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Encyclopedia > Privy Council of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom

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Politics and government of
the United Kingdom
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Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council is a body of advisors to the British Sovereign. The Council was formerly a powerful institution, but is now largely ceremonial. Most of its power is held by one of its committees, the Cabinet. The Council also performs judicial functions, which are for the most part delegated to the Judicial Committee. The Houses of Parliament, seen over Westminster Bridge The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom and British overseas territories. ... In the United Kingdom, the State Opening of Parliament is an annual event held usually in October or November that marks the commencement of a session of Parliament. ... This article describes the British monarchy from the perspective of the United Kingdom. ... Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of 16 sovereign states, holding each crown and title equally. ... 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Her Majestys Government, or when the sovereign is male, His Majestys Government, abbreviated HMG, is the formal title used by the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the governments of some other kingdoms where executive authority is theoretically vested in the monarch... In the Politics of the United Kingdom, the Cabinet is a formal body comprised of government officials chosen by the Prime Minister. ... The Prime Minister is in practice the most important political office in the United Kingdom. ... Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born 6 May 1953)[1] is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, Leader of the UK Labour Party, and Member of the UK Parliament for the constituency of Sedgefield in North East England. ... The office of Deputy Prime Minister is one that has only existed occasionally in the history of the United Kingdom. ... 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The Leader of the Opposition in the United Kingdom is the politician who leads Her Majestys Loyal Opposition (the body in Parliament recognized as the Official Opposition). ... David William Donald Cameron (born 9 October 1966) is a British politician, Leader of the Conservative Party, and Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons. ... The Official Loyal Opposition Shadow Cabinet (normally referred to simply as The Shadow Cabinet) is, in British parliamentary practice, a group of members from Her Majestys Loyal Opposition whose job it is to scrutinise their opposite numbers in government and come up with alternative policies. ... The United Kingdom does not have a single unified judicial system: England and Wales have one system, Scotland another, and Northern Ireland another. ... Schematic of court system for England and Wales The United Kingdom does not have a single unified judicial system—England and Wales have one system, Scotland another, and Northern Ireland a third. ... 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In the Politics of the United Kingdom, the Cabinet is a formal body comprised of government officials chosen by the Prime Minister. ... The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is one of the highest courts in the United Kingdom. ...


The Sovereign, when acting on the Council's advice, is known as the King-in-Council or Queen-in-Council. The members of the Council are collectively known as The Lords of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council (sometimes The Lords and others of...). The chief officer of the body is the Lord President of the Council, who is the fourth highest Great Officer of State, a member of the Cabinet, and normally, the Leader of either the House of Lords or the House of Commons. Another important official is the Clerk, whose signature is appended to all orders made in the Council. The Office of Lord President of the Council is a British cabinet position, the holder of which acts as presiding officer of the Privy Council. ... In the United Kingdom, the Great Officers of State are officers who either inherit their positions or are appointed by the Crown, and exercise certain ceremonial functions. ... This article is about the British House of Lords. ... The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ...


Both "Privy Counsellor" and "Privy Councillor" may be correctly used to refer to a member of the Council. The former, however, is preferred by the Privy Council Office. A Privy Counsellor is said to be 'sworn of' the Council when he/she first joins it.

Contents

History

During the reigns of the Norman monarchs, the Crown was advised by a royal court, which consisted of magnates, ecclesiastics and high officials. The body originally concerned itself with advising the Sovereign on legislation, administration and justice. Later, different bodies assuming distinct functions evolved from the court. The courts of law took over the business of dispensing justice, while Parliament became the supreme legislature of the kingdom. Nevertheless, the Council retained the power to hear legal disputes, either in the first instance or on appeal. Furthermore, laws made by the Sovereign on the advice of the Council, rather than on the advice of Parliament, were accepted as valid. Bayeux Tapestry depicting events leading to the Battle of Hastings The Norman Conquest of England was the conquest of the Kingdom of England by William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy), in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings and the subsequent Norman control of England. ... For a wealthy or powerful business baron, executive, or tycoon, see business magnate Magnate is a title of nobility commonly used in Sweden, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and some other medieval empires. ... This article is about the Christian buildings of worship. ...


