London, May 10 (EFE).- Prince Charles, heir to the British crown, made history on Tuesday when he replaced Queen Elizabeth II for the first time at the formal opening of Parliament, where he read the government’s legislative program, which includes measures to address protests by environmental groups and the rising cost of living.
Due to her mobility problems, the 96-year-old sovereign was forced to cancel her address for the first time since 1963, when she was unable to attend because she was pregnant with her youngest son, Prince Edward.
In a clear sign of a transition within the British monarchy, the Prince of Wales, 73, assumed the functions of head of state. He was accompanied by his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and his eldest son Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, who was attending the ceremony for the first time.
Despite the absence of Elizabeth, the ceremony was held with all the traditional pomp in the House of Lords, including the imperial crown being placed on a red cushion, symbol of the important relationship between monarchy and parliament.
On behalf of the queen and according to protocol, Charles asked an emissary to call the Commons (deputies of the lower house) to listen to his 10-minute speech, in which he outlined the government’s program for the upcoming parliamentary session.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan contains 38 pieces of legislation, including measures to ease the high cost of living due to rising inflation and energy prices, and to boost economic growth to reduce economic and social inequalities in different parts of the country.
The government also expects to introduce a legislative project that would modify EU laws that remained in force after Brexit.
Among other issues, the government will propose a bill aimed at tackling the growing protests by some environmental groups, with the imposition of prison sentences of up to 12 months for interfering with the activity of airports or railroads.
The measure is designed to limit the activity of organizations such as Insulate Britain and Extinction Rebellion, which in recent years have taken drastic measures, such as blocking highways, to draw attention to the climate crisis.
Some opposition parties, such as the Liberal Democrats, consider these plans to be “dangerous and draconian.”
The government is confident that it will be able to push through these laws as it has a majority in the House of Commons.EFE