King's Speech LIVE: King Charles will open Parliament

King’s Speech LIVE: King Charles will deliver his first State Opening of Parliament as monarch from 11am today

Video shows setting for King's Speech

It is the monarch’s duty as head of state to formally open each new session of Parliament amid tradition and customs dating back centuries.

Here, this video shows where King Charles will deliver the King’s Speech:

'Not My King' placards for demonstration

Members of Republic are now gathering for their first major anti-monarchy demonstration in London since people associated with the campaign group were arrested on the day of the King’s Coronation in May.

Republic is set to gather near Parliament from about 8.30am this morning. Here is a picture of ‘Not My King’ placards waiting to be used today:

Who is Black Rod and what do they do?

Once King Charles has arrived in the House of Lords, an official known as Black Rod summons MPs to the Lords.

The door of the lower chamber House of Commons is traditionally slammed in Black Rod’s face to symbolise parliament’s independence from the monarchy.

Read more about Black Rod’s role in this story from MailOnline:

Driverless buses and delivery vans by 2030?

New legislation which will clear the way for the introduction of driverless buses, delivery vans and farm machinery is set to be announced in the King’s Speech, according to reports.

The laws would make autonomously operating vehicles more common in some sectors of the economy by the end of the decade, it has been claimed.

A source told a newspaper that the decision would have ‘huge benefits for consumers, reduce road deaths and help decarbonise transport’, while Rishi Sunak is believed to be keen to push the bill through Parliament quickly.

Read the full story on MailOnline:

King's Speech is 'not focused on election'

Justice Secretary Alex Chalk rejected the suggestion that the measures in the King’s Speech were focused on a general election, expected next year.

He told LBC this morning: ‘I would respectfully disagree. You’re right, there is a general election in the air, that’s correct.

‘A lot of the things that we are doing are things that we have been thinking about for some time. So I myself personally, when I wasn’t in government last year, I was speaking at the Conservative Party conference, and a lot of what we’re going to do, they’re the very measures that I was talking about then.

‘These are things that people like me and others have been thinking about, have been working out, have been doing the intellectual groundwork on and we’re now going to bring them into force.’

Background on conversion therapy ban

The Equality and Human Rights Commission wrote to women and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch last month to insist the so-called conversion therapy ban is ‘needed’ and should be in the King’s Speech setting out the Government’s legislative priorities.

Theresa May first promised to eradicate the practice in 2018, before it was downgraded to not include transgender people by Boris Johnson.

Mr Sunak’s Government said in January it would ban conversion therapy for ‘everyone’, including transgender people.

Labour has pledged to introduce a ‘no loopholes’ trans-inclusive ban on conversion therapy if elected.

The Government has described the practice as ‘abhorrent’ but said it was ‘carefully considering this very complex issue’.

Sunak warned over conversion therapy

Rishi Sunak has been warned that Tory opponents of so-called conversion therapy could try to force a ban through Parliament as legislation seems set to be downgraded.

Whitehall sources indicated that the long-promised ban will not be included in the King’s Speech today, meaning it is unlikely to become law before the next election.

Supporters of a ban argue that the practice of attempting to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity is damaging to LGBT+ people.

But the Prime Minister appears to have backed down after intense lobbying by some of his MPs who argue a law could criminalise parents or teachers who give advice to children.

However Elliot Colburn, a Tory MP who has campaigned for the practice to be outlawed, warned it is ‘not the end of the road’ and threatened to take action in the Commons.

What will be announced on criminal justice?

Among today’s announcements are expected to be plans to force convicted criminals to be in court for their sentencing.

The proposal has been welcomed by some victims’ families, but has also raised questions about how practical such a move would be. It will still be left to judges’ discretion as to when a defendant should be compelled to attend.

A new Bill could also seek to see fewer offenders receiving short-term prison sentences, with low-risk individuals instead receiving community orders.

It comes amid longstanding concerns about overcrowding in full-to-capacity prisons in England and Wales.

