APPENDIX C: ROYAL COMMISSIONS |
A Royal Commission consists of three or more (usually
five) Commissioners, who are Privy Counsellors appointed by Letters
Patent to perform certain functions on the Queen's behalf. These
- proceedings at the
opening of a new Parliament in connection with the election of
a Speaker by the Commons (see appendix D page 260);
- proceedings at the Opening of Parliament
when the Queen is not present (see appendix E page 256);
- proceedings in relation to the giving of Royal
Assent to bills (see appendix F page 259);
- proceedings at the prorogation of Parliament
(see appendix G page 261).
A minister of the Crown of cabinet rank normally
presides. The Commissioners wear robes and (optionally for female
Proceedings on Royal Commissions differ in their
details but share common characteristics, which are described
in this appendix. Appendices D-G describe the differences.
The Lords Commissioners enter the Chamber by the
door on the spiritual side near the Throne. They take their seats
on a form placed between the Throne and the Woolsack. The presiding
Commissioner sits in the centre; the senior in precedence of the
other Lords Commissioners sits on his or her right and the next
senior on his or her left, the remaining two in order of seniority
on the right and left of these respectively.
The presiding Commissioner commands Black Rod:
"Let the Commons know that the Lords Commissioners
desire their immediate attendance in this House [to hear the Commission
Black Rod summons the Commons.
The Commons proceed from their Chamber and advance
to the Bar of the House of Lords, bowing three times, the first
time at the step, the second time midway between the step and
the Bar, the third time at the Bar. Each bow is acknowledged by
the Lords Commissioners. Male Commissioners raise their hats;
women Commissioners do not.
The Commission is read by the Reading Clerk at the
Table. He bows to each Lord Commissioner as he names them, and
a male Commissioner responds by raising his hat. Women Commissioners
keep their hats on.
The Commons withdraw, with three bows which are acknowledged
as on their arrival.
The Commissioners, led by the presiding Commissioner,
leave the Chamber by the door on the spiritual side near the Throne,
100 Either a new Parliament or a new session. Back
These words are added on the first day of a new Parliament, or
if Parliament is to be prorogued. Back