Queen back in royal robes for ‘sham’ State Opening

The Queen was back in royal robes and a glittering gown for the State Opening of Parliament amid the event being branded a "sham".

In 2017, the monarch wore a day dress and blue hat with yellow flowers which sparked comparisons to the European flag, and arrived by car.

The pomp was scaled back two years ago because the ceremony, after which the Queen dashed off to Royal Ascot, fell too close to Trooping the Colour.

The Queen in 2017

For 2019, the monarch, who this time travelled in a carriage procession in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, returned wearing most of her regalia.

But the 93-year-old head of state wore the George IV Diadem throughout, rather than switching into the heavy Imperial State Crown.

The Imperial State Crown, made of more than 3,000 gemstones and weighing two pounds and 13 ounces, was instead carried through the House of Lords on a red and gold cushion and placed on a table alongside the Queen for the duration of her speech.

State Opening of Parliament 2019

It is not the first time the Queen has not worn the Imperial State Crown during a full ceremonial State Opening of Parliament.

She was without it in 1952, as the first State Opening of her reign fell before her 1953 coronation.

State Opening of Parliament 2019

The timing of this State Opening has sparked criticism.

Former foreign secretary Dame Margaret Beckett branded it a sham, while Sir Ed Davey, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, accused Boris Johnson of being discourteous to the monarch.

Dame Margaret said: "Everybody knows this is a sort of sham Queen's Speech...

"We all know that what the Government wants is an election tomorrow."

Sir Ed Davey added of the Prime Minister: "I think he's being discourteous to Her Majesty.

"First of all we saw how he misled her according to the Supreme Court over the first attempt of proroguing Parliament. Now he's bringing her into electoral politics.

"I think Conservatives up and down the land will be shocked that a Conservative prime minister is doing this to our Queen."

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