Queen Elizabeth dons Imperial State Crown for Parliament opening


Joined by her husband Prince Philip and other members of the British royal family, Queen Elizabeth donned her finest regalia for the state opening of Parliament in London. As tradition dictates, Her Majesty delivered a speech that outlined the government's plans for the coming session.

It is the Queen's duty as Head of State to formally open Parliament and she has done so every year of her reign, except in 1959 and 1963 when she was pregnant. It comes as no surprise then that the 89-year-old royal appeared completely at ease, confidently fulfilling her task on Wednesday morning at the Palace of Westminster.


The Queen wore the Robe of State and a spectacular crown for the special occasion Photo: Getty Images

Her Majesty looked as regal as ever wearing the Imperial State Crown – which had traveled in its own carriage ahead of the Queen and was looked after by members of the royal household. The precious piece was originally made for Queen Victoria's coronation in 1838. Set with more than 3,000 gems, the stunning accessory includes a host of breathtaking stones, including the diamond known as the Second Star of Africa, the Black Prince's Ruby, the Stuart Sapphire, St. Edward's Sapphire and Queen Elizabeth's Pearls.

The royals traveled from Buckingham Palace to Westminster in a horse-drawn carriage Photo: Getty Images

In the run-up to her speech, the monarch, wearing a white lace evening dress by trusted tailor Hardy Amies, a fur stole and white gloves, was pictured leaving her home in Buckingham Palace in a horse-drawn carriage. She was joined by Prince Philip, 93, and escorted to Westminster by the Household Cavalry.

The Queen walked hand in hand with her husband Prince Philip Photo: Getty Images

The couple's eldest son Prince Charles and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall followed, while Princess Anne also made up the royal party, riding in a separate open carriage.

Arriving at Sovereign's Entrance at Parliament, the Queen proceeded to the Robing Room where she donned the Crown as well as the Robe of State. Once ready, the royal made her way to the House of Lords where she read the speech, written by Conservative ministers, from her throne, confirming the government of re-elected British Prime Minister David Cameron.

The Queen and Prince Philip were joined by the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles Photo: Getty Images

Delivering her speech, the Queen said: "My government will legislate in the interests of everyone in the country. It will adopt a one nation approach, helping working people get on, supporting aspiration, giving new opportunities to the disadvantaged and bringing different parts of our country together."