Jane Seymour was Queen of England from 1536 to 1537 as the third wife of King Henry VIII. She succeeded Anne Boleyn as queen consort following the latter's execution in May 1536, she died of postnatal complications less than two weeks after the birth of her only child, a son who became King Edward VI. She was the only one of Henry's wives to receive a queen's funeral, his only consort to be buried beside him in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. Jane, the daughter of Sir John Seymour and Margery Wentworth was born at Wulfhall, although West Bower Manor in Somerset has been suggested, Her birth date is not recorded. Through her maternal grandfather, she was a descendant of King Edward III's son Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence; because of this and King Henry VIII were fifth cousins. She shared a great-grandmother, Elizabeth Cheney, with his second and fifth wives, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. Jane was not as educated as Henry's first and second wives, Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn.
She could read and write a little, but was much better at needlework and household management, which were considered much more necessary for women. Her needlework was reported to elaborate. After her death, it was noted that Henry was an "enthusiastic embroiderer."Jane became a maid-of-honour in 1532 to Queen Catherine, but may have served her as early as 1527, went on to serve Queen Anne. The first report of Henry VIII's interest in Jane was in February 1536, about three months before Anne's execution. Jane was praised for her gentle, peaceful nature, being referred to as "gentle a lady as I knew" by John Russell and being named as "the Pacific" by the Imperial Ambassador Eustace Chapuys for her peacemaking efforts at court. According to Chapuys, she was of middling stature and pale. However, John Russell stated that she was "the fairest of all the King's wives." Polydore Vergil commented that she was "a woman of the utmost charm in both character and appearance." She was regarded as a meek, gentle and chaste woman, whose large family made her a suitable candidate to give birth to many children.
Henry VIII was betrothed to Jane on 20 May 1536, just one day after Anne Boleyn's execution. They were married at the Palace of Whitehall, London, in the Queen's closet by Bishop Gardiner on 30 May 1536; as a wedding gift he made her a grant of 104 manors in four counties as well as a number of forests and hunting chases for her jointure, the income to support her during their marriage. She was publicly proclaimed queen on 4 June 1536, her well-publicised sympathy for the late Queen Catherine and her daughter Mary showed her to be compassionate and made her a popular figure with the common people and most of the courtiers. She was never crowned because of plague in London. Henry may have been reluctant to have her crowned before she had fulfilled her duty as a queen consort by bearing him a son and a male heir; as queen, Jane was said to be formal. Jane would form a close relationship with Mary; the lavish entertainments and extravagance of the queen's household, which had reached its peak during the time of Anne Boleyn, was replaced by a strict enforcement of decorum.
For example, she banned the French fashions. Politically, Seymour appears to have been conservative, her only reported involvement in national affairs, in 1536, was when she asked for pardons for participants in the Pilgrimage of Grace. Henry is said to have rejected this, reminding her of the fate her predecessor met with when she "meddled in his affairs", her motto as a queen was "Bound to obey and serve." Jane put forth much effort to restore Mary to court and to the royal succession, behind any children that she might have with Henry. Jane brought up the issue of Mary's restoration both before and after she became queen. While she was unable to restore Mary to the line of succession, she was able to reconcile her with Henry. Eustace Chapuys wrote to Charles V of her compassion and efforts on behalf of Mary's return to favour. A letter from Mary to her shows. While it was she who first pushed for the restoration and Elizabeth were not reinstated to the succession until Henry's sixth wife, Catherine Parr, convinced him to do so.
In January 1537, Jane became pregnant. During her pregnancy, she developed a craving for quail, which Henry ordered for her from Calais and Flanders. During the summer, she took no public engagements and led a quiet life, being attended by the royal physicians and the best midwives in the kingdom, she went into confinement in September 1537 and gave birth to the coveted male heir, the future King Edward VI, at two o'clock in the morning on 12 October 1537 at Hampton Court Palace. Edward was christened on 15 October 1537, without his mother in attendance, he was the only legitimate son of Henry VIII to survive infancy. Both of his daughters and Elizabeth, were present and carried Edward's train during the ceremony. Jane's labour had been difficult, lasting two days and three nights because the baby was not well positioned. After the christening, it became clear that she was ill, she died on 24 October 1537 at Hampton Court Palace. Within a few weeks of her death, there were conflicting testimonies concerning the cause of her demise.
