Originally Posted by VictoriaB
I saw this article in the Guardian over the weekend:
Ignoring the political content, it seems the Government is preparing for the Queen's Speech and it got me thinking how this is going to happen.
At the moment, Parliament is socially distancing and so there are fewer MPs actually physically in the House. There is no way everyone can pack into the Lords as they usually do.
More intriguing though, how do people think they will manage the "Queen" bit. At 91, even a socially distanced speech in the Houses of Parliament would be out of the question. Is she going to give her speech from Buckingham Palace by Zoom? Will Prince Charles attend a scaled back and socially distanced opening and give the speech on behalf of the Queen?
I'm not sure whether anything similar has happened in the past - for example during the Queen's pregnancies? I'd be interested in reading people's views.
Thank you for the Guardian article and posting it on the forum. The first time I read through, I interpreted as Jacob Rees-Mogg wanting to push more bills through the House of Commons to deliver the promise in the Queen's speech on last year December. And I did not think at that time that Mr. Rees-Mogg is planning to have another State Opening of Parliament.
In the opening of Mr. Rees-Mogg's letter to his colleague, I thought the "second session" refers to the one starting from 19th December 2019, after its second State Opening of Parliament on the year. The first session, I assumed was between the 1st opening in 2019 (15th October) and the general election. In 2018, there was no State Opening of Parliament.
“It is now time to start looking at HM government’s plans for the second session.
“It is obviously important to continue to deliver the prime minister’s domestic priorities and on our manifesto commitments.
“These include tackling crime, ensuring the most serious criminals get the time in prison they deserve, controlling our borders, levelling up across the country by investing in infrastructure and transforming the provision of skills and strengthening our public services.
“It is also important to be ready to make the most of the opportunities which will arise when we regain our economic and political independence at the end of the transition period.”
But then after reading through your comment and re-reading the first and last sentence of the article, I interpreted as a new Queen's speech will be inevitable. I agree that the next State Opening of Parliament will be socially distance and only prominent Lords/Peers, Cabinet Secretary or others from the Shadow Cabinet will attend. The rest of the junior minsters, backbenchers or Lords will probably watched from the gallery or from their own offices (with the help of streaming). I also assumed that there may not be any spectators outside to those who worked in Parliament.
The Commons leader, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has written to his cabinet colleagues calling for “bold and ambitious” bills for the upcoming Queen’s speech.
“The prime minister has been clear that we will not be blown off course in our plans to build back better and that’s just what our next Queen’s speech will do.” [From No. 10 spokesman]
I am surprised that other newspaper has not picked this up. Part of the reason that I am still confused is that there is no mentioning on the plans/schedules of a Queen's speech. The Guardian article mainly goes through the government's agenda and policies to put forward. I also wonder how the Guardian got hold of Mr. Rees-Mogg letter, I would assume that if he was going to leak/release it, he would give it to The Telegraph, The Times (his father William Rees-Mogg, Baron Rees-Mogg was the former editor), The Spectator, Daily Mail or The Daily Express.