At the State Opening of Parliament held on 9 May, 2012, Queen Elizabeth II officially announced the new legislative agenda aimed at promoting financial growth and state pension reforms.

The Queen also introduced a law in order to broaden the horizons of intelligence agents to monitor communications.

According to AFP, new laws in the coming year would focus on "economic growth, justice and constitutional reform", the Queen said, while "the first priority will be to reduce the deficit and restore economic stability". The two-year-old government's pursuit of deep spending cuts to reduce the deficit was one reason for a drubbing received by the Conservatives and their Liberal Democrat partners in the local elections last week.

A major reform announced at the state opening was the overhauling of the unelected House of Lords. This move for converting the ancient chamber comprising appointed and inherited seats into a largely elected upper house was discussed earlier but the project was delayed for decades.

As per reports, this new reform split the coalition partners into two with the Liberal Democrats supporting it while the Conservatives were more skeptical about it.

The State Opening of Parliament is the most colourful event of the Parliamentary year. It is also the most important, because it brings together the three elements of the legislature (the House of Commons, the House of Lords and The Queen). The ceremony therefore represents the Crown in Parliament. As Head of State, it is the duty of The Queen formally to open each new session of Parliament.

According to the Washington Post, the annual Queen's Speech finds the constitutional monarch acting in her role as messenger of the ruling government, currently a coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Amid the pageantry of trumpet blasts and the ceremonial knocking on doors, the queen laid out no fewer than 15 pieces of legislation that are likely to dominate Britain's national agenda in the months ahead.

Start the slideshow to catch a glimpse of Queen Elizabeth II at the State Opening of Parliament: