The Queen's Speech: What was said about Northern Ireland?

A pledge to prioritise support for the Good Friday Agreement, and to bring forward legislation on the legacy of the Troubles, have featured in the Queen's Speech.

Plans to legislate for the Irish language have also been announced.

This year's State Opening of Parliament saw a striking difference, as the 96-year-old Queen was not speaking at all, and was not present for the first time in 59 years.

Instead, the Prince of Wales stood in for the major constitutional duty due to the Queen experiencing what Buckingham Palace described as "episodic mobility problems".

Prince Charles said: "The continued success and integrity of the whole of the United Kingdom is of paramount importance to my Government, including the internal economic bonds between all of its parts.

"My Government will prioritise support for the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and its institutions, including through legislation to address the legacy of the past."

In all, the package featured 38 bills or draft bills, including:

  • Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill

Creates a system for immunity from prosecution for Troubles-related offences and sets up a new Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery to enable individuals and family members to seek and receive information about what happened to their loved ones.

  • Identity and Language (Northern Ireland) Bill

The legislation will enhance and develop the Ulster Scots/Ulster British tradition in Northern Ireland while recognising and protecting the Irish language, based on measures in the New Decade, New Approach Deal.