9 May 2012
Last updated at 17:45
The Queen delivers the Queen's Speech to formally open Parliament. The monarch travelled from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster with the Duke of Edinburgh in the Australian State royal carriage.
Household Cavalrymen escort the Queen on her journey from Buckingham Palace. The ceremonial trappings surrounding the speech make the event one of the high points of the parliamentary calendar, unrivalled in its spectacle.
The Imperial State Crown, the Cap of Maintenance and Sword of State travel in their own carriage, ahead of the monarch.
The Queen enters Parliament through the Sovereign's Entrance, beginning her processional route by climbing the Royal Staircase. By tradition, this route is the only one the monarch is allowed to take when he or she comes to the House of Lords.
Yeomen of the Guard conduct a ceremonial search in the cellars of the Palace of Westminster before the Queen's Speech.
Coldstream Guardsmen parade outside the Palace of Westminster during the Queen's Speech.
Members of the House of Commons are led to the peers' Chamber and stand at the far end of the room from the Queen to hear her address. Leader of the opposition Ed Miliband and Prime Minister David Cameron walk together.
Those with a seat are given the equivalent of the match programme. "The Ceremonial to be Observed at the Opening of Parliament, by Her Majesty the Queen," it says on the front cover.
The Queen's Speech is the one event where the three elements that make up Parliament - the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the Sovereign - join together, along with the judiciary, themselves decked out in their wigs.
Some MPs and peers bring their children along to soak up an occasion steeped in tradition, posing for photos afterwards.
Lord Chancellor Ken Clarke (C) carries the Queen's Speech.
Written by the government and delivered by the reigning monarch, the Queen's Speech sets out the legislative agenda and is the centrepiece of the state opening of Parliament.
Each session of Parliament begins with this royal address, which usually covers the following year.
The Queen is accompanied by her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
After putting on the Imperial State Crown and parliamentary robe, the Queen leads a procession to the Chamber of the House of Lords where she takes to the throne.
The Queen's Speech lasts eight minutes. MPs and peers then leave packed chamber.
After delivering the Queen's Speech, the Queen returns to Buckingham Palace. The contents of the speech are then debated by both Houses.
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