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One of the most colourful events of the parliamentary year, the State Opening of the new 2009-10 session of Parliament, takes place on 18 November.
The Queen formally opens Parliament and delivers the Queen's Speech - written by the Government - which sets out Parliament's working agenda for the coming year.
Please note that roads around the Houses of Parliament are subject to closure before the ceremony.
If you wish to watch the journey of the carriage procession from Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament, you may be able to do this from street level either on the Mall or from Parliament Square.
Members of the public cannot attend the State Opening itself. However, members of the public can gain access to Parliament in the afternoon - when normal business resumes.
What happens after the ceremony?
In the afternoon, Parliament goes back to work - the new session begins.
Each House meets separately to begin debating the Government's programme of legislation and policies outlined in the Queen's Speech.
Find out what's on in both Houses on 18 November and beyond:
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