Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council known as the Privy Council of the United Kingdom or just the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership comprises senior politicians who are current or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords; the Privy Council formally advises the sovereign on the exercise of the Royal Prerogative, corporately it issues executive instruments known as Orders in Council, which among other powers enact Acts of Parliament. The Council holds the delegated authority to issue Orders of Council used to regulate certain public institutions; the Council advises the sovereign on the issuing of Royal Charters, which are used to grant special status to incorporated bodies, city or borough status to local authorities. Otherwise, the Privy Council's powers have now been replaced by its executive committee, the Cabinet of the United Kingdom. Certain judicial functions are performed by the Queen-in-Council, although in practice its actual work of hearing and deciding upon cases is carried out day-to-day by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
The Judicial Committee consists of senior judges appointed as Privy Counsellors: predominantly Justices of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and senior judges from the Commonwealth. The Privy Council acted as the High Court of Appeal for the entire British Empire, continues to hear appeals from the Crown Dependencies, the British Overseas Territories, some independent Commonwealth states; the Privy Council of the United Kingdom was preceded by the Privy Council of Scotland and the Privy Council of England. The key events in the formation of the modern Privy Council are given below: In Anglo-Saxon England, Witenagemot was an early equivalent to the Privy Council of England. During the reigns of the Norman monarchs, the English Crown was advised by a royal court or curia regis, which consisted of magnates and high officials; the body concerned itself with advising the sovereign on legislation and justice. Different bodies assuming distinct functions evolved from the court; the courts of law took over the business of dispensing justice, while Parliament became the supreme legislature of the kingdom.
The Council retained the power to hear legal disputes, either in the first instance or on appeal. Furthermore, laws made by the sovereign on the advice of the Council, rather than on the advice of Parliament, were accepted as valid. Powerful sovereigns used the body to circumvent the Courts and Parliament. For example, a committee of the Council—which became the Court of the Star Chamber—was during the 15th century permitted to inflict any punishment except death, without being bound by normal court procedure. During Henry VIII's reign, the sovereign, on the advice of the Council, was allowed to enact laws by mere proclamation; the legislative pre-eminence of Parliament was not restored until after Henry VIII's death. Though the royal Council retained legislative and judicial responsibilities, it became a administrative body; the Council consisted of forty members in 1553, but the sovereign relied on a smaller committee, which evolved into the modern Cabinet. By the end of the English Civil War, the monarchy, House of Lords, Privy Council had been abolished.
The remaining parliamentary chamber, the House of Commons, instituted a Council of State to execute laws and to direct administrative policy. The forty-one members of the Council were elected by the House of Commons. In 1653, Cromwell became Lord Protector, the Council was reduced to between thirteen and twenty-one members, all elected by the Commons. In 1657, the Commons granted Cromwell greater powers, some of which were reminiscent of those enjoyed by monarchs; the Council became known as the Protector's Privy Council. In 1659, shortly before the restoration of the monarchy, the Protector's Council was abolished. Charles II restored the Royal Privy Council, but he, like previous Stuart monarchs, chose to rely on a small group of advisers. Under George I more power transferred to this committee, it now began to meet in the absence of the sovereign, communicating its decisions to him after the fact. Thus, the British Privy Council, as a whole, ceased to be a body of important confidential advisers to the sovereign.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of the word privy in Privy Council is an obsolete meaning "of or pertaining to a particular person or persons, one's own". It is related to the word private, derives from the French word privé; the sovereign, when acting on the Council's advice, is known as the King-in-Council or Queen-in-Council. The members of the Council are collectively known as The Lords of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council; the chief officer of the body is the Lord President of the Council, the fourth highest Great Officer of State, a Cabinet member and either the Leader of the House of Lords or of the House of Commons. Another important official is the Clerk, whose signature is appended to all orders made in the Council. Both Privy Counsellor and Privy Councillor may be used to refer to a member of the Council; the former, however, is preferred by the Privy Council Office, emphasising English usage of the term Counsellor a
Prime Minister's Questions
Prime Minister's Questions is a constitutional convention in the United Kingdom held as a single session every Wednesday at noon when the House of Commons is sitting, during which the Prime Minister spends around half an hour answering questions from Members of Parliament. Although prime ministers have answered questions in parliament for centuries, until the 1880s questions to the prime minister were treated the same as questions to other Ministers of the Crown: asked without notice, on days when ministers were available in whatever order MPs rose to ask them. In 1881 fixed time-limits for questions were introduced and questions to the prime minister were moved to the last slot of the day as a courtesy to the 72-year-old prime minister at the time, William Gladstone, so he could come to the Commons in the day. In 1953, when Winston Churchill was prime minister, it was agreed that questions would be submitted on fixed days. A Procedure Committee report in 1959 recommended that questions to the prime minister be taken in two fixed-period, 15-minute slots on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.