Ministers will also likely legislate to ensure judges are required to impose the most severe penalty in the UK’s criminal justice system to the most depraved killers, with exceptions only in extremely limited circumstances.

Full story – Rishi Sunak's crime crackdown

Rishi Sunak will draw battle lines for a titanic election battle today with a King’s Speech promising to crack down on crime and ease the Net Zero burden.

Tougher justice will be at the heart of the legislative programme for the next year- being laid out by King Charles for the first time as monarch.

It will include plans for killers convicted of the most horrific murders to get whole life orders – meaning they will never be released – while rapists and other serious sexual offenders will not be let out early from prison sentences.

Read the full story from MailOnline’s political editor James Tapsfield:

What's happening on oil and gas licensing?

The Government plans to mandate annual oil and gas licensing in the North Sea.

Pitched as necessary for energy security, it would require the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) to invite applications for new production licences on an annual basis.

The move is likely to spark criticism from climate campaigners and has already been met with scepticism from Labour, which has committed to not allowing any more exploration licences in oil and gas if it takes power.

Plans for a smoke-free generation

Rishi Sunak may use the speech to introduce a law that would stop children who turn 14 this year and those younger from ever legally buying cigarettes or tobacco in England.

The plan was announced in a Tory Party conference speech a few weeks ago. A personal passion for the Prime Minister, it was hailed by health campaigners as a critical step towards creating a smoke-free generation

Who else will be speaking today?

Alongside the King, a ‘humble address’ motion will kick off several days of debates – usually four or five – among MPs, which ends with a vote.

Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will be among those leading the debate.

Football regulation in King's Speech

Football governance reform could be included in the King’s Speech today.

Plans for a new independent football regulator were confirmed in February, with the body set to have ‘targeted powers’ to step in and resolve how money flows from the Premier League down the pyramid.

Legislation would be required to bring this into effect, so it may emerge in the King’s Speech.

Is everything in the King's Speech new?

No. This year, seven bills will be carried over from the last session to complete their passage in the next. This includes the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill and the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill.

The Renters (Reform) Bill which had provoked the ire of some Tory MPs, will also return. It had been intended that this would include a ban on “no-fault” evictions, but it emerged last month that it is now unlikely to be enacted before a series of improvements are made in the legal system.

The Holocaust Memorial Bill will be brought back as well. It was introduced after plans to build a memorial centre in Victoria Tower Gardens, situated next to the Houses of Parliament, ran into difficulties over a 1900 law requiring the land to be used as a public park.

The Bill intends to update the legislation, removing the legal obstacle that has prevented the project from going ahead. It would also give the Government powers to use public funding to build and operate the centre.

The Economic Activities of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill is another making a return in the next session. The Bill implements a ban on public bodies imposing their own direct or indirect boycotts, disinvestment or sanctions campaigns against other countries.

Armed police officers on Whitehall today

We’re now being sent photographs of armed police officers on Whitehall this morning ahead of the State Opening of Parliament:

What is not in the King's Speech?

Sometimes, it is worth noticing what has been dropped or not included in the King’s Speech.

Legislation to ban conversion therapy is now not expected to be included, in a blow to campaigners. It has also prompted concern among some Tory MPs, including senior figures Alicia Kearns and former minister Dehenna Davison.

The Government has previously committed to ban the practice – which seeks to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity – but there have since been years of delays and U-turns on aspects of the plan.

A Bill on the construction of the HS2 rail line between Crewe and Manchester will also not materialise, after Mr Sunak cancelled the project’s northern leg during the Conservative Party conference.

Leasehold reforms set to be announced

It has already been confirmed that plans to ‘phase out’ leaseholds will be in the King’s Speech.

Housing minister Rachel Maclean confirmed that the much-delayed reform of the home ownership model would be brought forward, but there have been signs that the proposals may be less ambitious than initially pitched by ministers.

The reforms come following mounting concerns about practices in the leasehold sector, including over the levying of hefty charges and a lack of transparency.