In retrospect from the current day, there are various speculations. Acco
Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster spelled Katharine or Catherine, was the third wife of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, a son of King Edward III. She had been the Duke's lover for many years before their marriage; the couple's children, born before the marriage, were legitimated during the reign of the Duke's nephew, Richard II. When the Duke's son from his first marriage overthrew Richard, becoming Henry IV, he introduced a provision that neither they nor their descendants could claim the throne of England, their descendants were members of the Beaufort family, which played a major role in the Wars of the Roses. Henry VII, who became King of England in 1485, derived his claim to the throne from his mother, Margaret Beaufort, a great-granddaughter of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford, his legal claim to the throne, was through a cognatic and illegitimate line. Henry's first action was to declare himself king "by right of conquest" retroactively from 21 August 1485, the day before his army defeated King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth.
Katherine was the daughter of Paon de Roet, a herald, knight, "probably christened as Gilles". She had several siblings including Isabel de Roet, a brother, Walter. Isabel became Noble canonesse of Saint Waltrude Collegiate Church, Mons, c. 1366. Philippa Chaucer, wife of the poet Geoffrey Chaucer, is known to have been a sister of Katherine's, it is known that Philippa was in the service of John of Gaunt's second wife Constance of Castile, before John of Gaunt's marriage to Katherine. Katherine is held to have been Paon de Roet's youngest child. However, Alison Weir argues that Philippa was the junior and that both were children of a second marriage, she was born in Hainaut in 1349 or 1350. Katherine's birth date may have been 25 November, as, the feast day of her patron, St. Catherine of Alexandria. In about 1366, at St Clement Danes Church, Katherine, aged sixteen or seventeen, contracted an advantageous marriage with "Hugh" Ottes Swynford, a knight from the manor of Kettlethorpe in Lincolnshire, the son of Thomas Swynford by his marriage to Nicole Druel.
She had the following children by him: Blanche and Margaret Swynford recorded as a nun of the prestigious Barking Abbey nominated by command of King Richard II. Katherine became attached to the household of John of Gaunt as governess to his daughters Philippa of Lancaster and Elizabeth of Lancaster; the ailing duchess Blanche had Katherine's daughter Blanche placed within her own daughters' chambers and afforded the same luxuries as her daughters. Some time after Blanche's death in 1368 and the birth of their first son in 1373, Katherine and John of Gaunt entered into a love affair that would produce four children for the couple, born out of wedlock but legitimized upon their parents' eventual marriage. On 13 January 1396, two years after the death of the Duke's second wife, Infanta Constance of Castile and John of Gaunt married in Lincoln Cathedral. Records of their marriage kept in the Tower and elsewhere list:'John of Ghaunt, Duke of Lancaster, married Katharine daughter of Guyon King of Armes in the time of K. Edward the 3, Geffrey Chaucer her sister'.
On John of Gaunt's death, Katherine became known as dowager Duchess of Lancaster. She outlived him by four years. Katherine's tomb and that of her daughter, Joan Beaufort, are under a carved-stone canopy in the sanctuary of Lincoln Cathedral. Joan's is the smaller of the two tombs. A hurried drawing by William Dugdale records their appearance. Katherine's children by Hugh Swynford were: Margaret Swynford, became a nun at the prestigious Barking Abbey in 1377 with help from her future stepfather John of Gaunt, where she lived the religious life with her cousin Elizabeth Chaucer, daughter of the famous Geoffrey Chaucer and Katherine's sister Philippa de Roet. Sir Thomas Swynford, born in Lincoln while his father Sir Hugh Swynford was away on a campaign with the Duke of Lancaster in Castile fighting for Peter of Castile. Blanche Swynford, named after the Duchess of Lancaster and a godchild of John of Gaunt.. In 1846 Thomas Stapleton suggested. 1366, who married Thomas Thimelby of Poolham near Horncastle, Sheriff of Lincolnshire in 1380, but there is no current evidence to support this claim.
