Bills authorising exceptional grants

34.42Financial provision for the Sovereign and the royal household may be made by way of an exceptional grant. On such occasions, the consideration of expenditure proposals is initiated by a message from the Queen under the sign manual, presented to the House by a Minister of the Crown in the prescribed formal manner (see para 9.8 ). Requests made by message are presented to both Houses, the form of the message being varied so as to ask for a grant from the House of Commons and concurrence in such grant from the House of Lords.1 Following such a message, a resolution has been moved upon which a bill making the appropriate provision has been founded.2 The motions for those resolutions do not themselves require the Queen's recommendation in the same way as a Money resolution (see Chapter 35). If the expenditure proposed in the bill as brought in falls short of the terms of the message from the Queen which initiated the expenditure proposal, it may be increased in amount or scope up to that limit.3 The bills arising from such resolutions are a category of Bills of Aids and Supplies. This is reflected in their words of enactment.4


  1. 1. This procedure has also been used to request the reward of persons who have rendered distinguished service to the State.
  2. 2. CJ (2010–12) 752; Sovereign Grant Bill (2010–12). The Sovereign Grant Act 2011 provides for the charges for the Sovereign and the heir to the throne to be met from Estimates; other costs which continue to be met from the Civil List are chargeable upon the Consolidated Fund. On previous occasions, a select committee was established to prepare the founding resolution. On previous arrangements for the Civil List, see Erskine May (24th edn, 2011), pp 753–54.
  3. 3. Civil List Bill 1936, HC Deb (1935–36) 312, c 117; CJ (1935–36) 221.
  4. 4. See paras 33.21, 26.9. Legislation arising from other exceptional grants may also take the form of a Bill of Aids and Supplies: see, for example, Mr. Speaker King's Retirement Act 1971. This arose from a practice that is now superseded: see Erskine May (22nd edn, 1997), p 753.