Press regulation deal – what is a Royal Charter?

Today’s press regulation announcement has been tangled in technical terminology, but what is a Royal Charter?

  • A letter from the Queen which sets up organisations - such as public bodies, professional institutions, charities and even cities - without the need for a law
  • The BBC, the Bank of England, the British Red Cross and the British Council are some of the best known organisations established by Royal Charter
  • The charter is written on vellum, sealed and laid in Parliament
  • The Royal Charter being proposed today is for the establishment of a press regulator
  • It is unique as it cannot be amended without the support of a two-thirds ‘super-majority’ of MPs and peers – there is political disagreement over whether this means it is “underpinned by law”.