Her Majesty The Queen

… a core concept in Governance and Institutions and Atlas100

Click for Her Majesty's website

Click for Her Majesty’s website

Concept description

Her Majesty The Queen’s website (right) describes the role of the Monarchy as follows:

“In a monarchy, a king or queen is Head of State. The British Monarchy is known as a constitutional monarchy. This means that, while The Sovereign is Head of State, the ability to make and pass legislation resides with an elected Parliament.

“Although The Sovereign no longer has a political or executive role, he or she continues to play an important part in the life of the nation.

“As Head of State, The Monarch undertakes constitutional and representational duties which have developed over one thousand years of history. In addition to these State duties, The Monarch has a less formal role as ‘Head of Nation’. The Sovereign acts as a focus for national identity, unity and pride; gives a sense of stability and continuity; officially recognises success and excellence; and supports the ideal of voluntary service.

“In all these roles The Sovereign is supported by members of their immediate family.”

The Queen’s role in Government in the United Kingdom

Her Majesty The Queen’s website (reference below) describes The Queen’s role in Government in terms of the United Kingdom, without reference to the role in other Commonwealth countries:

“As Head of State The Queen has to remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters, unable to vote or stand for election, however Her Majesty does have important ceremonial and formal roles in relation to the government of the UK.

“The formal phrase ‘Queen in Parliament’ is used to describe the British legislature, which consists of the Sovereign, the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The Queen’s duties include opening each new session of Parliament, granting Royal Assent to legislation, and approving Orders and Proclamations through the Privy Council.

“The Queen also has a special relationship with the Prime Minister, retaining the right to appoint and also meeting with him or her on a regular basis.

“In addition to playing a specific role in the UK Parliament based in London, The Queen has formal roles with relation to the devolved assemblies of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

Atlas topic, subject, and course

Constitutional Framework (core topic) in Governance and Institutions and Atlas100 Governance and Institutions.


Her Majesty the Queen, Role of the Monarchy, at https://www.royal.uk/role-monarchy, accessed 24 August 2016.

Her Majesty the Queen, The Queen and Government, at https://www.royal.uk/queen-and-government, accessed 24 August 2016.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 24 August 2016.

Image: Her Majesty the Queen, https://www.royal.uk/search?tags[0]=Her%20Majesty%20The%20Queen, accessed 24 August 2016.