May 8 - Britain's Queen Elizabeth gives her annual speech at the Palace of Westminster, outlining the government's goals that include tougher immigration laws. Jessica Gray reports.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth makes her way from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster by horse carriage to preside over the Opening of Parliament on Wednesday. But before she makes her address, the queen's representative at Westminster, Black Rod, summons the Members of Parliament from the House of Commons. This is done by knocking on the door three times with his rod after it is slammed in his face, symbolizing historic resistance to the Crown. Later, the monarch reads out the Queen's Speech in the House of Lords, which outlines the government's plans for the coming year. One of the key messages for this year's parliament is tougher immigration laws that make it easier to deport criminals and curb illegal immigration. (SOUNDBITE) (English) QUEEN ELIZABETH SAYING: "My government will bring foward a bill that further reforms Britain's immigration system. The bill will ensure that this country attracts people that contribute and deters those will not." With Prince Charles attending the speech for the first time since 1996, many believe the 87-year-old queen may scale back her future public appearances.