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This Port-Drinking Royal Gunpowder Hunt Is Perfectly Normal, Thank You

Surveillance capitalism has not yet reached ... The monarchy

Yeoman of the Guard searching for gunpowder at the Houses of Parliament Richard Pohle/Getty Images

Guy Fawkes never thought his legacy would be like this

With the State Opening of Parliament comes that bastion of constitutional monarchy: absolutely whack tradition. It’s been a year since a Labour MP wielded a 5-foot silver object called a ceremonial mace, which is imbued with the authority of the Queen by some historical cathexis, and everyone in Parliament knew precisely what was going on, including the guard with a massive sword that had to restrain him.

Rise, then, for the fact that the Yeoman of the Guard begin each State Opening by glomping around the cellars of the House of Commons looking for bombs, because some guy called Guy Fawkes tried to do a number on the monarchy 414 (four hundred and fourteen) years ago. Their reward? Half a glass of port. Port glasses are already very small. This seems both incommensurate and appropriate: both an entirely insufficient reward for possibly putting one’s life on the line, and a fittingly absurd gesture for the most analogue piece of historical security in the country. Here’s a video of the boys in red heading off for their port, care of Royal Central, which is both a dedicated monarchical news hub and a real Twitter account.

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