The recommendations were put into practice under Harold Macmillan during a successful experiment from 18 July 1961 to the end of the session. The first question was delivered by Labour MP Fenner Brockway, asking to which Minister the UK Ambassador to South Africa would be responsible. In response to the Prime Minister's answer, Brockway said "May I express our appreciation of this new arrangement for answering Questions and the hope that it will be convenient for the Prime Minister as well as useful to the House?" PMQs were made permanent in the following parliamentary session, with the first of these on 24 October 1961. The style and culture of PMQs has changed over time. According to Speaker Selwyn Lloyd, the now famous disorderly behaviour of MPs during PMQs first arose as a result of the personal animosity between Harold Wilson and Edward Heath. In the past, prime ministers opted to transfer questions to the relevant minister, Leaders of the Opposition did not always take their allocated number of questions in some sessions, sometimes opting not to ask any questions at all.
This changed during the premiership of Margaret Thatcher, when the prime minister chose not to transfer any questions to other members of her Cabinet, Labour leader Neil Kinnock began asking more questions than his predecessors. His successor, John Smith, established the precedent of always taking his full allocation of questions. One of Tony Blair's first acts as prime minister was to replace the two 15-minute sessions with a single 30-minute session on Wednesdays at 3 p.m. but since 2003 at noon. The allocated number of questions in each session for the Leader of the Opposition was doubled from three to six, the leader of the third-largest party in the Commons was given two questions; the first PMQs to use this new format took place on 21 May 1997. During the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government from 2010–2015, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, as a member of the government, did not ask questions during PMQs. Instead the leader of the second largest parliamentary opposition party at the time, Nigel Dodds of the Democratic Unionist Party asked a single question in the session followed by at least one MP from another smaller party such as the Scottish National Party or Plaid Cymru.
Backbench MPs wishing to ask a question must enter their names on the Order Paper. The names of entrants are shuffled in a ballot to produce a random order in which they will be called by the Speaker; the Speaker will call on MPs to put their questions in an alternating fashion: one MP from the government benches is followed by one from the opposition benches. MPs who are not selected may be chosen to ask a supplementary question if they "catch the eye" of the Speaker, done by standing and sitting before the prime minister gives an answer; the Leader of the Opposition asks six questions at PMQs, either as a whole block or in two separate groups of three. If the first question is asked by a government backbencher, the Leader of the Opposition is the second MP to ask questions. If the first question is asked by an opposition MP, this will be followed by a question from a government MP and by the questions from the Leader of the Opposition; the leader of the third largest parliamentary party would ask two questions.
The first formal question on the Order Paper, posed by saying "Number one, Mr. Speaker", is to ask the Prime Minister "if s/he will list his/her engagements for the day"; the Prime Minister replies:This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall have further such meetings today; the reason for such a question is that the Prime Minister may be questioned only as to those matters for which he or she is directly responsible. Such matters are few in number, because many substantive matters are handled by the other Ministers in the Cabinet. By requiring the Prime Minister to list his or her engagements, the members may inquire whether the Prime Minister ought to be engaged in some other activity or be taking some other action. Before listing the day's engagements, the Prime Minister sometimes extends condolences or offers congratulations after significant events. During the Iraq War, Tony Blair introduced the practice o
John Simon Bercow is a British politician, the Speaker of the House of Commons since June 2009. He concurrently serves as the Member of Parliament for Buckingham. Prior to his election to Speaker, he was a member of the Conservative Party. A former right-winger, he changed his views after becoming an MP and at one time was rumoured to be to defect to the Labour Party. Bercow's election to the Speaker's chair depended on the backing of other parties, was unpopular with many of his former Conservative Party colleagues, he served as a councillor from 1986 to 1990 and unsuccessfully contested parliamentary seats in the 1987 and 1992 general elections. In the 1997 general election, Bercow was elected the MP for Buckingham and promoted to the shadow cabinet in 2001, he held posts in the shadow cabinets of Iain Duncan Michael Howard. In November 2002, he resigned from the shadow cabinet over disputes concerning the Adoption and Children Act but returned under Howard in 2003. In September 2004, Bercow was dismissed after disagreements with Howard.
