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The Queen’s Speech is delayed because of… goat skin?

Posted by
Emily Reynolds
Published

From some of the more bizarre campaign material to the shock hung parliament outcome: this truly has been a crazy election.

And, amazingly, it’s… got weirder, somehow? 

Seemingly inspired by a blog by the BBC’s Nick Robinson, reports have started flying around that the Queen’s Speech has been delayed because of… goat skin.

Goat skin. 

That’s because the speech is historically printed on vellum, which is made from goat skin – and takes a week to write on. As Theresa May has not yet reached a deal with the DUP, the details of her minority government aren’t ironed out yet and the speech can’t be printed.

Others are less than impressed:

It’s important to note that the weird goat thing might not be the real reason for the delay: a lack of formal deal with the DUP is more likely to be the real reason for the delay, and The Mirror suggests that the Queen’s upcoming absence for Ascot may also be a factor. 

The latest from Nick Robinson?

“I reported this morning that the Gracious Speech is written on vellum with ink that takes three days to dry so it cannot be amended at the last minute. True... until recently but, apologies, I now learn it is not any more. I regret to have to report that the goat has fallen victim to the age of austerity. This year's speech will be written on plain - or, in truth, rather posh - paper.”

But then...

“Just when you thought Goatgate had been cleared up, along comes the official line: It is not on vellum anymore. It is on "goatskin parchment paper" but confusingly it's not actually goatskin. However it is very high quality, thick paper, which is why the ink takes several days to dry, and it then needs to be bound into a booklet, before being sent on to Her Majesty for signing. So it did have to go to the printers last week. And the paper does have the watermark of a goat....”

So that clears everything up. We think.