Page last updated at 09:23 GMT, Thursday, 12 June 2008 10:23 UK

State opening fixed for December

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attend the annual ceremony

The Queen will open the next session of Parliament on 3 December, the first time the State Opening has been held that late in the year since 2000.

The colourful ceremony is a traditional part of the Westminster calendar.

The monarch outlines the laws which the government intends to put before MPs and peers, in a speech prepared by the ruling party of the day.

The current Parliamentary session ends on 22 July, with a summer break until business resumes on 6 October.

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