the king can do no wrong

Altered to queen when appropriate. Cf. the legal maxim: rex non potest peccare, the king can do no wrong; also c 1538 T. STARKEY England in Reign of King Henry VIII (EETS) I. iv. Wyl you make a kyng to have no more powar then one of hys lordys? Hyt ys commynly sayd..a kyng ys aboue hys lawys.

a 1654 J. SELDEN Table-Talk (1689) 27 The King can do no wrong, that is no Process [action at law] can be granted against him.

1765 W. BLACKSTONE Commentaries on Laws of England i. vii. The King can do no wrong... The prerogative of the crown extends not to do any injury: it is created for the benefit of the people, and therefore cannot be exerted to their prejudice.

1888 C. M. YONGE Beechcroft at Rockstone II. xxii. ‘So, Aunt Jane is your Pope.’ ‘No; she’s the King that can do no wrong,’ said Gillian, laughing.

1952 ‘M. COST’ Hour Awaits 191 It was very different with Augustus... We had always expected that... In his case, was it not rather a matter of the king can do no wrong.

1981 Times 28 July 14 The Queen [of Holland] has no power but some influence... ‘The Queen can do no wrong. The ministers are responsible.’


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