Whitehall documents reveal Queen Elizabeth’s extent of power
|Whitehall reveals the extent of Queen Elizabeth II's |
influence in the government
We now know that Queen Elizabeth II is not just a mere figurehead and symbol of everything that Britain stands for. Her duties are actually more than the “pomp and circumstances” ceremonies that we see all the time. She actually exercises the so-called Royal Prerogative over sensitive issues in the past years. Whitehall documents can reveal that at least “9 bills have been subject to Royal approval, with the senior royals using their power to consent or block new laws in areas such as higher education, paternity pay and child maintenance,” reports Telegraph online.
It was revealed that the Queen had vetoed the 1999 Military Actions Against Iraq Bill, which aimed to transfer the power to authorize to bomb Iraq from the sovereign to Parliament. The Queen’s consent was also sought when the Civil Partnership Act was passed in 2004.
Meanwhile, Prince Charles vetoed more than 12 government bills over a variety of issues, particularly gambling and the Olympics.
Whitehall was forced to reveal the extent of the senior royals’ capacity to consent or veto bills after a court ruling ordered to do so. It was also revealed a bill has to be revised in the event that Her Majesty refused to give her consent. This only means that the two senior royals are actual active participant in the “democratic process,” although Andrew George, Liberal Democratic MP for St. Ives said that this should be done with “greater transparency” to assess whether their powers are appropriate.