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The privileged bodies of the United Kingdom are those institutions and corporations which enjoy the historic right to present an address to the British Sovereign in person.[1]

In modern times this right is exercised on significant occasions in the life of the monarch and at a ceremony specially organised for the purpose. A senior representative of each body delivers each loyal address and, after each has been read, the monarch responds and receives parchment copies of each.

List

Most recently the following 27 bodies presented loyal addresses to King Charles III on 9 March 2023 at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace to mark the start of his reign:

History

The speeches given and presented were originally called humble addresses, like those of Parliament, but over time have become known as loyal addresses. They offered regional government and other organisations an opportunity to demonstrate their dedication to the Crown. There were formerly several hundred privileged bodies and the addresses provided the opportunity to reassert their loyalty as well as drawing the monarch's attention to particular issues. In an age of limited communications, it was a rare and valuable opportunity to directly address the monarch. It also gave the government of the time an idea of what concerned the country’s citizens.

Today, as with Parliament's humble addresses, the privilege is more ceremonial than political, serving to emphasise and reaffirm the antiquity and importance of the privileged bodies on special royal occasions.

Queen Elizabeth II received the privileged bodies five times during her reign:

King Charles III has currently received them once during his reign:

References

  1. ^ "No. 60160". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 2 June 2012.
  2. ^ Low, Valentine (9 March 2023). "King Charles praises British values as he marks accession to throne". The Times. Retrieved 9 March 2023.