Queen Elizabeth to officially open Welsh Senedd’s sixth term

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Queen Elizabeth-England-Windsor-Polo Cup/Pixabay

The BBC reported, the Queen will officially open the sixth term of the Senedd on Thursday in her first visit to Wales for five years.

It said, she will be accompanied by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

According to the BBC, 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”.

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.

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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.

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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.

Mace-barer Mr Khan, from Cardiff, is a trained chef who worked in catering before becoming a security officer in the Senedd.

He said: “You kind of feel nervous, but at the same time, very, very proud to be part of something like this.”

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.

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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.

They will read Ein Llais, written by children from 24 primary schools about their hopes for the future.

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.

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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.

“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.

Source: BBC