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The Privy Council of the United Kingdom, officially Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, or known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the
sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descende ...
of the United Kingdom. Its membership mainly comprises senior politicians who are current or former members of either the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorpor ...

House of Commons
or the
House of Lords The House of Lords, formally The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the of the . Membership is by , or . Like the , it meets in the . ar ...

House of Lords
. The Privy Council formally advises the sovereign on the exercise of the
royal prerogative The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege and immunity, recognized in common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi- ...
, and as a body corporate (as
Queen-in-Council The King-in-Council or the Queen-in-Council, depending on the gender of the reigning monarch, is a constitutional term in a number of states. In a general sense, it would mean the monarch exercising executive authority, usually in the form of app ...
) it issues executive instruments known as
Orders in Council An Order in Council is a type of legislation in many countries, especially the Commonwealth realm A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. Each realm functions as an independent state, ...
, which among other powers enact
Acts of Parliament Acts of parliament, sometimes referred to as primary legislation In parliamentary systems and presidential systems of government, primary legislation and secondary legislation, the latter also called delegated legislation or subordinate legislat ...
. The Council also holds the delegated authority to issue Orders of Council, mostly used to regulate certain public institutions. The Council advises the sovereign on the issuing of
Royal Charter A royal charter is a formal grant issued by a monarch under royal prerogative The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege and immunity, recognized in common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or ...

Royal Charter
s, which are used to grant special status to incorporated bodies, and
city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It can be defined as a ...
or
borough A borough is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are generic names for ...
status to local authorities. Otherwise, the Privy Council's powers have now been largely replaced by its executive committee, the
Cabinet of the United Kingdom The Cabinet of the United Kingdom is a group of the most senior ministers of the crown Minister of the Crown is a formal constitutional term used in Commonwealth realms to describe a minister of the reigning sovereign or viceroy A vic ...
. Certain judicial functions are also performed by the Queen-in-Council, although in practice its actual work of hearing and deciding upon cases is carried out day-to-day by the
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) is the highest court of appeal for certain British territories, some Commonwealth countries and a few UK bodies. Established on 13 August 1833 to hear appeals formerly heard by the King-in-Cou ...
. The Judicial Committee consists of senior judges appointed as privy counsellors: predominantly
Justices A judge is a person who presides over court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the administrati ...
of the
Supreme Court of the United Kingdom The Supreme Court (initialism An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical ...
and
senior judge Senior status is a form of semi-retirement Retirement is the withdrawal from one's position or occupation or from one's active working life. A person may also semi-retire by reducing work hours or workload. Many people choose to retire when t ...
s from the
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existenc ...

Commonwealth
. The Privy Council formerly acted as the
High Court of Appeal
High Court of Appeal
for the entire
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
(other than for the United Kingdom itself). It continues to hear judicial appeals from some other independent
Commonwealth countries The Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territorial evolution of the British Empire, territories of ...
, as well as
Crown dependencies #REDIRECT Crown Dependencies#REDIRECT Crown Dependencies The Crown dependencies (french: Dépendances de la Couronne; gv, Croghaneyn-crooin) are three island territories off the coast of Great Britain Great Britain is an island in t ...

Crown dependencies
and
British Overseas Territories The British Overseas Territories (BOTs), also known as United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOTs), are fourteen dependent territory, territories all with a constitutional and historical link with the United Kingdom. They are remnants of the B ...

British Overseas Territories
.


History

The
Privy Council A privy council is a body that advises the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. 110–11 "he head of state He or HE may refer to: ...
of the United Kingdom was preceded by the Privy Council of Scotland and the Privy Council of England. The key events in the formation of the modern Privy Council are given below: In
Anglo-Saxon England Anglo-Saxon England or Early Medieval England, existing from the 5th to the 11th centuries from the end of Roman Britain until the Norman Conquest, Norman conquest in 1066, consisted of various Anglo-Saxons, Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 927, when ...
,
Witenagemot 300px, Anglo-Saxon king with his witan. Biblical scene in the Illustrated Old English Hexateuch (11th century), portraying Pharaoh in court session, after passing judgment on his chief baker and chief cupbearer. The Witenaġemot (; ang, witena ...
was an early equivalent to the
Privy Council of England The Privy Council of England, also known as His (or Her) Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council (), was a body of advisers to the sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrow ...
. During the reigns of the Norman monarchs, the
English Crown This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England begins with Alfred the Great, who initially ruled Kingdom of Wessex, Wessex, one of the heptarchy, seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms which later made up modern England. Alfred styled himself Kin ...
was advised by a
royal court A royal court is an extended royal household in a monarchy A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. ...
or ''
curia regis ''Curia regis'' () is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power o ...
'', which consisted of
magnate A magnate, from the late Latin ''magnas'', a great man, itself from Latin ''magnus'', "great", is a noble or a man in a high social position, by birth, wealth or other qualities. In reference to the Middle Ages, the term is often used to distingui ...
s,
ecclesiastic In Christian theology Christian theology is the theology of Christianity, Christian belief and practice. * help them better understand Christian tenets * make comparative religion, comparisons between Christianity and other traditions * Chris ...
s 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 Justice, in its broadest sense, is the principle that people receive that which they deserve, with the interpretation of what then constitutes "deserving" being impacted upon by numerous fields, with many differing viewpoints and perspectives, ...

justice
, while
Parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of ...
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.Gay, p. 2. 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 15th century permitted to inflict any punishment except death, without being bound by normal . During
Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerged fro ...

