At the State Opening today, the Sword of State and the Cap of Maintenance were carried in procession in front of the Queen. Various people have asked about the origins of the Cap of Maintenance. Some sources claim the origins have been lost in time. However, I am reliably informed by Lord Wakeham – who had the matter researched when he was Lord President of the Council – that it derives from the reign of Henry VII when it was presented to the King by the Pope in recognition of the King’s secular supremacy. It is only worn once by a sovereign on the occasion of the coronation.
I appreciate that this may not have been the most pressing concern of those watching the ceremony, but I thought it useful to get the origins on record. It may add to one’s knowledge, unlike the contents of the speech which we knew in advance.