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The Queen

The Queen vetted 67 laws before Scottish Parliament could pass them

Queen Elizabeth II
i-Images/ Pool

The Scottish government has given Her Majesty The Queen advanced access to at least 67 parliamentary bills. These bills are said to affect her public powers, private property, or personal interests under an arcane custom inherited from Westminster. The Queen’s consent procedure, which critics say is anti-democratic, has been repeatedly used by Her Majesty in recent decades. It has allowed the monarch to secretly lobby for changes in proposed UK legislation before Parliament passes it. The Scottish practice unknown to the public until now has been known as crown consent.

Royal Courtiers and the Scottish government declined to say how many laws have been amended as a result of The Queen’s lobbying. However, according to the Guardian, The Queen’s lawyers have recently persuaded a Scottish minister to give her an exemption from the Heat Networks Bill designed to cut carbon emissions through the construction of heat pipelines. The lobbying effort, which took part five months ago, is noted in documents obtained by Lily Humphreys, a Scottish Liberal Democrat researcher who used the freedom of information laws.

The Heat Networks Bill is meant to enable the construction of “green” pipelines to heat clusters of homes and businesses to make them use renewable energy rather than taking the energy from separate fossil fuel boilers. The Queen’s special dispensation makes her the only person in Scotland who does not have to adhere to the new green energy rule.

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Another correspondence shows how The Queen is allowed to vet draft laws that could potentially affect the private estate around Balmoral Castle in the highlands. In 2018, Balmoral was given nearly £107,000 in EU subsidies, including £104,000 thousand for “rural development” projects.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said on the matter: “The Royal Household can be consulted on bills in order to ensure the technical accuracy and consistency of the application of the bill to the crown, a complex legal principle governed by statute and common law. This process does not change the nature of any such bill.”

The Queen is one of Scotland’s largest private landowners and owns about 24,900 hectares (61,500 acres) at Balmoral and a further 4,730 hectares of Abergeldie estate which borders Balmoral.

About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.