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 nineteen member council by 1540 had become a new national institution, likely, the creation of
Thomas Cromwell Thomas Cromwell, (; 1485 – 28 July 1540) was an English lawyer and statesman who served as List of English chief ministers, chief minister to King Henry VIII from 1534 to 1540, when he was beheaded on orders of the king. Cromwell was one o ...

Thomas Cromwell
without exact definitions of its powers. Though the royal Council retained legislative and judicial responsibilities, it became a primarily administrative body. The Council consisted of forty members in 1553, whereas
Henry VIIHenry VII may refer to: * Henry VII of England (1457–1509), King of England and Lord of Ireland from 1485 until his death in 1509; the founder of the House of Tudor * Henry VII, Duke of Bavaria (died 1047), count of Luxembourg (as Henry II) from 1 ...
swore over a hundred servants to his council. Sovereigns relied on a smaller working committee which evolved into the modern
Cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent glass sheets or transparent polycarbonate sheets * Filing ...
. By the end of the
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, ...
, the monarchy, House of Lords, and Privy Council had been abolished. The remaining parliamentary chamber, the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorpor ...
, instituted a
Council of State A Council of State is a governmental body in a country, or a subdivision of a country, with a function that varies by jurisdiction. It may be the formal name for the cabinet or it may refer to a non-executive advisory body associated with a head o ...
to execute laws and to direct administrative policy. The forty-one members of the Council were elected by the House of Commons; the body was headed by
Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English general and statesman who, first as a subordinate and later as Commander-in-Chief, led armies An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" e ...

Oliver Cromwell
, ''de facto'' military dictator of the nation. In 1653, however, Cromwell became
Lord Protector Lord Protector (plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full ...
, 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 The English Council of State, later also known as the Protector's Privy Council, was first appointed by the Rump Parliament The Rump Parliament was the Parliament of England, English Parliament after Pride's Purge, Colonel Thomas Pride purged the ...
; its members were appointed by the Lord Protector, subject to Parliament's approval. In 1659, shortly before the
restoration of the monarchy Restoration is the act of restoring something to its original state and may refer to: * Conservation and restoration of cultural heritage * Restoration style Film and television * The Restoration (1909 film), ''The Restoration'' (1909 film), a f ...
, the Protector's Council was abolished. restored the Royal Privy Council, but he, like previous monarchs, chose to rely on a small group of advisers. Under
George IGeorge I or 1 may refer to: People * Patriarch George I of Alexandria (floruit, fl. 621–631) * George I of Constantinople (d. 686) * George I of Antioch (d. 790) * George I of Abkhazia (ruled 872/3–878/9) * George I of Georgia (d. 1027) * Yuri D ...
even more power transferred to this committee. It now began to meet in the absence of the sovereign, communicating its decisions to him after the fact. Thus, the British Privy Council, as a whole, ceased to be a body of important confidential advisers to the sovereign; the role passed to a committee of the Council, now known as the
Cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent glass sheets or transparent polycarbonate sheets * Filing ...
.


