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General Election

State opening of parliament and queen's speech could be delayed due to Conservative/DUP talks

The Queen rides in the daily royal carriage procession and sometimes presents trophies to winning jockeys, as thousands flock to the summer social gathering. 
Laura Elston, Press Association Court Reporter

Theresa May's most senior minister has confirmed the Queen's Speech could be delayed.

First Secretary of State Damian Green said until the British prime minister has reached agreement with the DUP on propping up her minority administration "we can't agree the final details of the Queen's Speech".

The State Opening of Parliament had been planned for June 19 and Westminster has been rife with speculation that the state opening may be delayed, after the British prime minister's official spokesman declined to confirm it would go ahead on the scheduled date of June 19.

The Queen's Speech sets out the British government's legislative programme for the coming year.

The PM's spokesman told reporters it was not for him to confirm the date - which has been in the Queen's diary since April - and that new Leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom would be providing an "update" shortly. Ms Leadsom's office made no immediate announcement in response to press queries.


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The Queen may have to miss part of Royal Ascot - one of her favourite annual events - if her speech is delayed by a few days.

There has already been one major change to the royal diary, which is planned months in advance, because of the Queen's Speech.

The Order of the Garter service, attended by the monarch, senior royals and figures from national life, was cancelled to accommodate the June 19 date at short notice.

The annual event at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, attracts hundreds of well-wishers who watch the colourful spectacle of Garter Knights processing to the service.

In a ceremonial change, the Queen is due to deliver her speech at Westminster wearing a day dress and hat, and not the traditional Imperial State Crown and grand robes.

The spectacular carriage procession carrying the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to and from the Palace of Westminster has been replaced with a car journey.

As the State Opening of Parliament was due to be held two days after the Trooping the Colour ceremony, it was deemed unfeasible for the military and the Royal Mews to stage two major events in such a short period.

In 2001, the Queen opened Parliament and then made a dash for Ascot.

She swapped the Imperial State Crown for a hat and changed out of her ceremonial gown at Buckingham Palace, before making a fast car journey from London to the racecourse.

She arrived at 2.15pm - 15 minutes before the first race - and later saw her horse, Temple Way, finish unplaced in the Ascot Stakes.

But there was no carriage procession, which usually takes place at 2pm, because the carriages and horses were still at Westminster, having been used for the State Opening.

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