The Privy Council of the United Kingdom is a formal body of advisers to the British monarch. It is made up of various senior politicians, judges, and other officials who are appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister.
The Privy Council has a number of functions, including acting as a court of final appeal for a number of countries and territories that are part of the Commonwealth of Nations. It also has the power to issue orders and ordinances on behalf of the monarch, and it serves as a ceremonial body for certain formal occasions.
In addition to its judicial and ceremonial roles, the Privy Council also advises the monarch on the exercise of certain royal prerogatives, such as the appointment of bishops and the granting of pardons. It is one of the oldest institutions in the UK, and it continues to play a significant role in the country’s constitutional arrangements.
Certain judicial functions are also performed by the King-in-Council, although in practice its actual work of hearing and deciding upon cases is carried out day-to-day by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The Judicial Committee consists of senior judges appointed as privy counsellors: predominantly justices of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and senior judges from the Commonwealth. The Privy Council formerly acted as the High Court of Appeal for the entire British Empire (other than for the United Kingdom itself). It continues to hear judicial appeals from some other independent Commonwealth countries, as well as Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories including the Turks and Caicos Islands.