Composition

The sovereign, when acting on the Council's advice, is known as the ''
King-in-Council The King-in-Council or the Queen-in-Council, depending on the gender Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between femininity Femininity (also called womanliness or girlishness) is a set of attributes ...
'' or ''
Queen-in-Council The King-in-Council or the Queen-in-Council, depending on the gender of the reigning monarch, is a constitutional term in a number of states. In a general sense, it would mean the monarch exercising executive authority, usually in the form of app ...
''. 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 The Lord President of the Council is the fourth of the Great Officers of State (United Kingdom), Great Officers of State of the United Kingdom, ranking below the Lord High Treasurer but above the Lord Privy Seal, Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal. ...
, who is the fourth-highest
Great Officer of State In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefe ...
, a Cabinet member and normally, either the Leader of the House of Lords or of the House of Commons. Another important official is the
Clerk A clerk ( or ) is a white-collar worker A white-collar worker is a person who performs professional, desk, managerial, or administrative work. White-collar work may be performed in an office or other administrative setting. White-collar worker ...
, whose signature is appended to all orders made in the Council. 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, emphasising English usage of the term ''Counsellor'' as "one who gives
counsel A counsel or a counsellor at law is a person who gives advice and deals with various issues, particularly in law, legal matters. It is a title often used interchangeably with the title of ''lawyer''. The word counsel can also mean advice given ...
", as opposed to "one who is a member of a council". A Privy Counsellor is traditionally said to be "''sworn of''" the Council after being received by the sovereign. The sovereign may appoint anyone a Privy Counsellor, but in practice, appointments are made only on the advice of
Her Majesty's Government ga, Rialtas na Ríochta Aontaithe sco, Govrenment o the Unitit Kinrick , image = HM Government logo.svg , image_size=220px, date_established = , state = United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, comm ...
. The majority of appointees are senior politicians, including Ministers of the Crown, the leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition, the leader of the third-largest party in the House of Commons, the heads of the devolved administrations, and senior politicians from Commonwealth countries. Besides these, the Council includes a very few members of the
Royal Family A royal family is the immediate family of kings/queens Queens is a borough of New York City, coextensive with Queens County, in the U.S. state of New York. It is the largest borough of New York City New York City (NYC), often simp ...
(usually the
consort __NOTOC__ Consort may refer to: Music * The Consort (Rufus Wainwright song), "The Consort" (Rufus Wainwright song), from the 2000 album ''Poses'' * Consort of instruments, term for instrumental ensembles * Consort song (musical), a characteristic ...
and
heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of individuals entitled to hold a high office when it becomes vacated such as head of state A head of state ...
only), a few dozen judges from British and Commonwealth countries, a few clergy and a small number of senior civil servants. There is no statutory limit to its membership.Gay, p. 3. Members have no automatic right to attend all Privy Council meetings, and only some are summoned regularly to meetings (in practice at the
Prime Minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
's discretion). The
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Critic ...
's three senior bishops – the
archbishop of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Cat ...
, the
archbishop of York The Archbishop of York is a senior bishop in the Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a List of Christian denominations, Christian church which is the established church of England. The archbishop of Canterbury is the most ...
and the
bishop of London The Bishop of London is the Ordinary (church officer), ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of London in the Province of Canterbury. The diocese covers of 17 boroughs of Greater London north of the Thames, River Thames (historically the ...
– become privy counsellors upon appointment. Senior members of the royal family may also be appointed, but this is confined to the monarch's spouse, heir apparent, and heir apparent's spouse. The
private secretary to the sovereignThe Private Secretary to the Sovereign is the senior operational member of the Royal Households of the United Kingdom, Royal Household of the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, Sovereign of the United Kingdom (as distinct from the Great Officer of State ...
is always appointed a privy counsellor, as are the
Lord Chamberlain The Lord Chamberlain or Lord Chamberlain of the Household is the most senior officer of the Royal Households of the United Kingdom, Royal Household of the United Kingdom, supervising the departments which support and provide advice to the Monarc ...
, the Speaker of the House of Commons, and the
Lord Speaker The Lord Speaker is the speaker (politics), presiding officer, chairman and highest authority of the House of Lords in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The office is analogous to the Speaker of the House of Commons (United Kingdom), Speaker of ...
.
Justices A judge is a person who presides over court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the administrati ...
of the
Supreme Court of the United Kingdom The Supreme Court (initialism An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical ...
, judges of the
Court of Appeal of England and Wales The Court of Appeal (formally "Her Majesty's Court of Appeal in England", commonly cited as "CA", "EWCA" or "CoA") is the highest court within the Courts of England and Wales#Senior Courts of England and Wales, Senior Courts of England and Wal ...
, senior judges of the
Inner House of the Court of Session The Inner House is the senior part of the Court of Session, the supreme court, supreme Civil law (common law), civil Courts of Scotland, court in Scotland; the Outer House forms the junior part of the Court of Session. It is a Appeal, court of ...
(Scotland's highest law court) and the
Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland The Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland is the appointed official holding office as President of the Courts of Northern Ireland and is Courts of Northern Ireland, Head of the Judiciary of Northern Ireland.Cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent glass sheets or transparent polycarbonate sheets * Filing ...
ministers and the Leader of HM Opposition are traditionally sworn of the Privy Council upon appointment. Leaders of major
parties Image:'Hip, Hip, Hurrah! Artist Festival at Skagen', by Peder Severin Krøyer (1888) Demisted with DXO PhotoLab Clearview; cropped away black border edge.jpg, 300px, ''Hip, Hip, Hurrah!'' (1888) by Peder Severin Krøyer, a painting portraying an ...
in the House of Commons, first ministers of the devolved administrations, some senior ministers outside Cabinet, and on occasion other respected senior parliamentarians are appointed privy counsellors. Because privy counsellors are bound by
oath Traditionally an oath (from Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British E ...

oath
to keep matters discussed at Council meetings secret, the appointment of the leaders of opposition parties as privy counsellors allows the Government to share confidential information with them "on Privy Council terms". This usually only happens in special circumstances, such as in matters of
national security National security or national defence is the security and Defence (military), defence of a sovereign state, nation state, including its Citizenship, citizens, economy, and institutions, which is regarded as a duty of government. Originally c ...
. For example,
Tony Blair Sir Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born 6 May 1953) is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party (UK), Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007. On his resig ...

