Prince Charles delivered the Queen’s speech on Tuesday for the first time as the monarch misses the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in almost 60 years.

The Queen, 96, pulled out of the ceremonial occasion – when she reads out the Government’s legislative programme for the forthcoming parliamentary session – as she continued to experience “episodic mobility problems”.

In the Queen’s absence, Charles took on the head of state’s major constitutional duty, in a move which will be interpreted as a significant shift in his responsibilities as a king-in-waiting.

The decision was taken on Monday, and the Queen’s mobility issues are said to be a continuation of the problems she has suffered since the autumn.

Prince William, also a future monarch, was present at the State Opening, the first time he has done so, with the royal function of opening a new parliament delegated to both Charles and William by the Queen.

Who writes the Queen’s speech?

The Queen’s speech is an important moment in the political calendar, it outlines government plans for the year ahead.

The speech itself is written by the government and sets out its agenda for Parliament’s new session.

The Queen last missed a state opening of parliament in 1959 and 1963, when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and then Prince Edward, when her speech was read by the Lord Chancellor.

Prince Charles Queen's speech - What did he say?

The Prince of Wales said the Government’s priority is to “grow and strengthen the economy and help ease the cost of living for families”.

“My Government will level up opportunity in all parts of the country and support more people into work,” he said.

Delivering the Queen’s Speech he promised that in the “challenging times” the Government would continue to support the people of Ukraine.

Standing in for the Queen, Charles told Parliament: “Her Majesty’s Government will drive economic growth to improve living standards and fund sustainable investment in public services.

“This will be underpinned by a responsible approach to the public finances, reducing debt while reforming and cutting taxes.

“Her Majesty’s ministers will support the Bank of England to return inflation to its target.”