HL Deb 16 January 1840 vol 51 cc1-4

Her Majesty, in person, opened the Parliament, the usual ceremonies having been gone through, by the following Speech:—


"Since you were last assembled, I have declared my intention of allying myself in marriage with the Prince Albert of Saxe Coburg and Gotha. I humbly implore that the Divine blessing may prosper this union, and render it conducive to the interests of my people as well as to my own domestic happiness, and it will be to me a source of the most lively satisfaction to find the resolution I have taken approved by my Parliament.

"The constant proofs which I have received of your attachment to my person and family, persuade me that you will enable me to provide for such an establishment as may appear suitable to the rank of the Prince and the dignity of the Crown.

"I continue to receive from Foreign Powers assurances of their unabated desire to maintain with me the most friendly relations.

"I rejoice that the Civil War which had so long disturbed and desolated the Northern Provinces of Spain has been brought to an end by an arrangement satisfactory to the Spanish Government and to the people of those provinces, and I trust that ere long peace and tranquillity will be established throughout the rest of Spain.

"The affairs of the Levant have continued to occupy my most anxious attention. The concord which has prevailed amongst the Five Powers has prevented a renewal of hostilities in that quarter,—and I hope that the same unanimity will bring these important and difficult matters to a final settlement in such a manner as to uphold the integrity and independence of the Ottoman Empire, and to give additional security to the peace of Europe.

"I have not yet been enabled to re-establish my diplomatic relations with the Court of Teheran, but communications which I have lately received from the Persian Government inspire me with the confident expectation that the differences which occasioned a suspension of those relations will soon be satisfactorily adjusted.

"Events have happened in China which have occasioned an interruption of the commercial intercourse of my subjects with that country. I have given, and shall continue to give, the most serious attention to a mater so deeply affecting the interests of my subjects and the dignity of my Crown.

"I have great satisfaction in acquainting yon, that the military operations undertaken by the Governor-general of India have been attended with complete success, and that in the expedition to the westward of the Indus the officers and troops, both European and Native, have displayed the most distinguished skill and valour.

"I have directed, that further papers relating to the affairs of Canada should be laid before you, and I confide to your wisdom this important subject.

"I recommend to your early attention the state of the Municipal Corporations of Ireland.

"It is desirable that you should prosecute those measures relating to the Established Church which have been recommended by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners of England.


"I have directed the Estimates for the services of the year to be laid before you. They have been framed with every attention to economy, and at the same time with a due regard to the efficiency of those establishments which are rendered necessary by the extent and circumstances of the empire.

"I have lost no time in carrying into effect the intentions of Parliament by the reduction of the duties on Postage, and I trust that the beneficial effects of this measure will be felt throughout all classes of the community.


"I learn with great sorrow that the commercial embarrassments which have taken place in this and in other countries are subjecting many of the manufacturing districts to severe distress.

"I have to acquaint you, with deep concern, that the spirit of insubordination has in some parts of the country broken out into open violence, which was speedily repressed by the firmness and energy of the magistrates, and by the steadiness and good conduct of my troops. I confidently rely upon the power of the law, upon your loyalty and wisdom, and upon the good sense and right feeling of my people, for the maintenance of order, the protection of property, and the promotion, as far as they can be promoted by human means, of the true interests of the empire."

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