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Encyclopedia > Royal charter

A Royal Charter is a charter granted by the Sovereign on the advice of the privy council, to legitimize an incorporated body, such as a city, company, university or such. A Royal Charter is a kind of letters patent. In medieval Europe, cities were the only place where it was legal to conduct commerce, and Royal Charters were the only way to establish a city. The year a city was chartered is considered the year the city was "founded", irrespective of whether there was settlement there before. A Royal Charter can also create or give special status to an incorporated body. It is an exercise of the Royal Prerogative. The Royal Charter was a steam clipper which was wrecked on the east coast of Anglesey on 26 October 1859. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... For other uses, see Monarch (disambiguation). ... A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, especially in a monarchy. ... Letters Patent by Queen Victoria creating the office of Governor-General of Australia Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of an open letter issued by a monarch or government granting an office, a right, monopoly, title, or status to someone or some entity such as... For other uses, see Corporation (disambiguation). ... The Royal Prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity, recognised in common law jurisdictions possessing a monarchy as belonging to the Crown alone. ...

At one time a Royal Charter was the only way in which an incorporated body could be formed, but other means such as the registration of a limited company are now available. Among the historic bodies formed by Royal Charter were the British East India Company, the Hudson's Bay Company, the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), and the American colonies. The British East India Company, sometimes referred to as John Company, was the first joint-stock company (the Dutch East India Company was the first to issue public stock). ... Hudsons Bay Company (HBC; Compagnie de la Baie dHudson in French) is the oldest commercial corporation in North America and is one of the oldest in the world. ... The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, which is usually known as P&O, is a British shipping and logistics company which dates from the early 19th century. ... British colonization of the Americas (including colonization under the Kingdom of England before the 1707 Acts of Union created the Kingdom of Great Britain) began in the late 16th century, before reaching its peak after colonies were established throughout the Americas, and a protectorate was established in Hawaii. ...


United Kingdom

Among the 400 or so organizations with Royal Charters are cities; the BBC; theatres such as the Royal Opera House and the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane; Livery Companies; Britain's older universities; professional institutions and charities. Look up city, City in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The British Broadcasting Corporation, which is usually known as the BBC, is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world in terms of audience numbers, employing 26,000 staff in the United Kingdom alone and with a budget of more than GB£4 billion. ... The Floral Hall of the Royal Opera House The Royal Opera House is a performing arts venue in London. ... Currently home to Lord Of The Rings, the musical. ... Livery Companies are trade associations based in the City of London. ... British professional bodies The following is a list of professional bodies in the United Kingdom. ... A charitable organization (also known as a charity) is a trust, company or unincorporated association established for charitable purposes only. ...

A Royal Charter is the manner in which a British town is raised to the rank of city. Most recently Inverness, Brighton & Hove and Wolverhampton were given their charters to celebrate the millennium, and Preston, Stirling, Newport, Lisburn and Newry to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II in 2002. Ronda, Spain Main street in Bastrop, Texas, United States, a small town A town is a community of people ranging from a few hundred to several thousands, although it may be applied loosely even to huge metropolitan areas. ... Historically, city status was associated with the presence of a cathedral, such as York Minster. ... This article is about the city in Scotland. ... Brighton & Hove (or Brighton and Hove) is a unitary authority and city on the south coast of England. ... Wolverhampton is an industrial, commercial and university city and metropolitan borough in the English West Midlands, traditionally part of the county of Staffordshire. ... This article is about Preston, Lancashire. ... Broad St at the heart of Stirlings Old Town on a rare snowy day This article is about the Scottish city. ... For other uses, see Newport (disambiguation). ... WGS-84 (GPS) Coordinates: , Statistics Province: Ulster County: District: Lisburn UK Parliament: Lagan Valley European Parliament: Northern Ireland Dialling Code: (+44) 02892 Post Town: Lisburn Postal District(s): BT27, BT28 Population (2001) 71,465 Website: www. ... , Newry (from the Irish: Iúr Cinn Trá meaning The Yew Tree at the Head of the Strand, short form An tIúr, The Yew) is the fourth largest city in Northern Ireland and eighth on the island of Ireland. ... Queen Elizabeth II makes an official appearance at the CBC Headquarters as part of her Jubilee goodwill tour, October 2002. ... Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of sixteen sovereign states, holding each crown and title equally. ...

Some of the older British universities operate under Royal Charters, which give them the power to grant degrees. The College of William and Mary in Virginia was granted a Royal Charter in 1693 and Dartmouth College was granted a Royal Charter in 1769, marking the first and last collegiate grants in the present-day U.S.. The most recent generation of UK universities were granted the power to grant degrees by the Further and Higher Education Act, 1992 instead of by Royal Charter, while some other universities operate under Acts of Parliament. Most British universities can be classified into 5 main categories, Ancient universities - universities founded before the 19th century Red Brick universities - universities founded in the 19th and early 20th centuries. ... The College of William and Mary (also known as William & Mary, W&M or The College) is a small, selective, coeducational public university located in Williamsburg, Virginia, United States. ... Dartmouth College is a private, coeducational university located in Hanover, New Hampshire, in the United States. ... For other uses, see United States (disambiguation) and US (disambiguation). ... The Further and Higher Education Acts 1992 made changes in the funding and administration of further education and higher education within the United Kingdom. ... An Act of Parliament or Act is law enacted by the parliament (see legislation). ...

