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The Queen is the United Kingdom's Head of State, and the Monarchy is Britain's oldest institution of government.


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  • Click here for more Monarchy news ...

    The Queen is the United Kingdom's Head of State, and the Monarchy is Britain's oldest institution of government.

    The Monarchy began centuries before Parliament came into existence, and the only interruption in its history was when the country was a republic between 1649 and 1660.

    Her Majesty The Queen's title in the United Kingdom is 'Elizabeth the Second, 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'. Queen Elizabeth II has reigned since 1952, and is a descendant of King Egbert, who was the first ruler to be styled 'King of the English' in 829.

    As well as carrying out significant constitutional functions, The Queen also acts as a focus for national unity, presiding at ceremonial occasions, visiting local communities and representing Britain around the world. The Queen is also Head of the Commonwealth.

    HM The Queen at the State Opening of Parliament

    Until the end of the 17th century, British monarchs were executive monarchs - that is, they had the right to make and pass legislation. Since the beginning of the eighteenth century, the monarch has become a constitutional monarch, which means that he or she is bound by rules and conventions and remains politically impartial.

    On almost all matters he or she acts on the advice of ministers. While acting constitutionally, the Sovereign retains an important political role as Head of State, formally appointing prime ministers, approving certain legislation and bestowing Honors.

    The Queen also has important roles to play in other organizations, including the armed forces and the Church of England, of which Her Majesty is the Supreme Governor.

    The Queen is supported in her work as Head of State by members of the royal family.

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