Court Circular

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The Court Circular is the official record that lists the engagements carried out by the Monarch of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms; the Royal Family; and appointments to their staff and to the court. It is issued by Buckingham Palace and printed a day in arrears at the back of The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Scotsman newspapers. An archive of the circular back to 1998 is provided on the British monarchy's website.

The circular is traditionally written in very formal language, and describes persons with their official styles and titles at all times (Michael Ancram, for instance, was referred to as "the Marquess of Lothian MP" from 2004 to 2010). There has, however, been some modernisation of the writing style in recent years.

History[edit]

The Court Circular was first established by King George III. The King had become irritated by the press at that time, who frequently reported false movements of the Royal Family. Therefore the King created an official circular to all the press that listed the engagements carried out by his family.[citation needed]

Until the 1960s the Circular as printed in The Times and elsewhere would record the movements of members of the upper levels of society even if they were not part of the Royal Family and were not acting on its behalf.

Structure[edit]

The Court Circular follows royal protocols very strictly. Announcements in the circular are listed by the official residences of the Royals, in precedence. Only engagements which are carried out by the Queen (or in the UK on the Queen's behalf) are listed. Certain engagements carried out in the UK by non-Royals on the Queen's behalf are also listed.

Present day[edit]

Today, the following members of the Royal Family are listed in the Court Circular:

Name Residences Styled
Elizabeth II Buckingham Palace
Windsor Castle
Sandringham House
Balmoral Castle
Holyrood Palace
Various Government Houses
The Queen,[1][2] then Her Majesty
The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh Buckingham Palace
Windsor Castle
Sandringham House
Balmoral Castle
Holyrood Palace
The Duke of Edinburgh, then His Royal Highness
The Prince Charles, Prince of Wales Clarence House
1996–2002: St James's Palace
1981–1996: Kensington Palace
The Prince of Wales (in Scotland: The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay), then His Royal Highness[3]
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall[4] Clarence House The Duchess of Cornwall (in Scotland: The Duchess of Rothesay), then Her Royal Highness
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge Kensington Palace
until July 2013: St James's Palace
until July 2009: Clarence House
The Duke of Cambridge (in Scotland: Prince William, Earl of Strathearn), then His Royal Highness
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Kensington Palace
until July 2013: St James's Palace
The Duchess of Cambridge (in Scotland: The Countess of Strathearn), then Her Royal Highness
Prince Harry Kensington Palace
until July 2013: St James's Palace
until July 2009: Clarence House
Prince Henry of Wales then His Royal Highness
The Prince Andrew, Duke of York Buckingham Palace The Duke of York, then His Royal Highness
The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex Buckingham Palace The Earl of Wessex, then His Royal Highness
Sophie, Countess of Wessex Buckingham Palace The Countess of Wessex, then Her Royal Highness
The Princess Anne, Princess Royal Buckingham Palace The Princess Royal, then Her Royal Highness
Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester Kensington Palace The Duke of Gloucester, then His Royal Highness
Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester Kensington Palace The Duchess of Gloucester, then Her Royal Highness
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent St James's Palace[5] The Duke of Kent, then His Royal Highness
Katharine, Duchess of Kent St James's Palace[5] The Duchess of Kent, then Her Royal Highness
Princess Alexandra, The Hon Lady Ogilvy Thatched House Lodge, Richmond Princess Alexandra, then Her Royal Highness
  1. ^ A relationship with an organisation or place is generally indicated, e.g. The Queen, Duke of Lancaster or The Princess Royal, Patron
  2. ^ When visiting the Isle of Man, the style used remains The Queen, and no mention is made of the style Lord of Mann. See Court Circular, Monday, 7 July 2003 for an example.
  3. ^ Duke of Cornwall is used as an addition, not a replacement to The Prince of Wales
  4. ^ Since her marriage to the Prince of Wales on 9 April 2005, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall is now listed in the Court Circular, using the name and title of The Duchess of Cornwall, and in Scotland, The Duchess of Rothesay. So far, she has mainly carried out duties in the company of the Prince of Wales, but has carried out several solo engagements.
  5. ^ a b The Duke and Duchess of Kent do not reside at St James's Palace. However, their offices are based there, and they have use of apartments at the Palaces as a London residence.

Note that the Duke of York, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and the Princess Royal do not actually reside permanently at Buckingham Palace. However, their offices are based there, and they have use of apartments at the Palaces as a London residence.

Prince and Princess Michael of Kent do not appear in the Court Circular as they never carry out official royal engagements on behalf of the Queen.

Likewise Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie of York do not carry out official royal engagements and do not appear on the Court Circular. However, it is likely that they will do in the future, and will appear in order of precedence among the list above. Prince William began carrying out royal duties in July 2005, and was listed for the first time in his own right on 2 July for representing the Queen at a war memorial service in New Zealand.

Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence is usually listed as accompanying his wife, the Princess Royal, on visits overseas and within the United Kingdom.

Commonwealth realms[edit]

When the Queen is visiting one of the Commonwealth realms, the relevant Government House or hotel where she is staying is listed in the Court Circular as her residence. This differs from state visits to foreign countries where either the official residence of the foreign Head of State, or whichever hotel the Queen is staying at, or simply Buckingham Palace is listed.

When other members of the Royal Family visit one of the realms, their UK principal residence is listed.

There is no separate Court Circular for any of the Commonwealth realms other than the UK. The Court Circular only lists engagements carried out by the Queen, and not engagements carried out by others acting on her behalf outside the UK, for example by vice-regal officers such as Governors or Governors-General.

Events commonly listed in the Court Circular[edit]

  • Investitures by the Queen, the Prince of Wales or the Princess Royal
  • Privy council meetings attended by the Queen or a Counsellor of State
  • Meetings (described as Audiences) typically between the Queen and either: the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Lord President of the Council or the First Minister of Scotland.
  • Royal engagements in the UK or abroad including the attendance of Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenants or their deputies, the personal representatives of the Queen throughout the Isles and overseas
  • Departures of members of the Royal Family from the UK to attend events abroad
  • Engagements of the Chief of the Diplomatic Corps on behalf of the Queen (usually the bidding of farewell to departing ambassadors/high commissioners)
  • Attendance of representatives of the Royal Family at memorial services

See also[edit]

External links[edit]