The state opening of Parliament in 1958 would be the last of that parliament, taking place 12 months before the election the following year. In the six days of debate on the address that followed, members responded to the government’s legislative programme, an agenda set in a context of ongoing international and domestic economic challenges. However, its significance lay in it being the occasion for two parliamentary firsts. This briefing looks back to find that the subsequent debates on the address saw the first contributions of life peers. It was also the first state opening to be televised.