Privy Council

Privy Counsellors are members of the Queen's own Council: the 'Privy Council'. There are about 500 members who have reached high public office. Membership includes all members of the Cabinet, past and present, the Speaker, the leaders of all major political parties, Archbishops and various senior judges as well as other senior public figures. Their role is to advise the Queen in carrying out her duties as Monarch. In the past Privy Counsellors were the chief governing body and fulfilled the role that the Cabinet performs today.

During debates in the Commons, MPs who are Privy Counsellors are referred to by their colleagues as`The Right Honourable Member'. The Lord President of the Council is a member of the cabinet and is in charge of the Office of the Privy Council. In recent years the role of Lord President of the Council has been linked with the role of Leader of the House of Commons, however the Deputy Prime Minister, Rt Hon Nick Clegg, currently holds the post.


Further information on this subject can be found from the following links.

Privy Council Office

House of Commons Library Standard Note: The Privy Council (PDF PDF 32 KB)

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