Following the State Opening the Government’s legislative programme, as presented in the Queen’s Speech, is debated by both Houses.

House of Commons

The Debate on the Address is the first debate of the new parliamentary session and normally lasts for five to six days. The motion is phrased as: “An Humble Address” to Her Majesty thanking her for her gracious speech. The task of moving the motion is regarded as an honour and is given to two government backbenchers. They are normally a contrasting pair with very different constituencies, one a relative newcomer and the other a long-serving Member. By convention, their speeches are not contentious and contain both humour and flattering references to their constituencies.

This year’s proposers of the Loyal Address were Lee Rowley and Sarah Newton:

Previous debates on the Address can be read in Hansard, the Official Report of the House of Commons, by choosing the relevant date from Hansard online.

The Commons Library Briefing Paper, Queen’s Speech 2019, identifies issues and bills that may appear in the Queen’s Speech on 14 October 2019 or require legislation in the forthcoming Session.

House of Lords

The House of Lords also move a motion that a humble address be presented to the Queen as an expression of thanks for the “Most Gracious Speech”. Movers and Seconders of the motion since 1996 are listed in the Lords Library briefing: Queen’s Speech: Movers and Seconders.

Lords briefings identifying key bills that may be announced in the Queen’s Speech are structured around the subjects chosen for debate during the five days debate on the Loyal Address:

Parliament: facts and figures

This series of publications contains data on various subjects relating to Parliament and Government. Topics include legislation, MPs, select committees, debates, divisions and Parliamentary procedure.


Please send any comments or corrections to the Parliament & Constitution Centre. Suggestions for new lists welcomed.

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