The history behind the pomp and ceremony of the throne speech
Throne speech sets out government's future agenda, but its traditions date back to Middle Ages
Canada's throne speech takes its traditions from the mother of parliaments, Westminster — albeit with a Canadian slant.
In the UK, for example, the Yeoman of the Guard conduct a ceremonial search of the cellars beneath parliament before the Queen's Speech — a tradition first born of necessity after the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
Also, as a reminder to the limits of the monarchy's power over the democratically elected House of Commons, a copy of the death warrant for Charles I hangs on the wall of the robing room the Queen uses before delivering the speech.
Canada's traditions are less... stern
In Ottawa, the Governor General is conveyed to Parliament Hill by a regal (or, rather, vice-regal) horse-drawn carriage — unless, of course, it's too cold. In that case, he or she takes a car up to the Hill.
The Queen's representative to Canada also delivers the speech usually dressed in a smart suit or dress — without the Crown and jewels.
For more on the history of the throne speech's pomp and ceremony, watch the video in the player above or here.