Some people dislike pomp and pageantry, while I personally quite like it – and although most of the ceremonies we see today are rarely more than a hundred years or so in date, within law, the pompous language is truly ancient.

From the use of Anglo-Norman in the House of Lords to state that The Queen wills it when a bill is passed, to the very verbose writings used when The Monarch makes a legal proclamation, I like the timeless nature of the language used as it helps differentiate the individual person from the Office they represent.

I also periodically check the London Gazette for announcements by The State, such as the one below.

In essence, it means a Judge appointed to the Supreme Court will be automatically made a Lord – but what a wonderful way of saying so.

The bill will be written onto Vellum and stored in Victoria Tower.

ELIZABETH THE SECOND, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Our Other Realms and Territories QUEEN, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, to Our Right Trusty and Right Entirely Beloved Cousin Edward William, Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal and Our Hereditary Marshal of England, Greeting!

WHEREAS it has been represented to Us that from time to time one or more of Our Justices of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (the Supreme Court) may not have been accorded the style or dignity of a Barony for Life;

AND WHEREAS we deem it expedient that all those Justices of the Supreme Court who have not been accorded the said style or dignity of a Barony for Life shall be designated by the courtesy style and title of “Lord” or “Lady” as the case may be;

AND WHEREAS WE also deem it expedient that the wife or widow of any Justice of the Supreme Court who has not been accorded the style of dignity of a Barony for life shall be designated with the courtesy style and title of “Lady”.

NOW KNOW YE that it is Our Will and Pleasure that Our Justices of the Supreme Court who have not been accorded the said style or dignity of a Barony for Life shall henceforth be known and addressed during their term of Office by the courtesy style of “Lord” or “Lady” as the case may be and shall be entitled to retain the said style of “Lord” or “Lady” in retirement as they have used and enjoyed during the term their Office as one of Our Justices of the Supreme Court;

AND KNOW YE that it is Our further Will and Pleasure that the wife or widow of any Justice of the Supreme Court who has not been accorded the said style or dignity of a Barony for life shall henceforth be known and addressed by the courtesy style of “Lady” for so long as she continues to be his wife or remains his widow:

OUR WILL AND PLEASURE therefore is that you do cause this Our Warrant to be recorded in Our College of Arms to the end that Our Officers of Arms and all others upon occasion may take full notice and have knowledge thereof;

AND for so doing this shall be your Warrant.

Given at Our Court at Saint James’s the 10th day of December 2010 in the fifty-ninth year of Our Reign.

By Her Majesty’s Command,

Ken Clarke, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

« « Previous Blog Post Next Blog Post » »

Sign up for my free weekly email newsletter

Sample Issue

4 Comments

  1. Agree. Lovely lingo. But that “Ken” in the last line spoils the effect somewhat.

  2. Nicholas

    Actually it means that they won’t be made a lord! One of the reasons for creating the Supreme Court was to separate the judiciary from the legislature. When the Supreme Court was created, it was also declared that henceforth judges of the Supreme Court would not be made life peers. What this declaration does is to give judges of the Supreme Court the curtesy title of “Lord”, but without making them a member of the House of Lords.

    • IanVisits

      Opps, yes, thanks for that.

Trackbacks / Pings

Comments Closed

This article is more than a year old, so comments are now closed. Sorry!

web