The plans are set to include banning new leasehold houses so that all new houses are freehold from the outset. This may differ for flats, where ministers are believed to be planning to deliver a reformed commonhold system.

What is the State Opening of Parliament?

The State Opening of Parliament marks the start of a new parliamentary session and normally takes place annually with MPs, peers and the monarch all in attendance at the Palace of Westminster.

A key component of the ceremony is the King’s Speech, where he sets out the legislative programme for the coming session. The King has no role in setting the legislative agenda, but reads out the list on behalf of the Prime Minister and the Government.

The event is known for its unique customs, some of which date back to the 17th century, as well as the pomp and ceremony that greets the monarch upon their arrival at Parliament.

The sight of Black Road banging on the door of the Commons is one of the best known traditions, as is the taking of one MP ‘hostage’ to secure the safe return of the monarch.

But beyond the royal fanfare, it will offer a key insight into the priorities for Rishi Sunak and his ministers in the short window before the next general election – expected at some stage next year.

Republic arrests during Coronation

Members of the campaign group Republic were detained on the day of the Coronation in May after legislation came into effect days before the event, creating new offences of locking on or going equipped to lock on under the Public Order Act.

The group’s chief executive Graham Smith had discussed the planned demonstration for four months with senior Metropolitan Police staff but says he was physically prevented from calling the group’s designated liaison officer when he was stopped and arrested on the day.

On May 8, they were told no further action would be taken. Mr Smith wants the Met to admit the arrests were unlawful and is seeking damages and costs.

A spokesman for the force has said: ‘We can confirm that a judicial review claim has been issued and it would be inappropriate to comment on ongoing proceedings.’

Republic to protest at State Opening

Campaign group Republic is to stage its first major anti-monarchy demonstration in London since its members were arrested on the day of the King’s coronation.

A few hundred people are expected to gather near the House of Parliament during the first state opening of the King’s reign today.

The Metropolitan Police was criticised after six Republic members were detained ahead of a pre-agreed coronation protest on May 6.

Chief executive Graham Smith, who is now taking legal action against the Met, was among those held for more than 14 hours under the sweeping powers of the new Public Order Act.

Mr Smith said today’s protest was about the place of the Crown in parliament and the ‘ramshackle state of our constitution’. Republic is set to gather near parliament from about 8.30am.

Queen Camilla's outfit for King's Speech

Queen Camilla’s couture coronation dress – embroidered with motifs of her pet dogs and the names of her grandchildren – is a tailored ivory, coat-like dress, woven with antique gold and silver thread.

She will also wear the 5.5 metre-long crimson Robe of State, made for Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953, which she wore for her arrival at the coronation.

The Diamond Diadem was worn countless times by Queen Elizabeth II during her reign and is probably the most well recognised of all her pieces of jewellery.

Set with 1,333 brilliant-cut diamonds, it was made for George IV’s extravagant coronation in 1821 and Elizabeth II usually wore it for her journey to and from the State Opening. She appeared wearing it on coins, banknotes and postage stamps.

Prince William will not attend State Opening

Heir to the throne the Duke of Cambridge is away on a royal trip to Singapore and will not attend the State Opening of Parliament today.

He revealed that his wife hasn’t joined him on his Earthshot trip because she is is helping Prince George with his ‘first set of major exams’.

First King's Speech since George VI in 1950

It is the first time a British King has opened Parliament for more than 70 years, since Charles’s grandfather George VI in 1950.

Charles was then a chubby-cheeked toddler, and stood on a wall at Clarence House, blowing kisses to his mother and grandparents as he watched the carriages in procession.

In 1951, the ailing monarch’s speech was read by the Lord High Chancellor. By 1952, Charles’s mother was on the throne.

The prince, by then the heir apparent, was almost four at the time of the Queen’s first State Opening of Parliament.

The Queen, in her diadem, was photographed having a private word with her eldest son, learning over to speak to him as he looked up at her, on the steps of the Buckingham Palace quadrangle.

