The Queen has visited Wales for the first time in five years to officially open the sixth Senedd

It comes after the election in May earlier this year

For the first time in five years, the Queen visited Wales to formally open the sixth Senedd.

Joined by the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, the Queen praised the Welsh people for their efforts during the pandemic whilst addressing the Welsh parliament.

First Minister Mark Drakeford, while speaking of the sixth Senedd said it “is a time for all of us to look to the future.

“In the years ahead we will argue and disagree about what is best for Wales, in this Senedd term but, always with the interests of those we represent at the centre of all that we do.”

In her speech, the Queen said: “We all owe a debt of gratitude to those who have risen so magnificently to the challenges of the last 18 months – from key workers to volunteers, who have done so much to serve their communities.

“They are shining examples of the spirit for which the Welsh people are so renowned, a spirit which I have personally encountered so many times.”

Mark Drakeford further showed his appreciation for the opening of the sixth Senedd, saying: “We gather for this sixth Senedd in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, which has created so much sadness for so many families. Our thoughts today are with all of them today.

“At the same we’ve seen the best of Wales in our health and care system, the shop workers, our teachers, all those public service workers, the businesses and volunteers, whose commitment, dedication and sheer hard work has kept Wales moving during this most difficult of times.

“As we look beyond the pandemic, we recognise that we still have many challenges ahead. To meet them, we will use all of our powers to promote prosperity, equality and well-being for everyone in Wales and to turn ourselves at these other created crises of our times in climate change and the loss of biodiversity.

“As elected representatives, we have the privilege and the duty to defend and strengthen our democracy, to promote the wellbeing of all of our citizens and to protect the natural beauty of the country in which we live and here in Wales, uniquely, to do so, with our self imposed obligations to take in to account the needs of future generations in everything, as a government and as a Senedd, we decide here in this chamber.

Related articles recommended by this writer:

• Here’s everything you need to know about the NHS Covid Pass required to get into venues in Wales

• All Cardiff University staff will receive a £250 ‘thank you’ bonus for their work during the pandemic

• The police are launching extra patrols to keep Cardiff students safe this Freshers’ Week