Tony Blair
met
Iain Duncan Smith Sir George Iain Duncan Smith (born George Ian Duncan Smith; 9 April 1954), often referred to by his initials IDS, is a British politician who served as Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition The Leader of the Opposition ...
(then Leader of HM Opposition) and
Charles Kennedy Charles Peter Kennedy (25 November 1959 – 1 June 2015) was a British Liberal Democrats (UK), Liberal Democrat politician who was Leader of the Liberal Democrats from 1999 Liberal Democrats leadership election, 1999 to 2006 Liberal Democrats ...

Charles Kennedy
(then
Leader of the Liberal Democrats Leadership, both as a research area and as a practical skill, encompasses the ability of an individual, group or organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English; American and Br ...
) "on Privy Council terms" to discuss the evidence for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Although the Privy Council is primarily a British institution, officials from some other
Commonwealth realm A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state A sovereign state is a polity, political entity represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a perma ...
s are also appointed. By 2000, the most notable instance was New Zealand, whose
Prime Minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
, senior politicians, Chief Justice and Court of Appeal Justices were traditionally appointed Privy Counsellors. However, appointments of New Zealand members have since been discontinued. The
Prime Minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
, the
Speaker Speaker may refer to: Roles * Speaker (politics), the presiding officer in a legislative assembly * Public speaker, one who gives a speech or lecture * A person producing speech, sometimes also called a speaker-hearer Electronics * Loudspeaker, a ...
, the Governor-General and the
Chief Justice of New Zealand The chief justice of New Zealand ( mi, Te Kaiwhakawā Tumuaki o Aotearoa) is the head of the New Zealand judiciary, and presides over the Supreme Court of New Zealand. The chief justice of New Zealand is also the chief justice of Tokelau. Bef ...
are still accorded the
style Style is a manner of doing or presenting things and may refer to: * Architectural style An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable. It is a sub-cla ...
''
Right Honourable The Right Honourable (abbreviation: The Rt Hon. or Rt Hon.) is an honorific Style (form of address), style traditionally applied to certain persons and collective bodies in the United Kingdom, the former British Empire and the Commonwealth of Nat ...
'', but without membership of the Council. Until the late 20th century, the prime ministers and chief justices of Canada and Australia were also appointed privy counsellors. Canada also has its own Privy Council, the
Queen's Privy Council for Canada The 's Privy Council for Canada (QPC; french: Conseil privé de la Reine pour le Canada)) during the reign of a king., sometimes called Majesty's Privy Council for Canada or simply the Privy Council (PC), is the full group of personal consultant ...
(''see''
below Below may refer to: *Earth *Ground (disambiguation) *Soil *Floor *Bottom (disambiguation) *Less than *Temperatures below freezing *Hell or underworld People with the surname *Fred Below (1926–1988), American blues drummer *Fritz von Below (1853 ...
). Prime ministers of some other Commonwealth countries that retain the Queen as their sovereign continue to be sworn of the Council.


Privy Council oath and initiation rite

The oath of the king's council (later the Privy Council) was first formulated in the early thirteenth century. This oath went through a series of revisions, but the modern form of the oath was essentially settled in 1571. It was formerly regarded by the Privy Council as criminal, and possibly
treason Treason is the crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition,Farmer, Lindsay: "Cr ...
ous, to disclose the
oath Traditionally an oath (from Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British E ...

oath
administered to privy counsellors as they take office. However, the oath was officially made public by the Blair Government in a written parliamentary answer in 1998, as follows. It had also been read out in full in the House of Lords during debate by Lord Rankeillour on 21 December 1932.
Privy counsellor The Privy Council of the United Kingdom, officially Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, or known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest le ...
s can choose to affirm their allegiance in similar terms, should they prefer not to take a religious oath. At the induction ceremony, the order of precedence places
Anglicans Anglicanism is a Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *W ...
(being those of the
established church A state religion (also called an established religion or official religion) is a or officially endorsed by a . A state with an official religion, while not , is not necessarily a . State religions are official or government-sanctioned establis ...
) before others. The initiation ceremony for newly appointed privy counsellors is held in private, and typically requires kneeling on a stool before the sovereign and then
kissing hands To kiss hands is a constitutional term used in the United Kingdom to refer to the formal installation of The Crown, Crown-appointed British government ministers to their office. Overview In the past, it referred to the requirement that the off ...
.Privy council: Jeremy Corbyn did not kneel for the Queen
, ''Guardian'' (11 November 2015).
According to ''The Royal Encyclopaedia'': "The new privy counsellor or minister will extend his or her right hand, palm upwards, and, taking the Queen's hand lightly, will kiss it with no more than a touch of the lips." The ceremony has caused difficulties for privy counsellors who advocate
republicanism Republicanism is a political ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use ...
;
Tony Benn Anthony Neil Wedgwood Benn (3 April 1925 – 14 March 2014; known between 1960 and 1963 as Viscount Stansgate) was a British politician, writer and diarist who served as a Cabinet minister A minister is a politician who heads a ministry (gove ...

