Can King Charles and the Royal Family vote in the UK's next general election?

Rishi Sunak and King Charles III
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

A general election is just six weeks away - and with a new King on the throne, many people are questioning whether the monarchy are able to vote when it comes to UK politics. While King Charles III and the rest of the Royal Family are in fact allowed to vote, the monarch will not.

Despite being a fundamental right to vote, Parliamentary guidelines state that it is considered unconstitutional for the ruler and his or her family to vote in a general election. The Royal website stipulates that the Head of State must 'remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters' - and is therefore unable to stand in an election or vote.

The late Queen Elizabeth II did not vote, and Charles is likely to follow suit with regards to elections. The Mirror reports that it is also believed that Camilla and the Prince and Princess of Wales will also follow suit.

An Electoral Commission spokesman speaking about the late Queen previously explained: "By convention, the Queen doesn't vote, rather than because of a legal impediment." And despite not casting a vote, the King will play a vital role in the election process as the Head of State.

His first job has already been completed in granting Rishi Sunak the permission to dissolve Parliament - and once the dissolution is complete, the general election campaign will officially kick off. The King is strictly politically neutral, so will not be involved in the campaign in any way - and is likely to keep his opinions close to his chest in the six weeks before Brits take to the polling booths on July 4.

Once a winner is declared, the King will then have to grant a party leader permission to form a Government on his behalf. This meeting will formally be recorded in the Court Circular as 'kissing hands' - although it is likely that the winning leader and King will in reality simply shake hands.

During her monarchy, Queen Elizabeth II saw 15 Prime Ministers come and go. Her 15 PMs were:

  • Winston Churchill - 1951-55 - Conservative

  • Sir Anthony Eden - 1955-57 - Conservative

  • Harold Macmillan - 1957-63 - Conservative

  • Sir Alec Douglas-Home - 1963-64 - Conservative

  • Harold Wilson - 1964-70 and 1974-76 - Labour

  • Edward Heath - 1970-74 - Conservative

  • James Callaghan - 1976-79 - Labour

  • Margaret Thatcher - 1979-90 - Conservative

  • John Major - 1990-97 - Conservative

  • Tony Blair - 1997-2007 - New Labour

  • Gordon Brown - 2007-2010 - New Labour

  • David Cameron - 2010-2016 - Conservative

  • Theresa May - 2016-2019 - Conservative

  • Boris Johnson - 2019 to 2022 - Conservative

  • Liz Truss - 2022 - Conservative

The King, meanwhile, is already onto his second Prime Minister after Rishi Sunak replaced Liz Truss just days into the King's reign.