British Democracy: State Opening of Parliament

Pic: AFFG 5-6-14.

The State Opening of Parliament is a meaningful ritual, a colourful spectacle, and a regular reminder of the roots of our democracy.

It is appreciated by those who love the richness of British History, and it tends to be dismissed by those who don't like British History.

In the ceremony and symbolism can be found the reminders of how we got to where we are.

The value of this heritage has to be constantly explained because every generation has its Philistines who would prefer we raze everything of the past, and begin again at their beloved Year Zero, based upon their materialistic view of the world.


The ceremony marks the formal start of the Parliamentary Year and is usually held every 12 months, either in the Spring or Autumn, and can change depending upon the date of the last General Election.

It is usually the only time of the year that the 3 branches of government; the Sovereign, the Lords, and the Commons meet together in the Palace of Westminster.

The Queen's Speech is held in the House of Lords to emphasise the separation of the Monarch from the Commons.

Those who would attack the "fanciful and archaic practices" do not seem to appreciate their meaning.