The Queen pays a glowing tribute to the people of Wales as she formally opens the Senedd

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The Queen arriving at the Welsh Parliament in Cardiff yesterday (14/10/2021). Photo by: PO Phot Alex Ceolin.

Her Majesty The Queen has officially opened the sixth session of the Senedd Cymru in Cardiff Bay.

Accompanied by Charles, the Prince of Wales, she was greeted by a Royal Guard from the Royal Navy as she approached the Senedd building and music from The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Plymouth, as well as a 21-gun salute from 104 Regiment (V) Royal Artillery.

Members of the Welsh Guards and Royal Navy are seen here on parade outside the Welsh Parliament. PO Phot Alex Ceolin

Soldiers and airman from the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards and the Royal Air Force were also represented, in the military parade.

After taking the Royal Salute, the Queen moved into the Senedd building where she witnessed creative presentations by participants from all over Wales.

During the official opening ceremony, the Queen made a speech in the Senedd’s chamber to the assembly and listened to addresses from Elin Jones MS, the Llywydd (Speaker) of the Senedd and First Minister Mark Drakeford MS.

In her speech the Queen said:

“You are to be commended for your innovation – this was the first of the United Kingdom’s legislatures to hold a virtual meeting.

“The fact that all parties showed a determination that you should continue to meet is commendable, and a testament to your commitment to scrutinize the Government on behalf of the people of Wales.

“I have spoken before about how recent times have, in many ways, brought us closer together.

“We all owe a debt of gratitude to those who have risen so magnificently to the challenges of the last 18 months – from key workers to volunteers – who have done so much to serve their communities.

“They’re a shining example of the spirit for which Welsh people are so renowned. A spirit which I have personally encountered so many times.

“It is a source of pleasure that the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, together with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have had homes in Wales and experienced its special sense of community.”

Due to ongoing COVID restrictions some of these, for the first time were done online and Her Majesty was able to watch a mixture of pre-recorded and live performances.

Members of the Royal Navy and Welsh Guards are seen here on parade outside the Welsh Parliament. Photo: LPhot Oates

The speech continued:

“The Welsh people will have much to be proud of, and over the next five years, I’m sure you will continue to be inspired by their indomitable spirit, as you represent the interest of Wales and its peoples, makes laws for Wales, and holds the Welsh Government to account.

“There are many challenges ahead as you work together to promote the wellbeing of the people of Wales, and support the recovery effort.

“The Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and I extend our warmest good wishes to you for the sixth session of this parliament, and hope you have every success with your endeavours.”

The ceremonial Mace was also carried into the Senedd and placed in its sconce to signify the official opening of the sixth Senedd. 

UK MOD © Crown copyright 2021. MOD News Licence.

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