This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Left: Princesses Elizabeth (aged 14) and Margaret with their grandmother, Queen Mary of Tec, May 1939

Center: Princess Elizabeth (aged 20) in her Auxiliary Territorial Service uniform, April, 1945

Right: Queen Eliza- beth at the Trooping

of the Colour, 2012 ©CARFAX2

logical beginnings of the monarchy through chivalric stories beloved by the Victorians. The Queen then puts on the Parliamentary Robes con- sisting of the long train of crimson velvet bordered with ermine, and the Imperial State Crown; this is per- formed in private with no cameras present. Once prepared, the doors to the Royal Gallery are opened and the Queen is announced to the 600 assembled guests with a fanfare of trumpets; the Lord Chancellor’s procession walks before the Queen and the Duke, with the heads of the armed forces walking behind. The Royal Gallery, the largest

room in the Palace, was conceived as a ‘hall of battles’ to contain 18 fresco compartments depicting British vic- tories. Two were carried out by the Irish artist Daniel Maclise and show the Battles of Trafalgar and Waterloo. Here, too, may be seen the first of a series of Pugin-designed encaustic tile floors made by Minton, Hollins & Company of Stoke-upon-Trent which later helped to inspire the use of Minton’s tiles in the United States Capitol in Washington, DC. The Prince’s Chamber is next,

forming an ante-room to the House of Lords Chamber, and decorated with portraits, bronze reliefs and heraldry of the Tudor dynasty. The House of Lords Chamber is the high-point of all the interiors in

34 The American

the Palace; it took Barry and Pugin two and half years to work up the designs, and Pugin claimed to have made over a thousand drawings in the Tudor Gothic style. The American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne visited a few years after it opened and com- mented that it was ‘magnificent and gravely gorgeous’. The red leather benches are filled with scarlet-robed peers and peeresses - the Lords Spiritual and Temporal - and judges, ambassadors and high commis- sioners are amongst invited guests in the chamber. Once seated in the chairs of state beneath a gilded tri- partite canopy for the monarch and her Consort - the Duke of Edinburgh - in the centre and for the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to their right and the Ladies-in- Waiting to their left, a small nod to Black Rod indicates that he is to walk to the other House to summon it for the speech. As he arrives at the outer doors to the Commons Cham- ber, they are slammed in his face – a brusque display of the independ- ence of the Commons from both the Sovereign and the Lords. (The three divisions

of Parliament are com-

pletely separate institutions with their own chief executives, or Clerks, and separate facilities within the Palace.) Black Rod loudly strikes the door three times and is let in to ‘com- mand this House’ to attend upon the

Queen – thereby symbolically estab- lishing the status quo. In a noisy, informal group, the

MPs walk through the Central Lobby beneath the large mosaics of the patron saints of the four constitu- ent parts of the United Kingdom and towards the Bar of the House of Lords. Once the whole of Parlia- ment is thus assembled, at about 11.30am, the Lord Chancellor bows and walks up the three steps of the throne carrying his embroidered Purse containing the speech which has, in fact, been written by the Gov- ernment of the day; he removes the speech and hands it to the Queen. The next moment is always some- what worrying because protocol dic- tates that the Lord Chancellor must bow and then walk backwards down the steps without turning his back on the Queen. Should any mishap occur, the Queen would no doubt, in her calm and reassuring way, carry on without flinching, as she did when a page boy fainted during the speech two years ago. With the short speech over, the procession is turned about and the Queen walks the same route in reverse, with the same escort. Debates on the speech then take place in both Houses. For less formal visits to Parlia-

ment, the Queen is presented with the

‘humble addresses’ of both Houses assembled in Westminster

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92