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State Opening of Parliament

| State Opening Date | Background Information | Further Information | Previous Queen's Speeches |

State Opening: 2007-08 session

The State Opening of Parliament for the 2007-08 session will take place on Tuesday 6 November 2007.

Parliamentary occasions - The State Opening of Parliament


The State Opening usually takes place in November on the first day of the new parliamentary session. There will also be a State Opening shortly after a general election.

The Queen's Speech is delivered by the Queen from the Throne in the House of Lords. The speech is given in the presence of members of both Houses, the Commons being summoned to hear the speech by an official known as Black Rod. In a symbol of the Commons' independence, the door to their chamber is slammed in his face and not opened until he has knocked on the door with his staff of office.  Although the speech is made by the Queen, the content of the speech is entirely drawn up by the Government and approved by the Cabinet.

Following the State Opening, the Government's programme as presented in the Queen's Speech, is debated by both Houses. The text is reported in the House of Commons Hansard and the House of Lords Hansard.

Further Information

State Opening of Parliament : The Start of the Parliamentary Year
Leaflet about the state opening with pictures and information about the event.

State Opening of Parliament (Companion to the Standing Orders and guide to the Proceedings of the Lords)

Difference between a parliament and a session (Lords FAQ)

Prorogation [Brief Guide to Parliament]

State Opening of Parliament [Brief Guide to Parliament]

State Opening of Parliament (Commons FAQ)

Further FAQs  | Commons | Lords |

The State Opening of Parliament - A Perspective from the Archives

Queen's Speeches from Previous Years

Queen's Speech 15 November 2006 [Lords Hansard]

Queen's Speech 17 May 2005 [Lords Hansard]

Queen's Speech 23 November 2004 [Lords Hansard]

Queen's Speech 26 November 2003 [Lords Hansard]

Queen's Speech 13 November 2002 [Lords Hansard]

Queen's Speech 20 June 2001 [Lords Hansard]
Following the general election on Thursday 7th June 2001, the new Parliament was summoned to meet on Wednesday 13 June. The first business was the election of the Speaker and swearing-in of members. The State Opening of Parliament took place on Wednesday 20 June 2001.

Queen's Speech 06 December 2000 [Lords Hansard]

Queen's Speech 17 November 1999 [Lords Hansard]

Queen's Speech 24 November 1998 [Lords Hansard]

Queen's Speech 14 May 1997 [Lords Hansard]

Queen's Speech 23 Oct 1996 [Lords Hansard]

Queen's Speech 15 November 1995 [Lords Hansard]

Queen's Speech 16 November 1994 [Lords Hansard]

Please note that this is the complete list of the Queen's Speech available electronically from this site. If you are interested in finding earlier editions, please contact the Parliamentary Archives

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Updated 09/11/2007 18:16