The Prince of Wales has for the first time since 1963 replaced his mother Queen Elizabeth II at the reading of the monarch's traditional “Queen's Speech” before the House of Lords.
The 96-year-old sovereign had almost never missed such a solemn occasion before but this time around she was forced to do it due to mobility problems, it was reported. Prince William also made his debut at the ceremony, next to his father as second in line of succession.
Prince Charles was wearing his Royal Navy admiral's uniform and was escorted by his wife and future Queen Consort Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
In the hall, the central throne space - reserved for the queen - remained empty this year: Charles occupied a seat to the right of the throne, with Camilla on one side and William on the other.
The ceremony - even in Elizabeth's absence - took place with all the solemnity of protocol, preceded by the sound of the national anthem and trumpet blasts.
The Queen's speech is traditionally held in the non-elected upper house of Parliament, as the royals do not have access to the House of Commons, as a sign of respect for British democracy and popular sovereignty.
On the other hand, a herald knocks on the door of the Lower House to ask the speaker, MPs, and members of the government and shadow government to ask them the courtesy of joining the monarch (in this case the Prince of Wales) in the assembly of Lords to hear the speech.
In 1959 and 1963 the Lord Chancellor was entrusted with the reading of the Queen's Speech. It was during Elizabeth II's last two pregnancies.
In any case, royal correspondents agreed that entrusting the Prince of Wales with the reading of the message marked quite a historical moment in the British monarchy given the monarch's age and all of her previous announcements that Charles will one day become King and Camilla will be Queen Consort.
However and for the time being, other sources in London said the Queen was still very much in charge of the country and would want to chair a virtual meeting of the Privy Council later this week.
Putting the United Kingdom back on track with a series of economic measures and support for families in the face of the crisis triggered in the country - as in the rest of the world - by the high price of energy, is the basic promise contained in the government program for the next 12 months.
Other reasons for the measures summarized by the team of the Premier, Boris Johnson, are the upturn in inflation following the reopening of the economy after the pandemic and the first global effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing sanctions.
The Government plans to give a new impetus to economic growth to avert a risk of recession in 2023, through a series of relief interventions for the neediest, while bearing in mind that state handouts cannot be a permanent solution.