Katherine's children by John of Gaunt were: John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset Henry, Cardinal Beaufort Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter Joan Beaufort, Countess of Westmorland The descendants of Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt are significant in English and Scottish history. Their four children had been given the surname "Beaufort" and with the approval of King Richard II and the Pope were legitimated as adults by their parents' marriage in 1396. Despite
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry was the second Tudor monarch, succeeding his father, Henry VII. Henry is best known for his six marriages, in particular his efforts to have his first marriage, to Catherine of Aragon, annulled, his disagreement with the Pope on the question of such an annulment led Henry to initiate the English Reformation, separating the Church of England from papal authority. He appointed himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England and dissolved convents and monasteries, for which he was excommunicated. Henry is known as "the father of the Royal Navy". Domestically, Henry is known for his radical changes to the English Constitution, ushering into England the theory of the divine right of kings. Besides asserting the sovereign's supremacy over the Church of England, he expanded royal power during his reign. Charges of treason and heresy were used to quell dissent, those accused were executed without a formal trial, by means of bills of attainder.
He achieved many of his political aims through the work of his chief ministers, some of whom were banished or executed when they fell out of his favour. Thomas Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, Richard Rich, Thomas Cranmer all figured prominently in Henry's administration, he was an extravagant spender and used the proceeds from the Dissolution of the Monasteries and acts of the Reformation Parliament to convert into royal revenue the money, paid to Rome. Despite the influx of money from these sources, Henry was continually on the verge of financial ruin due to his personal extravagance as well as his numerous costly and unsuccessful continental wars with King Francis I of France and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. At home, he oversaw the legal union of England and Wales with the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542 and following the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 he was the first English monarch to rule as King of Ireland, his contemporaries considered Henry in his prime to be an attractive and accomplished king.
He has been described as "one of the most charismatic rulers to sit on the English throne". He was an composer; as he aged, Henry became obese and his health suffered, contributing to his death in 1547. He is characterised in his life as a lustful, egotistical and insecure king, he was succeeded by the issue of his third marriage to Jane Seymour. Born 28 June 1491 at the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich, Henry Tudor was the third child and second son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Of the young Henry's six siblings, only three – Arthur, Prince of Wales, he was baptised by Richard Fox, the Bishop of Exeter, at a church of the Observant Franciscans close to the palace. In 1493, at the age of two, Henry was appointed Constable of Dover Castle and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, he was subsequently appointed Earl Marshal of England and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland at age three, was inducted into the Order of the Bath soon after. The day after the ceremony he was created Duke of York and a month or so made Warden of the Scottish Marches.
In May 1495, he was appointed to the Order of the Garter. The reason for all the appointments to a small child was so his father could keep personal control of lucrative positions and not share them with established families. Henry was given a first-rate education from leading tutors, becoming fluent in Latin and French, learning at least some Italian. Not much is known about his early life – save for his appointments – because he was not expected to become king. In November 1501, Henry played a considerable part in the ceremonies surrounding his brother's marriage to Catherine of Aragon, the youngest surviving child of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile; as Duke of York, Henry used the arms of his father as king, differenced by a label of three points ermine. He was further honoured, on 9 February 1506, by Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I who made him a Knight of the Golden Fleece. In 1502, Arthur died at the age of 15 of sweating sickness, just 20 weeks after his marriage to Catherine.
Arthur's death thrust all his duties upon the 10-year-old Henry. After a little debate, Henry became the new Duke of Cornwall in October 1502, the new Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester in February 1503. Henry VII gave the boy few tasks. Young Henry was supervised and did not appear in public; as a result, he ascended the throne "untrained in the exacting art of kingship". Henry VII renewed his efforts to seal a marital alliance between England and Spain, by offering his second son in marriage to Arthur's widow Catherine. Both Isabella and Henry VII were keen on the idea, which had arisen shortly after Arthur's death. On 23 June 1503, a treaty was signed for their marriage, they were betrothed two days later. A papal dispensation was only needed for the "impediment of public honesty" if the marriage had not been consummated as Catherine and her duenna claimed, but Henry VII and the Spanish ambassador set out instead to obtain a dispensation for "affinity", which took account of the possibility of consummation.