Powerful Sovereigns often used the body to circumvent the courts and Parliament. For example, a committee of the Council—which later became the Court of the Star Chamber—was during the fifteenth century permitted to inflict any punishment except death, without being bound by any rules regarding evidence or the burden of proof. During Henry VIII's reign, the Sovereign, on the advice of the Council, was allowed to enact laws by mere proclamation. The legislative pre-eminence of Parliament was not restored until after Henry VIII's death. The Star Chamber was an English court of law at the royal Palace of Westminster that began sessions in 1487 and ended them in 1641 when the court itself was abolished. ... For the play, see Henry VIII (play). ...


Though the royal Council retained legislative and judicial responsibilities, it became a primarily administrative body. The Council was a large body—it consisted of forty members in 1553—which made it difficult to manage as an advisory body. Therefore, the Sovereign relied on a small committee, which later evolved into the modern Cabinet. James I and Charles I attempted to rule as absolute monarchs, contributing to further deterioration of the power of the Council but ultimately of the crown. In the Politics of the United Kingdom, the Cabinet is a formal body comprised of government officials chosen by the Prime Minister. ... James VI and I (James Stuart) (June 19, 1566 – March 27, 1625) was King of Scots, King of England, and King of Ireland and was the first to style himself King of Great Britain. ... Charles I (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649) was King of England, King of Ireland, and King of Scots from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. ...


After the English Civil War, Charles I was executed, and the monarchy and House of Lords abolished. The remaining house of Parliament, the House of Commons, instituted a Council of State to execute laws and to direct administrative policy. The forty-one members of the Council were elected by the Commons; the body was headed by Oliver Cromwell, the de facto military dictator of the nation. In 1653, however, Cromwell became Lord Protector, and the Council was reduced to between thirteen and twenty-one members, all elected by the Commons. In 1657, the Commons granted Cromwell even greater powers, some of which were reminiscent of those enjoyed by monarchs. The Council became known as the Protector's Privy Council; its members were appointed by the Lord Protector, subject to Parliament's approval. The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations which took place between Parliamentarians (known as Roundheads) and Royalists (known as Cavaliers) from 1642 until 1651. ... The English Council of State was first appointed by the Rump Parliament on 14 February 1649 after the execution of King Charles I. It was abolished on 25 April 1660 by the Convention Parliament just before the Restoration Charless execution on 30 January was delayed for several hours so... Oliver Cromwell (April 25, 1599–September 3, 1658) was an English military and political leader best known for making England a republic and leading the Commonwealth of England. ... De facto is a Latin expression that means in fact or in practice. It is commonly used as opposed to de jure (meaning by law) when referring to matters of law or governance or technique (such as standards), that are found in the common experience as created or developed without... Lord Protector is a particular British English title for Heads of State, with two meanings (and full styles) at different periods of history. ... The English Council of State, later also know as the Protectors Privy Council, was first appointed by the Rump Parliament on 14 February 1649 after the execution of King Charles I. Charless execution on 30 January was delayed for several hours so that the House of Commons could...


In 1659, shortly before the restoration of the monarchy, the Protector's Council was abolished. Charles II restored the royal Privy Council, but he, like previous Stuart monarchs, chose to rely on a small committee of advisors. Under George I, who did not speak English, even more power passed to the body. Thus, the Privy Council, as a whole, ceased to be a body of important confidential advisors to the Sovereign; the role passed to a committee of the Privy Council, now known as the Cabinet. King Charles II, the first monarch to rule after the English Restoration. ... Charles II (29 May 1630 – 6 February 1685) was the King of England, King of Scots, and King of Ireland from 30 January 1649 (de jure) or 29 May 1660 (de facto) until his death. ... George I (Georg Ludwig) (28 May 1660 – 11 June 1727) was Elector of Hanover from 23 January 1698, and King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 1 August 1714, until his death. ...


Composition

The Sovereign may appoint all Privy Counsellors, but in practice does so on the advice of the Government. There is no limit to the numbers sworn in as members. Presently there are several hundred.


The heir-apparent is always appointed to the Council, as are the Church of England's three highest ecclesiastics—the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of York and the Bishop of London. The Church of England is the officially established Christian church[1] in England, and acts as the mother and senior branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, as well as a founding member of the Porvoo Communion. ... Arms of the see of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior clergyman of the established Church of England and symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion. ... Arms of the Archbishop of York The Archbishop of York, Primate of England, is the metropolitan bishop of the Province of York, and is the junior of the two archbishops of the Church of England, after the Archbishop of Canterbury. ... Arms of the Bishop of London The Bishop of London is the Ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of London in the Province of Canterbury. ...


