Shorter Queen’s Speech for scaled-down ceremony

Today’s speech was one of the slimmest in recent years.

Shorter Queen’s Speech for scaled-down ceremony

The Queen’s Speech clocked in at eight minutes and 52 seconds – slightly shorter than the speech at the previous State Opening of Parliament in December 2019, which ran for nine minutes and 14 seconds.

It lasted 937 words, making it the shortest speech since 2016.

It was also below the average length (1,095 words) of Queen’s Speeches during Elizabeth II’s 69-year reign.

The longest speech to date was in November 1999, when she had to deliver a speech lasting 1,751 words, according to analysis by the PA news agency.

(PA graphic)

The shortest came exactly a decade later, in November 2009.

Totalling just 735 words, it took six-and-a-half minutes to deliver and was the third and final Queen’s Speech of Gordon Brown’s Labour government.

The longest Queen’s Speeches have all been under Labour prime ministers, with Tony Blair’s 1997-2001 government accounting for three of the top five.

Among the five shortest speeches is the first one ever delivered by Elizabeth II, which took place in November 1952 and was just 799 words long.

(PA graphic)

In 1959 and 1963, the Queen did not attend the State Opening of Parliament, when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward respectively.

On these occasions, the speech was read on her behalf by the Lord Chancellor.

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