Amusing detail in this Review in The Sunday Telegraph today:
“Pollard tells the hilarious story of Blunkett and other senior ministers arriving at Buckingham Palace to exchange the seals of office. Prescott walked towards the Queen, nodded, kneeled, recited his oath and walked away forgetting to take the seals of office with him ‘and leaving the Queen holding them vacantly’. Straw mangled his oath. Then he had to lead Blunkett up to the dais. Instead of placing him so that he faced the Queen, he positioned the new Home Secretary at 45 degrees to the monarch, facing a statue of George IV, to which he addressed his oath. The Queen looked at her ministers and said, ‘I hope you run the country better than you’ve managed over the last 15 minutes'”.