The monarchy of the United Kingdom in its present form is constitutional and dates back to the House of Mercia and King Offa in the late 700s. It has evolved over the past 1,300 years from being one that was autocratic in nature into its current constitutional format and is a system of government possessing much strength. Ceremonial and official duties held by the current head of state are separated from the politics of the ruling party.
Despite the fact that the head of state (i.e. King or Queen) remains unchanged in position and title as governments evolve, the constitutionality factor provides much continuity and stability within that government, as well as helping to maintain a national focal point. Additionally, the responsibility involved with the making and passing of legislative acts now falls solely into the hands of the elected Parliament, unlike centuries ago when the monarch’s word was as powerful as God’s.
Rather than the sovereign imposing their will over their subjects, they must now govern according to this constitution and its rules. The constitution of the United Kingdom is not in written form. However, by virtue of conventions, the duties and rights of the sovereign are established and maintained. These conventions are a set of non-statutory rules, which have as much binding power as the constitution itself.
The Queen today must remain politically neutral and is incapable of making or passing legislation. This does not detract from her importance as being the head of state, albeit she is bound to act on the advice given her by her ministers. She does play a critical role within the government in that she can appoint her Prime Ministers, approve certain legislative acts and can bestow honours upon deserving recipients.
The origins of the current constitutional monarchy dates back centuries ago. Up until the end of the 1600s, kings and queens were viewed as being “executive” monarchs in the sense that they were able to make and pass legislative law. However, there were occasions in these earlier times when they had to act according to the current laws as well as taking into account the desire and will of their subjects. Branded USB Sticks.
When the Magna Carta was signed in 1215, King John was forced by the leading nobility of the day to accept the fact that even freemen had certain civil rights even if it went against the will of the Crown. The monarchs from the House of Stuart tried to force the theory of Divine Right on the kingdom during the 17th century by stating that they were above the law and only God could rule over them.
By the end of the 1600s, Parliament gained sufficient power to draw up a Bill of Rights establishing their supremacy in 1689. The constitutional monarchy that we know today evolved during the 18th and 19th centuries at the hands of the power granted to the Prime Minister and the parliaments that were elected by an ever-widening electorate. The nation today is comprised of numerous political factions and parties, but the crown has no political affiliation.