Opening by Commission

8.33When the Queen is not personally present, the causes of summons are declared by the Lords Commissioners. Black Rod is sent, in the same manner, to the Commons, and acquaints the Speaker that ‘the Lords Commissioners desire1 the immediate attendance of this honourable House in the House of Peers, to hear the commission read’; and when the Speaker and the House have reached the Bar of the House of Lords, the presiding Commissioner reads the royal speech to both Houses.2

Subsequent proceedings are as described in the case of an opening by the Queen in person.


  1. 1. On 19 March 1880, attention being drawn to the inadvertent use by Black Rod of the word ‘require’, the proper form was explained from the Chair, Parl Deb (1880) 251, c 1221.
  2. 2. For more information on State Openings conducted by a Commission and the delegation of other royal functions to a Regent or Counsellors of State, see Erskine May (24th edn, 2011), pp 159–60, fn 77.