The new Royal Society Charter

07 November 2012

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

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.