- September 14, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Context: King Charles III’s address to the British Parliament on Monday, and almost all his public statements and actions since the death of Queen Elizabeth are about upholding Britain’s system of constitutional monarchy.
- Britain does not have a single constitutional document like the one ratified by the United States in 1788. It still has laws and carefully documented traditions that together form a constitution, one that binds the king.
- These rules have accumulated in centuries of legislation and a surrounding mass of convention.
- Constitutional monarchy is a system of government in which a monarch shares power with a constitutionally organized government.
- The monarch may be the de facto head of state or a purely ceremonial leader, who only performs the formalities but does not have real power as the Prime Minister.
- The constitution allocates the rest of the government’s power to the legislature and judiciary.
- Countries with Constitutional monarchies include England, Belgium, Cambodia, Jordan, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Thailand.
British Constitutional Monarchy
- The British Monarchy is a constitutional monarchy, because being the Sovereign is Head of State, the ability to make and pass legislation resides with an elected Parliament.
- The British monarch reigns but does not rule that means in spite of being head of the state he/she does not have Real Power.
- The monarch has to remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters.
Roles and Powers:
Appointment of Prime Minister and government:
- The Monarch appoints the Prime Minister who enjoys the majority support of MPs.
- Once the leader of a party wins general elections, the Head of State invites them to Buckingham Palace to form the government.
- The discretionary power to appoint or dismiss a Prime Minister no longer lies with the monarch.
Opening the Parliament:
- The Monarch opens the Parliamentary year with the State Opening Ceremony, during which he/she delivers an address about the executive’s planned policies and priorities in the House of Lords.
- The sovereign gives his/her Royal Assent to the bills passed in the House of Lords nd Commons but that is now essentially a rubber-stamping exercise as the last time a bill denied the Royal Assent was in 1707 by Queen Anne.
- The Monarch is also the head of the Commonwealth of Nations, an association which is a product of the erstwhile British empire.
- It consists of 56 independent nations. Gabon and Tago are the recent joinees in commonwealth.