Have a go at our Royal Family Quiz 2012 and see how well you score and how much you know about the past year’s Royal events. Why not tell us your score on Twitter, @RoyalCentralUK.
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This Wednesday, The Queen will travel to the House of Lords to officially begin the first session of the new Parliament. But how much do you know about the year’s most colourful royal spectacle?
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What is the name of The Queen’s messenger in Parliament?
Black Rod is The Queen’s messenger in Parliament. During the State Opening, he travels from the House of Lords to the Commons to summon MPs to hear The Queen’s speech.
Which crown does The Queen wear during the State Opening?
The Imperial State Crown is the one which is used at State Opening, the only crown in regular use and the State Opening is also the only time it’s brought out annually. The St Edward’s Crown is only used at coronations.
Ahead of The Queen’s arrival, her official bodyguard search the cellars of the Houses of Parliament, a tradition borne from the Guy Fawkes Gunpowder plot. But what is the official name of The Queen’s bodyguard?
The Yeoman of the Guard. Beefeaters are the Yeoman Warders who work at the Tower of London, a separate body to The Queen’s official bodyguard.
When MPs and Lords have assembled in the Upper House, The Queen delivers her speech, starting with the words “my Lords and members of the House of Commons”. What is the formal form of words The Queen uses at the end of her speech?
At the end of her speech, The Queen concludes “my Lords and members of the House of Commons, I pray that the blessing of almighty God may rest upon your counsels”.
The Queen attends the State Opening at the start of each parliamentary session. During one year of The Queen’s reign, two General Elections were held, and so The Queen attended two State Openings. What year was this?
In 1974, The Queen attended two State Openings. In March and October.
Most years, The Queen is joined by the Duke of Edinburgh at the State Opening. What uniform does the Duke normally wear during the events?
The Duke of Edinburgh normally wears his Naval uniform for the events, though last year he wore the Royal Marines uniform as it was the Corps’s 350th anniversary.
Before The Queen departs from Buckingham Palace, at least one Member of Parliament must first do what?
As a hangover from when Parliament and the Monarch were on less cordial terms, to be on the safe side, The Queen’s household takes an MP hostage until Her Majesty is safely returned.
The Palace of Westminster is still officially a royal Palace and retains some rooms (such as the Prince’s chamber) which are for royal use. But who is The Queen’s representative in Westminster? (Hint: they greet Her Majesty on State Opening day carrying their white wand of office)
The Lord Great Chamberlain, the Marquess of Cholmondeley.
Who writes The Queen’s speech?
The Government write The Queen’s speech, it is the document setting out the Government’s proposals for the next parliamentary year, The Queen herself has no input, she just reads it.
Upon The Queen’s arrival at the Palace of Westminster, what flag is raised above Victoria Tower
The Royal Standard is the highest ranking flag in the UK and signals The Queen’s presence. It is raised above Westminster upon The Queen’s arrival and replaced with the Union Flag when she leaves.
The Queen’s throne in Parliament sits in the House of Lords, but what is the dominant colour of the House?
The House of Lords ‘official’ colour is red, hence why all the benches are red. The House of Commons is green.
When The Queen has arrived in the House of Lords and MPs are also assembled there, who presents The Queen with her speech?
The Lord Chancellor presents The Queen her speech. Formerly, the Lord Chancellor would then walk backwards as he left The Queen’s presence, a practice which has dwindled in recent years for health and safety concerns.
Upon the royal arrivals, the staircase The Queen proceeds up is lined by soldiers – the only soldiers allowed to draw arms in the Houses of Parliament. What regiment are they from?
The Household Cavalry (of the Blues and Royals and Life Guards) provide the staircase party.
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