In 1967, just before his 19th birthday, Charles took part in a State Opening procession for the first time, travelling in a carriage with his sister Princess Anne and the Queen.

Princess Anne's role in State Opening

The Princess Royal will play a role in today’s state opening. As Colonel of the Blues and Royals, she will be in attendance as Gold Stick in Waiting, and will travel in the state landau. Read the full story on MailOnline:

Charles will use Sovereign's Entrance

The late Queen stopped using the 26 steps of the royal staircase at the Sovereign’s Entrance at the opening in 2016, the year she turned 90, with Buckingham Palace saying the ‘modest adjustment’ was made for her comfort.

But the King, who is a week away from his 75th birthday and has just returned from a busy tour to Kenya, and Queen Camilla are expected to return to using the stairs.

Charles has previously opened Parliament

It is not the first time the King has undertaken the important constitutional duty of opening Parliament.

In 2022, as the Prince of Wales, he read the Queen’s Speech, with Elizabeth II delegating the task of opening Parliament to Charles and the then-Duke of Cambridge in their roles as counsellors of state in a historic move.

She pulled out of attending on the advice of royal doctors due to her continued mobility problems, and died four months later at the age of 96.

London road closures for King's Speech

The Metropolitan Police have just issued this map of London showing the ‘significant policing operation’ for the State Opening of Parliament today.

Some 1,400 members of the armed forces will play a part in the proceedings in the first full military ceremony for a State Opening since before Covid.

Gun salutes will be fired from Green Park and the Tower of London, with troops from the Army, RAF and Royal Navy lining the route and the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment including 124 horses providing a Sovereign’s Escort.

The Imperial State Crown is back!

It has been seven years since a monarch wore the Imperial State Crown at a State Opening, the last time being in 2016.

Containing 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, five rubies and 269 pearls, it weighs more than a kilogramme.

Charles wore the crown on his return journey to Buckingham Palace after his coronation (pictured).

Return to full pomp and ceremony

King Charles will don the Imperial State Crown, his lengthy crimson Robe of State and Admiral of the Fleet Royal Naval dress uniform, having travelled in a carriage procession from Buckingham Palace to the House of Lords in the Diamond State Coach amid great royal fanfare.

Queen Camilla, wearing the famous George IV State Diadem for the first time, has chosen to re-use her coronation gown, designed by Bruce Oldfield, for her first State Opening as a Queen consort.

In recent years, the late Queen Elizabeth II mostly opted for a dressed down state opening – a functional coat, day dress and hat rather than the weighty crown and robes, often with a lower key arrival by car.

The changes were adopted due to her decreasing mobility as she neared 100, coupled with the pandemic, back-to-back State Openings due to a general election in 2019, and a diary clash with Ascot in 2017.

Alex Chalk on the mission to 'support victims'

Justice Secretary Alex Chalk said measures announced in the speech would ‘drive forward’ the mission to ‘support victims’.

Writing in The Times, he said anyone convicted of rape or other serious sexual offences would serve their entire sentence in prison.

‘When a judge hands down a 15-year custodial term it will mean that – 15 years in prison,’ he said. ‘That is the justice that the British people expect and we are determined to deliver it.’

He said a Victims and Prisoners Bill – which will give ministers the power to block parole – would ‘bolster victims’ rights’ with other new offences planned over the taking of intimate images and ‘to strengthen the management of those convicted of controlling or coercive behaviour’.

Justice laws will 'keep pace with criminals'

The Government’s Criminal Justice Bill to be announced in the King’s Speech will see ‘laws keep pace with criminals’, according to Home Secretary Suella Braverman.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has made law and order a central pillar of today’s speech, including already-announced proposals for killers convicted of the most horrific murders to expect whole life orders.

Rapists and other serious sexual offenders will also not be let out early from prison sentences while other measures include giving police the power to enter a property without a warrant to seize stolen goods when they have reasonable proof that a specific stolen item is inside.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Ms Braverman said the measures will ‘accelerate the fight against crime’ and show the Government ‘stands foursquare with the law-abiding majority’.

