Chapter 1 - The opening of Parliament

4      Opening of Parliament by the Queen

When Her Majesty the Queen is present in Australia and intends to indicate in person the cause of the calling together of Parliament, references in this chapter to the Governor-General shall be read as references to Her Majesty the Queen.

Amendment history

Adopted: 20 October 1953, J.402, as SO 14A

1989 revision: Old SO 14A renumbered as SO4; expression streamlined


The Queen opens Parliament in 1954

Opening of Parliament by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 15 February 1954 (Source: Government Information Service)

New SO 14A was adoptedon 20 October 1953 without debate.

It was occasioned by the impending visit of Queen Elizabeth II in 1954, the first visit to Australia by a reigning monarch.[1] An earlier visit had been contemplated by King George VI and advice obtained from the Solicitor-General about the possibility of the monarch opening parliament.[2] There was no constitutional reason why this should not occur, although the standing orders were based on the Governor-General performing that role. To avoid any confusion, embarrassment or doubt a new standing order was proposed and adopted well before Queen Elizabeth arrived in the country.[3]

As well as opening a session of Parliament on 15 February 1954, the Queen also opened sessions on 28 February 1974 and 8 March 1977.