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The Queen's Speech And The Strangest Customs, Including Dennis Skinner's Ritual One-Liner

From an MP being taken hostage to ritual humiliation.

18/05/2016 11:01 | Updated 19 May 2016

The Queen's Speech is boring.

Well, the actual speech itself. Everything that happens around it is utter madness.

It may be 2016 but some of the strangest customs, costumes and congregations in our fair land can be witnessed at the speech that marks the State Opening of Parliament.

Let's begin with this gem...

1) An MP is actually taken hostage at Buckingham Palace.

Alan Copson via Getty Images

As much as this seems like the greatest news story ever it is only a symbolic kidnapping to ensure nothing happens to the Queen while she's in Parliament.

 

2) The Queen shows up in this. 

 

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
The Queen arrives in the Golden State Coach

Despite owning a perfectly good Land Rover and ruling over a country with some of the finest roads in the world, 'er Maj rocks up in this which, quite frankly, is showing off a little bit. 

3) These chaps search for gunpowder using highly flammable lamps. 

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Yeomen of the Guard conduct the centuries-old tradition

411 years after the event and Guy Fawkes still makes the Yeomen of the Guard a bit twitchy so they search the Palace of Westminster looking for gunpowder.

With candles.

Thankfully the Met Police also do a thoroughly more modern search so the fate of the of our dear monarch is not entirely in the hands of these men who look they they got dressed in a carpet cuttings warehouse. 

It's also worth noting... 

4) Their Shoes! 

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Adorned with red,white and blue rosettes

Fancy aren't they?

5) This man allows himself to be ritually humiliated. 

Dan Kitwood/PA Archive
Meet the Black Rod

This is Black Rod and he has a bit of a rough time during the whole thing to be honest.

All he wants to do is kindly escort the MPs from the House of Commons to the House of Lords and every single year he gets the door slammed in his face. This is to symbolise the independence of the Commons but still, it's gotta hurt.

He then has to knock three times with - you've guessed it - his black rod before the bolshy MPs follow him across. 

 

6) The Queen has absolutely no say on her own speech. 

Alastair Grant/AP
She is told what to say by the government

 Zip. Nada. It's all the work of the Prime Minister so she even has to say things she doesn't like, like last year when she gave David Cameron the evils... 

7) The crap one-liner. 

PA/PA Wire
Most-likely to come from this man

For some reason no one is quite sure of, Dennis Skinner delivers a politically-edged one-liner directed at poor old Black Rod who's already been through so much already.

Some previous examples..

2014 - "Coalition's last stand."

2013 - "Royal Mail for sale. Queen's head privatised."

2012 - "Jubilee year, double dip recession, what a start."

Last year Skinner stayed quiet because he was too tired.

This year's effort was all shout and no joke. 

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