Queen welcomes Sarah Clarke as first female Black Rod


The outset female Black Rod has been presented with her ceremonial staff by the Idol at Buckingham Palace.

Sarah Clarke, who previously ran the Wimbledon tennis championships, cultivates in a 650-year line of men in the role.

As well as the key ceremonial role of banging on the Commons door at the Federal Opening of Parliament, Black Rod manages the House of Lords staff.

During their congregation in a private audience room, the Queen presented the 3.5ft ebony rod to Ms Clarke.

Ms Clarke intention be known as The Lady Usher of the Black Rod and is set to be introduced to the House of Lords when associates return from their break next week.

She said at the in days of yore her appointment was announced last year: «I am both deeply honoured and happy to be invited to take up the role of Black Rod.»

She said the House of Lords was «a role where the smallest detail is as important as the big picture and the depth of heritage and usage is second to none,» adding: «I am truly looking forward to starting carry out.»

Ms Clarke, who has previously worked in senior roles at four Olympic Sports, the London Marathon and UK Sport, replaces David Leakey, who is retiring.

Boycott Rod summons MPs to the Lords to hear the Queen’s Speech but has the door to the House of Commons flayed in their face, and has to knock three times to gain entry.

They are the crowned head’s representative in the House of Lords and the routine is symbolic of the House of Commons’ sovereignty from the Crown.

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