Several senior judges—Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, judges of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, judges of the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland and judges of the Inner House of the Court of Session (the highest court in Scotland)—are also named to the Privy Council. The House of Lords, in addition to having a legislative function, has a judicial function as a court of last resort within the United Kingdom. ... Her Majestys Court of Appeal is the second most senior court in the English legal system, with only the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords above it. ... The Court of Session is the supreme civil court in Scotland. ...


The bulk of Privy Counsellors, however, are politicians. The Prime Minister, ministers in the cabinet, the Leader of the Opposition must be sworn to the Privy Council on appointment, as is the Cabinet Secretary and the Queen's Private Secretary. Leaders of large parties in the House of Commons, some senior ministers outside the cabinet, and on occasion senior Parliamentarians are appointed Privy Counsellors. The Leader of the Opposition in the United Kingdom is the politician who leads Her Majestys Loyal Opposition (the body in Parliament recognized as the Official Opposition). ...


Although the Privy Council is primarily a British institution, officials from some other Commonwealth realms are also appointed to the body. The most notable instance is New Zealand, whose Prime Minister, senior politicians, Chief Justice and Court of Appeal judges are conventionally made Privy Counsellors. It is common for Prime Ministers of those Commonwealth countries who take the Queen as their sovereign to be sworn as Privy Counsellors too.


The following oath (which was until recently kept strictly secret until Tony Benn revealed it) is administered to Privy Counsellors before they take office: Tony Benn about to join March 2005 anti-war demo in London Anthony Neil Wedgwood Benn (born April 3, 1925), known as Tony Benn, formerly 2nd Viscount Stansgate, is a British politician on the left of the Labour Party. ...

You do swear by Almighty God to be a true and faithful Servant unto The Queen's Majesty as one of Her Majesty's Privy Council. You will not know or understand of any manner of thing to be attempted, done or spoken against Her Majesty's Person, Honour, Crown or Dignity Royal, but you will lett and withstand the same to the uttermost of your power, and either cause it to be revealed to Her Majesty Herself, or to such of Her Privy Council as shall advertise Her Majesty of the same. You will in all things to be moved, treated and debated in Council, faithfully and truly declare your Mind and Opinion, according to your Heart and Conscience; and will keep secret all matters committed and revealed unto you, or that shall be treated of secretly in Council. And if any of the said Treaties or Counsels shall touch any of the Counsellors you will not reveal it unto him but will keep the same until such time as, by the consent of Her Majesty or of the Council, Publication shall be made thereof. You will to your uttermost bear Faith and Allegiance to the Queen's Majesty; and will assist and defend all Jurisdictions, Pre-eminences, and Authorities, granted to Her Majesty and annexed to the Crown by Acts of Parliament, or otherwise, against all Foreign Princes, Persons, Prelates, States, or Potentates. And generally in all things you will do as a faithful and true Servant ought to do to Her Majesty - in especial sticking your penis up her wet juicy cunt (or arse if more are present) until you bring her to an almighty climax. So help you God.

Senior ministers who lose office and go into opposition remain Privy Counsellors, (although of course no longer summoned to meetings of the Cabinet, which is a Committee of the Privy Council). Confidential discussions between senior politicians of opposite parties may thus be held "on Privy Council terms".


Membership ceases upon the dissolution of the Privy Council, which automatically occurs six months after the death of a monarch. (Formerly, until a statute to the contrary was passed during the reign of Anne, the death of a monarch brought an end to the Council immediately.) By convention, however, the Sovereign reappoints all members of the Council after its dissolution; hence, membership is, in practice, for life. Anne (6 February 1665 – 1 August 1714) became Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702. ...


