The government's tough talk on immigration makes a mockery of its "open for business" motto, a leading economist has said.

Migration control was a central theme of the Queen's Speech, including curbs on access to the NHS, limits on driving licences and a requirement for private landlords to check the immigration status of tenants.

Ministers have also highlighted the reduction in net migration, down by a third since 2010.

But Jonathan Portes, director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, said such rhetoric was "simply not credible" alongside the government's quest for growth, while the Institute for Public Policy Research said foreign students were vital for the economy.

David Cameron is under increasing pressure on immigration, the issue that most concerns Ukip supporters, after Nigel Farage's party gained more than 100 seats in the local elections.

queen speech

Did the Queen deliver good news for the economy?

Ahead of the speech, David Cameron promised Bills on "growth, immigration, pensions, consumer rights and social care" - but Portes said there was a conflict between the first two.


David Cameron
Bills on growth, immigration, pensions, consumer rights & social care- today’s Queen’s Speech is for people who work hard and want to get on

He told The Huffington Post UK it was "far from clear" what problem the government was trying to solve, because migrants had a relatively low use of public services compared to the rest of the population.

"Overall, immigrants make a significant net contribution to the public finances; without immigration, taxes would have to be higher or we'd have to cut public services."

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Portes also pointed out a wider importance of growth to the economy.

"Immigration matters to growth: not just filling short term labour market gaps, but contributing to growth and increased productivity over the longer term," he added.

"It is simply not credible for the Prime Minister to claim that the UK is "open for business" and for the Chancellor to say that he is prepared to take the "difficult decisions" to boost growth, while at the same time making the primary objective of immigration policy the reduction of net migration."

IPPR Associate Director Sarah Mulley attacked the government's pledges to reduce immigration.

"That policy remains based, not on the UK’s economic interests, but on a commitment to drastic reductions in net migration, which has led the Government to ‘bear down’ on immigration flows, such as international students, that make a significant economic contribution to the UK."

Strengthening the economy would be the government's top priority, The Queen said.

Measures included a reduction in red tape, a national insurance cut for small businesses and intellectual property protection, highlighted by Tory MP Penny Mordaunt.

"There is stuff there on growth," she insisted.

But unions attacked the proposals, claiming they contained nothing to boost growth.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "The Queen's Speech is more about trying to head off Ukip and quell a backbench revolt than deliver a legislative programme to get Britain back on track."

And Public and Commercial Services union general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "Instead of scapegoating migrants, and forcing people to work longer before being entitled to a state pension, the government should invest to create jobs and opportunities, and target the tax-dodgers who deprive our economy of tens of billions of pounds a year."

CBI Director-General John Cridland said: "Firms are less interested in the exact structure of the new system and more in it delivering a fast, efficient and cost-effective service.

"We must strike the right balance between controlling immigration but still attract the skilled workers and students the economy needs, who otherwise will go to our competitors.”

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  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Queen Elizabeth II leaves through the Norman Porch of the Palace of Westminster after the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Dan Kitwood - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Queen Elizabeth II leaves through the Norman Porch of the Palace of Westminster after the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Dan Kitwood - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: British Prime Minster David Cameron (C) and Ed Miliband (R), the Leader of the Labour Party, walk through the Members' Lobby to listen to the Queen's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Oli Scarff - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-POLITICS-ROYALS

    Oil lamps are seen on the floor of the Prince's Chamber as Yeomen of the Guard prepare to conduct a ceremonial search before the State Opening of Parliament ceremonials at the Palace of Westminster in London on May 8, 2013. British Prime Minister David Cameron pledged a fresh clampdown on immigration in the Queen's Speech on Wednesday, seeking to bolster his right-wing credentials and counter the rise of the UK Independence Party (UKIP).The speech, written by coalition ministers and read out by Queen Elizabeth II in the House of Lords at a ceremony full of pageantry and historical symbolism, was drawn up before UKIP won a quarter of the vote in local elections last week. AFP PHOTO/POOL/ BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: British Prime Minster David Cameron (2nd R) and Ed Miliband (C), the Leader of the Labour Party, walk through the Members' Lobby after listening to the Queen's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Oli Scarff - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: British Prime Minster David Cameron (C) and Ed Miliband (R), the Leader of the Labour Party, walk through the Members' Lobby to listen to the Queen's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Oli Scarff - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall walk through the Norman Porch of the Palace of Westminster after the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Dan Kitwood - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Queen Elizabeth II leaves through the Norman Porch of the Palace of Westminster after the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Dan Kitwood - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: House of Commons staff wait in the Members' Lobby before the Queen's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Oli Scarff - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Queen Elizabeth II, and Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh walk through the Norman Porch of the Palace of Westminster after the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Dan Kitwood - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Her Majesty's Body Guard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms await the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II in the Norman Porch of the Palace of Westminster ahead of the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Dan Kitwood - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are escorted through the Norman Porch of the Palace of Westminster after the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Dan Kitwood - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Simon Hughes, the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, speaks on the telephone in the Members' Lobby after listening to the Queen's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Oli Scarff - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Queen Elizabeth II, and Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh arrive ahead of the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Queen Elizabeth II travels by coach on The Mall as she returns to Buckingham Palace after the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Queen Elizabeth II travels by coach on The Mall as she returns to Buckingham Palace after the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Queen Elizabeth II arrives ahead of the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-POLITICS-ROYALS