Following the resignation of Speaker Michael Martin, Bercow announced his intention to stand for the Speakership election on 22 June 2009 and was successful. He remained Speaker and was re-elected in his constituency at the general election on 7 May 2015, he was re-elected as Speaker, when the House sat at the start of the new parliament on 18 May 2015. Following the 2017 general election, Bercow was re-elected, again unopposed, as Speaker, on 13 June 2017, he is the first Speaker since the Second World War to be elected to the post three times. In October 2009, Bercow chaired the United Kingdom Youth Parliament's first annual sitting in the House of Commons, making them the only group except Members of Parliament to sit in the chamber, he has chaired every subsequent sitting and attended every annual conference and supporting Members of Youth Parliament from across the UK. In 2014, Bercow was appointed Chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire, in July 2017 he was appointed Chancellor of the University of Essex.
In October 2018, it was reported that Bercow intended to step down as Speaker in the summer of 2019, due to a report on the failure of high-level figures in Parliament to deal adequately with bullying of staff at Westminster and due to allegations of bullying made against him personally. However, it was reported that Bercow planned "to stay as speaker" until the end of parliament in 2022. Bercow was born in Edgware, the son of Brenda and Charles Bercow, a taxi driver, his father was born to his mother converted to Judaism. His paternal grandparents were Jews. Having settled in the UK, the family anglicised its surname from Berkowitz to Bercow. Bercow attended Frith Manor Primary School in Woodside Park, Finchley Manorhill, a large comprehensive school in North Finchley. In his youth, Bercow had been ranked Britain's No. 1 junior tennis player, but came down with bronchial asthma and was unable to pursue a professional career. Bercow graduated with a first-class honours degree in government from the University of Essex in 1985.
Professor Anthony King said "When he was a student here, he was right-wing, pretty stroppy, good. He was an outstanding student."As a young activist, Bercow was a member of the right-wing Conservative Monday Club. He stood as a candidate for the club's national executive in 1981 with a manifesto calling for a programme of "assisted repatriation" of immigrants, became secretary of its immigration and repatriation committee. However, at the age of 20 he left the club, citing the views of many of the club's members as his reason, has since called his participation in the club "utter madness" and dismissed his views from that period as "bone headed". After graduating from the University of Essex, Bercow was elected as the last national chairman of the Federation of Conservative Students, 1986–87; the FCS was broken up by the chairman of the Conservative Party, Norman Tebbit, after one of its members had accused previous Tory PM Harold Macmillan of war crimes in extraditing Cossacks to the Soviet Union.
Bercow attracted the attention of the Conservative leadership, in 1987 he was appointed by Tebbit as vice-chairman of the Conservative Collegiate Forum to head the campaign for student support in the run-up to the 1987 general election. After a spell in merchant banking, Bercow joined the lobbying firm Rowland Sallingbury Casey in 1988, becoming a board director within five years. With fellow Conservative Julian Lewis, Bercow ran an advanced speaking and campaigning course for over 10 years, which trained over 600 Conservatives in campaigning and communication techniques, he has lectured in the United States to students of the Leadership Institute. In 1986, Bercow was elected as a Conservative councillor in the London Borough of Lambeth, served for four years representing the Streatham, St Leonard's ward. In 1987, he was appointed the youngest deputy group leader in the United Kingdom. In 1995, Bercow was appointed as a special adviser to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Jonathan Aitken.