The Sovereign may however remove an individual from the Council, and individuals may choose to resign to avoid expulsion. The last individual to leave the Privy Council voluntarily was Jonathan Aitken, who left in 1997 following allegations of perjury. He was one of only three Privy counsellors to resign in the 20th century (the others being John Profumo, in 1963, and John Stonehouse, in 1976 ). The last individual to be expelled from the Council against his will was Sir Edgar Speyer, 1st Baronet, who was removed in 1921 for pro-German activities during the First World War. Jonathan William Patrick Aitken (born August 30, 1942) is a former Conservative Member of Parliament, British government minister and convicted perjurer. ... Perjury is the act of lying or making verifiably false statements on a material matter under oath or affirmation in a court of law or in any of various sworn statements in writing. ... John Dennis Profumo, CBE (January 30, 1915 – March 9, 2006), informally known as Jack Profumo, was a British politician and the central figure in the Profumo Affair of 1963, which caused severe damage to the Conservative government of Harold Macmillan and is held to have contributed to its defeat in... John Stonehouse (1926 - 1988) was a British politician and minister under Harold Wilson. ... Combatants Allied Powers: British Empire France Italy Russia United States Central Powers: Austria-Hungary Bulgaria Germany Ottoman Empire Commanders Ferdinand Foch Georges Clemenceau Joseph Joffre Victor Emmanuel III Luigi Cadorna Armando Diaz Nicholas II Aleksei Brusilov Herbert Henry Asquith Douglas Haig John Jellicoe Woodrow Wilson John Pershing Wilhelm II Paul...


Meetings

Victoria held her first Privy Council meeting on the day of her accession in 1837.

Meetings of the Privy Council are normally held once each month wherever the Sovereign may be residing at the time. The Sovereign attends the meeting, though his or her place may be taken by two or more Counsellors of State. Under the Regency Act 1937, Counsellors of State may be chosen from amongst the Sovereign's spouse and the four individuals next in the line of succession who are over 21 years of age (18 for the Heir to the Throne). Victoria holding a Privy Council meeting. ... Victoria holding a Privy Council meeting. ... In the United Kingdom, Counsellors of State are senior members of the British royal family to whom the Monarch, presently Queen Elizabeth II, delegates certain state functions and powers when she is abroad or unavailable for other reasons (such as short-term incapacity or sickness). ...


Normally the Sovereign is pleased to remain standing at meetings of the Privy Council, so that no other members may sit down, which ensures that the meetings are kept brief. The Lord President reads out a list of Orders to be made, and the Sovereign merely says "Approved." In theory, the Sovereign may also say "Declined" but in practice this has not happened since the reign of Queen Anne. Only a few privy counsellors attend such meetings, and only when invited to do so (at the Government's request). Anne (6 February 1665 – 1 August 1714) became Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702. ...


Full meetings of the Privy Council are only held when the reigning Sovereign announces his or her own marriage, or when the monarch dies. In the latter case, the Privy Council—together with the Lords Spiritual, Lords Temporal, the Lord Mayor of London, the Aldermen of the City of London and representatives of Commonwealth nations—makes a proclamation declaring the accession of the new Sovereign. That special meeting of the Privy Council held to proclaim the accession of the new Sovereign and to receive the required statutory oath, is known as an Accession Council. The Lords Spiritual of the United Kingdom, also called Spiritual Peers, consist of the 26 clergymen of the established Church of England who serve in the House of Lords along with the Lords Temporal. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... Michael Berry Savory. ... Coat of arms The City of London is a small area in Greater London. ... The Commonwealth of Nations (CN), usually known as the Commonwealth, is a voluntary association of 53 independent sovereign states, the majority of which are former colonies of the United Kingdom. ... In the United Kingdom, the Accession Council proclaims a new monarch upon the death of a previous monarch. ...


Functions

The Sovereign exercises executive authority by making Orders-in-Council upon the advice of the Privy Council. Orders-in-Council, which are drafted by the government rather than by the Sovereign, are used to make simple government regulations and to make government appointments. Furthermore, Orders-in-Council are used to grant the Royal Assent to laws passed by the legislative authorities of British crown dependencies. An Order-in-Council is an executive order issued in Commonwealth Realms operating under the Westminster system. ... // The granting of Royal Assent is the formal method by which a constitutional monarch completes the legislative process of lawmaking by formally assenting to an Act of Parliament. ... Crown dependencies are possessions of the British Crown, as opposed to overseas territories or colonies of the United Kingdom. ...


