Documents to download

In response to a Message from His Majesty King Charles III on 14 November 2022, the Counsellors of State Bill [HL] 2022-23 was introduced in the House of Lords on 15 November.

The Bill – which has been fast-tracked – received its second reading in the Lords on 21 November and passed its remaining Lords stages on 23 November. It was then sent to the Commons, where all its remaining stages are due to take place on Thursday 1 December.

The Counsellors of State Bill will modify the Regency Acts 1937 to 1953 by adding two specified members of the Royal Family to the “pool” of Counsellors of State to whom Royal functions can be delegated. These are His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex and Forfar (Prince Edward) and Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal (Princess Anne).

Royal functions are usually delegated via Letters Patent if the Monarch is absent from the United Kingdom, ie on an overseas visit, or is unwell. Such functions can include holding Privy Council meetings, accepting diplomatic credentials or granting Royal Assent to legislation.

The Bill will not make any other changes to the existing provision for Counsellors of State, who are the Sovereign’s spouse and the next four in the line of succession.

The text of the Bill and its Explanatory Notes are available on the Bill pages on the Parliamentary website.

Documents to download

Related posts