The Queen might not have attended the ceremonial event that bears her name, but remained one tradition.
The monarch’s ill-health meant Prince Charles took up her Queen’s speech duties to mark the state opening of parliament in an unprecedented, last minute change.
Nevertheless, the pomp and pageantry that marks the British head of state’s biggest duty was undimmed – including the imperial state crown traveling in its own car to parliament.
The crown, one of the 140 objects known as the crown jewels, is said to be priceless but has variously been estimated to be worth billions of pounds.
The crown forms part of the regalia, which also includes the cap of maintenance and the sword of state.
Tradition has dictated that the regalia traveled in their own gilded carriage, ahead of the monarch, escorted by senior members of the royal household from Buckingham Palace to the House of Lords.
But as part of a “stripped back” affair, the crown has been shipped by chauffeur-driven limousine to Westminster.
As a mark of the scaling back, in the hopes that the Queen could attend, two ceremonial maces were transported to the ceremony poking out of a car window.
While the practice is long-standing, giving the crown its own ride – this year, to be placed in the spot where the Queen would have been sitting – struck a nerve, perhaps since it is set against the backdrop of the cost of living crisis .