Offices and Ceremonies

Many of Parliament’s key officials and famous ceremonies are hundreds of years old; some emerged in the 13th century.

They have continuously evolved and adapted with the times and with the demands of successive Governments, generations of parliamentarians and members of the Royal family, as well as public and political circumstance.

Officials are recognisable for their 18th century court dress. Ceremonies are marked by tradition, colour and choreography. Their continued existence attests to the power of tradition at Westminster.  

Key Dates

Why do ceremonial bodyguards of the Queen search Parliament's cellars each year? Key dates in the history of Parliament's ceremonies and offices

Contemporary Context

Tremendously varied in terms of history and function, Parliament’s main officers and ceremonies are periodically the targets of reform and modernisation debates in both Houses

Further reading

Reference sources for more in-depth research about Parliament’s main ceremonies and offices