Calling a snap election ensured that Y8 had Parliament to themselves!
With MPs removed from their posts, our Y8 students were free to walk in the footsteps of history. First into the Queen’s Dressing Room where the children, despite asking, were not granted viewing rights to the Queen’s privy, and then through to the Royal Gallery. Despite the grandeur, this huge room doubled as an office. It seemed hard to believe that King Henry VIII had once walked through The Prince’s Chamber and it was here where Guy Faulkes hid before attempting his gunpowder plot.
The House of Lords, where the average age of a Lord or Baroness is 71, is one side of the Central Lobby with the Houses of Parliament on the other. We all felt very privileged to stand amongst the famous green seats of Parliament and to sit in the voting corridors and imagine MPs at work.
We learnt a great deal on our trip and hopefully the process of voting and representation will be familiar now to the children. Unlike Australia, where voting is compulsory with the consequence of a fine and removal of your drivers licence should you chose to not exercise this right, the children all felt sure that they would engage in our democratic processes in the future. Many of our youngsters could have a fine career in politics ahead of them I’m sure!
With the state opening of Parliament next month, I know that not many of us can say that we have walked in the footsteps of the Queen! I’m sure that, along with the view from the London Eye, the picnic in the park with Parliament towering above them, and that feeling of being somewhere so so special, will be a memory that endures.