Tony Benn
said in his diaries that he kissed his own thumb, rather than the Queen's hand, while
Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Bernard Corbyn (; born 26 May 1949) is a British politician who served as Leader of the Labour Party (UK), Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition (United Kingdom), Leader of the Opposition from 2015 to 2020. A Member of ...

Jeremy Corbyn
reportedly did not kneel. Not all members of the privy council go through the initiation ceremony; appointments are frequently made by an
Order in Council An Order in Council is a type of legislation in many countries, especially the Commonwealth realm A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. Each realm functions as an independent state, ...
, although it is "rare for a party leader to use such a course."


Term of office

Membership is conferred for life. Formerly, the death of a monarch ("
demise of the Crown Demise of the Crown is the legal term in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym ...
") brought an immediate dissolution of the Council, as all Crown appointments automatically lapsed. By the 18th century, it was enacted that the Council would not be dissolved until up to six months after the demise of the Crown. By convention, however, the sovereign would reappoint all members of the Council after its dissolution. In practice, therefore, membership continued without a break. In 1901, the
law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its bounda ...
was changed to ensure that Crown Appointments became wholly unaffected by any succession of monarch. The sovereign, however, may remove an individual from the Privy Council. Former MP Elliot Morley was expelled on 8 June 2011, following his
conviction In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by ...

conviction
on charges of false accounting in connection with the British parliamentary expenses scandal. Before this, the last individual to be expelled from the Council was Sir Edgar Speyer, Bt., who was removed on 13 December 1921 for collaborating with the enemy
German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biography Herbert Tuttle was born in Bennington, Vermont Bennington is a New England town, town ...
, during the
First World War World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainmen ...
. Individuals can choose to resign, sometimes to avoid expulsion. Three members voluntarily left the Privy Council in the 20th century:
John Profumo John Dennis Profumo, CBE, OBE (Mil.) ( ; 30 January 1915 – 9 March 2006) was a British politician whose career ended in 1963 after a sexual relationship with the 19-year-old model Christine Keeler in 1961. The scandal, which became known as ...

John Profumo
, who resigned on 26 June 1963;
John Stonehouse John Thomson Stonehouse (28 July 192514 April 1988) was a British Labour Party (UK), Labour and Co-operative Party politician and Cabinet of the United Kingdom, cabinet minister under Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Harold W ...
, who resigned on 17 August 1976 and Jonathan Aitken, who resigned on 25 June 1997 following allegations of perjury. So far, three privy counsellors have resigned in the 21st century, coincidentally all in the same year. On 4 February 2013, Chris Huhne announced that he would voluntarily leave the Privy Council after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice. John Prescott, Lord Prescott stood down on 6 July 2013, in protest against delays in the introduction of press regulation, expecting others to follow. Denis MacShane resigned on 9 October 2013, before a High Court hearing at which he pleaded guilty of false accounting and was subsequently imprisoned.


