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Q: Royalty ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: Royalty
Category: Relationships and Society > Politics
Asked by: tallsmith-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 29 Apr 2005 09:35 PDT
Expires: 29 May 2005 09:35 PDT
Question ID: 515817
The Queen of England cannot vote in UK parliamentary elections. How
many other "royals" cannot vote and how is it decided ?
Subject: Re: Royalty
Answered By: journalist-ga on 29 Apr 2005 11:31 PDT
Greetings Tallsmith,

From Fact 13 at :

"The Sovereign and his heir do not vote in elections, general or local
ones, because they must remain politically neutral and it would be
considered unconstitutional for them to do so. Until 1999, the members
of the royal family who held a hereditary peerage were subject to a
'legal incapacity to vote', as members of the house of lords. The
House of Lords Act of 1999 has removed that disqualification for all
peers who lost the right to sit in the House of Lords, including the
prince of Wales, the dukes of Edinburgh, York, Gloucester, and Kent,
and the earl of Wessex. Traditionally, HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen
Mother and HRH The Princess Margaret did not vote because of their
closeness to HM The Queen even though they have always been legally
entitled. Further, the members of the royal family do not stand for
election to political or non-political positions.  The royal family's
public role is to stand for unity and neutrality."

The House of Lords Act of 1999 is available for review at

Commentaries on the changes in the act may be viewed at these links

There is also a lengthy history commentary at concerning hereditary peerage and
voting rights.

FYI - additional information/articles: 

Britain: Queen's speech announces plan to end voting rights for hereditary peers
By Julie Hyland, 27 November 1998

Royals lose voting rights 
November 29, 1999

"However, with the accession of the Labour government of Harold Wilson
in 1964, the practice of granting hereditary peerages abruptly
stopped. Since 1964, only five hereditary peerages have been
granted?two (the Dukedom of York and the Earldom of Wessex) for
members of the royal family, and three additional creations (the
Viscountcy of Whitelaw, the Viscountcy of Tonypandy and the Earldom of
Stockton) under Margaret Thatcher's government in the mid-1980s."


"The House of Lords Act 1999 provides firstly that "No-one shall be a
member of the House of Lords by virtue of a hereditary peerage." (The
Act treats the Principality of Wales and the Earldom of Chester as
hereditary peerages, though those titles, granted normally to the
heir-apparent, are never inherited.) The Act then provides that
ninety-two peers, including the Earl Marshal, the Lord Great
Chamberlain and ninety other peers elected in accordance with the
Standing Orders of the House would be excepted from the exclusion of
hereditary peers, and that after the first session of the next
Parliament, whenever one of these seats fell vacant, the Lords would
have to proceed to a by-election. The Act also provided that a
hereditary peer would be entitled to vote in elections for, and sit
in, the House of Commons, unless he or she was also a member of the
House of Lords. Previously, hereditary peers had been constitutionally
disqualified from being electors to, or members of, the House of

The Act prevents even hereditary peers of the first creation from
sitting automatically in the House of Lords. The Government did agree,
however, to give life peerages (the titles of which are indicated in
parentheses) to four hereditary peers of the first creation: Toby
Austin Richard William Low, 1st Baron Aldington (Baron Low), Frederick
James Erroll, 1st Baron Erroll of Hale (Baron Erroll of Kilmun),
Francis Aungier Pakenham, 7th Earl of Longford, 1st Baron Pakenham
(Baron Pakenham of Cowley) and Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of
Snowdon (Baron Armstrong-Jones). Additionally, life peerages were
created for former Leaders of the House of Lords: John Julian Ganzoni,
2nd Baron Belstead (Baron Ganzoni), Peter Alexander Rupert Carrington,
6th Baron Carrington (Baron Carrington), Charles Petty-Fitzmaurice,
Viscount Cranborne (Baron Gascoyne-Cecil), George Patrick John
Rushworth Jellicoe, 2nd Earl Jellicoe (Baron Jellicoe of Southampton)
and David James George Hennessy, 3rd Baron Windlesham (Baron

Life peerages were offered, but rejected by members of the royal
family who were Royal hereditary peers of the first creation: Prince
Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince Andrew,
Duke of York and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex."


Thanks for asking this interesting question!  I'd never thought about
the Royals voting before but it makes sense that the higher-ups should

If any of the links I provided have trouble loading, please request a
Clarification before rating my answer as I am happy to continue

Best regards,


UK voting House of Windsor descendants
UK Royals "incapacity to vote"
"House of Lords Act of 1999"
UK Monarchy OR Royals voting
UK sovereign voting privileges
UK Royals OR Royalty voting privileges
Subject: Re: Royalty
From: myoarin-ga on 29 Apr 2005 13:03 PDT
That was much too complicated for me.
I wonder if it agrees with this source, which should be correct(update 07.04.505):    which says:

"British citizens are entitled to vote at elections providing that
they are aged 18 or over and are not subject to any legal incapacity
to vote. Citizens of other Commonwealth countries and the Irish
Republic may also vote at parliamentary elections if they are resident
in Britain, aged 18 or over and are not subject to any legal
incapacity to vote.
The following people are not entitled to vote in parliamentary elections:
?	peers and peeresses in their own right, who are members of the House of Lords 
?	young people under 18 years of age
?	foreign nationals other than citizens of the Irish Republic resident
in Britain (citizens of Commonwealth countries may vote)
?	patients detained under mental health legislation
?	sentenced prisoners
?	people convicted within the previous five years of corrupt or
illegal election practices.

Shall we say, the last three categories are in rather good company...
Subject: Re: Royalty
From: waukon-ga on 28 May 2005 22:46 PDT
My great paper (and it is long, 10k's worth) is installed at Ever want to know what a Markgraf was? Call me Mark.

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