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Queen to officially open Welsh Senedd's sixth term Queen to officially open Welsh Senedd's sixth term
(about 5 hours later)
A look back at Senedd openings attended by the Queen over the yearsA look back at Senedd openings attended by the Queen over the years
The Queen will officially open the sixth term of the Senedd on Thursday in her first visit to Wales for five years.The Queen will officially open the sixth term of the Senedd on Thursday in her first visit to Wales for five years.
She will be accompanied by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.She will be accompanied by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.
People nominated as Covid community champions are among the guests at the event, which has been delayed because of coronavirus.People nominated as Covid community champions are among the guests at the event, which has been delayed because of coronavirus.
Presiding Officer Elin Jones said it would be a celebration "of the diverse communities across Wales".Presiding Officer Elin Jones said it would be a celebration "of the diverse communities across Wales".
Pupils from Mount Stuart Primary School, which is a short distance from the Senedd, will greet the Queen when she arrives in Cardiff Bay, with mace-barer Shaz Khan leading her into the chamber. Pupils from Mount Stuart Primary School, which is a short distance from the Senedd, will greet the Queen when she arrives in Cardiff Bay, with mace-bearer Shaz Khan leading her into the chamber.
Queen speaks of 'deep affection' for ScotlandQueen speaks of 'deep affection' for Scotland
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The Welsh National Opera's (WNO) youth branch is among those providing performances of music and poetry.The Welsh National Opera's (WNO) youth branch is among those providing performances of music and poetry.
It marks the ceremonial start of the new Senedd term following May's election, which returned Welsh Labour leader Mark Drakeford as first minister.It marks the ceremonial start of the new Senedd term following May's election, which returned Welsh Labour leader Mark Drakeford as first minister.
The Queen last visited Wales in 2016The Queen last visited Wales in 2016
All 60 Members of the Senedd (MSs) have been invited to the chamber for the event - the first time since the pandemic changed how the Senedd works.All 60 Members of the Senedd (MSs) have been invited to the chamber for the event - the first time since the pandemic changed how the Senedd works.
The Queen will meet Ms Jones and Mr Drakeford at the ceremony, which will be shown live on BBC One Wales from 11:15 and S4C from 11:00.The Queen will meet Ms Jones and Mr Drakeford at the ceremony, which will be shown live on BBC One Wales from 11:15 and S4C from 11:00.
Mace-barer Mr Khan, from Cardiff, is a trained chef who worked in catering before becoming a security officer in the Senedd. Mace bearer Mr Khan, from Cardiff, is a trained chef who worked in catering before becoming a security officer in the Senedd.
"You kind of feel nervous, but at the same time, very, very proud to be part of something like this," he said."You kind of feel nervous, but at the same time, very, very proud to be part of something like this," he said.
The mace will be placed in its sconce in the Senedd chamber to signify the official opening.The mace will be placed in its sconce in the Senedd chamber to signify the official opening.
WNO youth opera, in its first live appearance in 18 months, will perform Ar Lan yr Môr and Tân Cerdd, as well as presenting a song composed for the event entitled Ymuno.WNO youth opera, in its first live appearance in 18 months, will perform Ar Lan yr Môr and Tân Cerdd, as well as presenting a song composed for the event entitled Ymuno.
A family from Afghanistan who is starting a new life in Wales after fleeing the Taliban will also meet Prince Charles.A family from Afghanistan who is starting a new life in Wales after fleeing the Taliban will also meet Prince Charles.
The service will include a poetry reading from Eleri Griffiths and Oliver Edwards Davies of the Welsh Youth Parliament.The service will include a poetry reading from Eleri Griffiths and Oliver Edwards Davies of the Welsh Youth Parliament.
They will read Ein Llais, written by children from 24 primary schools about their hopes for the future.They will read Ein Llais, written by children from 24 primary schools about their hopes for the future.
"It's not that heavy," says Shazad Khan Shazad Khan will lead the queen into the Senedd chamber
Covid community champions have been nominated by MSs in recognition of the help they provided to their communities during the pandemic.Covid community champions have been nominated by MSs in recognition of the help they provided to their communities during the pandemic.
