Black Rod

Posted: June 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

Black Rod’s Summons. Once she’s seated on the throne, the Queen signals to the Lord Great Chamberlain, who commands the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod to summon MPs. But when Black Rod arrives at the Commons chamber, the door is slammed in his face. This symbolic show of defiance is another artifact of the strife between Crown and Parliament in the 17th century. In 1642, Charles I entered the Commons with soldiers in tow and tried to arrest five MPs. When he asked the Speaker, William Lenthall, if the MPs were still in the House, Lenthall gave the famous reply: “May it please Your Majesty, I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as the House is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am here.” Since that day, no Monarch has set foot in the chamber.

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