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Queen Elizabeth II walks behind the Imperial State Crown in the Royal Gallery of Parliament. Photo: Richard Pohle/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II laid out the U.K. government's agenda at the State Opening of Parliament on Tuesday, marking the first Queen's Speech since the pandemic began and her first major public appearance since the death of her husband, Prince Philip.

Why it matters: In a pared-back ceremony, the queen set out Prime Minister Boris Johnson's vision for recovering from a pandemic that inflicted the worst death toll in Europe and worst recession in 300 years.

  • Despite the year-long crisis, the U.K. has made major progress in the fight against the coronavirus thanks to a world-leading vaccine rollout. COVID-19 restrictions are expected to be fully lifted by this summer.
  • In her speech, which is written by the government and not reflective of her own opinions, Queen Elizabeth laid out priorities that include additional funding for the National Health Service, achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and a ban on conversion therapy for LGBTQ people.

What they're saying:

My government’s priority is to deliver a national recovery from the pandemic that makes the United Kingdom stronger, healthier and more prosperous than before.
To achieve this, my government will level up opportunities across all parts of the United Kingdom, supporting jobs, businesses and economic growth and addressing the impact of the pandemic on public services.
— Queen Elizabeth II to members of parliament

Flashback: The 95-year-old queen delivered her first Queen's Speech in November 1953, when Winston Churchill was prime minister.

In photos
Queen Elizabeth II reads the Queen's Speech on the The Sovereign's Throne in the House of Lords chamber. Photo: Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour Party leader Keir Starmer walking through the Central Lobby during the State Opening of Parliament. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
The socially-distanced House of Lords chamber listens to the Queen's Speech. Photo: Eddie Mulholland/Pool/FP via Getty Images
Masked Yeoman warders march along the Royal Gallery to take part in the traditional "Ceremonial Search" during the State Opening of Parliament Photo: Richard Pohle/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
The Imperial State Crown arrives for the State Opening of Parliament. Photo: Hannah McKay/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
Photo: Hannah McKay/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II leaves Buckingham Palace by car to deliver the Queen's Speech. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images
Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, wearing a face covering, travels to the State Opening of Parliament. Photo: Hannah McKay/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
Members of the House of Lords wait to enter the chamber before the State Opening of Parliament. Photo: Richard Pohle/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
Yeoman warders march into the Prince's chamber. Photo: Richard Pohle/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Go deeper

In photos: America's longest wars

Left: A U.S. soldier transmits a radio message near Da Nang, Vietnam, in 1967. Right: A U.S. soldier stands at a checkpoint in Kandahar City in 2010. Photos: (left) Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images; (right) Martin Bureau/AFP via Getty Images

Until Afghanistan, Vietnam was America's longest war. The images we're seeing now have a lot of parallels with that war — right down to the scenes of the chaotic, desperate final days.

Updated Aug 17, 2021 - World

Tropical Storm Grace complicates Haiti rescue efforts

Buildings damaged due the earthquake in Saint-Louis-du-Sud, Haiti. Photo: Jonathan Alpeyrie/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Tropical Storm Grace lashed Haiti Monday into Tuesday, complicating rescue efforts following Saturday's earthquake that left at least 1,941 people dead, nearly 10,000 injured and tens of thousands homeless.

The big picture: The temporary pause in search and rescue efforts due heavy rain and strong winds from the storm exacerbated growing anger and frustration in affected areas, AP reported.

The SAT is going digital

A practice SAT. Photo: Alex Garcia/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The College Board announced Tuesday that the SAT will be delivered digitally in the U.S. in 2024.

Why it matters: The College Board said it's seeking to make the SAT "more relevant," as some colleges start to ditch the college admissions exam altogether.