Guests will include marathon runner Ian Turner from Aberconwy and Alison Round, who headed up a group in Flint that created scrubs, hats and masks for the NHS and heathcare workers from donated materials.Guests will include marathon runner Ian Turner from Aberconwy and Alison Round, who headed up a group in Flint that created scrubs, hats and masks for the NHS and heathcare workers from donated materials.
Ms Jones said: "Our official opening event is not only a celebration of the Senedd but of the diverse communities across Wales whose voices are represented within these walls.Ms Jones said: "Our official opening event is not only a celebration of the Senedd but of the diverse communities across Wales whose voices are represented within these walls.
"I am particularly pleased that many Covid champions who made such a positive difference in their areas, with strength and generosity of spirit, will join us from all parts of Wales."I am particularly pleased that many Covid champions who made such a positive difference in their areas, with strength and generosity of spirit, will join us from all parts of Wales.
"As we commemorate the beginning of a new Senedd term, let's be inspired by these endeavours and by the voices within our unique communities as we face both the challenges and opportunities ahead.""As we commemorate the beginning of a new Senedd term, let's be inspired by these endeavours and by the voices within our unique communities as we face both the challenges and opportunities ahead."
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price, senior Welsh Conservative Paul Davies and Welsh Liberal Democrat MS Jane Dodds are expected to take part.Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price, senior Welsh Conservative Paul Davies and Welsh Liberal Democrat MS Jane Dodds are expected to take part.
The Duke of Edinburgh was at every official opening in Cardiff Bay attended by the Queen before his death this yearThe Duke of Edinburgh was at every official opening in Cardiff Bay attended by the Queen before his death this year
What will happen while the Queen is in Wales?What will happen while the Queen is in Wales?
The royal party will arrive in Cardiff late on Thursday morning.The royal party will arrive in Cardiff late on Thursday morning.
A 21-gun salute will sound outside the Pierhead as the Queen arrives at Cardiff Central railway station.A 21-gun salute will sound outside the Pierhead as the Queen arrives at Cardiff Central railway station.
At the royals' arrival at the Senedd a fanfare will be played, and WNO youth opera will perform Ar Lan y Môr.At the royals' arrival at the Senedd a fanfare will be played, and WNO youth opera will perform Ar Lan y Môr.
The mace will be placed in its sconce, and the Queen will make a speech, as will Elin Jones and Mark Drakeford.The mace will be placed in its sconce, and the Queen will make a speech, as will Elin Jones and Mark Drakeford.
The Queen will sign a commemorative parchment, accompanied by the official harpist to the Prince of Wales, Alis Huws.The Queen will sign a commemorative parchment, accompanied by the official harpist to the Prince of Wales, Alis Huws.
Eleri Griffiths and Oliver Edwards Davies will read Ein Llais, before Tân Cerdd perform Ymuno.Eleri Griffiths and Oliver Edwards Davies will read Ein Llais, before Tân Cerdd perform Ymuno.
The royal party will meet the Covid community champions before leaving the Senedd.The royal party will meet the Covid community champions before leaving the Senedd.
The first official opening took place after the assembly began in 1999The first official opening took place after the assembly began in 1999
What is the official opening?What is the official opening?
Covid has delayed this year's opening ceremony, which has been held soon after an election for every new term since the opening of the National Assembly in 1999.Covid has delayed this year's opening ceremony, which has been held soon after an election for every new term since the opening of the National Assembly in 1999.
It is not like the Queen's Speech in the Houses of Commons where she lays out the government's legislative programme - it is purely ceremonial.It is not like the Queen's Speech in the Houses of Commons where she lays out the government's legislative programme - it is purely ceremonial.
The event is not required by law, but has become convention to mark the start of a new term after a Senedd election.The event is not required by law, but has become convention to mark the start of a new term after a Senedd election.
A key part is the mace, which was donated to the Senedd in 2006 by the parliament of New South Wales in Australia.A key part is the mace, which was donated to the Senedd in 2006 by the parliament of New South Wales in Australia.
It is the first time it has been held since the law-making body changed its name to Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliament.It is the first time it has been held since the law-making body changed its name to Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliament.