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Last Updated: Tuesday May 17 2005 15:06 GMT

Queen's Speech opens Parliament

The Queen delivering her speech in Parliament
The Queen has officially opened Parliament with her traditional speech.

The speech sets out all of the government's plans for the year ahead, and it also marks the beginning of a new Parliamentary session.

This year, plans include making changes to the education system like giving parents more powers to call in inspectors for failing schools.

Animal rights, controversial ID cards and a crackdown on yobbish behaviour are also on the agenda.

The Queen's speech is very formal - she wears traditional robes and a crown, and it's one of the highlights of the year for MPs and Lords.

Her Majesty does not actually write the speech - it's written for her by the government. She reads it because she is still the head of state, and the reading marks more than 500 years of Parliamentary tradition.



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