Taking control: Speaker William Lenthall, precedent and the Long Parliament

In the midst of extraordinary times at Westminster, Dr Vivienne Larminie of the House of Commons 1640-1660 section looks at the response of a pioneering Speaker to the unprecedented challenges of the mid-seventeenth century… On 4 January 1642, in one of the most dramatic and iconic moments in the history of Parliament, Charles I arrived at Westminster with an armed guard.  Having entered the Commons … Continue reading Taking control: Speaker William Lenthall, precedent and the Long Parliament

The State Opening of Parliament: When dissident acts become established acts

Today, the new Parliament will be officially opened. In his guest blog Steven Franklin (Royal Holloway, University of London) discusses the origins and development of the pageantry involved… In 1863 Queen Victoria refused to open parliament, citing her ‘total inability…to perform these functions of her high position which are accompanied by state ceremonials, and which necessitate the appearance in full dress in public’.  Fortunately, the … Continue reading The State Opening of Parliament: When dissident acts become established acts