After Aitken's resignation to fight a libel action, Bercow served as a special adviser to the Secretary of State for National Heritage, Virginia Bottomley. Bercow was an unsuccessful Conservative candidate in the 1987 general election in Motherwell South, again at the 1992 general election in Bristol South. In 1996 he paid £1,000 to charter a helicopter so that he could attend the selection meetings for two safe Conservative parliamentary seats on the same day – Buckingham and Surrey Heath –
Jeremy Bernard Corbyn is a British politician serving as Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition since 2015. Corbyn was first elected Member of Parliament for Islington North in 1983. Ideologically, he identifies himself as a democratic socialist. Born and raised in Wiltshire, Corbyn joined Labour as a teenager. Moving to London, he became a trade union representative. In 1974, he was elected to Haringey Council and became Secretary of Hornsey Constituency Labour Party, until elected as the MP for Islington North in 1983, his activism has included roles in Anti-Fascist Action, the Anti-Apartheid Movement and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, advocating for a united Ireland. As a backbench MP, he voted against the Labour whip, including "New Labour" governments under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, he chaired the Stop the War Coalition from 2011 to 2015. Corbyn was elected Labour leader in 2015. Taking the party to the left, he advocated renationalisation of public utilities and the railways, a less interventionist military policy, reversals of austerity cuts to welfare and public services.
After Labour MPs sought to remove him in 2016, he won a second leadership contest. Although critical of the European Union, he supported continued membership in the 2016 referendum. In the 2017 general election, Labour again finished as the second-largest party in parliament, but increased their share of the vote to 40%, resulting in a net gain of 30 seats and a hung parliament. Corbyn has been criticised in relation to allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party and for alleged antisemitic associations prior to becoming leader. Corbyn has apologised and asserted his record of opposing antisemitism and his commitment to rooting it out in the party. Corbyn was brought up in nearby Kington St Michael in Wiltshire, he is the youngest of the four sons of Naomi Loveday, a maths teacher, David Benjamin Corbyn, an electrical engineer and expert in power rectifiers. His brother Piers Corbyn is a physicist and weather forecaster, his parents were Labour Party members and peace campaigners who met in the 1930s at a committee meeting in support of the Spanish Republic at Conway Hall during the Spanish Civil War.
When Corbyn was seven years old, the family moved to Pave Lane in Shropshire, where his father bought Yew Tree Manor, a 17th-century country house, once part of the Duke of Sutherland's Lilleshall estate. Corbyn was educated at Castle House School, an independent preparatory school near Newport, before attending Adams' Grammar School as a day student. While still at school, he became active in The Wrekin constituency Young Socialists, his local Labour Party, the League Against Cruel Sports, he joined the Labour Party at age 16 and achieved two E-grade A-Levels, the lowest-possible passing grade, before leaving school at 18. Corbyn joined the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in 1966 whilst at school and became one of its three vice-chairs and subsequently vice-president. After school, Corbyn worked as a reporter for a local newspaper, the Newport and Market Drayton Advertiser. At around the age of 19 he spent two years doing Voluntary Service Overseas in Jamaica as a youth worker and geography teacher.
He subsequently travelled through Latin America in 1969 and 1970, visiting Brazil, Argentina and Chile. Whilst in Brazil he participated in a student demonstration in São Paulo against the Brazilian military government, he attended a May Day march in Santiago, where the atmosphere around Salvador Allende's Popular Unity alliance which swept to power in the Chilean elections of 1970 made an impression on him: " noticed something different from anything I had experienced... What Popular Unity and Allende had done was weld together the folk tradition, the song tradition, the artistic tradition and the intellectual tradition". Returning to the UK in 1971, he worked as an official for the National Union of Tailors and Garment Workers. Corbyn began a course in Trade Union Studies at North London Polytechnic but left after a year without a degree after a series of arguments with his tutors over the curriculum, he worked as a trade union organiser for the National Union of Public Employees and Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union, where his union was approached by Tony Benn and "encouraged... to produce a blueprint for workers' control of British Leyland".
He was appointed a member of a district health authority and in early 1974, at the age of 24, he was elected to Haringey Council in South Hornsey ward. After boundary changes in 1978 he was re-elected in Harringay ward as councillor, remaining so until 1983; as a delegate from Hornsey to the Labour Party conference in 1978, Corbyn moved a motion calling for dentists to be employed by the NHS rather than private contractors. He spoke in another debate, describing a motion calling for greater support for law and order as "more appropriate to the National Front than to the Labour Party". Corbyn became the local Labour Party's agent and organiser, had responsibility for the 1979 general election campaign in Hornsey. Around this time, he became involved with the London Labour Briefing. Described by The Times in 1981 as "Briefing's founder", The Economist in a 1982 article named Corbyn as "Briefing's general secretary figure", as did a profile on Corbyn compiled by parliamentary biographer Andrew Roth in 2004, which alleges that he joined the editorial board as General Secretary in 1979.
