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A writer, blogger, historian, and web designer born in New York, educated in Argentina, Scotland, and South Africa, and now based in London. read more

The Steps of the Throne

Who may sit on the steps of the throne in the House of Lords?

Much was made of the Prime Minister’s decision to sit in the House of Lords when they were going through stages of the bill to invoke Article 50 last year. Theresa May had the right to sit on the steps of the throne in the Lords chamber by virtue of being sworn to the Privy Council, as all holders of the four Great Offices of State are (and usually their opposition Shadows as well).

But who else is granted the privilege of lodging their posterior in such a prominent locale?

The Companion to the Standing Orders and Guide to the Proceedings of the House of Lords provides some guidance:

Steps of the Throne

1.59 The following may sit on the steps of the Throne:

· members of the House of Lords in receipt of a writ of summons, including those who have not taken their seat or the oath and those who have leave of absence;

· members of the House of Lords who are disqualified from sitting or voting in the House as Members of the European Parliament or as holders of disqualifying judicial office;

· hereditary peers who were formerly members of the House and who were excluded from the House by the House of Lords Act 1999;

· the eldest child (which includes an adopted child) of a member of the House (or the eldest son where the right was exercised before 27 March 2000);

· peers of Ireland;

· diocesan bishops of the Church of England who do not yet have seats in the House of Lords;

· retired bishops who have had seats in the House of Lords;

· Privy Counsellors;

· Clerk of the Crown in Chancery;

· Black Rod and his Deputy;

· the Dean of Westminster.

This post was published on Friday, February 9th, 2018 3:45 pm. It has been categorised under Great Britain Nobility Politics Tradition and been tagged under , , .
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