• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

How Oxford’s courts will mark Queen’s death

Byoxfordnewspaper

Sep 9, 2022

Prosecutors who had, this morning, been conducting cases in the name of ‘Regina’ will act for ‘Rex’ when they arrive at court tomorrow.

At the Royal Courts of Justice in central London, senior judges in the High Court’s Queen’s Bench division will now sit in the King’s Bench.

Senior barristers who were known as Queens Counsel when they got to their feet on Thursday morning, have had their post-nominal letters ‘QC’ replaced with ‘KC’, or ‘King’s Counsel’.

Among them will be the Recorder of Oxford, the St Aldates’ courthouse’s resident judge Ian Pringle. Appointed a QC long before he was elevated to the judge’s bench, he will now be known as His Honour Judge Ian Pringle KC.

Oxford Mail: Judge Ian Pringle KCJudge Ian Pringle KC

The same will happen to Judge Michael Gledhill, who as a silk represented everyone from murderers to the Christian organisation that took the makers of Jerry Springer: The Opera to court.

At Oxford Crown Court, judges and barristers are expected to hold a two minute silence tomorrow morning to mark the monarch’s death.

Michelle Heeley, leader of the Midlands Circuit and up until this evening a member of Queen’s Counsel, expected the atmosphere in courtrooms up and down the country tomorrow to be muted.

“I think it will be the most sombre experience any advocate will have ever experienced,” she told the Oxford Mail.

In every courtroom, the judge or magistrates sit beneath the royal coat of arms.

Ms Heeley KC said: “We all look upon the crest, we all recognise everything it stands for and realise this is a period of history that will never be repeated.”

The country will have seen the last QC appointed for the forseeable future. With a male line of succession in three generations, it is unlikely senior barristers will be given the letters ‘QC’, or Queen’s Counsel, for decades.