Queen's Speech reflects Theresa May's fall from grace

Laura Kuenssberg
Political editor
@bbclaurakon Twitter

image copyrightAFP
image captionTheresa May leaves No 10 for the state opening of Parliament

It was meant to be Theresa May's political coronation, but the Queen's Speech has confirmed the reality of her fall from grace.

The prime minister's ambitions for significant change at home have been culled, disappearing with her majority.

But the complexity of all the work the government has ahead administratively, as the UK prepares to leave the EU, is plain to see.

Eight bills on Brexit - whether on customs, agriculture, fisheries, or immigration - and each requires no less than a redesign of systems that have been in place for decades.

Each will require careful political handling, at a time when the government cannot be sure of its majority and a Labour Party with wind in its sails is determined to be a guerrilla opposition, putting down amendments wherever it can, stirring political trouble because it believes power could be in reach.

It is not, though, the headache-inducing complexity of those administrative tasks that is even Theresa May's priority.

First, she has to show that she can actually govern after such a loss of political authority.

For her party, that means she has to show that she can change.

There is, on the record, a promise to govern with "humility", to be a "government that consults and listens".

Whether that change is made real or is just rhetoric for today will determine how long Theresa May can stay.

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