November 16, 2012
Struth! Don't Drop Dead in Westminster
IN his continuing search for the more weird, whacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says that in England authorities actually have the right to insist on you having a doctor's certificate attesting to your good health before allowing you to join a tour of the Houses of the Parliament in London.
Because under old English law it is illegal to die in Parliament – not that that helped one-time Prime Minister Spencer Percival who died in the Houses of Parliament in May 1812 after an assassin got into the place, or another Member who died there in 1907 during a heated parliamentary vote.
The reason you are not allowed to die in the UK Parliament is that it is officially a Royal Palace, and under British law anyone who dies in a Royal Palace can technically be entitled to a State Funeral.
So if you're looking a bit pale on it while taking a tour of the Houses of Parliament, don't be surprised if an attendant suggests you take a bit of fresh air outside.
(And they reckon we're A Weird Mob.)