One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in the UK) engraved seals held during tenure of an official position, especially that of Lord Chancellor or Secretary of State, and symbolizing the office held.‘he was encouraged to delay surrendering the seals of office’
- ‘The seals of office, which half a dozen of our rulers have just surrendered to, or received from, the Queen, are small metal stamps in velvet cases.’
- ‘The King passed over the seals of office and the keys of the Prime Minister's dispatch box.’
- ‘He will be presented with the seals of office and officially become prime minister.’
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