The Daily Telegraph
King prepares to speak in Westminster Hall before first tour of the UK as head of state
Monarch will receive condolences from both chambers and give speech – as Elizabeth II did in 2012
After he has given his speech, the King will embark on a tour of the United Kingdom, visiting Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
Elizabeth II caused some controversy when she addressed both Houses as part of her Silver Jubilee in 1977 as she warned against devolution in Scotland and Wales
THE King will today address MPS and peers in Westminster Hall a decade after his mother did the same.
His Majesty will accept addresses of condolence from the House of Lords and the House of Commons, before making a speech himself in the historic 11th-century building.
In 2012, the Queen spoke to MPS and peers in the same location on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee. It was the fifth time she had delivered an address in the ancient edifice.
On Wednesday, her body will arrive in Westminster Hall to lie in state before her funeral, as did both her father George VI and the Queen Mother before her. The last time Charles attended in Parliament was in May, when he stood in for the Queen at the State Opening of Parliament.
Now King, he will speak to MPS and peers at 10am this morning, in the very building where his predecessor Charles I was sentenced to death following the English Civil War.
He will be accompanied by Camilla, the Queen Consort.
The Speakers of both Houses – Sir Lindsay Hoyle for the Commons and Lord Mcfall for the Lords – will present letters of condolence, to which the King will respond. MPS and peers, plus members of the legislatures of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will attend.
After he has given his speech, the King will embark on a tour of the United Kingdom, visiting Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. On Tuesday, the King and Queen will carry out engagements in Hillsborough Castle in Co Down, Northern Ireland.
The royal couple will receive a message of condolence from the Speaker of the Stormont Assembly on behalf of the people of Northern Ireland, before travelling to St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast to attend a service of reflection for the life of the Queen.
Downing Street clarified yesterday that Liz Truss would be attending services of reflection in all three nations, and would not be “accompanying” the King at all times on the tour.
The address of condolence from the House of Commons, presented by Sir Lindsay, will convey MPS’ sympathy for the “great sorrow which he has sustained by the death of the late Queen”.
It also expresses MPS’ “loyalty to him and our conviction that he will strive to uphold the liberties and to promote the happiness of the people in all his realms now and in the years to come”.
A similar address will be presented by the Lords Speaker, Lord Fall, which expresses peers’ “loyalty to His Majesty’s Royal Person, and our firm conviction that, under the blessing of Divine Providence, His Majesty will, throughout His Reign, further the happiness and protect the liberties of all His peoples in all His Realms”.
Famous leaders who have addressed the two Houses in Westminster Hall include Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela and Pope Benedict XVI.
Elizabeth II first addressed both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall in 1977, as part of her Silver Jubilee.
Her speech caused some controversy as she warned against devolution in Scotland and Wales, saying: “I cannot forget that I was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Perhaps this Jubilee is a time to remind ourselves of the benefits which union has conferred, at home and in our international dealings, on the inhabitants of all parts of this United Kingdom.”
The late Queen spoke there again in 1988 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Glorious Revolution, which overthrew James II and ushered in the era of constitutional monarchy.
The Queen addressed MPS and peers in Westminster Hall to mark the 50th anniversary of Victory in Europe in 1995, and seven years later she spoke as part of her Golden Jubilee.
In 2012, she addressed both Houses to mark her Diamond Jubilee, when Parliamentarians subscribed to a new window to be installed in Westminster Hall in her honour.
She said: “Should this beautiful window cause just a little extra colour to shine down upon this ancient place, I should gladly settle for that.”