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A 1903 caricature of Robert McCall KC (formerly QC) wearing his court robes at the Bar of England and Wales. For court, he wears a short wig, and bands instead of lace at the collar, but he retains the silk gown and court tailcoat worn on ceremonial occasions.

Queen's Counsel (postnominal QC), also known as King's Counsel (postnominal KC) if during the reign of a male sovereign, are particularly eminent jurists appointed by letters patent to be one of His Majesty's Counsel learned in the law (or "Her"). Membership exists in various Commonwealth jurisdictions around the world, while in some other jurisdictions the name has been replaced by one without monarchical connotations, such as "Senior Counsel" or "Senior Advocate". Queen's Counsel is a status, conferred by the Crown, that is recognised by courts. Members have the privilege of sitting within the Bar of court.

As members wear silk gowns of a particular design (see court dress), the award of Queen's or King's Counsel is known informally as taking silk, and hence KCs are often colloquially called silks. Appointments are made from within the legal profession on the basis of merit rather than a particular level of experience. However, successful applicants tend to be barristers, or (in Scotland) advocates, or solicitor advocates with 15 years of experience or more.


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