Web links: Chapter 05

The UK Parliament is well-known for its traditions and rituals. This page summarises some of these and their role.

One of the most well-known rituals is the State Opening of Parliament. Photos of the 2014 State Opening can be viewed here. You can watch the Queen’s Speech in the 2016 State Opening here.

Rituals permeate most of parliamentary business, particularly at key stages of parliamentary cycles. See for instance:

The daily procession of the Speakers, which marks the start of each day’s sitting

The election of the House of Commons Speaker has its own rituals too, with MPs dragging the elected speaker from the backbenches to the Chair. See for instance the second election of Speaker Bercow on 18 May 2015.

Prorogation marks the end of a parliamentary session. It takes place in the House of Lords through a series of rituals. Watch the prorogation of the 2015/16 session here.

The joining of new Members to Parliament is another key stage of the parliamentary cycle. Watch new MPs taking the Oath in the House of Commons and an Introduction of a new Peer to the House of Lords.

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