Queen's consent in respect of her interest
30.80Consent in respect of the Queen's interest is required for a bill which affects the hereditary revenues, personal property or personal interests of the Crown or the Duchy of Lancaster or Cornwall. This includes the Royal Household and the Royal Palaces (including the Palace of Westminster),1 the Crown Estate and the Crown Estate Commissioners, the Queen's private estates, and the Queen's interest as a landlord or an employer.
Provisions requiring such consent have included:
- restrictions on the use that might be made of premises on Duchy land;2
- the creation of further statutory nuisances arising from land which might have exposed the Crown to the risk of legal proceedings;3
- the express application of data protection legislation to personal data processed by the Royal Household and the Duchy of Lancaster;4
- the abolition of the office of coroner of the Queen's household, so that deaths of members of the royal family were to be investigated under the same rules as any other deaths;5
- the application of legislation about construction contracts to contracts entered into on behalf of the Queen in right of the Duchy of Lancaster or on behalf of the Duchy of Cornwall;6
- the designation of rights in gas importation and storage zones in areas outside the territorial sea as rights belonging to Her Majesty.7
Consent is also required for bills which relate to matters such as intestacy and bona vacantia in which the Crown and the Duchies have a historic interest,8 unless the effect is remote.9
Consent is required if the repeal of a protective provision may have an adverse effect on the Queen's interest,10 and is required even if the adverse effect resulting from the bill itself needs consent.11
Consent is required in respect of substantial consequences for the Queen of changes in the general law,12 but has not been required for insignificant or remote consequences of such changes.13 Where consent has already been given in respect of a particular change in the law, it has not been required to be given again in respect of further changes which could not have affected the basis on which the original consent was given.14 In cases where the effect of a bill is doubtful it is the practice to require the Queen's consent.15
A bill relating to the civil service which required consent in respect of the prerogative also required consent in respect of the Queen's interest because it applied to the Crown Estate Commissioners.16
- 1. Parliamentary Corporate Bodies Bill (1991–92).
- 2. Gambling Bill (2003–04) and (2004–05).
- 3. Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill (2004–05).
- 4. Data Protection Bill [Lords] (1997–98); Data Protection Bill [Lords] (2017–19).
- 5. Coroners and Justice Bill (2008–09).
- 6. Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Bill [Lords] (1995–96); Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill [Lords] (2008–09).
- 7. Energy Bill (2007–08).
- 8. Law Reform (Succession) Bill [Lords] (1994–95); Companies (Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise) Bill [Lords] (2003–04); Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies and Credit Unions Bill (2008–09).
- 9. Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Bill [Lords] (2007–08).
- 10. Mines Management Bill (1969–70).
- 11. Gas Bill (1964–65); Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill (2005–06).
- 12. For example, Social Security (Incapacity for Work) Bill (1993–94); Statutory Sick Pay Bill (1993–94); National Insurance Contributions Bill (2005–06). Whilst substantial changes to liability for national insurance contributions, etc have required the Queen's consent, increases in contributions have not. The Housing Act 1996, making significant changes to landlord and tenant law, required consent; the Civil Partnership Act 2004, making more limited changes to housing law, did not.
- 13. For example, Employment Relations Bill (1998–99); Financial Services and Markets Bill (1998–99); Employment Bill [Lords] (2007–08).
- 14. For example, VAT (Finance Act 1972); Mobile Homes Act 2013 (no consent) following Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 (consent).
- 15. For example, Perpetuities and Accumulations Bill [Lords] (2008–09).
- 16. Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill (2008–09) and (2009–10).