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The State Opening of Parliament 

The UK general election took place on Thursday 4 July 2024. The new Parliament met on Tuesday 9 July 2024 for the election of the Speaker and swearing-in of MPs and Lords. The State Opening of Parliament and The King’s Speech will take place on Wednesday 17 July 2024.

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Palace of Westminster at night, 1941

This view of the Palace of Westminster was painted in 1941 by an unknown artist. The painting shows the Houses of Parliament illuminated by searchlights during the Blitz.

The Blitz was a series of bombing raids on British cities during the Second World War from September 1940-May 1941. During these raids searchlights stationed on the ground were used to identify attacking aircrafts which could be targeted by British forces.

Image: © Parliamentary Art Collection, WOA 2673

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Palace of Westminster at night


Unknown artist



Catalogue number

WOA 2673