Great Britain has always been a monarchy
The Queen and Politics
From rulers to representatives
Queen Elizabeth II. (English spelling: Queen ElizabethII) is the British head of state. But in practice the Queen has little political power. In contrast to their ancestors, who still ruled over an entire world empire.
England has been a constitutional monarchy since 1688, which means that the rights of monarchs are restricted by the constitution. The democratically elected parliament has political power.
Nevertheless, the influence of the British Queen should not be underestimated. She is regularly informed by the cabinet about current political events. This is not a mandatory appointment, but real interest. This was confirmed by almost all of the prime ministers who were in office in Elizabeth's time.
In addition to regular meetings with them, the Queen welcomes high officials and guests of state and - on the advice of politicians - appoints members of the cabinet.
At least in theory, the queen could also dismiss prime ministers or appoint bishops and judges. In practice she wouldn't do that. The latter is usually done by the minister responsible.
The main task of the Queen is to represent. The Queen and her family, for example, initiate kindergartens and schools, visit hospitals and other public institutions.
Always on tour
The Queen is not just the head of state of the United Kingdom. She is also the head of the Commonwealth. This is an alliance of states that former British colonies have come together to form.
But times are changing here too. It is likely that ElisabethII. will be the last royal head of state in some Commonwealth countries.
Then in Australia, for example, the constitutional monarchy would become a republic. What is certain is that relations with the former British colonies are very important to the Queen. Elizabeth II has visited almost all of the countries in the international community, and she has good contacts with many heads of state.
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