Will the royals vote in the general election?

Despite being apolitical, the King can legally vote but will (or should) the royals cast their ballot on July 4th?

Pop Culture & Art May 29, 2024

While millions of UK citizens will cast their ballots on July 4, whether King Charles and other royals will vote remains a question for many.

Despite the monarchy's apolitical stance, it is legally possible for the King to vote. 

However, tradition dictates that the monarch remains neutral. 

The UK Parliament's website states, "Although not prohibited by law, it is considered unconstitutional for the monarch to vote in an election." 

The royal family's official site further explains that as Head of State, King Charles must "remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters, unable to vote or stand for election."

This neutrality extends to other royals, making it unlikely that citizens will see Prince William or Princess Eugenie at polling stations. 

Historically, certain royals, such as the Duke of York and Duke of Edinburgh, were barred from voting due to their hereditary peerage, which until 1999 allowed them to sit in the House of Lords. 

Tony Blair's reforms largely removed hereditary peers from the Lords, thus royals no longer hold these positions.

Prince Harry highlighted the royals' voting restrictions during the 2020 US presidential election, stating, "I'm not going to be able to vote here in the US. But many of you may not know that I haven't been able to vote in the UK my entire life." 

Although Harry resides in the US, it is unclear if he has sought citizenship, which would enable him to vote in American elections.

While King Charles will not participate in the election as a voter, he plays crucial ceremonial and formal roles. 

The royal family's website notes, "The King's duties include opening each new session of Parliament, granting Royal Assent to legislation, and approving Orders and Proclamations through the Privy Council."

Furthermore, King Charles maintains a special relationship with the Prime Minister and holds formal roles in the devolved assemblies of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. 

This unique position underscores the monarch's enduring influence in the UK's political landscape, despite his non-voting status.


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