The Queen sported a dressed-down appearance as she conducted the State Opening of Parliament on Thursday – her second within the space of two months. The 93-year-old monarch did not wear the full ceremonial regalia on this occasion, like she did in October, instead opting for an aqua-coloured day coat and matching hat.
WATCH: The Queen at the State Opening of Parliament
Prior to the UK general election on 12 December, Downing Street released a statement explaining that if Boris Johnson remained Prime Minister, the State Opening of Parliament would take place on Thursday 19 December "with reduced ceremonial elements, as was the case following the early general election in 2017".
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The Imperial State Crown is carried on a cushion
The Imperial State Crown arrived ahead of Her Majesty at the Palace of Westminster and was placed on a cushion next to where the Queen was seated alongside the Prince of Wales. While the monarch would not usually wear the crown for a low-key ceremony, she did not wear the jewels at the State Opening in October, when she was in full ceremonial dress.
The Imperial State Crown weighs more than 1kg and is adorned with 2,901 precious stones, including the Cullinan II diamond – making it very, very heavy! So given its weight and her age, the Queen wore the smaller George IV State Diadem throughout the entire ceremony, instead of changing it to the crown as seen traditionally.
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Prince Charles accompanied the Queen
After hosting her annual Christmas lunch for members of her extended family at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday and delivering her speech at the State Opening, Her Majesty will now prepare to travel to Sandringham for her Christmas break. The Queen is expected to be joined by the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for the Christmas Day church service. The monarch usually stays at her Norfolk estate until after 6 February, which will mark the 68th anniversary of her accession.
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