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Елизавета II

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12-я Королева Великобритании

"Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith".

British Monarchy

The British monarchy clearly has great powers to survival; it is certainly the oldest institution of government in the United Kingdom. Queen Elizabeth II is descended from the Saxon monarchs who united England in the ninth century. When the Queen was born on the 21st of April 1926, her grandfather, King George V, was on the throne and her uncle was his heir. The death of her grandfather and the abdication of her uncle brought her father to the throne as King George VI.

Queen Elizabeth II is the symbol of the unity of the nation. She executes many ceremonial functions. She is the ultimate guardian of the constitution and must intervene where the normal machinery of government has broken down. In a few special cases the monarch can and indeed must exercise personal power. The occasions on which the power of the monarchy might be exercised are as follows:

1. The appointment of a Prime minister. The Queen must appoint the person who can form a government with the support of the House of Commons. This usually means the leader of the majority party as determined by a general election. Nowadays each party elects its leader. In the unlikely event of the electoral process not producing a clear winner the Queen might have to exercise a personal choice. For example, if a general election fails to produce an overall majority the existing Prime minister must probably be permitted to attempt to form a government. Failing that, the Queen should summon the leader of the next largest party.

2. The dismissal of a government and the dissolution of Parliament. If a government is defeated on a vote of confidence in the House of Commons but refuses to resign or to advise a dissolution the Queen could probably dismiss the government. The Queen could dismiss a government that violates a basic constitutional principle, for example by proposing legislation to abolish elections. In order to dissolve Parliament the Queen would require a meeting of the Privy Council.

3. Refusing a dissolution. The Prime minister may advise the monarch to dissolve Parliament but the Queen might refuse a dissolution if the Prime minister is acting clearly unconstitutionally.

4. The Queen might refuse a Prime ministerial request to appoint peers to the House of Lords where the reason for the request is to flood the Lords with government supporters. The precedents (1832 and 1910—1911) suggest that the monarch would have to agree to such a request but only after a general election.

5. The Royal Assent. The monarch has not refused royal assent to legislation since 1709. It appears to be a strong convention that royal assent must always be given. However the Queen might refuse royal assent where the refusal is on the advice of the Prime minister.

She can advise, encourage and warn. The monarch has access to all government documents and regularly meets the Prime minister. The monarch can express views in private to the government but there is no convention as to the weight to be given to them. But in reality she has little direct power that’s why it is often said “The Queen reigns but doesn’t rule”


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