Use of Queen's name to influence debate

21.20The irregular use of the Queen's name to influence a decision of the House is unconstitutional in principle and inconsistent with the independence of Parliament. Where the Crown has a distinct interest in a measure, there is an authorised mode of communicating Her Majesty's recommendation or consent, through one of her Ministers (see paras 9.59.6 ); but Her Majesty cannot be supposed to have a private opinion, apart from that of her responsible advisers; and any attempt to use her name in debate to influence the judgement of Parliament is immediately checked and censured.1 This rule extends also to other members of the royal family,2 but it is not strictly applied in cases where one of its members has made a public statement on a matter of current interest so long as comment is made in appropriate terms.3

A Minister is, however, permitted to make a statement of facts in which the Sovereign's name may be concerned.4

Footnotes

  1. 1. CJ (1547–1628) 697; ibid (1640–41) 27, 344; ibid (1782–84) 842; Parl Deb (1808) 10, c 577; ibid (1812) 22, c 51; HC Deb (1936–37) 317, c 71. But see HL Deb (1997–98) 586, cc 954–955; ibid (1997–98) 587, cc WA 20–21; ibid (1997–98) 590, cc 877–900; HC Deb (20 February 2017) 621, c 250WH.
  2. 2. HC Deb (1948–49) 464, c 1924; ibid (1985–86) 88, c 26; ibid (11 December 2007) 469, c 35WH.
  3. 3. HC Deb (1988–89) 142, c 32; ibid (1999–2000) 351, c 521; ibid (17 June 2009) 494, cc 308–9.
  4. 4. 7 Chandler Deb 61, 64; Parl Deb (1843) 69, cc 24, 574; ibid (1876) 228, c 2037. See also HC Deb (1914–16) 71, c 227; ibid (1981–82) 27, c 645; ibid (1992–93) 215, cc 845–47; ibid (9 January 2013) 556, cc 335–36.