ON Monday as the Yeomen of the Guard, armed with lanterns, searched the cellars of the Palace of Westminster you wanted to shout: “They’re above you!” Unlike other pantomimes, though, audience participation isn’t appreciated in this place.

The Yeomen are the oldest of the royal bodyguards and their search of Westminster’s basements dates back to the Gunpowder Plot of November 5, 1605. Perhaps in future their ceremonial search might include the green benches of the House of Commons in commemoration of the great Prorogation Plot of 2019 when another band of fanatics sought to inflict great damage on Parliament.

A little while later in the course of this absurd slice of supremacist pageantry, the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod in his capacity as the Sovereign’s Messenger summons the House of Commons and demands the presence of MPs to stand before their Queen and pay due deference to her. But not before the door of the Commons chamber is theatrically shut in his face to symbolise the supremacy of the Commons over the Lords.

Thus, another portion of savage British history is commemorated. No monarch has been admitted to the Commons since Charles I entered in 1642 and tried to apprehend several MPs. The King failed in his bid and was hounded out with the jeers of the truculent chamber ringing in his ears. His humiliation permitted Oliver Cromwell to embark on a decade-long reign of terror in which he attempted to purge Britain and Ireland of Catholics by a programme of mass genocide. When the history of your nation is steeped in the bloody conflicts of empire, perhaps it’s acceptable now and then to canonise a few of them in this manner.

The future plans of Boris Johnson and his Brexit roundheads may not include bloodshed but their fanatical devotion to a creed which worships a sense of English superiority forms a bridge across the centuries. At one point in this bacchanal of privilege, status and the class system you spare a thought for Eva Bolander, the Lord Provost of Glasgow who has been the subject of one of our routine bouts of fake outrage for her spending habits. Her annual outlay of £4k wouldn’t cover the one-day cost of feeding the horses who were primped up to perform at this occasion.

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Several commentators have been moved to sympathy for the Queen herself in the course of this charade of empire. Poor Elizabeth; how uncomfortable she must have felt when Jacob Rees-Mogg sought her permission to prorogue back in August. That must really have spoiled the ambience of her luxury, summer-long break at Balmoral, the favourite of her five royal holiday castles. And imagine the long, dark night of the soul she must have endured knowing that she was being fitted up to give a fake Queen’s Speech. Perhaps she found consolation in the expectation that few would notice in the midst of all those fake soldiers, toy uniforms, fairytale carriages and ornamental robes. The UK has willingly participated in this parlour game for centuries and ring-fenced it from the intrusions of modern reality.

Some have even speculated that the Queen was rather put out at being placed in this “unenviable” position. That’s if you can entertain the concept of feeling sorry for a woman who is maintained in unimaginable luxury by the UK’s highest bracket of benefits and social security payments. It’s even been suggested that she wasn’t best pleased by Boris Johnson and thinks him to be a delinquent who still pays for his own furniture.

If she genuinely was upset at Johnson’s manipulative conduct I’d suggest it was for a different reason. For her entire life she has benefited from our reluctance to scrutinise how her family came to be in possession of this golden ticket and to suspend our critical faculties in choosing to look the other way.

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The machinations of Johnson and his organ-grinder Dominic Cummings have now invited us to consider the question of her acquiescence in their stratagems and subterfuges. We’re told that she’s a very astute woman of high intelligence who has provided quiet and sturdy advice to 13 prime ministers over the course of her reign.

Never before, though, has the absolute irrelevance of her role – its supreme meaninglessness – been laid bare to this extent. If she does harbour a silent rage at Johnson then this, most likely, will be the root of it.

The list of hollow pledges in her speech may never come to pass but it was still more real than this English Brigadoon which rises every year or so from the mist of the Thames to provide comfort for the aristocracy and a chance for the BBC to abase itself on behalf of the state. I’ve never subscribed to the view of the BBC as a mere propaganda tool for England’s ruling classes but after watching a few hours of this bizarre carnival of dominion and deference you truly begin to understand its crucial role in maintaining the fantasy of national unity and instructing us all to know our place.

Throughout this obsequious production, so-called BBC journalists sought to remind us of how historical and pregnant with tradition these ceremonials are. Some tradition. George I, one of the Queen’s ancestors, was unable to perform the King’s Speech because he didn’t know a word of English. Even so, it took another couple of centuries before this minor aristocratic family from Germany felt compelled by the outbreak of war between the two countries to adopt a conveniently more English designation. The sense of stability and continuity that the Queen’s presence signifies on this occasion is even more fake than the tinsel that gets placed around her: the Imperial State Crown; the Cap of Maintenance; the Sword of State and that bejewelled Cinderella carriage … right down to the chocolate soldiers in her own royal household whose uniforms and medals must make Britain’s proper warriors weep.

The entire presentation relies on the citizenry of Britain to convince itself that it all means something and signifies greatness and a sense of stable purpose unmatched anywhere else in the world. Brexit was born of the same delusion.

WATCH: MPs flood out of Commons as Ian Blackford stands to speak

Later still in the House of Commons, as Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, rose to speak, a hundred Tories rose and left the chamber noisily. Perhaps, still high on the narcotics of what they’d just witnessed, they weren’t quite ready to let reality intrude. Perhaps, too, in their quiet moments they already know that Scotland is lost, the acceptable collateral in fulfilling their Brexit dream.