Meetings

Meetings of the Privy Council are normally held once each month wherever the sovereign may be in residence at the time. The quorum, according to the Privy Council Office, is three, though some statutes provide for other quorums (for example, section 35 of the General Optical Council, Opticians Act 1989 provides for a lower quorum of two). The sovereign attends the meeting, though their place may be taken by two or more counsellors of state.Gay and Rees, p. 4. Under the Regency Acts 1937 to 1953, Counsellors of state may be chosen from among the sovereign's spouse and the four individuals next in the Succession to the British throne, line of succession who are over 21 years of age (18 for the first in line). Customarily the sovereign remains standing at meetings of the Privy Council, so that no other members may sit down, thereby keeping meetings short. The Lord President of the Council, lord president reads out a list of orders to be made, and the sovereign merely says "Approved". Few privy counsellors are required to attend regularly. The settled practice is that day-to-day meetings of the Council are attended by four privy counsellors, usually the relevant minister to the matters pertaining. The Cabinet Minister holding the office of
Lord President of the Council The Lord President of the Council is the fourth of the Great Officers of State (United Kingdom), Great Officers of State of the United Kingdom, ranking below the Lord High Treasurer but above the Lord Privy Seal, Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal. ...
, currently Jacob Rees-Mogg , invariably presides. Under Britain's modern conventions of parliamentary government and constitutional monarchy, every order made in Council is drafted by a Civil Service (United Kingdom), government department and has already been approved by the minister responsible – thus actions taken by the
Queen-in-Council The King-in-Council or the Queen-in-Council, depending on the gender of the reigning monarch, is a constitutional term in a number of states. In a general sense, it would mean the monarch exercising executive authority, usually in the form of app ...
are formalities required for validation of each measure. Full meetings of the Privy Council are held only when the reigning sovereign announces their own engagement (which last happened on 23 November 1839, in the reign of Queen Victoria); or when there is a
demise of the Crown Demise of the Crown is the legal term in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym ...
, either by the death or abdication of the monarch. A full meeting of the Privy Council was also held on 6 February 1811, when the George IV of the United Kingdom, Prince of Wales was sworn in as regent by Regency Acts, Act of Parliament. The Regency Acts, current statutes regulating the establishment of a regency in the case of minority or incapacity of the sovereign also require any regents to swear their oaths before the Privy Council. In the case of a demise of the Crown, the Privy Council – together with the Lords Spiritual, the Lords Temporal, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, lord mayor and Court of Aldermen, aldermen of the City of London as well as representatives of
Commonwealth realm A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state A sovereign state is a polity, political entity represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a perma ...
s – makes a proclamation declaring the accession of the new sovereign and receives an oath from the new monarch relating to the security of the Church of Scotland, as required by law. It is also customary for the new sovereign to make an allocution to the Privy Council on that occasion, and this Sovereign's Speech is formally published in ''The London Gazette''. Any such Special Assembly of the Privy Council, convened to proclaim the accession of a new sovereign and witness the monarch's statutory oath, is known as an Accession Council. The last such meetings were held on 6 and 8 February 1952: as Elizabeth II was abroad when the last
demise of the Crown Demise of the Crown is the legal term in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym ...
took place, the Accession Council met twice, once to proclaim the sovereign (meeting of 6 February 1952), and then again after the new queen had returned to Britain, to receive from her the oath required by statute (meeting of 8 February 1952).


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 Her Majesty's Government, government rather than by the sovereign, are secondary legislation and are used to make government regulations and to make government appointments. Furthermore, orders-in-council are used to grant royal assent for laws passed by the legislatures of British
Crown dependencies #REDIRECT Crown Dependencies#REDIRECT Crown Dependencies The Crown dependencies (french: Dépendances de la Couronne; gv, Croghaneyn-crooin) are three island territories off the coast of Great Britain Great Britain is an island in t ...

Crown dependencies
, and were used to grant royal assent for Measures of the National Assembly for Wales. Distinct from orders-in-council are orders of council: the former are issued by the sovereign upon the advice of the Privy Council, whereas the latter are made by members of the Privy Council without requiring the sovereign's approval. They are issued under the specific authority of
Acts of Parliament Acts of parliament, sometimes referred to as primary legislation In parliamentary systems and presidential systems of government, primary legislation and secondary legislation, the latter also called delegated legislation or subordinate legislat ...
, and most commonly are used for the regulation of public institutions. The sovereign also grants royal charters on the advice of the Privy Council. Charters bestow special status to Incorporation (association), incorporated bodies; they are used to grant List of British professional bodies#Chartered, "chartered" status to certain professional, educational or charitable bodies, and sometimes also
city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It can be defined as a ...
and
borough A borough is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are generic names for ...
status to towns. The Privy Council therefore deals with a wide range of matters, which also includes university and livery company statutes,Gay and Rees, p. 5. churchyards, coinage and the dates of bank holidays. The Privy Council formerly had sole power to grant academic degree-awarding powers and the title of ''university'', but following the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 these powers have been given to the Office for Students for educational institutions in England.


Committees

The Privy Council has committees:


Baronetage Committee

The Standing Council of the Baronetage, Baronetage Committee was established by a 1910 order in council, during Edward VII's reign, to scrutinise all succession claims (and thus reject doubtful ones) to be placed on the Official Roll of the Baronetage, Roll of Baronets.


Committee for the Affairs of Jersey and Guernsey

The Politics of Jersey, Committee for the Affairs of Jersey and Guernsey recommends approval of Channel Islands legislation.


Committee for the Purposes of the Crown Office Act 1877

The Committee for the purposes of the Great Seal of the Realm, Crown Office Act 1877 consists of the Lord Chancellor and Lord Privy Seal as well as a secretary of state. The Committee, which last met in 1988, is concerned with the design and usage of Seal (contract law), wafer seals.


Judicial Committee of the Privy Council

The
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) is the highest court of appeal for certain British territories, some Commonwealth countries and a few UK bodies. Established on 13 August 1833 to hear appeals formerly heard by the King-in-Cou ...
consists of senior judges who are Privy Counsellors.Gay and Rees, p. 6. The decision of the Committee is presented in the form of "advice" to the monarch, but in practice it is always followed by the sovereign (as Crown-in-Council), who formally approves the recommendation of the Judicial Committee. Within the United Kingdom, the Judicial Committee hears appeals from ecclesiastical courts, the Admiralty court, 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 (e.g., the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975). The Crown-in-Council was formerly the Court of Appeal, Supreme Appeal Court for the entire
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
, but a number of Commonwealth countries have now abolished the right to such appeals. The Judicial Committee continues to hear appeals from several Commonwealth countries, from
British Overseas Territories The British Overseas Territories (BOTs), also known as United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOTs), are fourteen dependent territory, territories all with a constitutional and historical link with the United Kingdom. They are remnants of the B ...

