Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Thursday, 8 November 2007


The Imperial State Crown is transported to the Palace of Westminster ahead of the State Opening of Parliament, 6 November 2007.

The actual Queen's speech is scheduled for 11.30am (and for all the pomp and circumstance, it's actually very brief. The emargoed advance copy released to journalists only covers two pages and will barely take 10 minutes to read aloud. Of course, the Queen's copy is actually written on goat skin).

However, already the House of Lords is filling up with peers in their red plumage. Baroness Thatcher shares a joke with Lord McNally.

The prime minister, Gordon Brown, has just left Downing Street in his armoured Jaguar to attend the occasion. As well as this being Gordon Brown's first Queen's speech as prime minister, it has an added irony if within it, there is a bill to remove the remaining hereditary peers from the House of Lords. Some of the red-robed peers now seated in the upper chamber may metaphorically be turkeys waiting for Christmas. We pray this will not be the case.

First sighting of Her Majesty. Drawn by six grey horses, the Queen and Prince Philip have just emerged from Buckingham Palace.

The Queen has now arrived at the sovereign's entrance of the royal palace of Westminster.

Looking like something from a fairytale, she enters the House of Lords wearing a diamond and pearl encrusted crown...

...which is soon replaced by the purple pomp of the Imperial State Crown.

According to the TV commentary, the Princess Royal is in the royal procession, in her official role as "gold stick in waiting".

MPs are gathered in the central lobby. The etiquette is that the frontbenchers at least walk into the Lords chamber together in pairs, like Noah's Ark. So Gordon Brown will be shoulder to shoulder with David Cameron, followed by the Chancellor of the Exchequor and his equivalent critic, and so on and so on. By tradition, MPs crowd into the Lords chamber to hear the speech. And, by tradition, the republican Labour backbencher Dennis Skinner remains in his seat in the Commons and shouts abuse at the monarch.

Meanwhile, Black Rod begins his procession up to the door of the Lords chamber - which is slammed in his face. He strikes it three times, and is permitted entry. He requests MPs follow him into the Lords chamber where the Queen is awaiting them.

The Queen, hand in hand with her husband, has arrived in the Lords chamber, and the pair are seated on the golden thrones. "Pray be seated," she tells the peers.

The action has switched to the Lords, where MPs now crowd into the small amount of standing space around the entrance. Gordon Brown, perhaps conscious the cameras are on him, is chatting and laughing amicably with other MPs. The lord chancellor, Lord Falconer, presents the Queen with her copy of the speech, known more formally as Her Majesty's Most Gracious Speech or Gracious Address.

"My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

"My Government's central priority is to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, knowing that all else, including economic prosperity and social stability, will be added. "To this end, my Government will honour my Coronation Oath, which was to maintain the laws of God and the True Profession of the Gospel. They will follow the precepts of the Holy Bible, which was given to me to be the rule for my whole life and Government. "My Government will legislate in humility, recognising that God makes the law, not fallible human beings...(you're a better person than I if you feel the need to replace the above with the actual speech)
The monarch departs. The Speaker of the Commons plods back to the Commons chamber. MPs, chatting across the party lines, troop back in behind him.

The actual debate on the Queen's Speech, opened by Mr. Brown and Mr. Cameron, begins in the Commons at 2.30pm.


Beaverbrook said...


Neil Welton said...

Splendid Strath! I've just spent two hours dealing with the media. Some "surprising" big story on Sunday apparently. One that, if successfully concocted, will leave the British people flabbergasted and shocked to the bone - not. You can therefore only imagine how your post has made my day.

Splendor Sine Occasu said...

And, by tradition, the republican Labour backbencher Dennis Skinner remains in his seat in the Commons and shouts abuse at the monarch.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

James said...

Compare that to Canada's recent lackluster Throne Speech; frumpy suits for the Prime Minister and business dress for the Governor General, with a pick of her favourite pretty medals. Canada's government now looks more bureaucratic and colonial than when the country was actually a colony.

Beaverbrook said...

Agreed. The comparison borders on the pathetic.