Why won't King Charles and the royal family be voting in the general election?

Why won't King Charles and the royal family be voting in the general election?

King Charles is set to give permission for a new government to be created but the reigning monarch will have no say on who that will be.

As the head of state, he has a ceremonial rule in proceedings after the general election and will be visited by the leader of the winning party who will ask permission to establish the next government.

Although Brits are heading to the polls after current prime minister Rishi Sunak announced a general election on May 22, there won't be any ballots cast by the royal family.

But why is this and what is the role of the royal family in politics? Read on to find out more.

Why do the royal family not vote?

In the running of the UK, the British monarchy and parliament must work together on matters of state – regardless of which political party is in power.

The royal family – as a result – must stay politically neutral on all matters. The monarch and the rest of the royal family also must maintain relationships with leaders of foreign countries regardless of their political affiliations, which means the royal family do not vote or publicly express their political views.

However, there is no law saying they cannot vote – but they choose not to. It is not known if the other members of the family choose to vote but it is believed they do not.

What is King Charles’s role in the general election?

In the early hours of Friday July 5, it is expected that it will become clear which party has won the most seats, following the closure of polling stations across the country at 10pm. The count is expected to conclude sometime on Friday.

The same day, the leader of the winning party will visit Buckingham Palace and meet the King. He will then invite him to become prime minister and form a government.

They will then meet again at the private weekly audience between monarch and prime minister "to discuss government matters".

"Though the King remains politically neutral on all matters, he is able to 'advise and warn' his ministers – including his prime minister – when necessary," according to the royal family's website.

What happens after the King asks the government to form?

The new cabinet will be put together over the weekend.

The new parliament will then be called to meet on Tuesday July 9 when the business will be the election of the speaker. The state opening of parliament and the King’s Speech will follow on Wednesday July 17.