Can the Royals overrule Parliament?

Posted on: 16th January 2013

The MP for the West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly constituency of St Ives, Andrew George, has been raising questions about the power of the Monarch, Duke of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales to veto Parliamentary Bills.

He has been pressing Ministers for clarity about the extent of Royal influence in the Parliamentary process. Yesterday’s The Guardian newspaper has run a story highlighting the extent of Royal influence in Parliamentary affairs. Following pressure (and a court order) the Government has now published a guide outlining both the power available to senior Royals to consent or block new laws and to indicate that in recent years at least 39 Bills have been subject to such consent. They also reveal the power has been used to block proposed legislation relating to decisions about the country going to war.

Mr George, who is quoted in The Guardian story, said: “Most people believe that, over the centuries, the Royal family’s role is primarily ceremonial. I am not engaged in a disrespectful Republican plot but merely to ensure that democratically elected Members of Parliament are informed about the powers and influence of senior Royals and also when and how this power is exercised.”

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