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House of Lords
The House of Lords is one of the two Houses of Parliament of the United Kingdom (UK). It is in London, the capital city of the UK. The other house is the House of Commons. Together the two houses form the government and parliament of the UK.
The House of Lords is not elected (voted for), except in the case of the holders of the seats reserved for hereditary peers (who are chosen by the House or by other hereditary peers in their parties).
- 2 people are members because of their job (The Duke of Norfolk, who is the Earl Marshal, and the Marquess of Cholmondeley, the Lord Great Chamberlain, who both help to organise royal events).
- 90 people are hereditary peers. These are members of the House of Lords because one of their ancestors was made a member and (since 1999) have been elected from among other such people.
- The other members were made members for life, either life peers, who have existed since 1958 or as law lords. Law lords were senior judges made members of the House to help when the House of Lords was also the highest court in England and Wales (before the foundation of the Supreme Court in 2009).
- The twenty-six most senior Bishops of the Church of England also sit in the House of Lords, they are called the Lords Spiritual.
Many members of the House of Lords sit as Crossbenchers. This means they do not support either the government or opposition parties, but instead are independent of party politics. They got their name because the benches where they sit are placed across the aisle which separates the government and opposition supporters.