I've been awake for hours without remembering exactly why- until my alarm goes off and reminds me that the State opening of Parliament is on CSPAN today. What better way to really wake yourself up than a little live blogging of Parliament? Here we (are) go(ing):
Yeoman(?) guards symbolically search the cellars before the events. Security and parliamentary power, buddies.
The queen reads a speech which the sitting gov't has prepared for her. Talk about a mouthpiece! This is Gordon Brown's chance to prove himself.
Americans wear flag pins on their lapels. One of the talking heads on this coverage has a... pineapple or
"At the palace there needs to be a series of accounts before the queen can leave" This includes a very formal procession for her crown. It "must be on display all the way" so that people may pay their respects to the crown on its way to Parliament. It arrives separately from HH.
"The sovereign's entrance" -- entire sequence of rooms for the queen that lead from entrance to "robing," through a gallery where guests are gathered to catch a view of her as she breezes through, into the prince's chamber, and then directly to the throne.
A montage of people on the street saying a variety of things randing from "I didn't even know it was going on," to it has no effect on me, I'm connected to it only through my television, makes no difference to me, I like the parade, waste of money. Optimistic bunch.
"I have to say, I think parliament has become very weak in its primary job of holding people in power accountable"
Crowns are so ugly.
The Union Jack is replaced with the Sovereign Standard when the queen arrives.
In the staged interviews (these are the parliamentary equiv. of Olympics human interest cut aways) there are an awful lot of stacked books used as decorations.
The dispatch box in the House of Commons serves to congest the floor of that room to the extent that those passing must walk sideways. Similar congestion in the House of Peers. Congestion is everywhere.
From there on out the ceremony is a little fuzzy because I was distracted (i.e. sleeping) but I seem to remember it ended quickly.