I Right Royal Scandal

Secret papers show extent of senior royals’ veto over bills

Court order reveals how approval of Queen and Prince Charles is sought on range of bills

The Queen was asked for consent on a range of bills, including those affecting her estates. There is growing concern in parliament at a lack of transparency over the royals’ role in lawmaking. Photograph: Sergeant Dan Harmer

 

The extent of the Queen and Prince Charles’s secretive power of veto over new laws has been exposed after Downing Street lost its battle to keep information about its application secret.

Whitehall papers prepared by Cabinet Office lawyers show that overall at least 39 bills have been subject to the most senior royals’ little-known power to consent to or block new laws. They also reveal the power has been used to torpedo proposed legislation relating to decisions about the country going to war.

The internal Whitehall pamphlet was only released following a court order and shows ministers and civil servants are obliged to consult the Queen and Prince Charles in greater detail and over more areas of legislation than was previously understood.

The new laws that were required to receive the seal of approval from the Queen or Prince Charles cover issues from higher education and paternity pay to identity cards and child maintenance.

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