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Scotland Act 1998

Advice to The Queen

Special arrangements for giving advice to The Queen were described in a Prime Ministerial answer on 30 June 1999 (WA col 215) and an associated paper deposited in the House of Commons Library.

In cases where Her Majesty exercises a function which is exercisable within devolved competence for the purposes of the Scotland Act 1998 and She was, by convention, advised by a Minister of the Crown about the exercise of that function, then from 1 July 1999 She will be advised by the First Minister instead of by a Minister of the Crown. Examples of circumstances in which Her Majesty will in future be advised by the First Minister instead of by the Secretary of State in relation to the exercise of Her functions which relate in whole or in part to a devolved matter are shown below where they are relevant to paragraphs 1 to 5 of Schedule 5.

Her Majesty will be advised by the First Minister on:

  • the appointment of the Lord Lyon and Lyon Clerk.

  • use of the Royal Prerogative(1) including the use of Royal Names(2) and Royal Patronage(3);

  • Receipt of and response to the submission of Loyal Addresses to Her Majesty from Churches and individuals in Scotland;

  • Response to a Petition submitted to Her Majesty;

  • Appointment to offices in the Royal Household in Scotland, including HM Sculptor in Ordinary in Scotland; HM Painter and Limner in Scotland; the Royal Astronomer for Scotland; the Historiographer Royal in Scotland; the Keeper of Dumbarton Castle.

There are some matters in respect of which the Prime Minister gives advice to Her Majesty on the exercise of Her functions and on which it is appropriate for the Prime Minister to consult or to take advice from the First Minister. These matters include recommendations of Scottish candidates for honours and dignities, which are a reserved matter, and advice on the appointment of Lord Lieutenants in Scotland, the Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and members of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution and the Forestry Commission.


In respect of the use of the Royal Prerogative, where the advice concerns a devolved matter the First Minister will advise Her Majesty.


An organisation may only call itself “Royal” if it has the authority of Her Majesty. Requests to name a street or other place after a member of the Royal Family also require approval by Her Majesty.  Where the application is for something that is in Scotland, the First Minister will advise Her Majesty.


This refers to patronage of an organisation by a member of the Royal Family.  Where the organisation is Scottish-based and operates in devolved areas the First Minister will advise Her Majesty.

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