Houses of Parliament address Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

20 March 2012

On Tuesday 20 March both Houses of Parliament presented addresses to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of Her Majesty's Accession to the Throne

Addresses to the Sovereign

The presentation of addresses took place in Westminster Hall from 10.30am. Lord Speaker, Baroness D’Souza presented the address from the House of Lords and Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow presented the address from the House of Commons.

The addresses were followed by the unveiling of the Diamond Jubilee window, a gift from Members of both Houses to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

View images of the ceremony on flickr:

The ceremony follows debates in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords where MPs and Members of the Lords paid tribute to the Queen on her Diamond Jubilee.

History of Addresses to Parliament

The ceremony is part of a tradition of communication between the Sovereign and the Houses of Parliament in which the Houses, either individually or together, present “a humble address”, and the Sovereign replies.

The ceremony on 20 March 2012 has special significance, because each House assembled as a whole to present its address, and Her Majesty came to Westminster Hall in order to receive them.

The first recorded address by both Houses was in 1540 and throughout history, the subject matter of addresses has been varied. While some earlier addresses were contentious, pressing on the government particular courses of action; increasingly addresses have been used for expressions of congratulation or condolence.

The presentation of Addresses on 20 March 2012 is the eighth occasion on which Addresses have been presented in Westminster Hall. The first such occasion was in 1935, to mark the Silver Jubilee of King George V.

Other occasions include the opening of the new Commons Chamber in 1950, the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, the 300th anniversary of the Glorious Revolution in 1988, the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II in 1995, and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002.

Further information

Image: Chris Moyse

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