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Queen's Speech: Pomp, ritual in delivering United Kingdom gov't program

22 June 2017

The discussion comes at a time when the government is weak following Prime Minister Theresa May's disastrous decision to hold a snap election in which she lost her majority.

Controversial plans to expand grammar schools and introduce a free vote on restoring foxhunting to the Commons were decidedly absent from the speech, with the majority of bills announced relating to ensuring the "smooth and orderly" departure from the European Union. Buckingham Palace said Philip, 96, was hospitalized as a precaution for treatment of an infection.

Downing Street said the Queens Speech did not make a reference to the visit announced earlier this year as no date has been set for it so far.

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Parliament then votes on the agendas laid out in the speech.

"There will be an immigration bill that gives us control of the number of people coming here from Europe while allowing us to continue attracting the brightest and the best", Prime Minister May said in her preface to the Queens Speech. Declining her traditional horse-drawn carriage, keeping the imperial crown beside her rather than atop her head, and swapping the royal robes for a blue dress, the queen pointedly toned down the pomp this year.

She also addressed the need to review counterterrorism strategies after attacks in Manchester and London and expressed the government's commitment to the Paris agreement on climate change.

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Fox hunting with hounds was outlawed by Tony Blair's Labour government in 2004 but successive Conservative manifestos have pledged to bring the animal killings back.

There was no mention of US President Donald Trumps proposed state visit to the United Kingdom later this year, appearing to confirm suggestions the visit has been delayed. Even amid the gravity, frustration and uncertainty surrounding this year's speech, Skinner bore the great weight of his informal duty gladly, quipping about the queen's plans to catch a horse race later that day.

Democratic Unionist Party to prop up her government. "The formality is you can not put the date of the president's state visit into the Queen's speech until it has been actually agreed".

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The Lib Dems said their version would call for continued membership of the EU single market and customs union after Brexit.