Hat Lore

Black Rod

Bicorne of the Deputy Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod,
ca. 1975
Gift of the Senate of Canada
CMC 981.59.1.1

It is the opening day of Parliament at the House of Commons. Three knocks, and the Sergeant-at-Arms opens the door to the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, personal emissary of the Governor-General. He is resplendent in his black costume, which includes an ebony stick and folding bicorne, carried under his left arm. The inheritor of mediaeval British pageantry, Black Rod makes several ritual bows and pronounce-ments and then begins a stately march to the Senate chambers, followed by the members of the House, who assemble to hear the Governor-General read the Speech from the Throne.

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