The monarch is the head of state. The queen does not rule, she reigns. The government rules and as the head of state in the UK she’s required to follow the governments advice.
The highest representative of the United Kingdom on the national and international stage is the Monarchy. The Prime Minister is the head of the British government. One serves as a symbol of the country and the other serves as the chief executive of the government.
In the recent past the royal family has shed most of its political powers, Queen Elizabeth with her family have instead emphasized their roles in various charitable organizations—the Queen was the titular “patron” of over 600 charities, although this role consists mostly of drawing attention to the causes. Her being there through some of the grand crisis in recent British history, including the COVID-19 pandemic, drew praise.
The monarch rules by not ruling. The Queen doesn’t do politics, that’s the Key to her staying power.
She told the king and queen of the Netherlands that Britain is looking “toward a new partnership with Europe” and that shared values between Britain and Europe are “our greatest asset.”
Was she expressing a tinge of Remainder regret? Was she a confident Brexiteer? As ever with Britain’s enigmatic monarch, it was impossible to know. That didn’t stop people from assuming that she is on their side.
“The Queen’s a Leaver,” said one Twitter user. Yet another tweeted “the Queen, using carefully chosen words, has expressed her opinion on the brexit disaster that is being forced upon the UK.” Dear reader you decide.
Functions and roles of the Monarchy
In her role as head of state, Queen Elizabeth II gave regular speeches at the opening of each new Parliament and made official appearances and speeches on holidays and special occasions.
The Queen kept in close contact with the Prime Minister and was regularly briefed on all important national matters, but never publicly weighed in on political debates—nor were any final decisions up to her.
Her main functions as head of state were to appoint the Prime Minister, and all the other ministers; to open new sessions of parliament; and to give royal assent to bills passed by parliament, signifying that they have become law.
The Monarch also chairs monthly meetings of the Privy Council,
- To approve Orders in Council;
- The monarch receives incoming and outgoing ambassadors;
- The Monarch makes a host of other appointments, such as the senior judges, but in all this she acts on the advice of the government.
- The Monarch has a weekly audience with the Prime Minister, and receives daily boxes of state papers for her signature, and for information.
- The Monarch also has regular meetings with senior officials of all kinds.
“Her selfless devotion to duty was an inspiration and example to us all” Former Prime Minister Theresa May says Queen Elizabeth II was “the most remarkable person I have ever met”
As I wrap up, Queen Elizabeth II is dead, long live the Monarchy.