The Queen cannot sue in her own courts

An article in the Independent is entitled ‘Palace wins gag against ‘Mirror’ over royal footman’ (By Robert Verkaik Legal Affairs)
The widely reported Daily Mirror reporter who got himself employed as a footman at Buckingham Palace and showed that a terrorist could have had access to all the rooms also took photographs of some of the private rooms. These were published online. It’s fascinating to see what kind of furnishings the royal family choose. However, it wasn’t clear that these photographs served an important anti-terrorist purpose.

Now the Queen has won a temporary injunction till next Monday, forbidding the Mirror to publish further such revelations.

bq. Photographs published yesterday and on Wednesday showed the private living quarters of senior members of the Royal Family, including the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. One pictured the Queen’s breakfast table shortly after it had been set by palace servants while another was of the Duke of York’s bachelor apartment.

Curses, I didn’t see them all. Missed the Queen’s breakfast table. I will have to imagine it. Just a boiled egg, I should think, maybe porridge and toast? No kippers.

bq. The Queen, who cannot bring proceedings in her own court, instructed Lord Goldsmith to ask the judge to prevent further intrusions into the daily lives of the Royal Family. That move is a rare legal procedure, last used in 1990 against another servant.

Of course the Queen can’t sue or be sued. But this is presumably just as good. She is likely to win the case, apparently. In England, proceedings in criminal courts are in the Queen’s name, and the royal court of arms is displayed in court, rather than the flag (USA) or a cross (Germany).

BBC News discussed this topic a year ago. Article on The Queen and the Law.

Later note: caches are good things. What, cereal in Tupperware containers?

3 thoughts on “The Queen cannot sue in her own courts

  1. Pity BBC News dodged the issue of civil and criminal actions against the rest of the Royal Family – why and on what legal basis Princess Anne humbly accepted a car speeding summons many years ago and, more recently, was sued for her dog attacking a child in a park. I assume, to avoid a media storm, she was legally advised to ‘submit’ to both the criminal summons and the civil writ and not argue her derivative Royal Immunity.

  2. That is new to me, that the other members of the royal family could argue derivative immunity. Andrew has surely been had for speeding too. I thought it was only the Queen who was immune. But as you say, it presumably would do them no good to put up a fight.

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