Addresses to the Crown

9.10An Address to Her Majesty1 is the form ordinarily employed by both Houses of Parliament for making their desires and opinions known to the Crown as well as for the purpose of acknowledging communications proceeding from the Crown.2 In the House of Commons the procedure upon a motion for an Address is the same as upon an ordinary substantive motion. It requires notice and can be debated, amended and divided upon. Usually, the motion for an Address is made in the form ‘That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty to …’ and the necessary prefatory words3 are inserted when the actual copy of the Address is prepared. An amendment to leave out the word ‘humble’ is not in order.4 In both Houses Addresses or resolutions are ordered to be presented by the whole House5 or by Privy Counsellors,6 or members of the royal household,7 or, in some cases, by Members specially nominated.8

Footnotes

  1. 1. Addresses have also been made to Their Majesties, CJ (1918) 150; ibid (1947–48) 246.
  2. 2. The last joint Address was in 1906, CJ (1906) 311. For details of their preparation and presentation, see Erskine May (21st edn, 1989), pp 565–66 and 567–68.
  3. 3. ‘Most Gracious Sovereign, We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, humbly pray Your Majesty’.
  4. 4. HC Deb (1918) 103, c 112.
  5. 5. CJ (1857–58) 31; ibid (1861) 16; LJ (1897) 255; CJ (1918) 250; ibid (1944–45) 128; ibid (1945–46) 18; ibid (1994–95) 294. See also ibid (1950) 241 and ibid (1964–65) 309, 317, 319 for occasions on which the House of Commons was accompanied in the presentation of an Address by invited representatives of Commonwealth Parliaments.
  6. 6. LJ (1948–49) 20; CJ (1995–96) 18, 85.
  7. 7. CJ (1904) 226; ibid (1999–2000) 21, 494, 570; ibid (2000–01) 19; ibid (2007–08) 19; ibid (2009–10) 25.
  8. 8. CJ (1688–93) 295; ibid (1812) 391 (after motion for presentation by whole House withdrawn, and for presentation by Privy Counsellors negatived); LJ (1947–48) 224; ibid (1972–73) 33; CJ (1989–90) 547.