Privy council

A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the monarch's closest advisors to give confidential advice on state affairs.

Privy councils

Functioning privy councils

Government Privy Council
Belgium Crown Council of Belgium
Bhutan Privy Council of Bhutan
Brunei Privy Council of Brunei
Canada Queen's Privy Council for Canada
Cambodia Supreme Privy Advisory Council
Denmark Council of State
Jamaica Privy Council of Jamaica
Norway Norwegian Council of State
Netherlands Dutch Council of State
Spain Consejo de Estado
Thailand Privy Council of Thailand
Tonga Privy Council of Tonga
United Kingdom Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council

Former or dormant privy councils

Kingdom Privy Council Notes
Austrian Empire/Austria-Hungary Geheimrat
Empire of Brazil His Imperial Majesty's Council (honorific title, some members were part of the Council of Ministers or the Council of State; abolished by a coup in 1889)[1]
Konbaung dynasty Byedaik (abolished 1885)
Qing dynasty Grand Council (abolished 1898)
Kingdom of England Privy Council of England (replaced by the Privy Council of Great Britain on 1 May 1708)[2][3]
Ethiopian Empire Crown Council of Ethiopia (abolished 1974, revived in pretence 1987)
Kingdom of France Conseil du Roi (abolished 1799 and replaced by the Conseil d'État)
German Empire Geheimrat (abolished 1918 and replaced with the State Council 1919–1933, and the Federal Council from 1949)
Kingdom of Greece Council of State (Initially established as a Privy council by King Otto in 1835 (abolished in 1865, re-established in 1929 as the senior administrative court of Greece))
Electorate of Hanover Privy Council of Hanover (abolished 1866)
Kingdom of Hawaiʻi Privy Council of the Hawaiian Kingdom (abolished after the Kingdom of Hawai'i was overthrown 1893)
Kingdom of Ireland Privy Council of Ireland (retained following the coming into effect of the Act of Union 1800, but dormant from 1922)
Empire of Japan Privy Council of Japan (abolished 1947)
Kingdom of Laos King's Council (abolished 1975)
Kingdom of Nepal Rajsabha (monarchy abolished on 28 May 2008)
Northern Ireland Privy Council of Northern Ireland (made dormant 1972)
Kingdom of Portugal His Most Faithful Majesty's Council (monarchy abolished in 1910)
Russian Empire Supreme Privy Council (abolished 1730)
Electorate of Saxony Privy Council of Saxony established in 1697 to administer jurisdiction over Lutheran institutions on behalf of the Elector who had converted to Catholicism
Kingdom of Scotland Privy Council of Scotland (abolished on 1 May 1708, replaced by the Privy Council of Great Britain)[2][3][4]
Sweden Privy Council of Sweden (abolished 1789)
Thailand Supreme Council of State of Siam (abolished 1932)
Kingdom of Yugoslavia Privy Council of Yugoslavia (abolished 1945, revived in pretence 1990 and replaced by the Privy Council of Serbia in 2006)

See also


  1. Coradini, Odaci Luiz (February 1997). "Grandes Famílias e Elite 'Profissional' na Medicina no Brasil" [Important Families and the 'Professional' Elite within Brazilian Medicine]. História, Ciências, Saúde—Manguinhos (in Portuguese). Rio de Janeiro: Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. III (3): 425–466.
  2. O'Gorman, Frank (2016). The Long Eighteenth Century: British Political and Social History 1688–1832. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 65. ISBN 9781472507747.
  3. Black, Jeremy (1993). The politics of Britain, 1688-1800. Manchester University Press. p. 13. ISBN 0719037611.
  4. "Privy Council Records". National Records of Scotland. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
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