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Page last updated at 10:31 GMT, Thursday, 30 April 2009 11:31 UK

New Black Rod set to take over

Sir Freddie Viggers
Sir Freddie Viggers was head of army personnel

Sir Freddie Viggers is set to succeed Sir Michael Willcocks as Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, a top House of Lords official.

Sir Michael Willcocks will enter the upper chamber as usual in the Lord Speaker's procession before the start of business at 1100 BST.

After prayers, at about 1105 BST, the Leader of the House of Lords, Baroness Royall of Blaisdon, will announce the appointment by the Queen of Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick Viggers KCB CMG MBE to be Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, in succession to Sir Michael Willcocks KCB CVO.

Interview with Sir Michael Willcocks - November 2008

Sir Michael Willcocks will leave his box, bow and leave the Lords Chamber. Sir Freddie Viggers will enter the Lords Chamber from Peers' Lobby, bow at the Bar and take his place in his box.

The Leader of the House of Lords will then begin a series of tributes to Sir Michael Willcocks.

The post of Black Rod combines security responsibilities with Royal and ceremonial duties within the House of Lords.

Black Rod
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