Wikipedia:Today's featured article/January 14, 2012

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Queen Victoria holding a Privy Council meeting

The Privy Council of the United Kingdom is a formal body of advisers to the British monarchy. Its membership is mostly made up of senior politicians who are, or have been, members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords. The Privy Council is the modern-day successor to the Privy Council of England, and was formerly a powerful institution; its policy decisions are now exclusively in the hands of the Cabinet, one of its committees. The Council formally advises the sovereign on the exercise of the royal prerogative. Together they issue executive instruments known as Orders in Council, which among other things are used to make regulations. The Council by itself also has a delegated authority to issue Orders of Council, which are mostly used to regulate certain public institutions. It advises the Sovereign on the issuing of royal charters, which are used to grant special status to incorporated bodies, and city or borough status to local authorities. (more...)

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