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  #1  
Old 06-16-2007, 01:22 PM
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Prime Ministers, Political Advisers and the Powers & Prerogatives of the Monarch

I've just finished reading a brilliant book about the Ancient Laws of England. Here are ten which directly affect the Royal Family.

1. All of us making claims about the marital relations of Fergie, Diana and Camilla should hold our tongues. Under the 1891 Slander of Women act, it is still illegal to "impute unchastity or adultery to any woman in England".

2. Anyone asserting the claims of the Stuart line should watch out. Under English law, anyone stating that the Stuarts are the rightful heirs to the throne are asserting papal authority over England and thus breaking literally hundreds of old laws. You'll not only be imprisoned for life but you'll also have to give all your property and possessions to the Queen. You also lose the protection of the Crown and therefore you're not entitled a lawyer. Lesson : Lizzie rules ok?

3. The Duke of Edinburgh is a criminal Under the House of Lords Precedence Act of 1539, only the monarch's heir may be seated next to him at the State Opening of Parliament. The monarch's consort must sit to the left of the monarch. When the Queen came to the throne, she got rid of this and allowed the Duke of Edinburgh to sit next to her, but the law wasn't changed. Therefore, the Duke of Edinburgh breaks the law every time he enters the House of Lords. Prince Albert was also an offender.

4. I hope the Duchess of Cornwall doesn't plan to go back to Burlington Arcade. When she turned on the Christmas lights there in 2005, she was actually breaking the law. Under an old regency law, anyone "causing a crowd to form at Burlington Arcade or whistling, hurrying, singing or otherwise making show" must be arrested and imprisoned.

5. Prince Charles, his wife and his children cannot legally visit Chester according to a law of 1403 that has never been repealed. Any Welshman is barred from the city and may be shot at any time of the day with a longbow without the assassin being jailed for murder. Likewise, one can also murder a Scotsman in York.

6. Paul Burrell should watch out. Under a law passed in 1679, it is perfectly legal for a master to beat an unruly servant as long as he uses a cudgel and doesn't actually cause death. Who wants to go first?

7. All those people who think they're clever by declining Knighthoods are actually breaking the law. Under a law of 1233, anyone refusing a Knighthood must have their property seized by the local Sheriff and branded.

8. Good news for Michael Fagin. When he broke into Buckingham Palace, he was actually allowed to break in as many times as he liked once the initial break in had taken place and only be charged with one account of breaking and entering.

9. The Queen's Corgis will be happy to know that under a law passed by George I, any commoner who's dog "gains carnal knowledge" of Royal pets will be punished with the severest penalty of death.

10. Diana was very lucky not to have been hanged for treason. Under the Treason Act of 1351 which hasn't been repealed, anyone who "violates the King's companion, the King's eldest daughter unmarried or the King's eldest son" is committing treason. When she gave her "Queen of Hearts" interview, she actually admitted treason and until 1998 could have been hanged for the crime.
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Old 06-16-2007, 01:33 PM
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Those are all very interesting laws. If someone broke one of them, could they still be penalized?
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  #3  
Old 06-16-2007, 01:41 PM
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Yep. They are all still in force.
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Old 06-16-2007, 02:49 PM
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Diana (and any of her lovers) might have been beheaded for committing adultery, also. (But isn't it interesting that the PoW would not have been equally penalized? Gender inequality is such a lovely thing.)
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Old 06-16-2007, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeatrixFan
The Duke of Edinburgh is a criminal Under the House of Lords Precedence Act of 1539, only the monarch's heir may be seated next to him at the State Opening of Parliament. The monarch's consort must sit to the left of the monarch. When the Queen came to the throne, she got rid of this and allowed the Duke of Edinburgh to sit next to her, but the law wasn't changed. Therefore, the Duke of Edinburgh breaks the law every time he enters the House of Lords. Prince Albert was also an offender.
I believe Philip does sit on the left, or is it supposed to mean at a lower level, as well? Female consorts also sit next to the monarch, are they breaking the law, too? When the Queen first came to the throne, the Duke of Edinburgh did have to sit down in a "chair of estate" about where the ladies in waiting are now.
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Old 06-16-2007, 09:36 PM
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Ah, sorry, it means at a lower level too. If a female consort sits next to the monarch then yes, they are breaking the law as well. The only people - according to the 1539 law - allowed to sit next to the monarch on the same level are his heirs. Apparantly there were three chairs at one point with the heir apparant and heir presumptive sat next to the monarch. Now it's all changed but the law hasn't.
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Old 06-16-2007, 09:42 PM
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You were going to get around to sharing the book title and author with us, weren't you?
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Old 06-16-2007, 09:59 PM
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LOL. Indeed. Nigel Cawthorne - Strange Laws of Olde England.
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Old 06-16-2007, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iowabelle View Post
Diana (and any of her lovers) might have been beheaded for committing adultery, also. (But isn't it interesting that the PoW would not have been equally penalized? Gender inequality is such a lovely thing.)
not gender inequality but the heir to the throne and the king are allowed to father illegamates but the princess and the queen are not allowed to have men other than their husbands. It is important because the royal bloodline must be kept with no doubt in succession. Check Prince Harry and Hewitt and we see the point.
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Old 06-19-2007, 04:06 PM
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lol.. ...proud to be an American.....

