (R) and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) in the House of Lords chamber, during the State Opening of Parliament, at the Houses of Parliament, in London, on May 10, 2022. Charles III gives the first King's Speech in more than 70 years on November 7, formally opening the UK parliament with a run-down of his government's legislative plans as an election looms. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / various sources / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/POOL/AFP/AFP via Getty Images)

Republic arrests during Coronation

Members of the campaign group Republic were detained on the day of the Coronation in May after legislation came into effect days before the event, creating new offences of locking on or going equipped to lock on under the Public Order Act.

The group’s chief executive Graham Smith had discussed the planned demonstration for four months with senior Metropolitan Police staff but says he was physically prevented from calling the group’s designated liaison officer when he was stopped and arrested on the day.

On May 8, they were told no further action would be taken. Mr Smith wants the Met to admit the arrests were unlawful and is seeking damages and costs.

A spokesman for the force has said: ‘We can confirm that a judicial review claim has been issued and it would be inappropriate to comment on ongoing proceedings.’

Republic to protest at State Opening

Campaign group Republic is to stage its first major anti-monarchy demonstration in London since its members were arrested on the day of the King’s coronation.

A few hundred people are expected to gather near the House of Parliament during the first state opening of the King’s reign today.

The Metropolitan Police was criticised after six Republic members were detained ahead of a pre-agreed coronation protest on May 6.

Chief executive Graham Smith, who is now taking legal action against the Met, was among those held for more than 14 hours under the sweeping powers of the new Public Order Act.

Mr Smith said today’s protest was about the place of the Crown in parliament and the ‘ramshackle state of our constitution’. Republic is set to gather near parliament from about 8.30am.

Queen Camilla’s outfit for King’s Speech

Queen Camilla’s couture coronation dress – embroidered with motifs of her pet dogs and the names of her grandchildren – is a tailored ivory, coat-like dress, woven with antique gold and silver thread.

She will also wear the 5.5 metre-long crimson Robe of State, made for Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953, which she wore for her arrival at the coronation.

The Diamond Diadem was worn countless times by Queen Elizabeth II during her reign and is probably the most well recognised of all her pieces of jewellery.

Set with 1,333 brilliant-cut diamonds, it was made for George IV’s extravagant coronation in 1821 and Elizabeth II usually wore it for her journey to and from the State Opening. She appeared wearing it on coins, banknotes and postage stamps.

Heir to the throne the Duke of Cambridge is away on a royal trip to Singapore and will not attend the State Opening of Parliament today.

He revealed that his wife hasn’t joined him on his Earthshot trip because she is is helping Prince George with his ‘first set of major exams’.

First King’s Speech since George VI in 1950

It is the first time a British King has opened Parliament for more than 70 years, since Charles’s grandfather George VI in 1950.

Charles was then a chubby-cheeked toddler, and stood on a wall at Clarence House, blowing kisses to his mother and grandparents as he watched the carriages in procession (pictured).

In 1951, the ailing monarch’s speech was read by the Lord High Chancellor.

File photo dated 31/10/1950 of Prince Charles waving to the crowd from the wall of Clarence House, London, being held by nurse Lightbody, the Prince is seen on the vantage point from which he watched his grandparents, the King and Queen, and his mother, Princess Elizabeth, driving to Westminster for the State opening of Parliament ceremony. The King will open parliament for the first time as monarch with a return to the full pomp and ceremony of the occasion, as the Queen re-wears her coronation dress. Issue date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Speech King. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

By 1952, Charles’s mother was on the throne.

The prince, by then the heir apparent, was almost four at the time of the Queen’s first State Opening of Parliament.

The Queen, in her diadem, was photographed having a private word with her eldest son, learning over to speak to him as he looked up at her, on the steps of the Buckingham Palace quadrangle (pictured).

File photo dated 4/11/1952 of Queen Elizabeth II bends for a private word with Prince Charles as, with the Duke of Edinburgh (in naval uniform), she stood in Buckingham Palace quadrangle for the march past of the Guards. The Queen and the Duke had just returned in procession from the House of Lords, where the Queen had opened the first Parliamentary session of her reign. The King will open parliament for the first time as monarch with a return to the full pomp and ceremony of the occasion, as the Queen re-wears her coronation dress. Issue date: Tuesday November 7, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Speech King. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

In 1967, just before his 19th birthday, Charles took part in a State Opening procession for the first time, travelling in a carriage with his sister Princess Anne and the Queen.

