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Queen welcomes Sarah Clarke as first female Black Rod

From BBC - February 13, 2018

The first female Black Rod has been presented with her ceremonial staff by the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Sarah Clarke, who previously ran the Wimbledon tennis championships, follows in a 650-year line of men in the role.

As well as the key ceremonial role of banging on the Commons door at the State Opening of Parliament, Black Rod manages the House of Lords staff.

During their meeting in a private audience room, the Queen presented the 3.5ft ebony rod to Ms Clarke.

Ms Clarke will be known as The Lady Usher of the Black Rod and is set to be introduced to the House of Lords when peers return from their break next week.

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