- Glossary definition: House of Lords, U.K.
House of Lords, U.K.

The House of Lords is the official upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, although all real power is held by the elected House of Commons. The House of Lords is an unelected body of 724 members (bishops and abbots and secular nobles): two archbishops and 24 bishops of the established Church of England ("Lords Spiritual") and 699 members of the Peerage ("Lords Temporal"). Lords Spiritual serve as long as they continue to occupy their ecclesiastical positions, whereas Lords Temporal serve for life. Members of the House of Lords are known as "Lords of Parliament".