Sarah Clarke is first feminine Black Rod in 650 years


Sarah ClarkeImage copyright
AELTC/Jed Leicester

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Sarah Clarke is championship director of the All England Lawn Tennis Club

Black Rod – a Parliamentary position courting again 650 years – is to be a girl for the primary time.

Sarah Clarke is presently accountable for organising the Wimbledon tennis championship.

She can be often called The Lady Usher of the Black Rod when she begins her new job early subsequent yr.

Black Rod is finest recognized for the State Opening of Parliament, knocking on the door of the House of Commons to summon MPs for the Queen’s Speech.

As nicely as organising ceremonial occasions, Black Rod, who can earn as much as £93,000 a yr, manages a group of 30 workers concerned within the day-to-day working of the House of Lords.

Ms Clarke, who has beforehand labored in senior roles at 4 Olympic Games, the London Marathon and UK Sport, replaces present Black Rod, David Leakey, who’s retiring.

She mentioned: “I am both deeply honoured and delighted to be invited to take up the role of Black Rod.”

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Black Rod is finest recognized for summoning MPs to listen to the Queen’s Speech

She mentioned the House of Lords was “a place where the smallest detail is as important as the big picture and the depth of heritage and tradition is second to none. I am truly looking forward to starting work.”

Conservative peer Lord Fowler, who because the Speaker of the House of Lords suggested the Queen on the appointment, mentioned it was an “historic moment”.

He mentioned Black Rod performed an essential position behind the scenes “in organising addresses to Parliament by visiting heads of state and other state events, as well as ensuring we have appropriate plans in place to keep the important work of the Lords going in a crisis”.

He added: “Sarah’s fantastic record at Wimbledon and elsewhere shows she is the right person for the task.”

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Current Black Rod David Leakey is retiring

Black Rod summons MPs to the Lords to listen to the Queen’s Speech however has the door to the House of Commons slammed in his face, and has to knock thrice to realize entry.

He is the monarch’s consultant within the House of Lords and the routine is symbolic of the House of Commons’ independence from the Crown.

The earliest recognized reference to the position of Black Rod because the Usher to the Order of the Garter is in letters patent from 1361 – there are thought to have been 60 holders of the place since then, all males.

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