Queen: COP26 statement ‘carefully balance’ says Sacerdoti
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In 2019, Conservative MP Stuart Andrew was held hostage at Buckingham Palace following the ancient tradition. Each time the Queen has to enter Parliament, she has to make sure one MP is invited to her palace while she is gone.
Mr Andrew was reportedly forbidden to leave until the monarch got back home.
The tradition was first started in the 17th century to guarantee the safe return of royals.
“The now ceremonial tradition dates back to the 17th century and the reign of King Charles I, whose fractious relationship with Parliament ultimately led to his beheading,” Joe Little, managing editor at Majesty magazine, told Insider.
“The ‘hostage’ MP, usually the Vice Chamberlain of the Royal Household, is required to be at Buckingham Palace from the time of the Queen’s departure until her return, at which point he is ‘released,'” he added.
“When I was there, I was greeted by Lord Chamberlain,” Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick told BBC News after he was held hostage in 2014.
“He made it absolutely clear I could do whatever I wanted at Buckingham Palace.
“I could wander around, I could have a gin and tonic, a cup of coffee… or I could join him, and his preferred option was to watch the State Opening on BBC, which is what I did with him, and wait until Her Majesty’s return.”
“They don’t actually lock me up, but they made it quite clear that I wasn’t going anywhere,” he added.
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“When I expressed my anxiety to the head of the armed forces, he said ‘if anything were to happen to Her Majesty, Jim, we would have made it quick, we would have just shot you.’
“And, I don’t think he was kidding,” he added.
Joe Little confirms the procedure is now just a “ceremonial thing, nothing more” and that the hostage wouldn’t actually be hurt if something were to happen to Her Majesty.
The tradition is part of many others that the Queen keeps on respecting.
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For instance, Kate Middleton and Prince William will have to weigh themselves as a part of the historic and odd tradition, reports Ingrid Sezard for Grazia.
The Christmas gift exchange for the royal family is followed by “some lethal martinis and a black-tie dinner.”
Christmas Day will start with an 11 o’clock church service, followed by a lunch with turkey and all the trimmings.
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