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News from Malta

First female Black Rod takes ceremonial staff




The Queen has presented the first female Black Rod with her ceremonial staff, marking the historic appointment.
The monarch invested Sarah Clarke as Lady Usher of the Black Rod in the private audience room at Buckingham Palace, by presenting her with the thin, ebony Black Rod and chain of office.
Ms Clarke is the first woman to hold the post in the House of Lords in the 650-year history of the role.
She has taken over from former Black Rod David Leakey, and met the Queen ahead of her formal introduction into the Lords next week.
Black Rod is the senior official responsible for maintaining order at the House of Lords, and is thrust into the spotlight each year at the State Opening of Parliament, when sent to bang on the door of the House of Commons to summon MPs to hear the Queen's Speech.
Ms Clarke was responsible for the organisation of the annual Wimbledon tournament as championships director at the All-England Lawn Tennis Club, and has previously held roles at four Olympic Games, the London Marathon and UK Sport.
Black Rod is appointed by the monarch, and the Queen approved Ms Clarke's position in November, on the recommendation of a selection panel chaired by the Lord...

Full story

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