whats this cudgel business? hmm... heh-heh.. (roflmao) j/k
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Old 06-19-2007, 04:32 PM
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lol.. ...proud to be an American.....
Woah tiger - you lot have some pretty strange laws too you know. For example, in Lynden in Washington, it is illegal for dancing and alcohol consumption to take place in the same building. In Kansas, rabbits may not be shot at from motorboats and in Alabama, one can not only marry one's immediate family but you can be sentenced to 50 years in prison for impersonating a member of the clergy.
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Old 06-19-2007, 04:45 PM
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Well, in Mississippi you can not chew gum and walk on the side walk, not can you pee from a porch.
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Old 06-19-2007, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Woah tiger - you lot have some pretty strange laws too you know. For example, in Lynden in Washington, it is illegal for dancing and alcohol consumption to take place in the same building. In Kansas, rabbits may not be shot at from motorboats and in Alabama, one can not only marry one's immediate family but you can be sentenced to 50 years in prison for impersonating a member of the clergy.
And there is also a law that forbids flies (or bees) to fly across a certain state too.

Thanks for sharing these old, wonderful laws Beatrixfan. I had a good laugh.
The Duchess of Cornwall better watch out going to Burlington Arcade though, I don't want her to be imprisoned.
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Old 06-21-2007, 05:46 PM
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Another great one : It is forbidden for a commoner to die in a royal palace. This includes the Houses of Parliament. If one does die in a royal palace, one is not considered to be dead until one has been removed from the palace.
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Old 06-21-2007, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Woah tiger - you lot have some pretty strange laws too you know. For example, in Lynden in Washington, it is illegal for dancing and alcohol consumption to take place in the same building. In Kansas, rabbits may not be shot at from motorboats and in Alabama, one can not only marry one's immediate family but you can be sentenced to 50 years in prison for impersonating a member of the clergy.
Well not in New York.
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:10 PM
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Well not in New York.
There are some funny laws in New York as well.
  • A fine of $25 can be levied for flirting. This old law specifically prohibits men from turning around on any city street and looking "at a women in that way." A second conviction for a crime of this magnitude calls for the violating male to be forced to wear a "pair of horse-blinders" wherever and whenever he goes outside for a stroll.
  • It is illegal for a woman to be on the street wearing "body hugging clothing."
  • The penalty for jumping off a building is death.
  • A person may not walk around on Sundays with an ice cream cone in his/her pocket.
  • While riding in an elevator, one must talk to no one, and fold his hands while looking toward the door.
  • Slippers are not to be worn after 10:00 P.
Today, inspired by this thread, I had a look at some of Armenian strange laws. The New York ones seem quite sensible compared to those!
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:21 PM
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No one I know actually follows these laws, Police have better things to do then arrest people for breaking these laws.
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Old 07-08-2007, 03:25 PM
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What Powers & Prerogatives does the Monarch still have, and when are they exercised?

This thread is to discuss the Royal Powers & Prerogatives, and when are they used. It will be interesting to know what powers the Monarch has now, when and in what situations are they exercised, how those powers evolved or were restricted, are any under threat and other questions.
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Old 07-08-2007, 03:38 PM
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There are many powers and prerogatives that are exercised by the Queen, but on the sole advice of her government. (Or by constitutional convention that details how a government should be appointed, etc.)

The Queen appoints and dismisses ministers, dissolves Parliament and calls elections, grants clemency and pardons, awards honours*, declares wars and states of emergencies, grants charters to incorporate corporations and cities, authorises the minting of coins, issues and revokes passports, deports foreign citizens, creates common law courts, creates universities, appoints Bishops and Archbishops, accredits diplomats, approves treaties, prohibits subjects from leaving the realm, and authorises the printing of the authorised version of the bible, all on the advice of her government.

*With the exception of the Order of the Garter, Order of the Thistle, Order of Merit, and the Royal Victorian Order, all of which are awarded at her discretion.

The royal prerogative also includes the duties of keeping peace and defending the realm, which are also exercised by her government.

The monarch (and thus the government) cannot deprive someone of life, liberty, or property without an Act of Parliament, so therefore cannot imprison or tax at will.

The monarch also grants Royal Assent to bills. In theory, the government could advise the Queen to withhold her assent to a bill, but as the government is held responsible for its actions in the Commons, and is thus backed by a majority of the house (and typically controls the agenda), it is improbable that a government would ever be faced with a situation of a bill contrary to its wishes being put through.
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Old 07-09-2007, 02:09 PM
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I wonder if this talk of a new constitution by Gordon Brown will have any effect on the royal prerogatives. It always seemed as though Tony Blair was doing his best to minimise the role of the Queen in the government and turn her into a figurehead monarch, but it seems as though Gordon Brown is less of a control freak.
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