27 April 2017

Flashback: State Opening of Parliament, March 1974 (and Upcoming Event Changes)

It was announced today that the 2017 State Opening of Parliament will be held on June 19th due to the snap election called by Prime Minister May. (I try my hardest to keep this a politics-free zone, so we won't go into the reasons behind the election on this blog.) The date means that the packed June royal schedule has to be altered, and that the State Opening will have a different look than the pomp-filled one we're used to.

June 19th is the Monday after Trooping the Colour, which is always the day reserved for Garter Day. The Queen has therefore decided to cancel this year's service for the Order of the Garter.

The State Opening coming so soon after Trooping the Colour does not leave enough time for practice of the ceremony, according to today's announcements, and so the 2017 State Opening will be a "dressed down" version. There will be no carriage procession to Parliament, and The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will not be present. The Imperial State Crown will be present, but it will not be worn by The Queen; she'll be expected in her usual daywear instead of a gown.


The last time the State Opening of Parliament took place in this "dressed down" format was in March 1974. The BBC's Peter Hunt shared the above video of The Queen's arrival for the event, giving you an idea of what expect in 2017. The Queen wore her usual day outfit with hat; it looks to be her outfit from Princess Anne's first wedding. In 1974 there were actually two State Openings of Parliament, because there were two elections. The full crown-n'-gown procedure was in place for the October ceremony.


Officials are insisting that this is not a permanent change - things will go back to the usual pomp and circumstance in 2018 - and that it is not due to any concerns regarding The Queen's age. A slight change was made in 2016, when The Queen took the elevator instead of the stairs during the State Opening.

Of course, the election has also had another effect on the royal schedule: the Spanish state visit has been pushed back to July 12-14. (Better than an indefinite delay, at least!)

26 April 2017

Audience at Windsor Castle

The Queen received the President of Guyana for a private audience at Windsor Castle.

That's not a bad view they've got there, eh? The Queen is in her more "casual" pearls, as she often is at Windsor, with a brooch we saw four times last year (and yet I still didn't think we'd seen it in a long time. Must not be making much of an impression...).

25 April 2017

Motability 40th Anniversary Ceremony

The Queen, Patron, hosted a ceremony at Windsor Castle to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Motability, a charity providing vehicles to disabled people and their families.
For more: Zimbio gallery.

The Queen presented keys to new vehicles to some families as part of this event, which I assume she managed to do without shouting "You get a car! You get a car!", as I most certainly would have done.

22 April 2017

Newbury Races

The Queen attended Newbury Races at Newbury Racecourse.

All smiles today, because that birthday luck kicked in belatedly: The Queen's horse Call to Mind was a winner on her second day at Newbury!

21 April 2017

Newbury Races

The Queen, accompanied by The Princess Royal, attended Newbury Races at Newbury Racecourse.

A very happy 91st birthday to Her Maj today! She spent the day indulging in one of her favorite pastimes. Would have been nice if she'd had a little extra birthday luck, but it was not to be; her horse, Maths Prize, lost today.

16 April 2017

Easter Service

The Queen and members of the Royal Family attended Easter Service in Windsor.

Her Maj's coat is bright as an Easter egg as usual. I'm surprised by the dress underneath, I wouldn't have guessed it went with this coat if we hadn't seen them together. The brooch, on the other hand, is no surprise; the Queen Mother's Shell Brooch has been worn for Easter service a couple times in the past.



Enjoy your Easter, and we'll see you at the other blog tomorrow to check out the rest of the family fashions!

13 April 2017

Royal Maundy Service

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, attended the Royal Maundy Service at Leicester Cathedral.

Ooh, second (relatively) rare brooch selection for the week: the Botswana Flower Brooch, given to The Queen in 2007 and first worn in 2014. This Angela Kelly coat is the by far the best background the brooch has had to date; it previously appeared on white and yellow jackets, but the design really stands out on a darker color.

Royal Family
The Maundy service has been a traveling affair during The Queen's reign, held at a different church each year. According to the palace, after today's service in Leicester, The Queen has now visited every Anglican cathedral in England for the Royal Maundy Service. Another landmark for a landmark reign.