1721: The Function of Prime Minister Officially Doesn’t Exist in the UK

1721: The Function of Prime Minister Officially Doesn’t Exist in the UK
Photo Credit To https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:British_House_of_Commons_1834.jpg

On this day the mandate of the first “Prime Minister” in British history began. His name was Sir Robert Walpole, and the term “Prime Minister” signifies the “first minister” of the royal government in Britain. It is necessary to emphasize the very interesting fact that the position of “Prime Minister” was never officially established in the UK, but exists only by tradition and long-established convention. Indeed, the function “Prime Minister” was not even initially mentioned in the official royal records.

What is the official name of the function of the person who is commonly called the British Prime Minister? According to tradition, which started with said first Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole, they usually hold the position of “First Lord of the Treasury”. In fact, the famous 10 Downing Street is actually the official residence of the First Lord of the Treasury, not the Prime Minister. Likewise, “Second Lord of the Treasury” is actually the British Minister of Finance and has the title “Chancellor of the Exchequer”, while his official residence is at 11 Downing Street.

Sir Robert Walpole was a powerful politician and a true leader of the government. It is interesting that he is credited for British prime ministers using the 10 Downing Street address. Namely, King George II offered that house to Walpole as a personal gift, but he took it only as the residence of the First Lord of the Treasury. It has remained so to this day.

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