Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster, home of the UK Parliament

The House of Lords, sometimes called the Lords or the Upper House, is one of the two chambers which make up the UK Parliament.

Historically, the House of Lords was considered the more senior chamber within Parliament, as it represented the nobility. As the franchise was increased, however, and more emphasis was put on representative democracy, it was decided that the House of Lords should not be able to impede the legislative function of the House of Commons.

This resulted in the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949, which together limit the House of Lords’ power to veto or delay legislation which has been passed by the House of Commons.

The House of Lords was traditionally comprised of hundreds of peers who had inherited their peerage and therefore had lifetime membership. This was changed by the House of Lords Act 1999, which removed all but 92 hereditary peers.

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