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Monday 30 January 2023 Dublin: 7°C
# yas queen
Queen Elizabeth might have given a subtle nod to the EU with her hat
We see what you did there.

queen Carl Court / PA Wire/PA Images Queen Elizabeth II reading the speech in the House of Lords for the State Opening of the UK Parliament Carl Court / PA Wire/PA Images / PA Wire/PA Images

Updated 1.30pm

UK PRIME MINISTER Theresa May has presented eight draft laws to take Britain out of the European Union in a legislative programme read out in parliament by Queen Elizabeth II.

The laws include the Great Repeal Bill to overhaul existing EU legislation and separate bills on customs, trade, immigration, fisheries and agriculture.

The queen said the Great Repeal Bill would repeal the European Communities Act, the 1972 legislation that enshrined Britain’s membership of the European bloc.

“My government’s priority is to secure the best possible deal as the country leaves the European Union,” the queen said in the speech.

She said her government would seek “to build the widest possible consensus on the country’s future outside the European Union”, amid divisions within her own cabinet over the best strategy.

Britain voted to leave the European Union in a referendum last year but there is growing opposition to the government’s “hard Brexit” approach of cutting immigration at the expense of trade ties.

The queen wore a blue and yellow hat during the speech, with some people thinking it may have been a subtle not to the EU flag.

Duke of Edinburgh

Earlier, it emerged that the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, would miss today’s speech after being taken to hospital.

A statement from Buckingham Palace said he was taken to hospital as a “precautionary measure”.

The infection arose from “a pre-existing condition”, the palace said. The Duke of Edinburgh, who is to retire from public duties later this year, was admitted to hospital last night.

State Opening of Parliament 2015 Ben Stansall / PA Wire Ben Stansall / PA Wire / PA Wire

“Prince Philip is in good spirits and is disappointed to be missing the State Opening of Parliament and Royal Ascot.

“The Prince of Wales will accompany The Queen to the State Opening,” the statement said.

Philip, who turned 96 on 10 June, is the longest-serving consort in British history, and conducted 219 royal engagements last year.

He has been ever-present at his wife’s side since she took the throne in 1952.

He will attend all previously scheduled engagements up until the autumn, and will then take a back seat from royal engagements.

The speech is usually a high point of British pomp and pageantry, but this year there was no horse-drawn carriage procession, crown or ceremonial robes.

With reporting by Paul Hosford and Órla Ryan

Read: Britain gets ready for the Queen’s speech – but there’s still no deal with the DUP

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