King Charles Delivers His First King’s Speech as Monarch

November 7, 2023

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons, it is mindful of a legacy of service and devotion to this country set by my beloved mother, the late Queen, that I deliver this first King’s Speech in over 70 years.

King Charles III delivering his first King’s Speech as monarch at the Palace of Westminster in London, England.

Why It Matters: Although King Charles did not write the speech – delivered at the State Opening of United Kingdom Parliament – he presented it on behalf of the government, reflecting the legislative priorities for the year ahead. Some of the 21 laws outlined in the speech include legislation to prevent smoking, tougher sentencing for criminals, and an animal welfare bill related to the export of cattle. Tuesday’s King’s Speech marked King Charles’ first as monarch and the first King’s Speech to be delivered in 72 years; in early 2022, Charles, then Prince of Wales, delivered the Queen’s Speech on behalf of his mother.

Big Picture: The BBC notes that Tuesday’s speech is “the first such blueprint of [British Prime Minister] Rishi Sunak’s government, and likely the last before the next UK general election, expected next year.” After the King’s Speech, Members of Parliament reassemble to debate the speech’s contents; a vote on the plan (normally seen as symbolic, as it is extremely rare for a government to lose it) later follows. Learn more HERE.

King’s Speech: What is it and why is it important? (BBC)

Key points: What was in this year’s King’s Speech? (BBC)

by Leah Grainery, based in Texas