Cohabitation was not possible. Isabella's death in 1504, the ensuing problems of succession in Castile, complicated matters, her father preferred her to stay in England, but Henry VII's relations with Ferdinand had deteriorated. Catherine was therefore left in limbo for some time, culminating in Prince Henry's rejection of the marriage as soon he was able, at the age of 14. Ferdinand's solution was to make his daugh
Surrey is a subdivision of the English region of South East England in the United Kingdom. A historic and ceremonial county, Surrey is one of the home counties; the county borders Kent to the east, East Sussex and West Sussex to the south, Hampshire to the west, Berkshire to the northwest, Greater London to the northeast. Inhabited by about 1.2 million people, Surrey is the twelfth most populous English county, both the third most populous home county and the third most populous county in the South East. Guildford is considered to be the county town; however despite the town's designation, Surrey County Council has never been based there, being instead seated throughout its history in London. Since the borders of Surrey were altered in 1965 by the London Government Act 1963 which created Greater London, none of these places are now in Surrey, marking an example of a de facto capital, located outside of its administrative area. Surrey is divided into eleven districts: Elmbridge and Ewell, Mole Valley and Banstead, Spelthorne, Surrey Heath, Tandridge and Woking.
Services such as roads, mineral extraction licensing, strategic waste and recycling infrastructure, birth and death registration, social and children's services are administered by Surrey County Council. The London boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and small parts of Lewisham and Bromley were in Surrey until 1889. Since the 1965 reform the bordering boroughs of the capital have been those taken from it in 1965 plus Bromley and Hounslow; the form of Surrey which remains since 1965 is a wealthy county due to economic, aesthetic and logistical factors. It has the highest GDP per capita of any English county, some of the highest property values outside Inner London and the highest cost of living in the UK outside of the capital. Surrey has the highest proportion of woodland in England, having been rural since it was shorn in 1965 of the urbanised swathes of South London which had hitherto been part of the county, it has large protected green spaces. It has four racecourses in horse racing, the most of any Home County and as at 2013 contained 141 golf courses including international competition venue Wentworth.
Surrey has proximity to London and to Heathrow and Gatwick airports, along with access to major arterial road routes including the M25, M3 and M23 and frequent rail services into Central London. Surrey is divided in two by the chalk ridge of the North Downs; the ridge is pierced by the rivers Wey and Mole, tributaries of the Thames, which formed the northern border of the county before modern redrawing of county boundaries, which has left part of its north bank within the county. To the north of the Downs the land is flat, forming part of the basin of the Thames; the geology of this area is dominated by London Clay in the east, Bagshot Sands in the west and alluvial deposits along the rivers. To the south of the Downs in the western part of the county are the sandstone Surrey Hills, while further east is the plain of the Low Weald, rising in the extreme southeast to the edge of the hills of the High Weald; the Downs and the area to the south form part of a concentric pattern of geological deposits which extends across southern Kent and most of Sussex, predominantly composed of Wealden Clay, Lower Greensand and the chalk of the Downs.
Much of Surrey is in the Metropolitan Green Belt. It contains valued reserves of mature woodland. Among its many notable beauty spots are Box Hill, Leith Hill, Frensham Ponds, Newlands Corner and Puttenham & Crooksbury Commons. Surrey is the most wooded county in England, with 22.4% coverage compared to a national average of 11.8% and as such is one of the few counties not to recommend new woodlands in the subordinate planning authorities' plans. Box Hill has the oldest untouched area of natural woodland in one of the oldest in Europe. Surrey contains England's principal concentration of lowland heath, on sandy soils in the west of the county. Agriculture not being intensive, there are many commons and access lands, together with an extensive network of footpaths and bridleways including the North Downs Way, a scenic long-distance path. Accordingly, Surrey provides many rural and semi-rural leisure activities, with a large horse population in modern terms; the highest elevation in Surrey is Leith Hill near Dorking.
It is 294 m above sea level and is the second highest point in southeastern England after Walbury Hill in West Berkshire, 297 m. Surrey has a population of 1.1 million people. Its largest town is Guildford, with a population of 77,057, they are followed by Ewell with 39,994 people and Camberley with 30,155. Towns of between 25,000 and 30,000 inhabitants are Ashford, Farnham and Redhill. Guildford is the historic county town, although the county administration was moved to Newington in 1791 and to Kingston upon Thames in 1893; the county counc
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
Henry Stuart, Duke of Albany, styled as Lord Darnley until 1565, was king consort of Scotland from 1565 until his murder at Kirk o' Field in 1567. Many contemporary narratives describing his life and death refer to him as Lord Darnley, his title as heir apparent to the Earldom of Lennox, it is by this appellation that he is now known, he was the second but eldest surviving son of Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox, his wife, Lady Margaret Douglas. Darnley's maternal grandparents were Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, Margaret, daughter of Henry VII of England and widow of James IV of Scotland, he was a first cousin and the second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, was the father of her son James VI of Scotland, who succeeded Elizabeth I of England as James I. Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, was born, at Temple Newsam, Leeds, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, in 1545; however this date is uncertain as his parents were not together in early 1545 and a letter of March 1566, from Mary Queen of Scots, indicates Darnley was nineteen years old.
