(in the UK) the chief usher of the Lord Chamberlain's department of the royal household, who is also usher to the House of Lords.
- ‘A message from Her Excellency the Governor-General desiring the immediate attendance of honourable members in the Legislative Council Chamber was delivered by the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod.’
- ‘‘We in parliament were all very impressed by the way Black Rod handled the funeral.’’
- ‘The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod announced the arrival of Her Majesty's Commissioners.’
- ‘These days, once the Queen has taken to the throne to deliver her speech, she orders Black Rod to summon the MPs.’
- ‘From 1972 until 1996 the Usher of the Black Rod wore a sword on ceremonial occasions.’
Mid 17th century: so named because of the black wand carried as a symbol of office.
We take a look at several popular, though confusing, punctuation marks.