Queen’s Counsel becomes King’s Counsel

Queen’s Counsel becomes King’s Counsel

Leading barristers across the United Kingdom have become King’s Counsel (KC) rather than Queen’s Counsel (QC) following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

A spokeswoman for the Bar Council, which represents barristers, said the change was immediate.

Bar Council chairman Mark Fenhalls used the KC initials in a statement issued after the Queen’s death at the age of 96 on Thursday afternoon.

“The officers, members and staff of the General Council of the Bar of England and Wales join with colleagues across the legal professions in mourning the loss of our country’s most devoted public servant,” he said.

“Throughout a long, loyal and steadfast reign, Queen Elizabeth II embodied the symbolic role of the figure in whose name justice is carried out with great integrity.

“I have written to offer our deep and sincere condolences to His Majesty the King.”

Kirsty Brimelow KC, chairwoman of the Criminal Bar Association, added: “The Criminal Bar Association joins with legal professions across the commonwealth in mourning the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

“We pay tribute to the Queen’s steadfast and true public service and offer our deep condolences to His Majesty the King and the royal family.

“We mark with sorrow and dedication to justice the change of Queen’s Counsel to King’s Counsel.”

The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Burnett of Maldon, said on Thursday evening that news of the Queen’s death was “of great sadness for all judicial office holders in England & Wales, across the United Kingdom and around the Commonwealth”.

He added: “Her majesty’s service to this country and the Commonwealth throughout the seven decades of her reign has been unparalleled.

In the Turks and Caicos Islands, a British Overseas Territory, the same title will apply to all senior counsels.