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The Queen presides over the state opening of Parliament

The Queen watched over the state opening of Parliament for the 63rd time on Tuesday, amid the traditional pomp and ceremony of the occasion.

Flanked by her husband Prince Philip, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, she read out a speech written her by ministers.

Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg presented a united front as they set out their plans for the final year of their coalition.

Pensions took centre stage in the programme; among the other measures were changes to workplace schemes, plans for a 5p charge for plastic bags, a modern slavery bill, curbs on "excessive redundancy payments", a new state-funded childcare subsidy and the decision to give voters limited power to kick out misbehaving MPs.

There was a moment of drama towards the end of the speech when one of the Queen’s pageboys, who helps carry her train, appeared to faint. Prince Charles and Camilla, who were sat nearest the little boy, showed concern as help was summoned and he was carried out of the chamber.

A Guard of Honour lines up in formation outside Buckingham Palace ahead of the Queen's departure
 Photo: © Getty Images

The Queen and Prince Philip ride in the Diamond Jubilee carriage along the Mall from Buckingham Palace
 Photo: © Getty Images

The Queen and Prince Philip proceed inside for the state opening of Parliament in the House of Lords
 Photo: © Getty Images

The monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh proceed through the Royal Gallery during the State Opening of Parliament
 Photo: © Getty Images

The royal couple made their entrance amid great pomp and ceremony
 Photo: © Getty Images

Prime Minister David Cameron and Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband in high spirits as they walk through the Members' Lobby before the Queen's Speech
 Photo: © Getty Images

There was a moment of drama towards the end of the speech when one of the Queen's page boys fainted
 Photo: © Getty Images

The Queen sits with Prince Philip as she delivers her speech to Members of Parliament
 Photo: © Getty Images

Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, seated alongside his mother. Charles was accompanied to the opening by his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall
 Photo: © Getty Images

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