Distinct from Orders-in-Council are Orders of Council. Whilst the former are made by the Sovereign on the advice of the Privy Council, the latter are made by members of the Privy Council without the participation of the Sovereign. They are issued under the specific authority of Acts of Parliament, and are normally used to regulate public institutions.


The Sovereign, furthermore, issues Royal Charters on the advice of the Privy Council. Charters grant special status to incorporated bodies; they are used to grant city and borough status to towns. A Royal Charter is a charter given by a monarch to legitimize an incorporated body, such as a city, company, university or such. ... Historically, city status was associated with the presence of a cathedral, such as York Minster. ... A borough is an administrative division used in various countries. ...


The Privy Council therefore deals with a wide variety of matters, including coinage, university statutes, graveyards, dates of Bank Holidays and the appointment of government ministers. One-off announcements such as the merging or splitting of government departments can also be dealt with more easily by the Privy Council than by the departments themselves.


The Crown-in-Council also performs certain judicial functions. Within the United Kingdom, the Crown-in-Council hears appeals from ecclesiastical courts, the Court of Admiralty of the Cinque Ports, prize courts and the Disciplinary Committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, appeals against schemes of the Church Commissioners and appeals under certain Acts of Parliament (eg the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975). The Crown-in-Council also hears appeals from several Commonwealth Realms, British Overseas Territories, Sovereign Base Areas and crown dependencies. The aforementioned cases are theoretically decided by the Crown-in-Council, but are in practice decided by the Judicial Committee, which consists of senior judges who are Privy Counsellors. The Judicial Committee has direct jurisdiction in cases relating to the Scotland Act 1998, the Government of Wales Act 1998 and the Northern Ireland Act 1998. Flag of the Cinque Ports Formally, in Kent and Sussex there are five Head Ports making up the Confederation of the Cinque Ports, often pronounced as the anglicised sink ports, and meaning five ports (cinque in French means five and ports is to be connected to the Italian word porto... The House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 was an Act of the British Parliament which prohibited certain groups of people from becoming members of the House of Commons. ... The Commonwealth Realms, shown in pink A Commonwealth Realm is any one of the 16 sovereign states of the Commonwealth of Nations that separately recognise Queen Elizabeth II as their monarch. ... The UK Sovereign Base Areas are those British military base areas located in countries formerly ruled by the United Kingdom which were retained by it and not handed over when those countries attained independence. ... The Scotland Act 1998 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom at Westminster. ... The Government of Wales Act, 1998 (1998 c. ... The Northern Ireland Act 1998 is part of the Labour governments constitutional reform programme. ...


In short, the Privy Council deals with a variety of formal matters of State which either have not been delegated from the Crown to any other official body, or which Acts of Parliament have placed under direct Crown authority for convenience.


Rights and privileges of members

Though the Privy Council as a whole is "The Most Honourable", individual Privy Counsellors are entitled to the style "The Right Honourable". Peers who are Privy Counsellors also append the post-nominal letters "PC": as peers are already entitled to the style "The Right Honourable" (in the case of barons, viscounts and earls) or other higher style (in the case of dukes and marquesses), even when they are not Privy Counsellors, the letters "PC" are necessary to indicate membership of the Council.[verification needed] For commoners, on the other hand, "The Right Honourable" is sufficient identification of status as a Privy Counsellor. The prefix The Most Honourable is a title of quality attached to the names of marquesses in the United Kingdom. ... The Right Honourable (abbreviated The Rt. ... Post-nominal letters also called Post-nominal initials or Post-nominal titles are letters placed after the name of an individual to indicate that that individual holds a position, educational degree, accreditation, office, or honour. ... Baron is a specific title of nobility or a more generic feudal qualification. ... A viscount is a member of the European nobility whose comital title ranks usually, as in the British peerage, above a baron, below an earl (in Britain) or a count (his continental equivalent). ... An Earl or Jarl was an Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian title, meaning chieftain and it referred especially to chieftains set to rule a territory in a kings stead. ... This article or section may be confusing or unclear for some readers, and should be edited to rectify this. ... A marquess is a nobleman of hereditary rank. ...


