The role of the Monarchy

Monarchy is the oldest form of government in the United Kingdom.

In a monarchy, a king or queen is Head of State. The British Monarchy is known as a constitutional monarchy. This means that, while The Sovereign is Head of State, the ability to make and pass legislation resides with an elected Parliament.

Although The Sovereign no longer has a political or executive role, he or she continues to play an important part in the life of the nation.

As Head of State, The Monarch undertakes constitutional and representational duties which have developed over one thousand years of history. In addition to these State duties, The Monarch has a less formal role as 'Head of Nation'. The Sovereign acts as a focus for national identity, unity and pride; gives a sense of stability and continuity; officially recognises success and excellence; and supports the ideal of voluntary service.

In all these roles The Sovereign is supported by members of their immediate family.