Michael Crick in his 2016 edition of Militant says Corbyn was "a member of the editorial board", as does Lansley and Wolmar's 1989 work, The
The Lord Speaker is the speaker of the House of Lords in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The office is analogous to the Speaker of the House of Commons: the Lord Speaker is elected by the members of the House of Lords and is expected to be politically impartial; until July 2006, the role of presiding officer in the House of Lords was undertaken by the Lord Chancellor. Under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, the position of the Speaker of the House of Lords became a separate office, allowing the position to be held by someone other than the Lord Chancellor; the Lord Chancellor continued to act as speaker of the House of Lords in an interim period after the Act was passed while the House of Lords considered new arrangements about its speakership. The current Lord Speaker is Lord Fowler. In 2003, following the decision to disaggregate the roles performed by the Lord Chancellor, a Select Committee of the House of Lords looked into the proposed new office of its presiding officer, including the title for the elected speaker of the Lords.
Following their recommendations, the new speaker was named "Lord Speaker", the number of deputy speakers has fallen from 25 to twelve. "Lord Speaker" was chosen in part because it was in use in the Standing Orders and the Companion. The main functions of the Lord Speaker are to take the chair in debates held in the chamber of the House of Lords, to advise the House of Lords on procedural rules, to take formal responsibility for security in the areas of the Palace of Westminster occupied by the House of Lords and its members, to speak for the House of Lords on ceremonial occasions, to represent the House of Lords as its ambassador in the UK and overseas; the role has less power than the Speaker of the House of Commons. The House of Lords is self-governing, its presiding officer has traditionally taken a less active role in debates than the Speaker of the House of Commons. For example, unlike the Speaker, the Lord Speaker does not call the House to order, determine, to speak when two individuals rise at the same time, rule on points of order, discipline members who violate the rules of the House, or select amendments to bills—all these functions are performed by the House of Lords as a whole.
Furthermore, whilst speeches in the House of Commons are addressed directly to the Speaker, those in the House of Lords are addressed to the House as a whole. In practice, the only task of the Lord Speaker in the Chamber is to formally put the question before a vote, to announce the result of any vote, to make certain announcements to the House. Furthermore, the Lord Speaker may end the adjournment of the House during a public emergency; the Lord Speaker has assumed most of the duties that the Lord Chancellor used to have in relation to his parliamentary role. When peers debated the creation of the office, there was debate as to whether the new speaker should have additional powers and responsibilities that the Lord Chancellor does not have resolved in the negative; the debate was renewed with proposals put forward by a Leader's Group led by Alastair Goodlad. The proposals include allowing the Lord Speaker, during Question Time and ministerial statements, to take on the role of advising the House which party should speak next when there is a dispute.
The Leader of the House of Lords, a Government minister handles this task. The decision of who should speak would remain with the House. A similar proposal was made by the committee that discussed the new office. A further option would allow the Speaker more power during Question Time, but it was not recommended by the Leader's Group; the Group's report has yet to be approved. Like the Speaker of the House of Commons, but unlike the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Speaker is expected to remain non-partisan whilst in office. On election, the Lord Speaker resigns the party whip or crossbench group and certain outside interests to concentrate on being an impartial presiding officer; the Lord Speaker is elected for a maximum term of five years, may serve a maximum of two terms. The election is conducted using the Alternative Vote method. Under amendments made on 3 May 2011, elections must be held by 15 July of final year of a term, with the new term beginning on 1 September; when Helene Hayman, Baroness Hayman was elected the first Lord Speaker, the Clerk of the Parliaments announced the result, the Lord Chamberlain announced the Queen's confirmation of the choice.
