Queen of the United Kingdom Elizabeth II has successfully persuaded the government to amend a draft law in order to hide her "embarrassing" private wealth from the public, according to records found by the Guardian.
A collection of government memos uncovered in the National Archives show that the private counsel of Elizabeth Windsor placed pressure on ministers to amend draft legislation to avoid public disclosure of her shareholdings.
Following the interference of the Queen, the government introduced into the legislation a provision giving itself the right to exclude from new disclosure measures businesses used by 'heads of state', reports the Guardian.
In reality, the scheme that was conceived in the 1970s was used to establish a state-backed shell corporation that is known to have imposed a veil of secrecy until at least 2011 over the private shareholdings and investments of the Queen.
The documents show that the Queen feared in November 1973 that a proposed bill to bring transparency to corporate shareholdings would cause the public to scrutinize her finances.
As a consequence, she sent her private counsel to press the government to make reforms.
The true extent of her wealth has never been revealed, although hundreds of millions of pounds have been estimated.
Proof of the lobbying of ministers by the monarch was discovered by a Guardian inquiry into the use of an arcane parliamentary practice by the royal family, known as the Queen's consent, to secretly control the formulation of British laws.
Unlike the better-known procedure of royal assent, a formality that marks the moment when a bill becomes law, Queen's consent must be sought before legislation can be approved by parliament.
It requires ministers to alert the Queen when legislation might affect either the royal prerogative or the private interests of the crown.
The website of the royal family describes it as "a long established convention" and constitutional scholars have tended to regard consent as an opaque but harmless example of the pageantry that surrounds the monarchy.
But documents unearthed in the National Archives, which the Guardian is publishing this week, suggest that the consent process, which gives the Queen and her lawyers advance sight of bills coming into parliament, has enabled her to secretly lobby for legislative changes.
Thomas Adams, a specialist in constitutional law at Oxford University who reviewed the new documents, said they revealed "the kind of influence over legislation that lobbyists would only dream of". The mere existence of the consent procedure, he said, appeared to have given the monarch "substantial influence" over draft laws that could affect her.