After 73 years of waiting, Prince Charles today delivered his first speech from the throne in the House of Lords to mark the State Opening of Parliament – watched on by Her Majesty in Windsor via television. Charles was escorted by Prince William, after the Yeoman Warders concluded their traditional search of the Palace of Westminster.
The Palace of Westminster was fully owned by the sovereign until 1965 when the Queen agreed to hand over control of the Commons and the Lords. The Crown still retains technical ownership of some parts, such as the robing room, with the last monarch to live there being Henry VIII.
Some 21 bills were announced by Prince Charles. These were the following:
1. Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill – 'empowering local leaders to regenerate their areas'
2. Transport Bill – 'to modernise rail services and improve reliability for passengers'
3. Energy Security Bill – 'to deliver the transition to cheaper, cleaner and more secure energy'
4. Draft Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill – 'to promote competition, strengthen consumer rights and protect households and businesses'
5. UK Infrastructure Bank Bill – 'to support economic growth and the delivery of net zero'
6. Schools Bill – to 'help every child fulfil their potential'
7. Higher Education Bill – 'raising standards and improving the quality of higher education'
8. Draft Mental Health Act Reform Bill
9. Brexit Freedoms Bill – 'regulations on businesses will be repealed and reformed' and 'a bill will enable law inherited from the European Union to be more easily amended'
10. Procurement Bill – 'to provide new opportunities for small businesses'
11. Financial Services and Markets Bill – ensuring that the UK's financial services industry 'continues to act in the interest of all people and communities'
12. Data Reform Bill – to reform the UK's data protection regime
13. Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill – to enable the UK's Free Trade Agreement with these two countries
14. Public Order Bill – to 'ensure the police have the powers to make the streets safer'
15. Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill – 'to tackle illicit finance, reduce economic crime and help businesses grow'
16. National Security Bill – 'to support the security services and help them protect the United Kingdom'
17. Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill – to prioritise support for the Good Friday Agreement and 'to address the legacy of the past'
18. Bill of Rights – to 'restore the balance of power between the legislature and the courts'
19. Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions Bill – to 'prevent public bodies engaging in boycotts that undermine community cohesion'
20. Social Housing Regulation Bill – 'to improve the regulation of social housing, to strengthen the rights of tenants and ensure better quality, safer homes
21. Conversion Therapy Bill – to ban gay conversion therapy