[ANSTHRLD] State Opening of Parliament

tmcd at panix.com tmcd at panix.com
Wed Dec 3 20:22:53 PST 2008

The C-SPAN cable network in the US showed the BBC's feed of the State
Opening of the UK's Parliament early this morning.

I've had time only to glance at it, but it's a weird mixture to
American eyes.  The core is the Queen's Speech, written by the
government and setting out their agenda for the year.  The Beeb also
had spokesmen and commentators on, one per party plus one extra.  But
they also showed all the ceremonies, like the hereditary Lord High
Chamberlain and assistants handling the great crown, the Sword of
State, and the Cap of Maintenance; the College of Arms processing
(N.B.: they can't keep in step); Black Rod announcing to the Speaker
of the House of Commons (from memory) "[head bow] Her Majesty the
Queen commands this honourable house [head bow left] [head bow right]
to attend her immediately in the House of Peers [head bow]"; and all
the rest.

So what I saw was like a mixture of the TV program _Crossfire_ with a
papal High Mass.  The State Opening has an event budget you wouldn't
believe and God's own site (literally).

has a Flash video available of their whole 1 hour 44 minute broadcast.
It's slow to load just that main page, much less the video.

It lists TV airing times, but C-SPAN doesn't really schedule more than
8 hours in advance or so, and I don't know if they're going to show it
any more.  If you want it on TV, your best bet might be to check three
times a day or so for a couple of weeks on
<http://inside.c-spanarchives.org:8080/cspan/schedule.csp>, their TV
schedule page.  I see that it finished not long ago on C-SPAN 2.

Daniel de Linccolne
Tim McDaniel; Reply-To: tmcd at panix.com

More information about the Heralds mailing list