In the UK, what is the process for the monarch to bestow honourary military appointments. For example, when HM Queen Elizabeth II made then Prince Charles an Admiral of the Fleet in 2012. Is it solely within the sovereign's gift? Is it done in consultation with government or the military?


1 Answer 1


Apart from a few honours in the "personal gift of the monarch" (such as membership of the Order of the Garter, or the Royal Victorian Order), all appointments made by the Monarch are done on the advice of, and in consultation with, Ministers.

However, this was unlikely to have been a particularly controversial decision. The position is entirely honourary. Charles never had any operational responsibilities as Admiral of the Fleet.

  • Even without responsibilities, did he have any capabilities?
    – Barmar
    Sep 22, 2022 at 22:15
  • Like the King has various "reserve powers" and so on, yes in some hypothetical situation, no in every conceivable practical situation.
    – James K
    Sep 23, 2022 at 17:45
  • He could try and give orders to troops, but that would provoke a constitutional crisis (just as it would if the King decided to ignore parliament and pass laws, dismiss public officials, etc), and officers would have to decide what to do.
    – Stuart F
    Oct 20, 2022 at 9:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .