Royalty and statesmen




The monarch arrives for the state opening of Parliament in the Irish State Coach
Photo: © Getty Images
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A quick wardrobe change later and the 81-year-old royal was off to unveil a plaque inaugurating St Pancras station as an international railway terminal
Photo: © PA

The Queen opens Parliament then dashes to the station


It was a hectic day by anyone's standards as the Queen presided over two splendid ceremonial occasions on Tuesday.

First on the monarch's agenda was the annual state opening of Parliament, for which she wore her most regal attire. The 81-year-old donned the royal robes and Imperial State Crown, a spectacular diamond and ruby-encrusted affair weighing nearly one kilo.

Having announced the government's legislative programme for the year the Queen just had time for a quick wardrobe change into an elegant rose-coloured day dress. Then she set out to unveil the newly restored St Pancras station, to the strains of music from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Katherine Jenkins.

After a ₤800-million facelift the Victorian-era gothic terminal becomes the new home of the Eurostar train linking Britain with the continent.

Key features of the revamp are a 93-metre-long champagne bar, which is Europe's longest, and a striking sculpture called The Meeting, depicting a couple locked in a passionate embrace.

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