First Female Black Rod Appointed By Queen Elizabeth II

  February 13, 2018 at 5:05 pm by

At Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, Queen Elizabeth II presented the first female Black Rod with her ceremonial staff during an official audience.

Sarah Clarke, a former championships director at the All-England Lawn Tennis Club, was appointed Lady Usher of the Black Rod in November by a special selection panel.

She is the first female to hold the position in the Black Rod’s 650-year history. The Black Rod is responsible for maintaining the buildings and services of the Palace of Westminster, the seat of Parliament, and is secretary to the Lord Great Chamberlain. They also play a major role in the State Opening of Parliament, when they summon the House of Commons to the House of Lords to hear the monarch’s speech.

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