Queen offers peers progress report on draft Wales Bill

Leader of the Lords Lady Stowell
Image caption Leader of the Lords Lady Stowell reads the Queen's speech as Parliament prorogues

In other news, Parliament has prorogued. Prorogation is the ceremony that marks the end of a parliamentary session and features a smattering of Norman French.

The session that begins with the Queen's Speech, ends with another speech "in Her Majesty's own words", as the Leader of the Lords Lady Stowell told peers and MPs assembled for the occasion.

You may remember how last May, the Queen announced: "My government will also bring forward legislation to secure a strong and lasting constitutional settlement, devolving wide-ranging powers to Scotland and Wales."

So how's that going?

A prorogation, Lady Stowell set out - "in Her Majesty's own words" - a summary of progress.

"My government has sought to develop a productive working relationship with the devolved administrations."

She added: "A draft Bill was published setting out a new framework for devolution in Wales in accordance with the St David's Day agreement."

That is certainly true, although it may not convey the full truth of its stormy passage, with the government having to "pause" the draft legislation before re-writing a Bill many thought might be law by now.


Fortunately, another Queen's Speech looms - at the State Opening of Parliament on Wednesday, May 18. And the good news for constitutional anoraks is that it is expected to include a revised Wales Bill.

The Queen may not have prorogued parliament in person - Queen Victoria was the last monarch to do that in 1854 - but she has not been short of political company this month.

MPs of all parties attended a Buckingham Palace reception on Tuesday to mark her 90th birthday. They'll be back at Westminster next Wednesday to hear her set out the government's plans for the coming year.

Image caption MPs Tim Farron, Angus Robertson, Hywel Williams and Caroline Lucas at the Queen's 90th birthday reception.