The issue for Johnson is that he is so far short of a majority he can not pass any controversial legislation without an election, which the opposition parties won't let him hold until he delays Brexit or agrees a deal with the EU.
The pageantry of the Queen's Speech began at 10 a.m., when the Yeomen of the Guard, the royal bodyguards known as "Beefeaters", searched the cellars of Parliament. "And they don't want to wait any longer to get Brexit done", he said.
Brexit negotiations have intensified over recent days after the British and Irish leaders said they could see a "pathway" to a deal.
Others were more cautious: one senior official said it was "way too premature" to conclude that a deal was at hand.
Heckled that he had not voted for an election when Johnson tried to call him a second time, he said it was essential for Johnson to "get an extension ... take us away from the dangers of no deal, then we "re in a position to do that".
The rest of the week will see debate on these measures in Parliament, but the political focus will be on Johnson's talks with the European Union, and a summit of European Union leaders starting on Thursday.
Even if Boris Johnson was to strike an agreement by the end of the week he has to take it to the UK Parliament, which he no longer controls.
Queen Elizabeth II announced in a speech to lawmakers a list of 26 new Bills ranging from implementing a yet-to-be finalised European Union divorce agreement to criminal sentencing and the environment.
The government's plans included an outline of Johnson's proposed post-Brexit immigration system, criminal justice reforms, healthcare changes, and a promise to invest more from the public purse to stimulate growth.
The speech was part of the State Opening of Parliament, a ceremony steeped in centuries-old symbolism of the power struggle between Parliament and the British monarchy. Lawmakers are summoned to listen to the queen by a security official named Black Rod - but only comply after slamming the House of Commons door in their face to symbolise the chamber's independence from the monarch.
But this Queen's Speech, the first in over two years, was delivered in the midst of the political and constitutional crisis provoked by Brexit and drafted by a government with no majority in the House of Commons. That is even more the case today.
The challenge of maintaining an invisible border on the island of Ireland - something that underpins both the local economy and the region's peace deal - has dominated Brexit discussions for three years since United Kingdom voters chose in 2016 to leave the EU. The government wants Parliament to sit on Saturday, the first weekend sitting since the Falklands War in 1982, to discuss the outcome of that meeting. The main sticking point in talks has been the border between European Union member Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland.
We should know on Wednesday night whether Boris Johnson has his Brexit deal proper, or whether he has an outline deal that will require a few more weeks of technical talks, or whether the gap is unbridgeable.
Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn says his party is unlikely to support any Brexit deal agreed upon by Johnson.
If there is no Brexit deal, lawmakers will try to make sure Johnson's government seeks to delay Brexit rather than crashing out without an agreement on October 31.