Queen Elizabeth II will attend the opening ceremony of the sixth Senedd tomorrow. 

The head of state is also set to make a speech in the Senedd in the Siambr of the building which she officially opened in 2006. 

She had previously been accompanied on visits to the Senedd, and the former Welsh Assembly, by her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who died, aged 99 in April this year. 

The 95-year-old monarch has six engagements listed for the autumn when she will also attend a reception for the international Cop26 summit, in Glasgow, in November. 

Visits by Queen Elizabeth II to the Senedd have sometimes proved controversial such as when former Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Leanne Wood, before she became party leader, refused to attend the opening of the fourth session, in 2011, by the royal. 

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Instead she spent the day packing food parcels with a food bank in the Rhondda. 

The constituency’s Labour MP Chris Bryant, at the time, accused the Plaid member of “childish attention seeking”. 

The future Plaid leader had absented herself from the Senedd on three occasions, since she was first elected in 2003, due to royal connections. However she lost her seat at May’s election and there will surely be close scrutiny of whether all 60 Senedd members attend on Thursday October 14. 

Earlier this summer official government papers, from 1997, were released which showed Whitehall mandarins did not believe the head of state should attend the innagural opening of the then Welsh Assembly that was being put in place by Tony Blair’s new Labour government. You can read more about that here

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