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The Queen returns to London for State Opening of Parliament - all the photos

The monarch was joined by Prince Charles and Camilla

queen state opening
Danielle Stacey
Danielle StaceyOnline Royal CorrespondentLondon
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queen range rover© Photo: Getty Images

The Queen has carried out her first in-person engagement since the death of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, on 9 April. 

The monarch, 95, returned to London from Windsor Castle to attend the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster on Tuesday.

READ: Heartbreaking detail from Queen's appearance at Parliament following Prince Philip's death

WATCH: The Queen arrives at the State Opening of Parliament 2021

charles camilla state opening arrival© Photo: Getty Images

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall accompanied the Queen to the event, but there were no carriages, and instead Her Majesty travelled from Buckingham Palace to Westminster in a Range Rover.

MORE: Prince Charles reflects on his family having an 'empty seat at their dinner table' in emotional tribute

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duchess of cornwall outfit© Photo: Getty Images

Charles was in a morning suit, while Camilla wore a Bruce Oldfield silver grey and cream coat and dress and a Philip Treacy wide brimmed hat.

The Duchess also accessorised with the Queen Mother's Rock Crystal brooch. 

MORE: The Duchess of Cornwall shows support for the Queen with poignant outfit detail

queen charles state opening© Photo: Getty Images

Charles has been by his mother's side for the last three state openings – in December 2019, October 2019 and in June 2017.

He stepped in for his father Prince Philip in 2017 after the Duke fell ill with an infection, two months before he retired from public duties.

MORE: The Queen's bittersweet return to London home Buckingham Palace

queen imperial state crown© Photo: Getty Images

The monarch donned a grey day dress and hat, instead of full ceremonial regalia. 

Traditionally the Queen would wear the long crimson velvet Robe of State and the Imperial State Crown, but because of the pandemic, the pomp and ceremony has been reduced in 2021 to prevent any spread of coronavirus. 

She last wore the crown, which is made of more than 3,000 gemstones and weighs two pounds and 13 ounces, for the 2016 state opening.

queen brooch state opening© Photo: Getty Images

Her Majesty wore a grey jacquard coat with lemon flowers, and a grey and yellow silk dress, and matching hat by Angela Kelly for the State Opening. 

The monarch also sported her Aquamarine Clip Brooches, which were gifted to her on her 18th birthday by her father, King George VI. 

MORE: The Queen wears sentimental jewels in first royal outing since Prince Philip's death

consorts chair state opening© Photo: Getty Images

For the first time, the Consort's Throne had been removed from the House of Lords. The Queen instead sat alone on the Sovereign's Throne, while Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were given Chairs of State.

The Duke of Edinburgh passed away at the age of 99 at Windsor Castle on 9 April. His funeral took place at St George's Chapel in Windsor just eight days later. 

queen speech© Photo: Getty Images

The Queen marked the beginning of the parliamentary session by delivering the Queen's Speech, which sets out the government's legislative plans.

The speech is written by the government.

state opening parliament 2021© Photo: Getty Images

Significantly fewer politicians and peers were at the State Opening compared with previous years and no diplomatic or non-parliamentary guests were invited, with just 108 people in attendance, including the Queen, rather than up to 600 as is the norm.

MPs and members of the House of Lords sat socially distanced during the ceremony and wore masks throughout. 

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