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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,…

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