The Princess Royal will play a role in today’s state opening. As Colonel of the Blues and Royals, she will be in attendance as Gold Stick in Waiting, and will travel in the state landau. Read the full story on MailOnline:

Charles will use Sovereign’s Entrance

The late Queen stopped using the 26 steps of the royal staircase at the Sovereign’s Entrance at the opening in 2016, the year she turned 90, with Buckingham Palace saying the ‘modest adjustment’ was made for her comfort.

But the King, who is a week away from his 75th birthday and has just returned from a busy tour to Kenya, and Queen Camilla are expected to return to using the stairs.

Charles has previously opened Parliament

It is not the first time the King has undertaken the important constitutional duty of opening Parliament.

In 2022, as the Prince of Wales, he read the Queen’s Speech, with Elizabeth II delegating the task of opening Parliament to Charles and the then-Duke of Cambridge in their roles as counsellors of state in a historic move.

She pulled out of attending on the advice of royal doctors due to her continued mobility problems, and died four months later at the age of 96.

(FILES) Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (2nd R) reads the Queen's Speech as he sits by the Imperial State Crown (2nd L), Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (R) and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) in the House of Lords chamber, during the State Opening of Parliament, at the Houses of Parliament, in London, on May 10, 2022. Charles III gives the first King's Speech in more than 70 years on November 7, formally opening the UK parliament with a run-down of his government's legislative plans as an election looms. (Photo by Arthur EDWARDS / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ARTHUR EDWARDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

London road closures for King’s Speech

The Metropolitan Police have just issued this map of London showing the ‘significant policing operation’ for the State Opening of Parliament today.

Some 1,400 members of the armed forces will play a part in the proceedings in the first full military ceremony for a State Opening since before Covid.

Gun salutes will be fired from Green Park and the Tower of London, with troops from the Army, RAF and Royal Navy lining the route and the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment including 124 horses providing a Sovereign’s Escort.

The Imperial State Crown is back!

It has been seven years since a monarch wore the Imperial State Crown at a State Opening, the last time being in 2016.

Containing 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, five rubies and 269 pearls, it weighs more than a kilogramme.

Charles wore the crown on his return journey to Buckingham Palace after his coronation (pictured).

(FILES) Britain's King Charles III wearing the Imperial state Crown, and Britain's Queen Camilla wearing a modified version of Queen Mary's Crown wave from the Buckingham Palace balcony after viewing the Royal Air Force fly-past in central London on May 6, 2023, after their coronations. King Charles III embarks Tuesday, October 31, on a four-day trip to Kenya, his first visit as monarch to a Commonwealth nation, where any comments he makes on Britain's colonial past will be closely scrutinised. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Return to full pomp and ceremony

King Charles will don the Imperial State Crown, his lengthy crimson Robe of State and Admiral of the Fleet Royal Naval dress uniform, having travelled in a carriage procession from Buckingham Palace to the House of Lords in the Diamond State Coach amid great royal fanfare.

Queen Camilla, wearing the famous George IV State Diadem for the first time, has chosen to re-use her coronation gown, designed by Bruce Oldfield, for her first State Opening as a Queen consort.

In recent years, the late Queen Elizabeth II mostly opted for a dressed down state opening – a functional coat, day dress and hat rather than the weighty crown and robes, often with a lower key arrival by car.

The changes were adopted due to her decreasing mobility as she neared 100, coupled with the pandemic, back-to-back State Openings due to a general election in 2019, and a diary clash with Ascot in 2017.

Alex Chalk on the mission to ‘support victims’

Justice Secretary Alex Chalk said measures announced in the speech would ‘drive forward’ the mission to ‘support victims’.

Writing in The Times, he said anyone convicted of rape or other serious sexual offences would serve their entire sentence in prison.

‘When a judge hands down a 15-year custodial term it will mean that – 15 years in prison,’ he said. ‘That is the justice that the British people expect and we are determined to deliver it.’

He said a Victims and Prisoners Bill – which will give ministers the power to block parole – would ‘bolster victims’ rights’ with other new offences planned over the taking of intimate images and ‘to strengthen the management of those convicted of controlling or coercive behaviour’.

The Government’s Criminal Justice Bill to be announced in the King’s Speech will see ‘laws keep pace with criminals’, according to Home Secretary Suella Braverman.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has made law and order a central pillar of today’s speech, including already-announced proposals for killers convicted of the most horrific murders to expect whole life orders.

