The event, which starts at 9.45am, will be held at the National Auditorium which will be referred to as the “Queen’s Chamber”.
The message from the throne is a speech at the opening of each session of parliament in which the government outlines its legislative programme. It is read by the sovereign or his or her representative.
“To mark this very special occasion especially with the delivery of the message from the throne which will be read by Tom Marsters, everyone including private sector businesses, government employees, uniform organisation, primary school students are invited to attend and witness this milestone event,” said the acting Clerk of Parliament, Helen Maunga.
The dress code for the opening of Parliament is formal and the Queen’s Chamber door will be closed at 9.45am.
All guests are requested to come early and be seated by 9.30am.
There will be refreshments (kaikai) after the function.
- Rashneel Kumar
9:15am Master of Ceremony will explain the programme; 9:30am to 9:45am All guests to be seated, The Queen’s Chamber doors are shut; 9:50am Spouses of Members arrive with escort and are led to their seats, Guests to remain seated, The doors are shut again; 10am The Queen’s Messenger enters the Chamber, and announces “His Excellency the Queen’s Representative”, Guests to stand up, As the Queen’s Representative (QR) passes, guests in the front rows are to curtsy or bow as appropriate, At the completion of the Queen’s Anthem, His Excellency will then say, “Pray be seated”. The QR and Mrs Marsters will be seated first, followed by guests. The QR will address the Messenger saying: “The Messenger will now summon the Parliament.” The Messenger will leave the Queen’s Chamber for Parliament House and bouquets will be presented to the spouses of the QR, the prime minister and the leader of the Opposition. A choir will entertain guests while waiting for the
Speaker and Members of Parliament. When the Speaker and MPs arrive, The Messenger will knock at the door of the Queen’s Chamber three times to signal their arrival. Guests are to remain seated.
The Speaker will bow to the QR who will acknowledge. The Messenger will lead the Speaker, the clerk of parliament, the prime minister, the leader of the Opposition and MPs along a red carpet to their seats. When the parliamentary entourage are standing at their seats, the band will strike a drum roll. Guests are to stand for the National Anthem, His Excellency will say, “Pray be seated” at the end of the National Anthem.
The QR’s entourage will then sit, followed by MPs and guests. The Religious Advisory Council will then conduct a short religious service followed by Imene Tuki “Kia aruru te enua katoa”, Message Pure (prayer), The prime minister will then hand the speech to the QR who will read it. The Messenger positions himself in front of the QR who will then rise. Everyone will stand. Preceded by the Messenger, the QR and the entourage will start to leave the Queen’s Chamber. The QR will hand his speech to the Speaker and as his procession moves through the Queen’s Chamber, guests in the front rows will curtsy or bow as appropriate. The QR’s entourage will exit the Queen’s Chamber, and assemble outside, where the band will play the first six bars of the Queen’s Anthem followed by the National Anthem. The QR and his entourage will then depart. The Speaker and MPs will leave the Queen’s Chamber and return to Parliament. Their spouses will then leave the Queen’s Chamber, followed by the guests. Guests will wait for the Speaker and Members of Parliament to return to the Queen’s Chamber.
After conducting business at parliament, the Speaker and MPs will return to the Queen’s Chamber, as will the QR and his entourage. Prayers will be said and refreshments served before the programme ends. At 1:40pm the Speaker and MPs return to parliament, which will resume at 2pm.