The BBC operates under a Royal Charter which lasts for a limited period of ten years, after which it is renewed.

Most Royal Charters are now granted to professional institutions and to charities. For example, the six accountancy institutes which make up the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies each have a Royal Charter which allows their members to call themselves Chartered Accountants. A Charter is not necessary for them to operate, but one is often sought as a recognition of "pre-eminence, stability and permanence". British professional bodies The following is a list of professional bodies in the United Kingdom. ... The Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies (known as CCAB) is an umbrella group for the major British professional accountancy bodies. ...

A Royal Charter changes a body from a collection of individuals into a single legal entity. Once incorporated by Royal Charter, amendments to the Charter and by-laws require government approval.[1]


In Canada, there are hundreds of organizations under Royal Charters. Such organisations include charities, businesses, colleges, universities, and cities. Today, it is mostly charities and professional institutions who receive Royal Charters. The Hudsons Bay Company store in Montreal (personal snapshot by Montréalais) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... The Hudsons Bay Company store in Montreal (personal snapshot by Montréalais) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Hudsons Bay Company (HBC; Compagnie de la Baie dHudson in French) is the oldest commercial corporation in North America and is one of the oldest in the world. ... Nickname: Motto: Concordia Salus (well-being through harmony) Coordinates: , Country Province Founded 1642 Established 1832 Government  - Mayor Gérald Tremblay Area [1][2][3]  - City 365. ...

Application for a charter is a petition to the Queen in Council. To receive a Royal Charter, the organization must have corporate members who have at least first degree level in a relevant field, consist of 5,000 members or more, be financially sound, and it must be in the public interest to regulate the institution under a charter. However, meeting these benchmarks does not guarantee the issue of a Royal Charter.[1]


Canada's oldest company, the Hudson's Bay Company, was founded under a Royal Charter issued by King Charles II in 1670. By that charter, to this day the Company is required to give two elk skins and two black beaver pelts to the Sovereign or his or her heirs and successors when they visit the area originally called Rupert's Land.[2] Hudsons Bay Company (HBC; Compagnie de la Baie dHudson in French) is the oldest commercial corporation in North America and is one of the oldest in the world. ... Charles II (29 May 1630 – 6 February 1685) was the King of England, Scotland, and Ireland. ... For other uses, see Elk (disambiguation). ... Species C. canadensis C. fiber Beavers are semi-aquatic rodents native to North America and Europe. ... Ruperts Land Ruperts Land was a territory in British North America, consisting of the Hudson Bay drainage basin, most of it now part of modern Canada. ...


Cities under Royal Charter are not subject to municipal Acts of parliament applied generally to other municipalities, and instead are governed by legislation applicable to each city individually. The Royal Charter codifies the laws applied to the particular city, and lays out the powers and responsibilities not given to other municipalities in the province concerned.

Canada has four Royal Charter cities: Saint John, (the oldest, having received its charter in 1786 from King George III), Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Montreal. [3] Saint John[3] is the largest city in the province of New Brunswick and the oldest incorporated city in Canada. ... “George III” redirects here. ... For other uses, see Vancouver (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Winnipeg (disambiguation). ... Nickname: Motto: Concordia Salus (well-being through harmony) Coordinates: , Country Province Founded 1642 Established 1832 Government  - Mayor Gérald Tremblay Area [1][2][3]  - City 365. ...

Universities and colleges

A number of Canadian universities and colleges were founded under Royal Charter. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ...

From King George III: “George III” redirects here. ...

From King George IV: St. ... The Kings Quad in a Halifax spring fog. ... Motto: {{Unhide = {{{}}}}} E Mari Merces (Wealth from the Sea) Logo: Location City Information Established: April 1, 1996 Area: urban area 79. ... George IV (George Augustus Frederick) (12 August 1762 – 26 June 1830) was king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Hanover from 29 January 1820 until his death. ...

From Queen Victoria: McGill University is a publicly funded, co-educational research university located in the city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. ... The University of Toronto (U of T) is a public research university in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ... Upper Canada College (UCC) is a private elementary and secondary school for boys in downtown Toronto, Canada. ... “Queen Victoria” redirects here. ...

Queens University, generally referred to simply as Queens, is a coeducational, non-sectarian, public university located in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. ... Université Laval (Laval University) is the oldest centre of education in Canada, and was the first institution in America to offer higher education in French. ... For other institutions named Trinity College, see Trinity College. ... Motto: Ut Incepit Fidelis Sic Permanet (Latin: Loyal she began, loyal she remains) Capital Toronto Largest city Toronto Official languages English Government - Lieutenant-Governor James K. Bartleman - Premier Dalton McGuinty (Liberal) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament - House seats 106 - Senate seats 24 Confederation July 1, 1867 (1st) Area [1] Ranked...

