John McDonnell will kneel for the Queen if asked to do so by courtiers when he is sworn as a member of the Privy Council.
The left-wing shadow Chancellor is due to join the Privy Council in coming days, which will allow him to be briefed on state secrets.
His friends said Mr McDonnell – who has expressed anti-Monarchist views in the past – was “very pragmatic about these things – he will just do whatever is asked of him”.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was heavily criticised for turning down his first opportunity to be sworn as a Privy Counsellor in October last year, preferring instead to go on holiday in Scotland.
Mr Corbyn eventually followed tradition and kissed the Queen’s hand, but specifically was allowed not to kneel, when he took part in the centuries-old ceremony in November.
In April this year it emerged that Mr McDonnell had joked that he wanted to see the public execution of members of the Royal Family – represented by papier-mâché models.
Mr McDonnell can be heard on a YouTube clip describing such action as a useful form of street entertainment which might have balanced out the coverage of the Royal Wedding.
Friends of Mr McDonnell made clear that the shadow Chancellor would adopt a pragmatic approach to the ceremony, and would kneel before the Queen if asked.
One said: You don’t actually have to kneel but John is pragmatic about these things – he will just do whatever is asked of him. These things don’t bother him. Anything he is asked to do, he will do.
A spokesman for Mr McDonnell said: There is no specific ceremonial requirements we have been informed of, but as John has already said when inquiries were made on this earlier in the year, he will adhere to any procedures asked of him as being a member of the Privy Council.”
As part of the ceremony Mr McDonnell will swear by Almighty God to be to be a true and faithful servant unto the Queen’s majesty as one of Her Majesty’s Privy Council.
He will also swore to behave as a faithful and true servant ought to do to her Majesty.
Joining the Privy Council will mean that Mr McDonnell can style himself Right Honourable in the House of Commons, and be given briefings on areas of national security.
Conservative MPs were unimpressed by Mr McDonnell’s “pragmatic” approach to being sworn as an adviser to the Queen. Michael Fabricant MP wrote on Twitter: “Gosh, that’s big of him. Not.”
Gosh, that's big of him. Not. https://t.co/vT2qpiruIu
Earlier this week Mr McDonnell’s close ally Unite leader Len McCluskey disclosed that – like Mr Corbyn – he would like to do away with the Monarchy.
He said: Jeremy Corbyn and are in a small minority who would do away with the monarchy. I would, I am certainly not in favour of the monarchy. Do I ever think about it? Does it occupy a second of my day? No.
And I doubt whether it occupies Jeremy’s day so your readers can rest easy. Prime Minister Corbyn is not suddenly going to kind of chop the Queen’s head off.
Pressed in September last year shortly after becoming leader, on whether he would kneel in front of the monarch, Mr Corbyn said: “I didn’t know that was involved actually. So we’ll have to find out about it, OK?”
He added: “It’s the first I’ve heard about it and I want to discuss that with colleagues, the whole process.”
Buckingham Palace later agreed to be accommodating about Mr Corbyn’s long-held republicanism at the ceremony on November 11 last year.
News Source TelegraphNews