Published: May 09, 2012 1:45 PM EDT
Updated: May 09, 2012 3:16 PM EDT

LONDON (AP) - Queen Elizabeth II says Britain's government plans to finally reform the centuries-old House of Lords and introduce direct elections for its members.
 
Attempts to overhaul the unelected 700-year-old upper chamber - which does not make laws but can amend legislation - have frustrated British leaders for decades, with peers reluctant to agree to changes.
 
Announcing the government's new legislative program Wednesday in an opulent pageant of pomp and politics, the queen said planned laws would introduce a smaller, mainly upper elected chamber.
 
Following a return to recession last month, she also said Prime Minister David Cameron will prioritize economic stability and that he plans to separate banks' retail operations from riskier investment arms.