United States

Several American universities which predate the American Revolution held Royal Charters. A university is an institution of higher education and of research, which grants academic degrees. ... John Trumbulls Declaration of Independence, showing the five-man committee in charge of drafting the Declaration in 1776 as it presents its work to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia The American Revolution refers to the period during the last half of the 18th century in which the Thirteen...

From King George II: George II King of Great Britain and Ireland George II (George Augustus) (10 November 1683–25 October 1760) was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) and Archtreasurer and Prince-Elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 until his death. ...

From King George III: Harvard Yard Harvard College is the undergraduate section and oldest school of Harvard University, founded in 1636. ... The Wren Building of The College of William and Mary. ... “Yale” redirects here. ... The University of Pennsylvania (also known as Penn[3][4]) is a private, coeducational research university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ... Columbia University is a private research university in the United States and a member of the prestigious Ivy League. ... “George III” redirects here. ...

Brown University is a private university located in Providence, Rhode Island. ... Princeton University is a private coeducational research university located in Princeton, New Jersey. ... “Rutgers” redirects here. ... Dartmouth College is a private, coeducational university located in Hanover, New Hampshire, in the United States. ...


A number of Irish institutions still have a "Royal" prefix, even though the country has been a republic since 1949.

Hong Kong

Before 1997, a number of organizations had the Royal name attached to them:

The Hong Kong Police Force (from 1969 to 1997, Royal Hong Kong Police Force) is the police force of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the Peoples Republic of China. ... The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC, 香港賽馬會) (formerly Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club) is a non-profit organisation providing horse racing, sporting and betting entertainments in Hong Kong. ... The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club is a Hong Kong sports club for sailing and rowing. ... The Hong Kong Observatory Centenary Building Hong Kong Observatory (Chinese: ), known as the Royal Observatory (Chinese: ) before 1997, is a department of the Hong Kong Government. ... The Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force (RHKAAF), was an auxiliary unit of the United Kingdom Royal Air Force, based in Hong Kong. ... Government Flying Service is the flying services unit of the Hong Kong Government, mainly for search and rescue, air ambulance, firefighting, and police operations. ...

See also


List organisations in the United Kingdom with a royal charter is an incomplete list of organisations based in the United Kingdom that have received a royal charter from an English, Scottish, or British monarch. ... List of Australian organisations with royal patronage 1st 15th Royal New South Wales Lancers Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (incorporated by Royal Charter) Australian Academy of Humanities (incorporated by Royal Charter) Australian Academy of Science (incorporated by Royal Charter) Australian Institute of Building (incorporated by Royal Charter) Australian Red... List of organisations in the Republic of Ireland with a royal charter is an incomplete list of organisations based in Ireland that have received a royal charter from an Irish, English or British monarch. ... This is a list of Canadian organizations with designated royal status and/or under the patronage of members of the Canadian Royal Family, listed by the king or queen who granted the designation. ... Corps of Royal New Zealand Military Police Royal Aeronautical Society (New Zealand Division) The Royal Akarana Yacht Club Inc Royal Arcadian Yacht Club Inc Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand The Royal Australasian College of Physicians Royal Australasian College of Surgeons The Royal Australasian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists...


This is a list of topics related to the United Kingdom. ... This article is about the monarchy of Canada, one of sixteen that share a common monarch; for information about this constitutional relationship, see Commonwealth realm; for information on the reigning monarch, see Elizabeth II. For information about other Commonwealth realm monarchies, as well as other relevant articles, see Commonwealth realm...

External links

  • Privy Council website
  • Royal Charter of the BBC
  • Royal Charter of the Australian Academy of the Humanities
  • Charter of the University of Birmingham
  • Royal Charter of Rhode Island (1663)


  1. ^ Privy Council: Royal Charter
  2. ^ Department of Canadian Heritage: Test your royal skills
  3. ^ Canada's Cities: Unleash our Potential

  Results from FactBites:
The Royal Warrant Holders Association (310 words)
The earliest recorded Royal Charter was granted to the Weavers’ Company in 1155 by Henry II.
By the 15th century Royal tradesmen were recognised by means of a Royal Warrant of Appointment - a practice that continues to this day.
Charles II’s list of Royal tradesmen in 1684 included a Sword Cutter, an Operator for the Teeth, and a Goffe-club Maker, whilst among the tradesmen supplying the Royal Household in 1789 were a pin maker, a mole taker, a card maker and a rat catcher.
Royal Charter - AIB History (610 words)
Royal Charters, granted by the sovereign on the advice of the Privy Council, have a history dating back to the 13th century.
Royal Charters were at one time the only means of incorporating a body, but there are now other means (the formation of a Pty Ltd company for example), so the grant of new Charters is comparatively rare.
When the Royal Charter was granted letters of congratulation were received from the former Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies, the serving Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand, all State Premiers, and most of the related professional associations in Australia and overseas.
  More results at FactBites »



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