Privy Counsellors are entitled to positions in the order of precedence. At the beginning of each new Parliament, members of the House of Commons who are Privy Counsellors may take the oath of allegiance before all other members except the Speaker and the Father of the House (the most senior member of the House). Formerly, whenever a Privy Counsellor rose to make a speech in the House of Commons at the same time as another member, the Speaker would first recognise the Privy Counsellor. This informal custom, however, was abolished in 1998. The Order of precedence in England and Wales as of 29 October 2004: Names in italics indicate higher precedence elsewhere in the table: e. ... In the United Kingdom, the Speaker of the House of Commons is the presiding officer of the House of Commons, and is seen historically as the First Commoner of the Land. ... Father of the House is a term that has by tradition been unofficially bestowed on certain members of some national legislatures, most notably the House of Commons in the United Kingdom. ...


Privy Counsellors are allowed to sit on the steps to the Sovereign's Throne in the House of Lords Chamber during debates. They share this privilege with hereditary Lords who were members of the House of Lords before the reform of 1999, diocesan bishops of the Church of England, retired bishops who formerly sat in the House of Lords, the Dean of Westminster, Peers of Ireland, the eldest child of members of the House of Lords, the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery and the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod. This article is about the British House of Lords. ... The Church of England is the officially established Christian church[1] in England, and acts as the mother and senior branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, as well as a founding member of the Porvoo Communion. ... The Abbey at night, from Deans Yard. ... Since 1885 the office of Clerk of the Crown in Chancery has been combined with that of Permanent Secretary to the Lord Chancellors Department. ... The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, generally shortened to just Black Rod, is an official in the parliaments of a number of Commonwealth countries. ...


Each Privy Counsellor has the individual right of personal access to the Sovereign. Peers also enjoy the same right individually; members of the House of Commons possess the right collectively. In each case, personal access may only be used to tender advice on public affairs.


Other councils

The Privy Council is one of the four principal councils of the Sovereign. The other three are: the courts of law, the commune concilium (common council, or Parliament) and the magnum concilium (great council, or the assembly of all the peers of the Realm). All are still in existence, but the magnum concilium has not been formally summoned since 1640. The Magnum Concilium, or Great Council, was established in the reign of Henry III. It a was meeting held at certain times of the year where church leaders and wealthy landowners were invited to discuss affairs of the country with the king and was held when King Charles 1 was...


Several other "Privy Councils" have advised the Sovereign. England and Scotland once had separate Privy Councils, but the Act of Union 1707, which united the two countries into Great Britain, replaced both with a single body. Ireland, on the other hand, continued to have a separate Privy Council even after the Act of Union 1800. The Irish Privy Council was abolished in 1922, when Southern Ireland separated from the United Kingdom; it was succeeded by the Privy Council for Northern Ireland, which became dormant after the suspension of the Parliament of Northern Ireland. Only about 10 members are alive [in 2006]. Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital London Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi  Population    - 2005 est. ... Motto: (Latin for No one provokes me with impunity)1 Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official language(s) English, Gaelic, Scots 2 Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen of the UK Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair MP  - First Minister Jack McConnell MSP Unification... The Acts of Union were twin Acts of Parliament passed in 1707 (taking effect on 26 March) by the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. ... The Act of Union 1800 merged the Kingdom of Ireland and the Kingdom of Great Britain (itself a merger of England and Wales and Scotland under the Act of Union 1707) to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 January 1801. ... Royal motto: Dieu et mon droit (French: God and my right) Capital Dublin Head of State King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Head of Government Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Chairman of the Provisional Government from Jan 1922. ... 1922 Thomas Brown (1879-1944) 1922 Hugh Pollock (1852-1937) 1922 John Miller Andrews (1871-1956) 1922 Sir Edward Archdale, Bt. ... The Parliament of Northern Ireland was the home rule legislature created under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, which existed from June 7, 1921 to March 30, 1972, when it was suspended. ...


Canada has had its own Privy Council—the Queen's Privy Council for Canada—since 1867. (Note that whilst the Canadian Privy Council is specifically "for Canada", the Privy Council discussed above is not "for the United Kingdom".) The equivalent organ of state in the other Commonwealth Realms and some Commonwealth Republics is called the Executive Council. The Privy Council Office as it appeared in the 1880s The Queens Privy Council for Canada (French: Conseil privé de la Reine pour le Canada) is the council of advisers to the Queen of Canada, whose members are appointed by the Governor General of Canada for life on the... A Commonwealth Realm is any one of the 16 sovereign states that recognize Queen Elizabeth II as their Queen and head of state. ... The Commonwealth republics, shown in pink A Commonwealth republic is any one of the 31 sovereign states of the Commonwealth of Nations that have a republican form of government. ... An Executive Council in Commonwealth constitutional practice based on the Westminster system is a constitutional organ which exercises executive power and (notionally) advises the governor or governor-general. ...


