Not long ago a goat died. Some of its flesh was eaten. Some its hide was used to make shoes. And some of its skin was sent to the fine craftsmen who work for William Crawley Ltd.
There, in their small workshop in Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire, the artisans cleaned and scraped and bleached and stretched the skin until it was transformed into vellum.
The parchment was then taken to the Stationery Office.
At around the same time a brief document made the short journey from Whitehall down the Mall to Buckingham Palace.
Once the words received the royal thumbs up, an anonymous and highly discreet calligrapher was finally allowed to inscribe the text in special ink onto the vellum.
It takes three days at least for the ink to dry. And today it will be from that piece of ex-goat that the Queen will read her speech to parliament.