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Great Britain’s Monarchy and the Commonwealth

Monarchy What powers does the Queen have?

The Crown, which represents both the Sovereign (the person on whom the Crown is constitutionally conferred) and the Government, is the symbol of supreme executive power. The Crown is vested in the Queen, but in general its functions are exercised by Ministers responsible to Parliament and thus Britain is governed by Her Majesty's Government in the name of the Queen. However, the Queen's involvement is still required in many important acts of government.

The Queen summons, prorogues (discontinues until the next session without dissolving) and dissolves Parliament. She normally opens the new session of Parliament with a speech from the throne which is written for her by the Government and outlines her Government's programme. Before a Bill becomes law the Queen must give it her Royal Assent, which is announced to both Houses of Parliament.

The Queen can, on ministerial advice, pardon or show mercy to those convicted of crimes. In law the Queen as a private person can do no wrong: she is immune from civil or criminal proceedings and cannot be sued in courts of law. This immunity is not shared by other members of the royal family.

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Total votes: 76