British Overseas Territories
, Sovereign Base Areas and
Crown dependencies #REDIRECT Crown Dependencies#REDIRECT Crown Dependencies The Crown dependencies (french: Dépendances de la Couronne; gv, Croghaneyn-crooin) are three island territories off the coast of Great Britain Great Britain is an island in t ...

Crown dependencies
. The Judicial Committee had direct jurisdiction in cases relating to the Scotland Act 1998, the Government of Wales Act 1998 and the Northern Ireland Act 1998, but this was transferred to the new
Supreme Court of the United Kingdom The Supreme Court (initialism An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical ...
in 2009.


Scottish Universities Committee

The Ancient universities of Scotland, Scottish Universities Committee considers proposed amendments to the statutes of Scotland's four ancient universities.


Universities Committee

The Universities in the United Kingdom, Universities Committee, which last met in 1995, considers petitions against statutes made by Oxford and Cambridge universities and their colleges.


Other committees

In addition to the standing committees, ''ad hoc'' committees are notionally set up to consider and report on petitions for royal charters of Incorporation and to approve changes to the bye-laws of corporate body, bodies created by royal charter. Committees of privy counsellors are occasionally established to examine specific issues. Such committees are independent of the Privy Council Office and therefore do not report directly to the lord president of the council. Examples of such committees include: * the Butler Review, Butler Committee – operation of the intelligence services in the runup to military intervention in Iraq * the Chilcot Committee – for the Chilcot Inquiry on the use of intercept materials * the Peter Gibson, Gibson Committee of enquiry set up in 2010 – to consider whether the UK security services were complicit in torture of detainees.


Notable orders

The Civil Service (United Kingdom), Civil Service is formally governed by Privy Council Orders, as an exercise of the Royal Prerogative. One such order implemented HM Government's ban of Government Communications Headquarters, GCHQ staff from joining a trade union. Another, the Civil Service (Amendment) Order in Council 1997, permitted the Prime Minister to grant up to three Special advisers in the United Kingdom, political advisers management authority over some Civil Servants. In the 1960s, the Privy Council made an order to evict the 2,000 inhabitants of the 65-island Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, in preparation for the establishment of a joint United States–United Kingdom military base on the largest outlying island, Diego Garcia, some distant. In 2000 the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, Court of Appeal ruled the Immigration Act 1971, 1971 Immigration Ordinance preventing resettlement unlawful. In 2004, the Privy Council, under Jack Straw's tenure, overturned the ruling. In 2006, the High Court of Justice found the Privy Council's decision to be unlawful. Sydney Kentridge, Sir Sydney Kentridge described the treatment of the Chagossians as "outrageous, unlawful and a breach of accepted moral standards": Justice Kentridge stated that there was no known precedent "for the lawful use of prerogative powers to remove or exclude an entire population of British subjects from their homes and place of birth",BBC Radio 4
What's the Point of ... The Privy Council
, 12 May 2009
BBC
Court victory for Chagos families
, 11 May 2006
and the Court of Appeal were persuaded by this argument, but the Law Lords (at that time the UK's highest law court) found its decision to be flawed and overturned the ruling by a 3–2 decision thereby upholding the terms of the Ordinance.


Rights and privileges of members

The Privy Council as a whole is termed "The Most Honourable" whilst its members individually, the Privy Counsellors, are entitled to be Style (manner of address), styled "The Right Honourable". Nonetheless, some nobles automatically have higher styles: Duke, non-royal dukes are styled "The Most Noble", and marquesses as "The Most Honourable". Modern custom as recommended by ''Debrett's'' is to use the post-nominal letters "PC" in a social style of address for peerage, peers who are Privy Counsellors. For commoner, commoners, "The Right Honourable" is sufficient identification of their status as a Privy Counsellor and they do not use the post-nominal letters "PC". The Ministry of Justice revises current practice of this convention from time to time. Each Privy Counsellor has the right of personal access to the sovereign. Peers were considered to enjoy this 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 policy, public affairs.N. Cox, ''Peerage Privileges'', pp. 25–6. Only Privy Counsellors can signify Royal Consent to the examination of a Bill (law), Bill affecting the rights of the Crown. Members of the Privy Council are privileged to be given advance notice of any Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, prime ministerial decision to commit HM Armed Forces in Military operation, enemy action. Privy Counsellors have the right to sit on the steps of the Sovereign's Throne in the Chamber of the House of Lords during debates, a privilege which was shared with heirs apparent of those hereditary peerage, hereditary peers who were to become members of the
House of Lords The House of Lords, formally The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the of the . Membership is by , or . Like the , it meets in the . ar ...