Therefore the date 1546 would seem probable. A descendant of both James II of Scotland and Henry VII of England, Darnley had potential claims to both the Scottish and English thrones. In 1545, his father, Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox, was found guilty of treason in Scotland for siding with the English in the War of the Rough Wooing, in opposing Mary of Guise and Regent Arran; the family's Scottish estates were forfeited and his father went into exile in England for 22 years, returning to Scotland in 1564. The Countess of Lennox Margaret Douglas, his mother, had left Scotland in 1528; the young Henry was conscious of his inheritance. Well-versed in Latin and familiar with Gaelic and French, he received an education befitting his royal lineage, he excelled in singing, lute playing, dancing; the Scottish scholar John Elder was among his tutors. Elder advocated Anglo-Scottish union through the marriage of Queen of Scots and Prince Edward, his advice to Henry VIII in 1543, was termed the Advice of a Redshank.
Another schoolmaster to the young heir was Arthur Lallart, who would be interrogated in London for having gone to Scotland in 1562. Henry was said to be strong, skilled in horsemanship and weaponry, passionate about hunting and hawking, his youthful character is captured somewhat in a letter of March 1554 to Mary I of England from Temple Newsam, where he writes about making a map, the Utopia Nova, his wish that "every haire in my heade for to be a wourthy souldiour". The Lennox Crisis was a political dilemma in England that arose from the dynastic ambition of the Lennoxes: Matthew Stewart, the 4th Earl of Lennox, was third in line to the Scottish throne, his wife Margaret Douglas, the Countess of Lennox, was a niece of Henry VIII and granddaughter of Henry VII, making her second in line to the English throne after Mary Queen of Scots, her son Darnley after her, should Elizabeth not have been able to accede to or hold the throne for some reason; the Lennox family represented an alternative line of succession to the English throne through Margaret Tudor, should Henry's heirs not have been able to hold it for the time they did.
As Roman Catholics, they posed a threat to Protestant England in 1558, as the 25-year-old Queen Elizabeth took the throne. Although Elizabeth was bright and well-educated for her position, as a female she had to prove herself. Many Roman Catholics would have liked to have seen the next in line, the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots, take the throne, as they regarded Elizabeth as illegitimate, her parents' marriage not having been recognized by the Catholic Church, and many would have preferred Darnley, as a male, to have the throne as well. All of these interrelationships made for complex intrigues, spying and maneuvering for power at the various courts; when Henry II of France died in July 1559, Lennox's brother John, 5th Sieur d'Aubigny, was elevated in the French court as kinsman of the new French queen, Mary Queen of Scots. Aubigny arranged for Darnley to be dispatched to the French court to congratulate Mary and Francis II of France on their accession and seek restoration for Lennox. Mary did not restore Lennox to his Scottish earldom, but she did give 1,000 crowns to Darnley and invited him to her coronation.
Lennox's plan was to appeal directly to the Queen of Scots via her ambassador, over the heads of Elizabeth and the Guise. The mission of Lennox's agent, one Nesbit, appears to have been a desperate one. Aubigny was later accused of supporting Mary's title to the throne of England and hinting that his nephew had a stronger claim than Elizabeth. Lennox set Nesbit to watch Mary and Darnley's tutor, John Elder. In 1559 Nicholas Throckmorton, the English ambassador in Paris, warned Elizabeth that Elder was "as dangerous for the matters of England as any he knew."Lord Darnley was the next claimant to the English throne, after the Queen of Scots, his aging mother, as a male, English-born Catholic, he was preferred by Elizabeth's enemies. Paget in March 1560 wrote of'well founded' fear that Catholics would raise Darnley to the throne on Elizabeth's death. By the summer of that year, Elizabeth's position was strengthened. Francis Yaxley was one notable spy. A Catholic, Yaxley had been a clerk of the Signet and had been employed by William Cecil since 1549, travelling in France for him.
