THE Queen’s Speech is a pantomime which would be more at home in some 19th-century Ruritania.

The Queen acceded to the throne halfway through the 20th century but it is now the 21st century and high time that we abandoned the totally unnecessary and arcane pomp and circumstance. In the absence of Her Majesty, why was an Admiral of the Fleet delivering the address?

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Modern royalties elsewhere adopt modern dress – a smart suit will do nicely for the delivery of the Speech. No need for ceremonial robes, carriages, household troops, Yeomen of the Guard and parliamentary officers walking backwards.

As for the venue itself – we don’t even have parliamentary chambers at Westminster that are big enough to house all the members of either house if they were all to choose to turn up.

Yet another reason for cutting ourselves loose from England.

Ian Lawson