THERE was a wheen of bowing, a fair bit of scraping, and even a daud of kneeling when Dominic Raab, complete with the Lord Chancellor’s robe, jabot and buckled shoon, reverentially handed over the Queen’s Speech to a chap got up as the Admiral of the Fleet.

Sitting alongside the latter was a crown with its own cushion which normally ­fetches up to the proceedings in its own state coach, but arrived in a Roller this year.

There were Rollers too for a sword, and the “cap of maintenance” which apparently is worn to signify you’re most certainly not one of Jock Tamson’s bairns, but a ­highborn person of proper significance.

The fact that it sat atop a stick rather ­detracted from the dignity factor.

Bringing up the rear for this splendid ­advertisement for big posh cars was a brace of maces. An heir and a spare should any of the three deployed in parliament meet an accident.

It seemed the moment for a quick burst of Gilbert and Sullivan, but instead God was kept busy serially saving the Queen.

What with a raft of heralds dressed like the business end of playing cards, white stick, silver stick and gold stick, (two charged with waiting), the State Opening of Parliament was the perfect day out for anyone nostalgic for the middle of the 19th century.

Every jot and tittle was displayed for our entertainment on the British ­Broadcasting Service, where Huw Edwards’s (below) solemn ­narration ensured he’s never likely to get a gig at the Plaid Cymru conference.

The National: Huw Edwards

He reminded his audience from time to time about the glorious nature of the ­unfolding pageantry, the sort, we’re ­regularly assured, that plays really well with London’s visitors.

What nobody ever admits is that they can have all this pageantry, if that’s their bag, without the need to attach a monarchy. A fortnight out from the Platinum Jubilee and the House of Windsor is leaving no citizen unturned in its effort to boost the ­reputation of an institution that’s taken a bit of a dunt in recent times.

All the royal weans, save he who must not be mentioned, are being dispatched to ­various bits of HM’s Queendom with ­Scotland being awarded the Princess Royal. Presumably on the grounds that she knows the words to Flower of Scotland, and sports some tartan at Murrayfield. To be fair, compared with some of her rellies, she seems comparatively normal and reasonably flummery-averse. In contrast some parts of Britain seem to have been struck down with a particularly virulent form of jubilee dementia.

The National Lottery has disbursed some £22 million to assorted knees-ups, though it wants you to know that this ­largesse is not out of the good causes purse, but rather something called the Lottery Promotional Fund. Which seems, on this occasion, to be promoting matters monarchical.

There is too a plethora of ­competitions and parades with yet more pomp, ditto a pageant. The nations’ bakers have been ­invited to create a cake to rival the ­success of the Victoria sponge and ­Coronation Chicken as culinary homage.

However the prize for outright ­sycophancy goes to the Choir of the Earth (me neither) who have invited the world, no less, to “learn and record a new ­arrangement of God Save the Queen” to be presented to Her Maj.

The National:

Sometimes I think we are so used to the kind of terminology attached to the ­monarchy that we fail to see how utterly absurd the moniker “Your Majesty” is. Or “Your Royal Highness”. What, in the name of the wee man is a Highness? Does that make the rest of low lives? Very ­probably, since, in this Ruritarian ­context, we are no longer free born ­citizens but subjects.

The problem with all this hierarchical nonsense is that it becomes ­personalised and so you are invited to admire the ­wearer of the crown rather than question why we have one.

You are invited to intone “seventy ­glorious years of public service” without reflecting on the fact that a now-elderly woman has spent her entire life talking to complete strangers after cutting a ribbon or unveiling a plaque.

This may well be a service, but it must also qualify as the world’s most tedious and repetitive job. Even car production lines are now peopled by robots given the robotic nature of the task in hand.

The tabloid press in particular are ­already knitting jubilee superlatives like tomorrow will never dawn. The selfsame tabloids who monstered Meghan for ­having the temerity to come over here and grab herself what they thought of as the most eligible available bachelor.

I mean she was clearly unsuitable for the gig, what with having a tear in her jeans, shutting her own car door, and ­being insufficiently demure in the leg crossing department.

The National: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, waving goodbye to their Netflix deal perhaps?

Although she and Harry are in a ­Californian gated mansion rather than a royal gaff, the royal watchers are still ­sniping from afar. Meanwhile the Harry and Meghan-shaped hole in the firm has been filled by the, ahem, Earl and ­Countess of Wessex, who are suitably dull and boring. And unlikely to be caught up in the kind of scandal which engulfed one of the brothers.

The souvenir industry is in overdrive with everything from shortbread to gin now jubilee branded, not to mention coins being flogged at only a dozen times their face value.

These are breathlessly described as ­invaluable collectors’ items, AKA yet more dust gatherers. When it came to clearing out my in laws wee council semi, pride of place had been given to a display cabinet.

And within it, pride of place had gone to a series of mugs marking everything from coronations to regal betrothals and marriages. Doubtless they got dusted – very house-proud were my in laws – but few of them ever found themselves used for a brew.

Lese majeste to drink tea from a royal mug and there wasn’t a lot in the way of Pimms round Bathgate.

So prepare m’dears, for a bout of ­collective madness to overtake parts of this barely united kingdom. Coverage of the whole shooting match will be utterly relentless which is one of the reasons a pal and I are hitting the road that ­weekend.

Initially the thought was a city break somewhere defiantly republican by choice. Then we found it coincided with Dumfries and Galloway’s very splendid Spring Fling, where artists and makers throw open their studios allowing ­visitors to marvel at the sheer diversity of the ­creative process.

Admittedly it’s a high-risk strategy. While our self catering base camp is ­probably TV free, there’s always the fear of tripping over a street party, or fighting our way through Union Jack bunting to find the glass that cheers at close of play.

I do know street parties can be fun. We had one in our street to celebrate partial freedom from lockdowns, and welcome a host of new neighbours from whom we’d been involuntarily separated for a couple of years.

What we will not be celebrating is a family who, by accident of birth, became the apex of a system of social engineering which still scars so much of what is supposed to be our modern world.

A fairly typical family, where the head of the house had a wild child sister, three of her four children got divorced, ­Momma dear drank and there a son who’s no ­better than he should be. Still hiding ­behind his mother’s skirts in middle age.

What’s not typical is the raft of ­palaces, castles, and grace and favour homes ­apparently required to keep this ­somewhat outdated show on the road. If we didn’t have a Queen we’d need a president, cry the royalists. Indeed. But it needn’t be a Trump. It could be a Mary Robinson.