Lord Speaker thus elected replaced the Lord Chancellor on the Woolsack. By Royal Warrant on 4 July 2006, the Queen declared that the Lord Speaker would have rank and precedence after the Speaker of the House of Commons; the Lord Speaker earns a salary of £101,038, less than the Speaker of the House of Commons. The Lord Speaker, like the Speaker of the House of Commons, is entitled to a grace and favour apartment in the Parliamentary Estate. Like the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Speaker wears court dress with a plain black silk gown while presiding over the House and a black silk damask and gold lace ceremonial gown on state occasions. To date holders of the office have chosen not to wear a wig, as the Lord Chancellor did, though they do have the option; when presiding over debates, the Lord Speaker sits on the Woolsack. Before each day's sitting of the House of Lords, the Lord Speaker forms part of
Royal prerogative in the United Kingdom
The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority and immunity attached to the British Monarch, recognised in the United Kingdom. The monarch is regarded internally as the absolute authority, or "sole prerogative", prerogative the source of many of the executive powers of the British government. Prerogative powers were exercised by the monarch acting on his or her own initiative. Since the 19th century, by convention, the advice of the prime minister or the cabinet—who are accountable to Parliament for the decision—has been required in order for the prerogative to be exercised; the monarch remains constitutionally empowered to exercise the royal prerogative against the advice of the prime minister or the cabinet, but in practice would only do so in emergencies or where existing precedent does not adequately apply to the circumstances in question. Today the royal prerogative is available in the conduct of the government of the United Kingdom, including foreign affairs and national security.
The monarchy has a significant constitutional presence in these and other matters, but limited power, because the exercise of the prerogative is in the hands of the prime minister and other ministers or other government officials. The royal prerogative has been called "a notoriously difficult concept to define adequately", but whether a particular type of prerogative power exists is a matter of common law to be decided by the courts as the final arbiter. A prominent constitutional theorist, A. V. Dicey, proposed in the nineteenth century that: The prerogative appears to be and as a matter of fact nothing else than the residue of discretionary or arbitrary authority which at any given time is left in the hands of the crown; the prerogative is the name of the remaining portion of the Crown's original authority... Every act which the executive government can lawfully do without the authority of an Act of Parliament is done in virtue of the prerogative. While many commentators follow the Diceyan view, there are constitutional lawyers who prefer the definition given by William Blackstone in the 1760s:By the word prerogative we understand that special pre-eminence which the King hath and above all other persons, out of the ordinary course of common law, in right of his regal dignity... it can only be applied to those rights and capacities which the King enjoys alone, in contradiction to others, not to those which he enjoys in common with any of his subjects.
Dicey's opinion that any action of governance by the monarch beyond statute is under the prerogative diverges from Blackstone's that the prerogative covers those actions that no other person or body in the United Kingdom can undertake, such as declaration of war. Case law exists to support both views. Blackstone's notion of the prerogative being the powers of an exclusive nature was favoured by Lord Parmoor in the De Keyser's Royal Hotel case of 1920, but some difficulty with it was expressed by Lord Reid in the Burmah Oil case of 1965. A clear distinction has not been necessary in the relevant cases, the courts may never need to settle the question as few cases deal directly with the prerogative itself; the royal prerogative originated as the personal power of the monarch. From the 13th century in England, as in France, the monarch was all-powerful, but this absolute power was checked by "the recrudescence of feudal turbulence in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries". An early attempt to define the royal prerogative was stated by Richard II's judges in 1387.
During the 16th century, this "turbulence" began to recede, the monarch became independent. Under Henry VIII and his successors, the king was the head of the Protestant English church, therefore not answerable to the clergy; the rise of Parliament in this period, was problematic. While the monarch was "the predominant partner in the English constitution", the courts stopped short of declaring him all-powerful, recognising the role that Parliament played. In Ferrer's Case, Henry recognised this, noting that he was far more powerful with the consent of Parliament than without. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the matter of taxation: Sir Thomas Smith and other writers of the period pointed out the monarch could not impose taxation without Parliament's consent. At the same time and his descendants followed the will of the courts, despite the fact they were theoretically not bound by judges. William Holdsworth infers that by asking the legal officers of the crown and judiciary for legal advice and consent, Henry recognised the need for a stable government to follow the law.
