The Queen urged the government to change a proposed law to hide her personal wealth from public knowledge. The story was presented by The Guardian, a newspaper that publishes a series of documents this Sunday.
A collection of government notes found in the National Archives shows that Isabel II’s private prosecutor pressured ministers to amend bills to prevent their shares from being disclosed to the public.
Following the Queen’s intervention, the government inserted a section in the law granting the power to exempt companies using new leaders from new transparency measures.
The “arrangement” planned in the 1970s was used to create a front company with state support, which is believed to have kept the Queen’s private reserves and investments a secret until at least 2011.
The true amount of his wealth was never disclosed, although it was estimated at hundreds of millions of pounds.
Evidence from the King’s Lobby on Ministers The investigation by “The Guardian” revealed that the royal family had used a mysterious parliamentary procedure known as ‘Queen’s Consent’, which secretly influenced the writing of British laws.
Unlike another well-known practice, ‘royal approval’, the mere formality that marks the moment a bill becomes law, requires the ‘Queen’s approval’ before the law is passed in Parliament.
Ministers should warn the Queen when laws affect state ownership and the personal interests of the crown.
The royal family’s website describes the practice as a “long-established convention” and constitutional experts consider consent to be an opaque but harmless example of the greatness surrounding the monarchy.
But documents now in the National Archives, published by the British newspaper, suggest that the approval process for the Queen and her lawyers to anticipate bills going to parliament has allowed them to campaign for legislative changes.
Thomas Adams, a constitutional legal expert at Oxford University who reviewed the new documents, says “they show influence over the law that only campaigners can dream of.” The mere existence of the consent process, Adams added, seems to have given “considerable influence” to bills affecting the Queen.
The Guardian fully describes the whole process, as well as the conduct of all involved, thus leaving no doubt about the effectiveness of the House of Commons.