The new Royal Society Charter

07 November 2012

The Royal Society has updated its Royal Charter for the first time in over 340 years.

Charter The Royal Society 2012 Charter

The new Charter was approved by Her Majesty The Queen in Council on 10 July 2012 and received the Royal Seal on 8 October 2012. It is the Society’s first Charter since the founding Charters of 1662, 1663 and 1669, and the first to be written in English rather than Latin.

The previous Charter laid down strict rules on the size and structure of council, allowing most council members to serve only one or two years. To accommodate the heavy responsibilities that Trustees of a large modern charity now carry, the new Charter provides much greater flexibility and will allow all council members to serve terms of at least three years and thus contribute more effectively to the governance of the Society.

The 2012 Charter also amends some detailed administrative requirements that have become anomalous over the centuries. For example, Council meetings, rather than only being held within ten miles of London, will now take place ‘as often as and whenever it shall be needful, in a College or Hall or other convenient place within Our City of London, or in any other convenient place.’

The new Charter will be on public display at the Royal Society from 10am – 5pm, Monday to Friday, Monday 5 November until Friday 21 December 2012. If you wish to see the 2012 Charter please make an appointment on 020 7451 2606.

Read the new Charter here.

Share this page

Latest news

  • To beard or not to beard 16 April 2014 A study published in the journal of the Royal Society Biology Letters has found that when growing facial hair, men might like to inspect the stubble of their peers. The more people with beards, the less attractive they become.
  • Royal Society Fellows respond to UN climate mitigation report 14 April 2014 The latest UN climate report, the Working Group III Summary for Policymakers from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): 'Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change' was launched yesterday. Professor John Shepherd FRS and Professor Andrew Watson FRS commented on the report.
  • Irish President visits Royal Society 09 April 2014 As part of his state visit to the UK the Irish President, Michael D. Higgins visited the Royal Society. His visit was a celebration of the scientific links between Ireland and the United Kingdom.

For a full archive please see the news pages.