    Yeomen of the Guard prepare to conduct a ceremonial search before the State Opening of Parliament ceremonials at the Palace of Westminster in London on May 8, 2013. British Prime Minister David Cameron pledged a fresh clampdown on immigration in the Queen's Speech on Wednesday, seeking to bolster his right-wing credentials and counter the rise of the UK Independence Party (UKIP).The speech, written by coalition ministers and read out by Queen Elizabeth II in the House of Lords at a ceremony full of pageantry and historical symbolism, was drawn up before UKIP won a quarter of the vote in local elections last week. AFP PHOTO/POOL/ BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-POLITICS-ROYALS

    Yeomen of the Guard prepare to conduct a ceremonial search before the State Opening of Parliament ceremonials at the Palace of Westminster in London on May 8, 2013.. British Prime Minister David Cameron pledged a fresh clampdown on immigration in the Queen's Speech on Wednesday, seeking to bolster his right-wing credentials and counter the rise of the UK Independence Party (UKIP).The speech, written by coalition ministers and read out by Queen Elizabeth II in the House of Lords at a ceremony full of pageantry and historical symbolism, was drawn up before UKIP won a quarter of the vote in local elections last week. AFP PHOTO/POOL/ BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: The Imperial State Crown is carried through the Norman Porch of the Palace of Westminster ahead of the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Dan Kitwood - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: British Prime Minster David Cameron (2nd R) and Ed Miliband (R), the Leader of the Labour Party, walk through the Members' Lobby to listen to the Queen's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Oli Scarff - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: British Prime Minster David Cameron (3rd L) and Ed Miliband (4th R), the Leader of the Labour Party, walk through the Members' Lobby to listen to the Queen's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Oli Scarff - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • State Opening of Parliament 2013

    Queen Elizabeth delivers her speech at the State Opening of Parliament, in central London alongside the Duke of Edinburgh.

  • State Opening of Parliament 2013

    Queen Elizabeth leaves after delivering her speech at the State Opening of Parliament, in central London alongside the Duke of Edinburgh.

  • State Opening of Parliament 2013

    Queen Elizabeth delivers her speech during the State Opening of Parliament at the House of Lords, London alongside the Prince of Wales.

  • State Opening of Parliament 2013

    Queen Elizabeth delivers her speech during the State Opening of Parliament at the House of Lords, London alongside the Prince of Wales.

  • State Opening of Parliament 2013

    Prime Minister David Cameron attends the State Opening of Parliament at the House of Lords in central London with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband.

  • State Opening of Parliament 2013

    Queen Elizabeth delivers her speech at the State Opening of Parliament, in central London alongside the Duke of Edinburgh.

  • State Opening of Parliament 2013

    Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and shadow chancellor Ed Balls attend the State Opening of Parliament, in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London.

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Britain's Queen Elizabeth II attends the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-POLITICS-ROYALS

    Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh laugh as they arrive for the State Opening of Parliament, at the Houses of Parliament in London on May 8, 2013. The State Opening of Parliament marks the formal start of the parliamentary year, the Queen will deliver a speech which will set out the government's agenda for the coming year. AFP PHOTO/POOL/Kirsty Wigglesworth (Photo credit should read KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-POLITICS-ROYALS

    The Imperial State Crown is carried on a cushion as it arrives for the State Opening of Parliament, at the Houses of Parliament in London, Wednesday, May 8, 2013. The State Opening of Parliament marks the formal start of the parliamentary year, the Queen will deliver a speech which will set out the government's agenda for the coming year. AFP PHOTO/POOL/Kirsty Wigglesworth (Photo credit should read KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-POLITICS-ROYALS

    Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh laugh as they arrive for the State Opening of Parliament, at the Houses of Parliament in London on May 8, 2013. The State Opening of Parliament marks the formal start of the parliamentary year, the Queen will deliver a speech which will set out the government's agenda for the coming year. AFP PHOTO/POOL/Kirsty Wigglesworth (Photo credit should read KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-POLITICS-ROYALS

    Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh laugh as they arrive for the State Opening of Parliament, at the Houses of Parliament in London on May 8, 2013. The State Opening of Parliament marks the formal start of the parliamentary year, the Queen will deliver a speech which will set out the government's agenda for the coming year. AFP PHOTO/POOL/Kirsty Wigglesworth (Photo credit should read KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-POLITICS-ROYALS

    Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh arrive for the State Opening of Parliament, at the Houses of Parliament in London on May 8, 2013. The State Opening of Parliament marks the formal start of the parliamentary year, the Queen will deliver a speech which will set out the government's agenda for the coming year. AFP PHOTO/POOL/Kirsty Wigglesworth (Photo credit should read KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-POLITICS-ROYALS

    Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) delivers her speech during the State Opening of Parliament at the House of Lords, alongside Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh (L) in London May 8, 2013. British Prime Minister David Cameron pledged a fresh clampdown on immigration in the Queen's Speech on Wednesday, seeking to bolster his right-wing credentials and counter the rise of the UK Independence Party (UKIP).The speech, written by coalition ministers and read out by Queen Elizabeth II in the House of Lords at a ceremony full of pageantry and historical symbolism, was drawn up before UKIP won a quarter of the vote in local elections last week. AFP PHOTO/POOL/Toby Melville (Photo credit should read TOBY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip attend the State Opening of Parliament in London

    Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip (R) attend the State Opening of Parliament in London May 8, 2013. REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN - Tags: POLITICS ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT)

  • State opening of Parliament 2013

    Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh leave Buckingham Palace ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in London.

  • State opening of Parliament 2013

    The Duchess of Cornwall leaves Buckingham Palace ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in London.

  • State opening of Parliament 2013

    Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh leave Buckingham Palace ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in London.

  • State opening of Parliament 2013

    The Imperial State Crown leaves Buckingham Palace ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in London.

  • State opening of Parliament 2013

    The Imperial State Crown leaves Buckingham Palace ahead of the State Opening of Parliament in London.

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall travel to the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-POLITICS-ROYALS

    Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, The Duke of Edinburgh leave Buckingham Palace in central London ahead of the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013. In a ceremony in the House of Lords filled with historical symbolism, Queen Elizabeth II will set out the coalition government's priorities for the new parliamentary session. AFP PHOTO/Leon Neal (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall travel to the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall travels to the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-POLITICS-ROYALS

    Britain's Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales leaves Buckingham Palace in central London ahead of the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013. Prince Charles was set to attend the state opening of Britain's parliament alongside his mother Queen Elizabeth II, in a sign of his increasing role as his the 87-year-old monarch scales back some duties. The appearance comes a day after Buckingham Palace announced that Charles, the Prince of Wales, will represent his mother at the next Commonwealth heads of government meeting, a gathering she has only missed once in four decades. AFP PHOTO/Leon Neal (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-POLITICS-ROYALS

    Britain's Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales leaves Buckingham Palace in central London ahead of the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013. Prince Charles was set to attend the state opening of Britain's parliament alongside his mother Queen Elizabeth II, in a sign of his increasing role as his the 87-year-old monarch scales back some duties. The appearance comes a day after Buckingham Palace announced that Charles, the Prince of Wales, will represent his mother at the next Commonwealth heads of government meeting, a gathering she has only missed once in four decades. AFP PHOTO/Leon Neal (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-POLITICS-ROYALS

    Britain's Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales leaves Buckingham Palace in central London ahead of the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013. Prince Charles was set to attend the state opening of Britain's parliament alongside his mother Queen Elizabeth II, in a sign of his increasing role as his the 87-year-old monarch scales back some duties. The appearance comes a day after Buckingham Palace announced that Charles, the Prince of Wales, will represent his mother at the next Commonwealth heads of government meeting, a gathering she has only missed once in four decades. AFP PHOTO/Leon Neal (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: A member of the Queen Elizabeth II's mounted escort has trouble controlling his horse as he leaves Buckingham Palace for the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II will unveil the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Police look out from the roof of Buckingham Palace before Queen Elizabeth II travels by coach to the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II will unveil the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)