See also

This is a list of current members of Her Majestys Most Honourable Privy Council (year end 2005). ... These are lists of Privy Counsellors of England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom from the reorganisation of the Privy Council in 1679 to the present day. ... The Office of Lord President of the Council is a British cabinet position, the holder of which acts as presiding officer of the Privy Council. ... The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is one of the highest courts in the United Kingdom. ... The Board of Trade circa 1808. ... The Privy Council Office as it appeared in the 1880s The Queens Privy Council for Canada (French: Conseil privé de la Reine pour le Canada) is the council of advisers to the Queen of Canada, whose members are appointed by the Governor General of Canada for life on the...

References

  • Blackstone, W. (1765). Commentaries on the Laws of England. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Davies, M. (2003). Companion to the Standing Orders and guide to the Proceedings of the House of Lords, 19th ed.
  • "Privy Council." (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th ed. London: Cambridge University Press.
  • Privy Council Office (Home Page)
    • Membership of the British Privy Council
British honours system
Current Orders
Garter | Thistle | Bath | St Michael and St George | Distinguished Service | Royal Victorian | Merit | Imperial Service | British Empire | Companions of Honour
Old Orders

St Patrick | Royal Guelphic | Star of India | Indian Empire | Crown of India | Victoria and Albert The British honours system is a means of rewarding individuals personal bravery, achievement or service to the United Kingdom. ... The Garter is the most recognizable insignia of the Order of the Garter. ... James VII ordained the modern Order. ... Military Badge of the Order of the Bath The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. ... On the Orders insignia, St Michael is often depicted subduing Satan. ... DSO medal The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other Commonwealth countries, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat. ... Victoria founded the Royal Victorian Order. ... For other Orders see Order of Merit (disambiguation). ... The Imperial Service Order was established by King Edward VII in August 1902. ... Commanders Badge of the Order of the British Empire The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by King George V. The Order includes five classes in civil and military divisions; in decreasing order of seniority, these are... The Order of the Companions of Honour is a British and Commonwealth Order. ... The Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick is an order of chivalry associated with Ireland. ... The Royal Guelphic Order was a British order of chivalry instituted on 28 April 1815 by the Prince Regent (later George IV). ... The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India is an order of chivalry founded by Victoria in 1861. ... The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire is an order of chivalry founded by Victoria in 1877. ... The Imperial Order of the Crown of India is an order in the British honours system. ... The Royal Order of Victoria and Albert was a British Royal Family Order instituted in 1862 by Queen Victoria, and enlarged on 10 October 1864, 15 November 1865 and 15 March 1880. ...

Other Honours and Appointments
Hereditary peer | Life peer | Privy Counsellor | Baronet | Knight | St John | Other orders and decorations

  Results from FactBites:
 
Privy Council of the United Kingdom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2489 words)
In the latter case, the Privy Council—together with the Lords Spiritual, Lords Temporal, the Lord Mayor of London, the Aldermen of the City of London and representatives of Commonwealth nations—makes a proclamation declaring the accession of the new Sovereign.
Within the United Kingdom, the Crown-in-Council hears appeals from ecclesiastical courts, the Court of Admiralty of the Cinque Ports, prize courts and the Disciplinary Committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, appeals against schemes of the Church Commissioners and appeals under certain Acts of Parliament (eg the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975).
The Privy Council is one of the four principal councils of the Sovereign.
Privy Council: Definition and Much More from Answers.com (1372 words)
The Privy Council of Japan was established by an imperial ordinance of Emperor Meiji dated 28 April 1888, under the presidency of Ito Hirobumi, to deliberate on the draft constitution.
All privy councilors including the president and the vice president were appointed by the emperor for life, on the advice of the prime minister and the cabinet.
Assessments on the importance of the Privy Council vary from claims that it was the single most powerful agency in the Meiji government (probably true legally and theoretically), to allegations that it was completely insignificant in terms of national politics (probably also true in terms of actual practice).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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