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Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II (2012)

Sugar tax, spaceports meet pageantry in UK Queen's Speech

Queen Elizabeth II donned an ermine-trimmed robe and diamond-studded crown Wednesday to announce government promises to put Britain at the cutting edge of technology and social progress in the 21st century.

Plans for prison reform, a sugar tax and commercial spaceports were among 21 bills announced in the Queen's Speech, an annual tradition that mixes lavish pomp and modern politics.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the government's agenda combined "economic security with extending life chances for all," but some measures are sure to meet resistance — and next month's referendum on European Union membership is casting a shadow over the government's...

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