|Houses Of Parliament|
VISIT THE WORLD FAMOUS...
Houses Of Parliament at night
Distance from hotel: 3.9 miles (About 8 minutes)
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative institution in the United Kingdom and British overseas territories (it alone has parliamentary sovereignty). At its head is the Sovereign; it also includes an Upper House, called the House of Lords, and a Lower House, called the House of Commons. The House of Lords includes two different types of members—the Lords Spiritual (the senior clergy of the Church of England) and the Lords Temporal (members of the Peerage); it is an almost wholly appointed body. The House of Commons, on the other hand, is a democratically elected chamber. The House of Lords and the House of Commons meet in separate chambers in the Palace of Westminster (commonly known as the "Houses of Parliament"), in British capital, London (more precisely, in the borough known as the City of Westminster).
Parliament evolved from the ancient council which advised the Sovereign. In theory, power is vested not in Parliament, but in the "Queen-in-Parliament" (or "King-in-Parliament"). The Queen-in-Parliament is often said to be a completely sovereign authority, though such a position is debatable. In modern times, real power is vested in the democratically elected House of Commons; the Sovereign acts only as a figurehead, and the powers of the House of Lords are greatly limited.
The British Parliament is often called the "Mother of Parliaments," as the legislative bodies of many nations—most notably, those of the members of the Commonwealth—are modeled on it. However, it is a misquotation of John Bright, who had actually remarked on 18 January 1865 that "England is the Mother of Parliaments", in the context of supporting demands for expanded voting rights in a country which had pioneered Parliamentary government.