Work of the Privy Council Office

Overview

The Privy Council Secretariat provides an essential service, both within and outside Government. Our aim is to provide it as effectively as possible, making full use of new technology and taking a positive and helpful approach to our customers’ needs.

The Privy Council Office provides Secretariat services for the Privy Council (that part of Her Majesty’s Government which advises on the exercise of prerogative powers and certain functions assigned to The Queen and the Council by Act of Parliament).

The Secretariat is responsible for the arrangements leading to the making of all Royal Proclamations and Orders in Council and for certain formalities connected with Ministerial changes.

Much of the day-to-day work of the Secretariat is concerned with the affairs of Chartered Bodies, the 900 or so institutions, charities and companies who are incorporated by Royal Charter. The Privy Council also has an important part to play in respect of certain UK statutory regulatory bodies covering a number of professions (mainly in the health care field) and in the world of higher education. Changes to the governing instruments of UK universities and colleges require Privy Council approval and also the adoption of the title “University College”.

The Secretariat is also responsible for the arrangements for the appointment of the High Sheriffs of England and Wales, except the Duchy of Lancaster (Lancashire, Cheshire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester) and Cornwall and for many Crown and Privy Council appointments to governing bodies.

This part of the website provides information about aspects of the work of the Privy Council and the Privy Council Office. Use the navigation bar on the left to find out more.

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