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The Privy Council

Wikipedia describes the Privy Council as "a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership mainly comprises senior politicians who are current or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords".

Below we reproduce the guide to new members on their induction into the Council and the oath they take.

The induction guide refers to footstools and not walking backwards. To kneeling before and kissing the hand of the hereditary head of state. To bowing the head and to curtseying, The oath makes servants of the monarch those who should be servants of the people. Privy Councillors must also agree to report any anti-monarchy statements they hear to the monarch or to one of her cronies. And they must agree to keep secret from the people of the UK the business that is conducted in the Privy Council.

This is feudal. It has nothing to do with democracy.

The Privy Council Induction Ceremoney

The Clerk of the Privy Council will, before the Council starts, explain the order of entry into the Council Chamber, and the position you should take up once you have entered and shaken hands with The Queen.

Induction is the first item of business. When you hear the Lord President read out your name you should proceed to the first footstool (the Clerk will have explained the layout of the footstools) and kneel down on your right knee and hold up your right hand. The Clerk will then read out the short Affirmation of Allegiance. You do not repeat the Affirmation aloud, but you should mentally repeat the words, and say "I do" at the end.

After saying "I do" you should stand and move to the second footstool, which is directly in front of The Queen, and kneel (right knee). The Queen will hold out Her right hand. You should take it with your right hand, raise it to your lips, kiss it and release it. Standing up, you should take a pace or two backwards, make a neck bow (ladies may curtsey), and return to your original position in the line of Privy Counsellors (there is no need to walk backwards).

Once back in the line you should once again raise your right hand and the Clerk will read out the long Privy Counsellor's Affirmation. Once again you do not repeat the Affirmation aloud, but you should follow the words carefully and say "I do" at the end.

You then shake hands with the Lord President and the other Counsellors if present (though not with The Queen).

The remainder of the business of the Council will then proceed. At the end The Queen normally engages in a short informal conversation with the Counsellors before pressing the bell. On that signal the Counsellors in turn shake hands with The Queen and leave the Chamber, with no special ceremony.

The Privy Council Office will, after the Council, send you a copy of the Order recording that you have affirmed and a copy of the Privy Counsellor's Affirmation.

Privy Counsellors may use the prefix "Right Honourable" and peers may additionally use the suffix "PC".

The Privy Council Oath

You do swear by Almighty God to be a true and faithful Servant unto the Queen's Majesty, as one of Her Majesty's Privy Council. You will not know or understand of any manner of thing to be attempted, done, or spoken against Her Majesty's Person, Honour, Crown, or Dignity Royal, but you will let and withstand the same to the uttermost of your Power, and either cause it to be re- vealed to Her Majesty Herself, or to such of her Privy Council as shall advertise Her Majesty of the same. You will, in all things to be moved, treated, and debated in Council, faithfully and truly declare your Mind and Opinion, according to your Heart and Conscience; and will keep secret all Matters committed and revealed unto you, or that shall be treated of secretly in Council. And if any of the said Treaties or Counsels shall touch any of the Counsellors, you will not reveal it unto him, but will keep the same until such time as, by the Consent of Her Majesty, or of the Council, Publication shall be made thereof. You will to your uttermost bear Faith and Allegiance unto the Queen's Majesty; and will assist and defend all Jurisdictions, Pre-eminences, and Authorities, granted to Her Majesty, and annexed to the Crown by Acts of Parliament, or otherwise, against all Foreign Princes, Persons, Prelates, States, or Potentates. And generally in all things you will do as a faithful and true Servant ought to do to Her Majesty. So help you God.

Privy Council guide and oath from And What Do You Do?. Norman Baker

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