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It is constitutional convention in the United Kingdom that the royal prerogatives are only carried out on the advice of the responsible minister. It is clear that it would be a political and constitutional outrage for the Queen to act without advice or to refuse to act when advised.

I want to know how this process works technically. I read that if the government wants to carry out a royal prerogative, an order-in-council is required which involves meeting with the Queen in person.

Does the Queen just needs to express consent verbally or does she need to actually sign anything? Are there witnesses present? Can the document be signed (if it has to) on behalf of the Queen by another person?

After that, how does it continue? Does the Prime minister just walk out of the meeting and claims that the Queen has agreed and then orders somebody to carry out the prerogative? (e.g. in case of prorogation of parliament: does he just tell it to the Speaker, Black rod, etc. himself?) Or is there another chain of command that involves the Queen mandatory, i.e. she herself has to give the order to somebody?

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    There are a lot of related questions on the queen but I think this question about the extent of the queen's (ceremonial) involvement in the legislative process hasn't been asked before here. Just putting this here for possible future dupe close voters. ;) – JJJ Nov 23 '19 at 23:59
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I want to know how this process works technically. I read that if the government wants to carry out a royal prerogative, an order-in-council is required which involves meeting with the Queen in person.

Does the Queen just needs to express consent verbally or does she need to actually sign anything? Are there witnesses present? Can the document be signed (if it has to) on behalf of the Queen by another person?

A document is issued. The Queen doesn't necessarily have to sign, it can be signed by the Clerk of the Privy Council. For examples, see this set of Orders that were issued as part of the meeting of the Privy Council in which the controversial prorogation (order for which on the last page) was agreed.

After that, how does it continue? Does the Prime minister just walk out of the meeting and claims that the Queen has agreed and then orders somebody to carry out the prerogative? (e.g. in case of prorogation of parliament: does he just tell it to the Speaker, Black rod, etc. himself?) Or is there another chain of command that involves the Queen mandatory, i.e. she herself has to give the order to somebody?

Note first that the Prime Minister doesn't have to be present; merely any 3 of the Privy Council, so often other Ministers go to the meeting instead. As to how an Order actually comes into effect, my understanding is that it depends on the powers the Minister is relying on to ask the Queen to grant the order. Orders made through virtue of Prerogative Powers (I.E. the Queens remaining powers as monarch) I assume need no further validation, and simply come into effect on the date specified in the Order. Other Orders (made through Powers granted through legislation for example) often need to be laid before Parliament before taking effect.

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  • So an order comes legally into effect if the minister giving advice is responsible for the matter. But how does it technically? For sure, some people need to actually carry out the motion (e.g. civil service / judges or Speaker in case of prorogation). How do these people obtain the order? Does some secretary of the Queen then hand the order to those or can the responsible minister himself just tell them that the Queen has agreed? – Franz Ferdinand Nov 24 '19 at 15:36

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