The Queen in Parliament
- 20 March 2012
- From the section UK Politics
UPDATE 1150 GMT: Well, she resisted. There was no controversy in Her Majesty's address to both Houses of Parliament.
Some expected a line from her about being proud of being Queen of Scots like the one she delivered in 1977 just before the Scottish devolution vote. Some suggest that she and Scotland's first minister have bonded over a mutual love of horse racing and his promise to keep her on even if the Scots choose independence. Others say she is simply too wise to risk entering political debate, however subtly.
There was also no headline moment like the Queen's promise to go on and on in 2002, made when there was some talk of her abdicating in favour of her son.
Instead, there was a little tease of the nation's parliamentarians that she had had "the pleasurable duty" of dealing with 12 prime ministers and signing more than 3,500 Bills. Quite a thought that - how many of those have made the country a better place?
Mr Speaker could not, however, resist using his address to make a political point. He dubbed her "the kaleidoscope Queen of a kaleidoscope country" in which "your people are respected regardless of how they live, how they look and how they love".
Many of those present in Westminster Hall will have agreed with his declaration that "your singular accomplishment is to hold together that which might have been torn asunder", but some clearly did not like the Speaker's implication that the country was now a better place than it had been when she came to the throne.
The prime minister's face during the Speaker's address was a picture (see above right).
Perhaps Her Majesty will feel able to give us her reflections on her next Jubilee.
10.30am: Who'll speak to whom?
The guests are gathering in Westminster Hall to hear Her Majesty's reflections on her Diamond Jubilee, and the tributes - or, in Parliamentary language, the presentation of addresses - of the Lords and the Commons.
It will be interesting to see who chooses to talk to whom amongst the great and the good in the front row.
David Cameron will have to lean across the aisle to chat to the departing Archbishop of Canterbury if he is to avoid talking to Ed Miliband.
Nick Clegg has an interesting choice of a natter with Ed's wife, Justine, or Harriet Harman.
Tony Blair may conclude that Sally Bercow is going to be more fun than chatting about how Ed's leadership is going with Labour's deputy leader.
Gordon Brown can also chew the fat with Mrs Bercow, or opt to speak to his own wife Sarah.