Read her full article here:

Justice reforms about 'head as well as heart'

Justice Secretary Alex Chalk said this morning that the planned criminal justice reforms, due to be set out in the King’s Speech, were about ‘head as well as heart’.

‘It’s something that I’ve been talking about for a long time because I’m a barrister by background, I’ve seen this stuff,’ he told Times Radio.

‘This is about head as well as it is about heart. This is about ensuring that I don’t want you, I don’t want your family, I don’t want my family, to be victims of crime.

‘So what I want to ensure is that people who are the greatest threat to you and your family are kept out of circulation for longer… but those who are capable of being rehabilitated should be rehabilitated. And that seems to me to be smart.’

Oil and gas licensing in the North Sea

The King, who has a longstanding interest in environmental matters, will also announce his Government’s plan for a new law to mandate annual oil and gas licensing in the North Sea – another issue on which the Tories hope to fight a political battle with Labour.

More information on cigarettes ban?

The speech could also introduce a law that would stop children who turn 14 this year and those younger from ever legally buying cigarettes or tobacco in England, as promised by Rishi Sunak at the Tory conference.

First King's Speech since 1950

It will be the first State Opening of Parliament by Charles as King, although he delivered the last Queen’s Speech of Elizabeth II’s reign in place of his mother last year.

Due to the late Queen’s long reign, it will be the first King’s Speech since George VI opened Parliament in 1950 (pictured below).

New legislation for driverless vehicles

A report in The Times suggested new legislation for driverless vehicles will clear the way for buses, grocery deliveries and farm machinery to operate autonomously by the end of the decade.

A source told the newspaper: ‘It will pave the way for the commercial use of autonomous technology, which will have huge benefits for consumers, reduce road deaths and help decarbonise transport.’

New laws to be presented at King's Speech

The new Criminal Justice Bill will include widely trailed measures to ensure reasonable force can be used to make offenders appear in the dock to face their victims for sentencing, or risk having up to two years added to their jail term.

It will also make being in a grooming gang an aggravating feature for sentencing, meaning tougher punishments for ringleaders and members.

The Sentencing Bill will mean a whole life order will be handed down in the worst cases of murder, with judges having discretion to impose a shorter tariff only in exceptional circumstances.

The legislation will also ensure that rapists and serious sexual offenders serve the whole of their sentence behind bars, without being released early on licence.

A Victims and Prisoners Bill will give ministers the power to block parole for the worst offenders and ban them from marrying in prison.

The promise of longer sentences comes as the prison system is under strain, with ministers forced to act last month to free up space by letting out some less serious offenders up to 18 days early.

The Government has promised the largest prison building programme in 100 years to create more than 20,000 more places.

What will the King's Speech be about?

With a general election expected next year, the Prime Minister has put a series of criminal justice laws at the heart of the King’s Speech, in an attempt to draw dividing lines with Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour.

Rishi Sunak’s plan aims to deliver on already-announced proposals for killers convicted of the most horrific murders to expect whole life orders, meaning they will never be released, while rapists and other serious sexual offenders will not be let out early from prison sentences.

Other measures in the speech include giving police the power to enter a property without a warrant to seize stolen goods, such as phones, when they have reasonable proof that a specific stolen item is inside.

What time is the King's Speech?

Parliament will return from its annual summer recess period today, when the ceremonial State Opening of Parliament will take place.

Charles will open Parliament as King for the first time after his ascension to the throne following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022.

But what time is the King’s speech and how can you watch the ceremony? Click on MailOnline’s story below for all the key details:

Welcome to MailOnline's liveblog

Good morning and welcome to MailOnline’s liveblog as the King opens Parliament for the first time as monarch with a return to the full pomp and ceremony of the occasion.

Stay with us throughout today as Rishi Sunak seeks to make law and order a key election battleground with a series of measures in the the Speech promising tougher sentences for killers, rapists and grooming gang ringleaders.


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