Royal Fellow of the Royal Society

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A Royal Fellow of the Royal Society is elected to the Fellowship and Foreign Membership of the British Royal Society. The council of the Royal Society recommends members of the British Royal Family to be elected and then the existing Fellows vote by a secret ballot whether to accept them. The ballots have only a box to tick supporting the measure; those opposing have to write "no" or otherwise mark or spoil the paper.[1]

As of 2013 the Patron was Queen Elizabeth II, and Royal Fellows were:[2]

The British Monarch is always the Patron of the Royal Society, regardless of whether he/she has been previously elected a Royal Fellow. Queen Elizabeth II was elected a Royal Fellow in 1947 before she acceded to the throne in 1952.

When Prince Andrew was elected in 2013 his suitability was questioned following criticism of his past business activities. Some members asked whether it was time for an institution based on science to end the practice of honouring people on the basis of heredity; Fellow and professor of pharmacology David Colquhoun said "The objects of the Royal Society are nothing to do with the monarchy, and the monarchy, on the whole, has shown absolutely no interest in science".[1]

In the past members of foreign royal families have also been elected Royal Fellows.



  1. ^ a b The Guardian newspaper: Royal Society scientists angered by Prince Andrew's election as fellow, 5 May 2013
  2. ^ "Royal Fellows of the Royal Society". The Royal Society. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Fellow Details (Ferdinand Albert (1636 - 1687); Duke of Brunswick)". Library Collection. The Royal Society. 
  4. ^ "Fellow Details (George IV (1762 - 1830); King of Great Britain and Ireland )". Library Collection. The Royal Society. 

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