Queen Elizabeth II at State Opening 2014
Her Majesty The Queen waves out of the brand new Britannia State Coach for the first time. She is attending her 61st State Opening of Parliament as Monarch.
The Queen is wearing the George IV State Diadem. The diadem includes 1333 diamonds weighing 325.75 carats (65.15 g), and 169 pearls along its base. Its design features roses, thistles and shamrocks, the symbols of England, Scotland and Ireland respectively.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is Head of State of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms such as Canada and Australia. The elder daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, she was born in 1926 and came to the throne in 1952.
The State Coach Britannia was built by W.J. Frecklington, originally a birthday present for The Queen’s 80th birthday. Delays meant it has not been finished until now, the media call it the 'Diamond Jubilee' coach.
State Opening of Parliament marks the commencement of a session of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. During this ceremony the Monarch reads the 'Speech from the Throne'. The speech is not written by the Queen, but rather by the Cabinet, and reflects the legislative agenda for which they seek the agreement of both Houses of Parliament. It's also significant as assembled are the members of all three branches of government (legislative, executive, judiciary) in the House of Lords.