This Library briefing provides information on royal charters, outlining the Sovereign’s prerogative power to grant them, and briefly describing their function. It also provides an overview of two examples of royal charters—the self-regulation of the press and the BBC—and discusses Parliament’s role in their scrutiny.
The House of Lords is due to debate the Queen’s Speech over four days between 19 and 25 May 2016. This briefing is one of four prepared by the House of Lords Library to cover the themes of each day of debate.
On 9 September 2015, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning sovereign in British history. This House of Lords Library briefing focuses on the Sovereign as part of the constitution of Parliament. It captures key aspects of the role of the Sovereign as it relates, in practice, to Parliament today, with an emphasis on the House of Lords. It does this through addressing a selection of the ceremonial and formal roles of the Sovereign: the State Opening of Parliament and its prorogation and dissolution; the calling of a new Parliament, in light of the Fixed-term Parliament Act 2011; Royal Commissions and royal assent; and Queen’s consent. The briefing also addresses a number of aspects of the Sovereign’s communications and relationship with Parliament more broadly, through Addresses and messages and the Palace of Westminster itself. It provides facts and figures relating to Queen Elizabeth II including: the number of Acts that have received Royal Assent during her reign, Addresses given by the Queen to both Houses in Westminster Hall, and the wording of Queen Elizabeth II’s first message to Parliament on her accession to the throne in 1952.
The Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill would introduce time limited provisions to enable female diocesan bishops to be fast-tracked into the House of Lords as members of the Lords Spiritual. This Library Note provides a brief summary of the process by which English diocesan bishops are appointed to the House of Lords. It then discusses the provisions of the Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill and the Bill’s House of Commons Stages.
The Succession to the Crown Bill makes changes to the laws of succession to the Crown. This Library Note summarises the proceedings which have taken place on the Bill during its passage through the House of Commons, ahead of the Bill’s second reading debate in the House of Lords on 14 February 2013.