He contends that the view that the law is supreme over all "was the view of all the leading lawyers and statesmen and publicists of the Tudor period". It was accepted that while the King had "unfettered discretion", he was limited in areas where the courts had imposed conditions on the use of the prerogative, or where he had chosen to do so; the first dent in this stability came about in 1607, with the Case of Prohibitions. James VI and I claimed that as monarch, he had a divine right to sit as a judge and interpret the common law as he saw fit. Led by Sir Edward Coke, the judiciary rejected this idea, stating that while the monarch was not subject to any individual, he was subject to the law; until he had gained sufficient knowledge of the law, he had no right to interpret it. In the Case of Proclamations in 1611, Coke held that the monarch could only exercise those prerogatives he had, not create new ones. With the Glorious Revolution, King James VII and II w
Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. Elizabeth was born in London as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, she was educated at home, her father acceded to the throne on the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII in 1936, from which time she was the heir presumptive. She began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. In 1947, she married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a former prince of Greece and Denmark, with whom she has four children: Charles, Prince of Wales; when her father died in February 1952, she became head of the Commonwealth and queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Ceylon. She has reigned as a constitutional monarch through major political changes, such as devolution in the United Kingdom, Canadian patriation, the decolonisation of Africa. Between 1956 and 1992, the number of her realms varied as territories gained independence and realms, including South Africa and Ceylon, became republics.
Her many historic visits and meetings include a state visit to the Republic of Ireland and visits to or from five popes. Significant events have included her coronation in 1953 and the celebrations of her Silver and Diamond Jubilees in 1977, 2002, 2012 respectively. In 2017, she became the first British monarch to reach a Sapphire Jubilee, she is the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch as well as the world's longest-reigning queen regnant and female head of state, the oldest and longest-reigning current monarch and the longest-serving current head of state. Elizabeth has faced republican sentiments and press criticism of the royal family, in particular after the breakdown of her children's marriages, her annus horribilis in 1992 and the death in 1997 of her former daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales. However, support for the monarchy has been and remains high, as does her personal popularity. Elizabeth was born at 02:40 on 21 April 1926, during the reign of her paternal grandfather, King George V.
Her father, the Duke of York, was the second son of the King. Her mother, the Duchess of York, was the youngest daughter of Scottish aristocrat the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, she was delivered by Caesarean section at her maternal grandfather's London house: 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair. She was baptised by the Anglican Archbishop of York, Cosmo Gordon Lang, in the private chapel of Buckingham Palace on 29 May, named Elizabeth after her mother, Alexandra after George V's mother, who had died six months earlier, Mary after her paternal grandmother. Called "Lilibet" by her close family, based on what she called herself at first, she was cherished by her grandfather George V, during his serious illness in 1929 her regular visits were credited in the popular press and by biographers with raising his spirits and aiding his recovery. Elizabeth's only sibling, Princess Margaret, was born in 1930; the two princesses were educated at home under the supervision of their mother and their governess, Marion Crawford.
Lessons concentrated on history, language and music. Crawford published a biography of Elizabeth and Margaret's childhood years entitled The Little Princesses in 1950, much to the dismay of the royal family; the book describes Elizabeth's love of horses and dogs, her orderliness, her attitude of responsibility. Others echoed such observations: Winston Churchill described Elizabeth when she was two as "a character, she has an air of authority and reflectiveness astonishing in an infant." Her cousin Margaret Rhodes described her as "a jolly little girl, but fundamentally sensible and well-behaved". During her grandfather's reign, Elizabeth was third in the line of succession to the throne, behind her uncle Edward and her father. Although her birth generated public interest, she was not expected to become queen, as Edward was still young. Many people believed he would have children of his own; when her grandfather died in 1936 and her uncle succeeded as Edward VIII, she became second-in-line to the throne, after her father.
That year, Edward abdicated, after his proposed marriage to divorced socialite Wallis Simpson provoked a constitutional crisis. Elizabeth's father became king, she became heir presumptive. If her parents had had a son, she would have lost her position as first-in-line, as her brother would have been heir apparent and above her in the line of succession. Elizabeth received private tuition in constitutional history from Henry Marten, Vice-Provost of Eton College, learned French from a succession of native-speaking governesses. A Girl Guides company, the 1st Buckingham Palace Company, was formed so she could socialise with girls her own age, she was enrolled as a Sea Ranger. In 1939, Elizabeth's parents toured the United States; as in 1927, when her parents had toured Australia and New Zealand, Elizabeth remained in Britain, since her father thought her too young to undertake public tours. Elizabeth "looked tearful", they corresponded and she and her parents made the first royal transatlantic telephone call on 18 May.
In September 1939, Britain entered the Second World War. Lord Hailsham suggested that the two princesses should be evacuated to Canada to avoid the frequent aerial bombing; this was rejected by Elizabeth's mother. I won't leave wit