House of Lords
before Labour's partial House of Lords Act 1999, Reform of the Lords in 1999, diocesan bishops of the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Critic ...
yet to be Lords Spiritual, retired bishops who formerly sat in the House of Lords, the Dean of Westminster, Peerage of Ireland, Peers of Ireland, the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery, and the Black Rod, Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod. While Privy Counsellors have the right to sit on the steps of the Sovereign's Throne they do so only as observers and are not allowed to participate in any of the workings of the House of Lords. Nowadays this privilege is rarely exercised. A notable recent instance of the exercising of this privilege was used by the Prime Minister, Theresa May, and David Lidington, who watched the opening of the debate of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill 2017 in the House of Lords. Privy Counsellors are accorded a formal rank of order of precedence in England and Wales, precedence, if not already having a higher one. At the beginning of each new Parliament, and at the discretion of the Speaker of the House of Commons (United Kingdom), Speaker, those members of the House of Commons who are Privy Counsellors usually take the oath of allegiance before all other members except the Speaker and the Father of the House (United Kingdom), Father of the House (who is the member of the House who has the longest continuous service). Should a Privy Counsellor rise to speak in the House of Commons at the same time as another Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Honourable Member, the Speaker usually gives priority to the "Right Honourable" Member. This parliamentary custom, however, was discouraged under New Labour after 1998, despite the government not being supposed to exert influence over the Speaker.


Other councils

The Privy Council is one of the four principal councils of the sovereign. The other three are the History of the courts of England and Wales, courts of law, the ''Commune Concilium'' (Common Council, i.e. Parliament) and the ''Magnum Concilium'' (Great Council, i.e. the assembly of all the peers of the realm). All are still in existence, or at least have never been formally abolished, but the ''Magnum Concilium'' has not been summoned since 1640 and was considered defunct even then. Several other privy councils have advised the sovereign. England and Scotland once had separate privy councils (the
Privy Council of England The Privy Council of England, also known as His (or Her) Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council (), was a body of advisers to the sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrow ...
and Privy Council of Scotland). The Acts of Union 1707 united the two countries into the Kingdom of Great Britain and in 1708 the Parliament of Great Britain abolished the Privy Council of Scotland. Thereafter there was one Privy Council of Great Britain sitting in London. Kingdom of Ireland, Ireland, on the other hand, continued to have a separate Privy Council even after the Act of Union 1800. The Privy Council of Ireland was abolished in 1922, when Irish Free State, the greater part of Ireland separated from the United Kingdom; it was succeeded by the Privy Council of Northern Ireland, which became dormant after the suspension of the Parliament of Northern Ireland in 1972. No further appointments have been made since then, and only two appointees were still living as of September 2021. Canada has had its own Privy Council—the
Queen's Privy Council for Canada The 's Privy Council for Canada (QPC; french: Conseil privé de la Reine pour le Canada)) during the reign of a king., sometimes called Majesty's Privy Council for Canada or simply the Privy Council (PC), is the full group of personal consultant ...
—since 1867. While the Canadian Privy Council is specifically "for Canada", the Privy Council discussed above is not "for the United Kingdom"; to clarify the ambiguity where necessary, the latter was traditionally referred to as the Imperial Privy Council. Equivalent organs of state in other Commonwealth realms, such as Australia and New Zealand, are called Executive Council (Commonwealth countries), Executive Councils.


See also

* List of Royal members of the Privy Council * List of current members of the British Privy Council, List of current Privy Counsellors * List of longest-serving current Privy Counsellors * List of senior members of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom * List of Privy Council Orders * Board of Trade, Committee of the Privy Council for Trade and Foreign Plantations * Clerk of the Privy Council (United Kingdom), Clerk to the Privy Council * Court uniform and dress in the United Kingdom * Historical lists of Privy Counsellors, Historic list of Privy Counsellors * Baronetage * Burke's Peerage, ''Burke's Peerage & Baronetage''


References


Bibliography

* * * * * * * Elton, Geoffrey Rudolph. (1953). ''The Tudor Revolution in Government: Administrative Changes in the Reign of Henry VIII''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. , * * * * * * Michael Pulman (1971) ''The Elizabethan Privy Council in the Fifteen Seventies'' (Berkeley: University of California Press) * * David Rogers (2015) ''By Royal Appointment : Tales from the Privy Council—the unknown arm of Government'', London : Biteback Publishing.


External links


Privy Council Office homepage

Judicial Committee of the Privy Council homepage

BBC: Do we need the Privy Council?BBC Radio 4: Whats the point of the Privy Council?

BBC: Privy Council: Guide to its origins, powers and members
8 October 2015 *
Guardian Comment – Roy Hattersley on the Privy Council
{{authority control Privy Council of the United Kingdom, History of the Commonwealth of Nations 1708 establishments in Great Britain