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The Lords Commissioners are Privy Counsellors appointed by the Monarch of the United Kingdom to exercise, on his or her behalf, certain functions relating to Parliamentmarker, including the opening and prorogation of Parliament, the confirmation of a newly elected Speaker of the House of Commonsmarker and the granting of Royal Assent. The acting Lords Commissioners are collectively known as the Royal Commission. The Royal Commission includes at least three—and usually five—Lords Commissioners, including the Lord Chancellor.

The Lords Commissioners enter the chamber of the House of Lordsmarker at the appointed time, and take seats on a structure temporarily placed for the duration of the ceremony. The Lord Chancellor, as the most senior Lord Commissioner, commands the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod to summon the House of Commonsmarker; because the current Lord Chancellor is a Member of the House of Commons, the Lord President of the Council performed this function at the prorogation of the current Parliament on 30 October 2007. However, on the appointment in 2009 of John Bercow as Commons Speaker, the Lord Chancellor, Jack Straw MP did perform this function personally. Representatives of the House of Commons arrive at the Bar of the House of Lords, and bow thrice, but do not actually enter the Lords Chamber. The Reading Clerk of the House of Lords then reads the Monarch's Commission, which authorises the Lords Commissioners. After the appropriate business has been transacted, the Commons again bow thrice and depart.

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