Royal College

A Royal College in some Commonwealth countries is technically a college which has received royal patronage and permission to use the prefix Royal.[1] Permission is usually granted through a Royal Charter.[2] The charter normally confers a constitution with perpetual succession and the right to sue or be sued independently of the members. The charter also usually provide for rights of recourse to the Queen in Council. Although incorporation is now cheaply and easily obtainable by registration, the distinction of a Royal Charter means that such charters are still sought by and granted to institutions considered to be in the public interest, typically learned professional societies.

Although many institutions are formally Royal Colleges, such as the three royal public schools of Westminster, Winchester and Eton, the phrase "The Royal Colleges" is commonly applied to the medical institutions, such as the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and the Royal College of Physicians, and the Royal College of Nursing and similar institutions in Australia, Canada, and elsewhere.

These colleges enjoy a special status whereby they can confer recognised post-nominal titles comparable to degrees, e.g. Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, and they are frequently granted statutory licensing, regulatory and disciplinary powers over their own members and even others.

List of Royal Colleges

Australia and New Zealand

Medical, dental, and allied health
Military and paramilitary


Professional bodies



Sri Lanka

United Kingdom

The old Royal Colleges
Professional bodies (including Medical Royal Colleges)

United States

See also


  1. "Royal Patronage and Title "Royal"". Government of Canada. 7 April 2014. Archived from the original on 13 January 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2014.
  2. "Our governance documents Royal College of Nursing". The Royal College of Nursing. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  3. "Historical Timeline | The Royal Conservatory of Music". Retrieved 2019-07-25.
  4. Morpurgo, J.E. Their Majesties' Royall Colledge: William & Mary in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. Hennage Creative Printers. ISBN 0-916504-02-6.
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