The British Queen and her son Prince Charles enjoy a veto power, by which they can annul any new laws being drafted against their interest in the government, it has been revealed.
The revelation came after the coalition government lost the battle to keep information about the level of royal interference in politics secret.
Governmental papers prepared by Cabinet Office lawyers showed that overall at least 39 bills have been subject to the most senior royals’ little-known power to approve or reject new laws.
The documents also revealed that the power has been used to abolish planned legislation relating to decisions about the country going to war.
The documents, named as the internal Whitehall pamphlet, were only released following a court order and revealed that ministers and civil servants are obliged to consult the Queen and Prince Charles in greater detail and over more areas of lawmaking than was originally understood.
The new laws that were required to receive the seal of approval from Elizabeth II or Prince Charles cover issues from higher education and paternity pay to identity cards and child maintenance.
In one incident on the matter, the Queen completely banned the Military Actions Against Iraq Bill in 1999, a private member’s bill that required the transfer of power from the monarch to parliament to allow military strikes against Iraq.
The British monarch was also asked to consent to the Civil Partnership Act 2004 because it contained a declaration about the legality of a civil partnership that would bind her.
“This is opening the eyes of those who believe the Queen only has a ceremonial role,” said Andrew George, Liberal Democrat MP for St Ives, which includes land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, the Prince of Wales’ hereditary estate.
George added, “At any stage this issue could come up and surprise us and we could find parliament is less powerful than we thought it was.”
Director of the republican campaign for an elected head of state ‘Republic’ Graham Smith has also called for full disclosure of the details of the occasions when royal consent has been refused.