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Nature of the Prerogative
First PM to use royal prerogative
We know that in modern times the royal prerogative is exercised by the monarch on the PM's advice. But who was the first PM to advise the Sovereign on when to use them? Does this convention date back to Walpole, or is it a relatively recent convention? Lapafrax 22:19, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
- My guess is that there is no answer to this question. There are of course still occasions when royal prerogative may still be exercised without advice, ie, when there is no-one to advise the Sovereign. I expect that kings such as Charles II and William III & II exercised their own judgment with advice from their ministers, and royal deference to ministerial advice increased over time. The Angel of Islington 08:31, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
- The transfer of government powers from the Monarch to the Cabinet (Prime Ministers were still First Among Equals until the early twentieth century, not the quasi-presidential figures they have now become) was a long, slow process between 1688 and the 1830s. It probably really started under Queen Anne (Lords Treasurer like Godolphin, Harley etc) rather than Walpole as is sometimes supposed - Walpole just seemed more powerful as Parliaments had become septennial rather than triennial, the King spent a lot of time in Hanover and could barely understand English, and W was in for 21 years. As late as the early 1800s there was still no question of the King's right to veto legislation (Pitt the Younger resigned in 1800 as Catholic Emancipation was not going to get past George III) or to sack a government which had annoyed him too much (Grenville 1807). Thereafter Victoria, Edward VII and even George V exercised their reserve powers as Head of State (giving permission for premature elections to be held, getting involved in the formation of governments etc) rather more actively than Elizabeth II does nowadays.Paulturtle (talk) 04:45, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
Minor Royals' Criminal Record
How is the Princess Royal's criminal record relevant to the Royal Prerogative?
- Crown is bound by law only in official capacity = legibus solutus in personal capacity as the Monarch. Define Crown, Define Monarch, define official and personal capacity; define convention. --22.214.171.124 (talk) 16:03, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
- I think the point of this section is that agents of the Crown are essentially proxies for the Crown and so ought not to be prosecutable in that role since they are exercising the Royal Prerogative on the Monarch's behalf, using powers delegated to them. On the other hand the Crown might sue or prosecute the individual for abusing her power or whatever, or for reasons unrelated to her role as an agent of the Crown, in which case the individual is clearly distinguishable from the Crown in terms of legal identity. The Princess Royal undertakes some official duties for the Queen and so is sometimes an agent of the Crown, theoretically immune from prosecution in such capacity; but in cases like controlling her own dogs she's merely a private individual who happens to be a member of the Royal Family, so the fact she has a criminal record is unremarkable in this context. Hairy Dude (talk) 14:51, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
- Oh yeah, IANAL, so don't take this at face value. I think this needs properly sourcing to establish in the article why the criminal record is noteworthy (it is, IMO, as it highlights the fact that agents of the Crown aren't always immune from prosecution). Hairy Dude (talk) 14:55, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Royal prerogative v. Reserve powers
This article states: "Though some republican heads of state possess similar powers, they are not coterminous, containing a number of fundamental differences. See reserve powers." However, no explanation or elaboration is given as to why the terms are different. Neither does the article on reserve powers, which seems to be more than happy to include a summary of the Royal prerogative in its scope.
