Man 'Kidnapped' at Queen's State Opening of Parliament

By Gary Cutlack on at

Some men in tights and wigs are gathering at a posh building in London to coordinate the State Opening of Parliament, a bizarre ceremony that involves a man being pretend-kidnapped to ensure the Queen's safe return.

Today sees Keighley and Ilkley MP Kris Hopkins taken "hostage" by Buckingham Palace, to ensure that the Queen is returned safely from her address to Parliament in a historic version of a hostage swap. According to the Beeb, "this harks back to a time when the monarch and Parliament were on less cordial terms." She'll be giving her speech at 11:30am today, although she can't take sole responsibility for any cracking gags as the monologue is all written for her by the incoming government.

The BBC is live-watching itself and live-blogging what happens on itself, if you fancy seeing one of the UK's weirder and older traditions unfold via the modern medium of embedded sarcastic tweets. And to show how modern it is, the royal family is even sticking photos of its crown up on Instagram. [BBC]