Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Bring Your Spouse to Work Day - House of Lords style

Never let it be said that the House of Lords is not a progressive institution, as the State Opening of Parliament is one of those rare occasions when the spouses (and families) of Peers get to be part of the show.

Only those Peers who own, or have borrowed, the red robes topped with the pelt of some poor hapless creature who would much rather still be alive and attached, get to sit in the chamber, so the benches which are normally filled with Barons, Earls and the like, are filled with Ladies (the capital is intended) in their finery.

Naturally, as is so often the case, no such provision is made for male spouses, so I had no opportunity to dust off my tiara - a family heirloom, you understand - and instead put on a suit and was found a seat in the West Gallery, with some of the High Commissioners from such countries as The Gambia and New Zealand. I had been lucky enough to get a seat, as Ros had noted in her application that I was a 'rookie' spouse and that this would be my first such occasion.

The speech by Her Majesty was notable primarily for its brevity, and from my angle, I got the impression that she was turning it over to see if she had missed something. She does give 'good speech' though, and it was certainly an occasion that will live long in the memory.

I can also confirm that a potential diplomatic incident was averted, however. I wonder whose idea it was to seat the Indian and Pakistani High Commissioners next to each other?

1 comment:

Jennie said...

You'd look awesome in a tiara. Stupid sexism.