The State Opening of Parliament marks the start of the parliamentary year and the King's or Queen's Speech sets out the government’s agenda.
State Opening is the only regular occasion when the three parts of Parliament (the Sovereign, the House of Lords and the House of Commons) meet.
The King's or Queen’s Speech is written by the Government and read out by the Monarch in the House of Lords chamber.
These pictures on the UK Parliament flickr channel are from the 2016 State Opening of Parliament.
Time required: 15 minutes
Students will be introduced to:
- Parliament’s three parts: the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the monarch
- What happens during the annual State Opening of Parliament
- The long history and traditions of UK democracy in Westminster