The rumors say the Queen Elizabeth II is a not-so-closeted Brexiteer, that Her Majesty shares her more plebian subjects’ desire to get out from Brussels’ infringements on Britain’s sovereignty, which is still technically her sovereignty, after all. If so, she has a funny way of showing it: In keeping with the ongoing shambles that is Theresa May’s “government” was this morning’s rather desultory state opening of Parliament. Liz was said to seem miserable throughout the proceedings, including the speech May had written for her laying out the prime-minister-for-now's “plans” for the next two years. Some have speculated that this is because May’s incompetence at campaigning and negotiating with bigots delayed the state opening to the first day of the races at Royal Ascot, and the queens does love her ponies—just look at how happy she was to get the hell out of Westminster to get trackside ASAP. But a grand affair to mark the Britain’s renewed independence this wasn’t: no ermine-lined robes, no horse-drawn carriage from palace to palace, no Prince Phillip—May had to make do with Prince Charles. Oh yea, and no crown atop the royal head.
As she opened parliament and laid out the government’s intention to deliver the eight bills necessary for Brexit, the Queen – long thought to be a Brexiteer – wore a hat that bore a strong resemblance to the European Union flag….
Elsewhere, in what was described as a pared-down ceremony (the first state opening with “reduced ceremonial elements” since 1974), the Queen may have signalled other visual protests: arriving in a car rather than a carriage; omitting the royal procession into the House of Lords chamber and, most notably, wearing a “day dress” rather than robes.
On the bright side, it was a pretty short speech.
Theresa May’s minority government has dropped key Tory manifesto pledges, including expanding grammar schools and revisiting the foxhunting ban, as the Queen announced a pared-down legislative programme focused on delivering Brexit.
Yea, how’s that going?
British negotiators have capitulated to key European demands for a phased approach to Brexit talks, agreeing to park discussions on free trade until they have thrashed out the cost of the multibillion-euro UK divorce settlement….
The chief EU negotiator, Michel Barnier, made clear that he believed Britain was in no position to dictate the timing of the negotiations.
“The UK has asked to leave the EU, not the other way around, so we each have to assume the consequences of our decisions and the consequences are substantial,” he replied, when asked if the EU was making any concessions of its own. “Please do not underestimate those consequences….
“I am not in a frame of mind to make concessions or ask for concessions,” he said. “We are looking to unravel 43 years of patiently built relations.”
Queen Lays Out U.K.’s Brexit, Counterterrorism Plans in Low-Key Speech [WSJ]
Hat’s that: did the Queen’s headgear allude to Brexit? [Guardian]
Theresa May drops key manifesto pledges from Queen’s speech [Guardian]
Brexit: UK caves in to EU demands to agree divorce bill before trade talks [Guardian]