Rapists and other serious sexual offenders will also not be let out early from prison sentences while other measures include giving police the power to enter a property without a warrant to seize stolen goods when they have reasonable proof that a specific stolen item is inside.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Ms Braverman said the measures will ‘accelerate the fight against crime’ and show the Government ‘stands foursquare with the law-abiding majority’.

Read her full article here:

Justice reforms about ‘head as well as heart’

Justice Secretary Alex Chalk said this morning that the planned criminal justice reforms, due to be set out in the King’s Speech, were about ‘head as well as heart’.

‘It’s something that I’ve been talking about for a long time because I’m a barrister by background, I’ve seen this stuff,’ he told Times Radio.

‘This is about head as well as it is about heart. This is about ensuring that I don’t want you, I don’t want your family, I don’t want my family, to be victims of crime.

‘So what I want to ensure is that people who are the greatest threat to you and your family are kept out of circulation for longer… but those who are capable of being rehabilitated should be rehabilitated. And that seems to me to be smart.’

Oil and gas licensing in the North Sea

The King, who has a longstanding interest in environmental matters, will also announce his Government’s plan for a new law to mandate annual oil and gas licensing in the North Sea – another issue on which the Tories hope to fight a political battle with Labour.

More information on cigarettes ban?

The speech could also introduce a law that would stop children who turn 14 this year and those younger from ever legally buying cigarettes or tobacco in England, as promised by Rishi Sunak at the Tory conference.

First King’s Speech since 1950

It will be the first State Opening of Parliament by Charles as King, although he delivered the last Queen’s Speech of Elizabeth II’s reign in place of his mother last year.

Due to the late Queen’s long reign, it will be the first King’s Speech since George VI opened Parliament in 1950 (pictured below).

KING GEORGE VI (Died 6/2/52) & QUEEN ELIZABETH (Queen Mother)(Died 30/3/02) 26 October 1950. At Westminster Hall for the ceremonies to mark the opening of the new House Of Commons:The Lord Chancellor presents his speech to the King On left are members of the royal family...ROYALTY

New legislation for driverless vehicles

A report in The Times suggested new legislation for driverless vehicles will clear the way for buses, grocery deliveries and farm machinery to operate autonomously by the end of the decade.

A source told the newspaper: ‘It will pave the way for the commercial use of autonomous technology, which will have huge benefits for consumers, reduce road deaths and help decarbonise transport.’

New laws to be presented at King’s Speech

The new Criminal Justice Bill will include widely trailed measures to ensure reasonable force can be used to make offenders appear in the dock to face their victims for sentencing, or risk having up to two years added to their jail term.

It will also make being in a grooming gang an aggravating feature for sentencing, meaning tougher punishments for ringleaders and members.

The Sentencing Bill will mean a whole life order will be handed down in the worst cases of murder, with judges having discretion to impose a shorter tariff only in exceptional circumstances.

The legislation will also ensure that rapists and serious sexual offenders serve the whole of their sentence behind bars, without being released early on licence.

A Victims and Prisoners Bill will give ministers the power to block parole for the worst offenders and ban them from marrying in prison.

The promise of longer sentences comes as the prison system is under strain, with ministers forced to act last month to free up space by letting out some less serious offenders up to 18 days early.

The Government has promised the largest prison building programme in 100 years to create more than 20,000 more places.

What will the King’s Speech be about?

With a general election expected next year, the Prime Minister has put a series of criminal justice laws at the heart of the King’s Speech, in an attempt to draw dividing lines with Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour.

Rishi Sunak’s plan aims to deliver on already-announced proposals for killers convicted of the most horrific murders to expect whole life orders, meaning they will never be released, while rapists and other serious sexual offenders will not be let out early from prison sentences.

Other measures in the speech include giving police the power to enter a property without a warrant to seize stolen goods, such as phones, when they have reasonable proof that a specific stolen item is inside.

Parliament will return from its annual summer recess period today, when the ceremonial State Opening of Parliament will take place.

Charles will open Parliament as King for the first time after his ascension to the throne following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022.

But what time is the King’s speech and how can you watch the ceremony? Click on MailOnline’s story below for all the key details:

Welcome to MailOnline’s liveblog

Good morning and welcome to MailOnline’s liveblog as the King opens Parliament for the first time as monarch with a return to the full pomp and ceremony of the occasion.

Stay with us throughout today as Rishi Sunak seeks to make law and order a key election battleground with a series of measures in the the Speech promising tougher sentences for killers, rapists and grooming gang ringleaders.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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