Sunday, May 19, 2024

Powers of the King in Britain


Eight months after Queen Elizabeth II’s death, Charles III awaits his official coronation as King of Britain and 14 other kingdoms within the “Commonwealth” union, from Canada to Australia. Place on the sixth of May.

Although the monarch in Britain is primarily a ceremonial figurehead and is not expected to intervene in political affairs, as head of state he retains certain constitutional powers:

Role in Parliament

Parliament is the highest legislative authority in Britain, consisting of the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the Crown, which is another word for monarchy.

The Crown is the oldest part of the British system of government, but its powers have faded over time and are now mostly limited to certain protocols.

Appointment of a Govt

The day after the Legislative Assembly elections, the King invites the leader of the party with the most seats in Parliament to become Prime Minister and form a government.

Opening or Dissolution of Parliament Session

Parliament is opened each year by the king, in a traditional ceremony called the Throne Speech, where he reads out the government’s plans for the next 12 months.

This major annual event usually begins with the arrival of the monarch in procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster. The King or Queen enters the House of Lords.

The holder of the title of “Black Rod” (Black Rod) goes to summon representatives to the House of Commons, where the door is closed in his face in a symbolic move to assert the House’s independence against the monarchy. .

The state authority formally dissolves parliament before holding new legislative elections.

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Government recognition

When a bill is approved by the House of Commons and the House of Lords, it is sent to the King to be signed into law.

Although the king could, technically, deny it, the practice—the king’s approval—was considered a formality.

Queen Anne was the last monarch to refuse to ratify the Act in 1708.

Keeper of Prime Minister’s Secrets

Once a week, Queen Elizabeth II meets with heads of government in meetings where they share their plans and concerns with her. Towards the end of his reign, meetings became more and more virtual.

“They tell me what’s going on or if they have any problems, and sometimes I can help them in some way,” he said in a 1992 documentary. “They realize I can be impartial and it’s fun to feel like a sponge,” he added.


The monarch has the power to appoint the Lords to Parliament, but this power is exercised only on the advice of cabinet ministers.

The King also personally awards the Knight’s Cross to honor those who have made a significant contribution to British society in all areas.

Every year, the government presents a list of candidates to honor him.

Constitutional crisis

The king is allowed to exercise his royal powers “in the event of a serious constitutional crisis”. Later, he is allowed to go against the advice of ministers, but this has not happened in modern times.

Head of the Anglican Church

The King is the supreme ruler of the Church of England and has the power to appoint bishops and archbishops. But he exercises this power only on the advice of an ecclesiastical committee.

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Pandora Bacchus
Pandora Bacchus
"Coffee evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Hardcore creator. Infuriatingly humble zombie ninja. Writer. Introvert. Music fanatic."

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