In 2000, PM Blair use Royal Perogative to evict islanders from the islands near the Diego Garcia (Indian Ocean) so that it could be leased to the USA as a forward base for Middle East operations in the war zone. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 22:02, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
- The reserve powers article does seem to be including a lot of Royal Prerogative powers which are nowadays (by convention) government powers exercised in the Queen's name - sometimes not really subject to Parliamentary approval. "Reserve powers" ought really to be used about the Queen's powers (as head of the armed forces, police and civil service) to take charge in a constitutional crisis, e.g. to sack a Prime Minister who had gone mad and refused to resign despite losing an election and then a confidence vote in the House of Commons - the same emergency powers which a figurehead president would have in a country like Ireland or Germany.Paulturtle (talk) 16:30, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
This artical is very Anglo-centric. There are Royal prerogatives in other nations, and in the Spanish Constitution of 1978 these preogatives are expressly codified. Should this aritcal be renamed "Royal prerogatives (United Kingdom)" and have other articals named "Royal prerogatives (Spain)" and ect? Or should this artical be rewritten for a wider world view. In lack there of, I have summerized Spanish royal prerogatives on the Monarchy of Spain page. What guidence to does anyone offer?♦Drachenfyre♦·Talk 23:31, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
- I think that the archive discussions suggest why this article has heretofore tended to focus on the UK/England: "Royal Prerogative" is not used in British history & politics as a synonym for "powers of the monarch" since most of the powers of the Crown are not considered part of the royal prerogative. Rather, "royal prerogative" seems to be used in English to mean something closer to "powers reserved by precedent or by custom to the Crown". The prerogative consists of powers that do not belong to the Crown by express grant in the constitution or law. There has been debate here on whether there survives a similar authority in other monarchies, and a suggestion was made that the term, at least, seems nowadays unique (in Western monarchies) to the UK and Commonwealth realms. Looking at Spain's current constitution, none of the powers conferred on the Sovereign in articles 62 or 63 qualify as "royal prerogative" by this definition. But Article 65(2) and parts of Articles 65(1) and 56(2) might be considered functions of the Spanish royal prerogative. And I suspect the British version is what has been written about here because that is what those writing were interested in or familiar with. If it can be documented that "royal prerogative" is the English version of an equivalent term in other languages (or if the same concept is represented by a different term that has been translated as "royal prerogative"), by all means this is the place where the royal prerogative of other monarachies should be explained, as verifiable in reliable sources. Lethiere (talk) 00:58, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
- Hello! Thank you for responding!
- It seems a slight nuance in definition to be sure, and I see your point. However, if not “Royal Prerogative”, what would a constitutionally codified authority of a monarch be called? Weather Spanish or UK or Netherlands, royal authority, the rights (prerogative) and authority of the monarch, did evolve along similar lines and often from similar points or legal concepts. If in the UK constitutional tradition the Royal Prerogative has been more narrowly defined as "the residue of discretionary power left at any moment in the hands of the Crown, whether such power be in fact exercised by the King himself or by his Ministers" does that then disqualify the use of the term for other monarchies when it is constitutionally codified and in active use? I have to admit some confusion. From my vantage point, "Royal Prerogative" is the "rights" of the monarch, especially if they are codified. Weather or not those rights, or how those rights are used, may be a different matter. But I admit Lethiere I may be wrong and am looking for clarity. ♦Drachenfyre♦·Talk 04:32, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Forking UK Content
OK. I have taken the plunge and tried to split out UK content from World content. This was/is not an easy exercise and I would appreciate your patience and assistance. I have created a separate page for Royal Prerogative in the United Kingdom:
I think that was the right thing to do as there are major differences between Royal Prerogative in the UK and in for example Spain. The existing article contained a lot of detail that only applied to the UK.
Please help by editing. If any of you know about the Royal Prerogative in Canada or other countries/territories then please consider starting a separate article about these.
- Cleared blank space,duplicate of signature above that was here, (link removed) my fork. 188.8.131.52 (talk) 19:55, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
- Link removed. AGK 00:07, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Needs more explanation
From the article, there is "Individual prerogatives can be abolished by Parliament, although in the United Kingdom special procedure applies". What does it mean by "although in the United Kingdom special procedure applies"? It sounds rather obscure and I think an example of this is needed. Komitsuki (talk) 08:22, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
It is clear that the existence and extent of the power is a matter of common law, making the courts the final arbiter of whether a particular type of prerogative exists or not.
This usage of "common law" seems to be obscure. So, does the common law in this sentence refer to the English legal system or laws that are not codified? It is rather confusing. I hope someone reword this sentence. Komitsuki (talk) 06:47, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
- It means English Law in general. Some Royal Prerogative has been limited by statute, e.g. the recent Fixed Term Parliament Act which means it is no longer up to the Monarch to dissolve Parliament (although it is fairly new law, so it is not yet clear how much power is now vested in the Speaker and whether or not the Queen still retains any emergency reserve powers in this area). It is established law that the Royal Prerogative can never be increased (unless, one supposes, Parliament specifically so legislates). Large chunks of the Royal Prerogative still legally exist but by convention are exercised by Ministers or by the Prime Minister (e.g. the right to appoint and sack other ministers) in the Queen's name, some of it not subject to Parliamentary approval. The recent Syria vote suggests that a convention is now evolving that ministers will not in future exercise the Queen's right to engage in military operations without Parliamentary approval. However, convention is generally not thought to be legally enforceable.Paulturtle (talk) 16:08, 26 December 2014 (UTC)