The State Opening of Parliament

The State Opening of Parliament


Pomp and pageant, precedent and politics
Golden coach and heraldic caravanserai
The sovereign at parliament
Noble head bearing the Imperial Crown
And shrouded in the Robe of State

The Queen enthroned, confronts her Lords Spiritual
And Temporal in the grandeur of the upper house
The Commons symbolically excluded, then reluctantly
admitted as Black Rod hammers on the door

The procession to the Lords’ chamber led by
The Speaker of the Commons as lesser members
Follow on, recognizable faces then others in their turn
Thus all of parliament awaits the monarch

The Queens’s speech – written by the government
Mouthed by the sovereign, outlines the proposals for
Legislation and reform. Filled with noble aims
And high ideals but seasoned by ideology of the party

Thus the plans for the new session are set forth
Royalty, in great dignity retreat, and both houses
Begin the debate on the content of that speech
First to agree ‘An address in reply to Her Majesty’s
Gracious Speech’    Then let battle commence!

Thus continues a tradition stretching back to the 17th Century
Perhaps somewhat archaic but truly redolent of our
Constitutional democracy.

Ken Fisher


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