Latest Issue

What is the Queen’s speech?

The essential guide to today's speech

By Josh Lowe  

©Suzanne Plunkett/AP

What is the Queen’s speech?

The highlight of the State Opening of Parliament, in which the monarch summarises the laws the government plans to pass during the next parliament in an address written by ministers. Her majesty has given 61 speeches in person before, totalling 67,015 words—she has been in power for 63 speeches, but missed two occasions, in 1959 and 1963, due to pregnancy. On those occasions, the Lord Chancellor read it instead. Recently,…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect