Read in full: Prince Charles delivers Queen's Speech

10 May 2022, 12:34 | Updated: 10 May 2022, 12:40

Prince Charles stood in for the Queen
Prince Charles stood in for the Queen. Picture: Getty

By Will Taylor

Prince Charles has stepped in to deliver the Queen’s Speech for the first time.

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He stood in for the monarch to set out the Government’s agenda after mobility issues forced her to cancel her appearance.

The customary State Opening of Parliament, full of pageantry and tradition, saw him deliver the speech in the House of Lords, as MPs including Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer looked on.

The speech set out the Government’s levelling up agenda and post-Brexit reforms.

Read his full speech below.

“Her Majesty’s Government’s priority is to grow and strengthen the economy and help ease the cost of living for families. Her Majesty’s Government will level up opportunity in all parts of the country and support more people into work.

“Her Majesty’s Ministers will continue to support the police to make the streets safer, and fund the National Health Service to reduce the COVID backlogs. In these challenging times, Her Majesty’s Government will play a leading role in defending democracy and freedom across the world, including continuing to support the people of Ukraine.

“Her Majesty’s Government will drive economic growth to improve living standards and fund sustainable investment in public services.

“This will be underpinned by a responsible approach to the public finances, reducing debt while reforming and cutting taxes. Her Majesty’s Ministers will support the Bank of England to return inflation to its target.

“A Bill will be brought forward to drive local growth, empowering local leaders to regenerate their areas, and ensuring everyone can share in the United Kingdom’s success. The planning system will be reformed to give residents more involvement in local development.

“Her Majesty’s Government will improve transport across the United Kingdom, delivering safer, cleaner services and enabling more innovations. Legislation will be introduced to modernise rail services and improve reliability for passengers.

“Her Majesty’s Ministers will bring forward an Energy Bill to deliver the transition to cheaper, cleaner, and more secure energy. This will build on the success of the COP26 Summit in Glasgow last year.

“Draft legislation to promote competition, strengthen consumer rights and protect households and businesses will be published.

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“Measures will also be published to create new competition rules for digital markets and the largest digital firms.

“Her Majesty’s Government will establish the UK Infrastructure Bank in legislation, with objectives to support economic growth and the delivery of net zero.

“Reforms to education will help every child fulfil their potential wherever they live, raising standards and improving the quality of schools and higher education. Her Majesty’s Ministers will publish draft legislation to reform the Mental Health Act.

“Her Majesty’s Government will continue to seize the opportunities of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, to support economic growth. Regulations on businesses will be repealed and reformed.

“A bill will enable law inherited from the European Union to be more easily amended. Public sector procurement will be simplified to provide new opportunities for small businesses.

“New legislation will strengthen the United Kingdom’s financial services industry, ensuring that it continues to act in the interest of all people and communities. The United Kingdom’s data protection regime will be reformed.

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“Her Majesty’s Government will continue to champion international trade, delivering jobs across the country and growing the economy.

“Legislation will be introduced to enable the implementation of the United Kingdom’s first new Free Trade Agreements since leaving the European Union.

“Her Majesty’s Ministers will encourage agricultural and scientific innovation at home. Legislation will unlock the potential of new technologies to promote sustainable and efficient farming and food production.

“Her Majesty’s Government will protect the integrity of the United Kingdom’s borders and ensure the safety of its people. Her Majesty’s Ministers will take action to prevent dangerous and illegal Channel crossings and tackle the criminal gangs who profit from facilitating them.

“Legislation will be introduced to ensure the police have the powers to make the streets safer.

“A bill will be brought forward to further strengthen powers to tackle illicit finance, reduce economic crime and help businesses grow.

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“Measures will be introduced to support the security services and help them protect the United Kingdom.

“Her Majesty’s Government will lead the way in championing security around the world. It will continue to invest in our gallant Armed Forces. Her Majesty’s Ministers will work closely with international partners to maintain a united NATO and address the most pressing global security challenges.

“The continued success and integrity of the whole of the United Kingdom is of paramount importance to Her Majesty’s Government, including the internal economic bonds between all of its parts. Her Majesty’s Government will prioritise support for the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and its institutions, including through legislation to address the legacy of the past.

“Her Majesty’s Government will ensure the constitution is defended. Her Majesty’s Ministers will restore the balance of power between the legislature and the courts by introducing a Bill of Rights. Legislation will prevent public bodies engaging in boycotts that undermine community cohesion.

“Her Majesty’s Government will introduce legislation to improve the regulation of social housing to strengthen the rights of tenants and ensure better quality, safer homes.

“Legislation will also be introduced to ban conversion therapy. Proposals will be published to establish an independent regulator of English football.

“In this year of the Platinum Jubilee, Her Majesty look forward to the celebrations taking place across the United Kingdom and throughout the Commonwealth, and to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this summer.”