Monarchy of the United Kingdom
The monarchy of the United Kingdom referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom, its dependencies and its overseas territories. The current monarch and head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended the throne in 1952; the monarch and their immediate family undertake various official, ceremonial and representational duties. As the monarchy is constitutional, the monarch is limited to non-partisan functions such as bestowing honours and appointing the Prime Minister; the monarch is commander-in-chief of the British Armed Forces. Though the ultimate executive authority over the government is still formally by and through the monarch's royal prerogative, these powers may only be used according to laws enacted in Parliament and, in practice, within the constraints of convention and precedent; the British monarchy traces its origins from the petty kingdoms of early medieval Scotland and Anglo-Saxon England, which consolidated into the kingdoms of England and Scotland by the 10th century.
England was conquered by the Normans in 1066, after which Wales too came under control of Anglo-Normans. The process was completed in the 13th century when the Principality of Wales became a client state of the English kingdom. Meanwhile, Magna Carta began a process of reducing the English monarch's political powers. From 1603, the English and Scottish kingdoms were ruled by a single sovereign. From 1649 to 1660, the tradition of monarchy was broken by the republican Commonwealth of England, which followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms; the Act of Settlement 1701 excluded Roman Catholics, or those who married them, from succession to the English throne. In 1707, the kingdoms of England and Scotland were merged to create the Kingdom of Great Britain, in 1801, the Kingdom of Ireland joined to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; the British monarch was the nominal head of the vast British Empire, which covered a quarter of the world's surface at its greatest extent in 1921. In the early 1920s the Balfour Declaration recognised the evolution of the Dominions of the Empire into separate, self-governing countries within a Commonwealth of Nations.
After the Second World War, the vast majority of British colonies and territories became independent bringing the Empire to an end. George VI and his successor, Elizabeth II, adopted the title Head of the Commonwealth as a symbol of the free association of its independent member states; the United Kingdom and fifteen other independent sovereign states that share the same person as their monarch are called Commonwealth realms. Although the monarch is shared, each country is sovereign and independent of the others, the monarch has a different and official national title and style for each realm. In the uncodified Constitution of the United Kingdom, the monarch is the head of state; the Queen's image is used to signify British sovereignty and government authority—her profile, for instance, appearing on currency, her portrait in government buildings. The sovereign is further both mentioned in and the subject of songs, loyal toasts, salutes. "God Save the Queen" is the British national anthem. Oaths of allegiance are made to her lawful successors.
The monarch takes little direct part in government. The decisions to exercise sovereign powers are delegated from the monarch, either by statute or by convention, to ministers or officers of the Crown, or other public bodies, exclusive of the monarch personally, thus the acts of state done in the name of the Crown, such as Crown Appointments if performed by the monarch, such as the Queen's Speech and the State Opening of Parliament, depend upon decisions made elsewhere: Legislative power is exercised by the Queen-in-Parliament, by and with the advice and consent of Parliament, the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Executive power is exercised by Her Majesty's Government, which comprises ministers the prime minister and the Cabinet, technically a committee of the Privy Council, they have the direction of the Armed Forces of the Crown, the Civil Service and other Crown Servants such as the Diplomatic and Secret Services. Judicial power is vested in the various judiciaries of the United Kingdom, who by constitution and statute have judicial independence of the Government.
The Church of England, of which the monarch is the head, has its own legislative and executive structures. Powers independent of government are granted to other public bodies by statute or Statutory Instrument such as an Order in Council, Royal Commission or otherwise; the sovereign's role as a constitutional monarch is limited to non-partisan functions, such as granting honours. This role has been recognised since the 19th century; the constitutional writer Walter Bagehot identified the monarchy in 1867 as the "dignified part" rather than the "efficient part" of government. Whenever necessary, the monarch is responsible for appointing a new prime minister. In accordance with unwritten constitutional conventions, the sovereign must appoint an individual who commands the support of the House of Commons the leader of the party or coalition that has a majority in that House; the prime minister takes office by attending the monarch in private audience, after "kissing hands" that appointment is effective without any other f