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Sunday, November 29, 1998 Published at 09:18 GMT

UK Politics

Royals lose voting rights

The Royal Family have not voted in the Lords for years

The Royal Family will lose its historic right to sit and vote in Parliament under the government's reforms of the House of Lords.

The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, and the Dukes of York, Gloucester and Kent will all lose their seats along with other hereditary peers.

Buckingham Palace has confirmed it has accepted that the Royal Family will have to give up its seats in the Lords if legislation announced in the Queen's Speech last week is passed.

[ image: The Queen has accepted the loss of the seats]
The Queen has accepted the loss of the seats
A spokesman said: "Formal advice has been received from the government on reforms and in line with established constitutional practice and the Queen has accepted that advice.

"The peers of first creation - the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke of York would lose their seats.

"There would be no separate arrangements for the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent. They would not be able to remain in the House of Lords."

A Downing Street spokesman said: "The palace are full square behind this. They are fully in line with the government plans on hereditary peers."

He pointed out that it is an historic right and that members of the Royal Family have not voted for many years.

The House of Lords Reform Bill, which will remove the right of hereditary peers to sit and vote in the Lords, is expected to be introduced in the New Year.

The government has also said it intends to establish a Royal Commission to consider options for longer term reform of the Lords.

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