Prorogation marks the end of the parliamentary session.

Prorogation is the name for the time between the end of one session of Parliament and the start of the next session. The new session will be marked by the State Opening of Parliament.

The Queen, on the advice of the Privy Council, prorogues Parliament but no longer makes the announcement of the Prorogation herself. Queen Victoria was the last monarch to make the announcement in person in 1854. Nowadays the announcement is made on the Queen's behalf in the House of Lords with members of both Houses attending.

The announcement states, ‘My Lords, it not being convenient for Her Majesty personally to be present here this day, she has been pleased to cause a Commission under the Great Seal to be prepared for proroguing this present Parliament.’

Following the announcement in the House of Lords the Speaker will read the same announcement in the House of Commons. The announcement will specify the major Bills which have been passed throughout the session.

After the reading of the announcement neither Houses will meet again until the start of the new session and the Parliamentary process will effectively halt during this time. Prorogation means to discontinue rather than to dissolve and may take place a few days before the dissolution of Parliament. Any early day motions or questions not yet answered will remain unanswered and any Bills which have not been given Royal Assent will usually have to be reintroduced unless a carry-over motion has been passed.

Learn more about the modern practice of prorogation.

Living Heritage: Prorogation

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