Will The Royal Family Vote In The UK General Election

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Will The Royal Family Vote In The UK General Election

It’s known that the monarchy is apolitical and although the King was known for some of his views when he was the Prince of Wales, he has had to remain neutral since assuming the throne on 8 September 2022.

The King

Although by law, there is nothing barring the monarch from voting in any election, the King will not be casting a vote due to the importance of remaining neutral on political issues. The UK Parliament website reads: “Although not prohibited by law, it is considered unconstitutional for the monarch to vote in an election.”

Other Royals

Again, much like with the King, although there are no restrictions on the rest of the royal family from voting, it’s unlikely that you will bump into Prince William or Princess Eugenie at your local polling station.

Only a select few royals have ever been barred from voting and this is down to the peerage system. Until 1999, hereditary peers used to sit in the House of Lords, and this included the Duke of York, Duke of Edinburgh and Duke of Gloucester among others.

Although the royals never attended the upper parliamentary house due to their neutrality, British law does prevent members of the House of Lords from voting in general elections. When most hereditary peers were removed from the Lords under Tony Blair’s reforms, the royals relinquished their seats.

In 2020, during the US presidential election, Prince Harry spoke about not voting, sharing: “This election, I’m not going to be able to vote here in the US. But many of you may not know that I haven’t been able to vote in the UK my entire life. As we approach this November, it’s vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation, and online negativity.”

The King’s Role in the Election

The royal family’s official website explains: “The formal phrase ‘King in Parliament’ is used to describe the British legislature, which consists of the Sovereign, the House of Lords and the House of Commons. 

“The King’s duties include opening each new session of Parliament, granting Royal Assent to legislation, and approving Orders and Proclamations through the Privy Council.”

It goes on to say that the King has a special relationship with the Prime Minister, and has the “right to appoint and also meet with him or her on a regular basis”.

The explanation concludes: “In addition to playing a specific role in the UK Parliament based in London, the King has formal roles with relation to the devolved assemblies of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

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