Head of state
A head of state is the public persona who represents the national unity and legitimacy of a sovereign state. Depending on the country's form of government and separation of powers, the head of state may be a ceremonial figurehead or concurrently the head of government. In a parliamentary system the head of state is the de jure leader of the nation, there is a separate de facto leader with the title of prime minister. In contrast, a semi-presidential system has both heads of state and government as the leaders de facto of the nation. In countries with parliamentary systems, the head of state is a ceremonial figurehead who does not guide day-to-day government activities or is not empowered to exercise any kind of political authority. In countries where the head of state is the head of government, the head of state serves as both a public figurehead and the highest-ranking political leader who oversees the executive branch. Former French president Charles de Gaulle, while developing the current Constitution of France, said that the head of state should embody l'esprit de la nation.
Some academic writers discuss states and governments in terms of "models". An independent nation state has a head of state, determines the extent of its head's executive powers of government or formal representational functions. In protocolary terms, the head of a sovereign, independent state is identified as the person who, according to that state's constitution, is the reigning monarch, in the case of a monarchy, or the president, in the case of a republic. Among the different state constitutions that establish different political systems, four major types of heads of state can be distinguished: The parliamentary system, with three subset models; the non-executive model, in which the head of state has either none or limited executive powers, has a ceremonial and symbolic role. The Parliamentary-Presidential model, or South African Method, where Parliament chooses the President, who acts as both Head of State and Head of Government; some argue this is unfair, becouse citizens dont get a direct say in their executive leadership.
However, this method makes it impossible for a dictator to come to power. The semi-presidential system, in which the head of state shares key executive powers with a head of government or cabinet. In a federal constituent or a dependent territory, the same role is fulfilled by the holder of an office corresponding to that of a head of state. For example, in each Canadian province the role is fulfilled by the Lieutenant Governor, whereas in most British Overseas Territories the powers and duties are performed by the Governor; the same applies to Indian states, etc.. Hong Kong's constitutional document, the Basic Law, for example, specifies the Chief Executive as the head of the special administrative region, in addition to their role as the head of government; these non-sovereign-state heads have limited or no role in diplomatic affairs, depending on the status and the norms and practices of the territories concerned. In parliamentary systems the head of state may be the nominal chief executive officer, heading the executive branch of the state, possessing limited executive power.
In reality, following a process of constitutional evolution, powers are only exercised by direction of a cabinet, presided over by a head of government, answerable to the legislature. This accountability and legitimacy requires that someone be chosen who has a majority support in the legislature, it gives the legislature the right to vote down the head of government and their cabinet, forcing it either to resign or seek a parliamentary dissolution. The executive branch is thus said to be responsible to the legislature, with the head of government and cabinet in turn accepting constitutional responsibility for offering constitutional advice to the head of state. In parliamentary constitutional monarchies, the legitimacy of the unelected head of state derives from the tacit approval of the people via the elected representatives. Accordingly, at the time of the Glorious Revolution, the English parliament acted of its own authority to name a new king and queen. In monarchies with a written constitution, the position of monarch is a creature of the constitution and could quite properly be abolished through a democratic procedure of constitutional amendment, although there are significant procedural hurdles imposed on such a procedure.
In republics with a parliamentary system the head of state is titled president and the principal functions of such presidents are ceremonial and symbolic, as opposed to the presidents in a presidential or semi-presidential system. In reality, numerous variants exist to the position of a head of state within a parliamentary system; the older the cons
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is the husband of Elizabeth II. Philip was born into the Danish royal families, he was born in Greece. After being educated in France and the United Kingdom, he joined the British Royal Navy in 1939, aged 18. From July 1939, he began corresponding with the 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth, whom he had first met in 1934. During the Second World War he served with distinction in the Pacific Fleets. After the war, Philip was granted permission by George VI to marry Elizabeth. Before the official announcement of their engagement in July 1947, he abandoned his Greek and Danish royal titles and became a naturalised British subject, adopting the surname Mountbatten from his maternal grandparents, he married Elizabeth on 20 November 1947. Just before the wedding, he was created Baron Earl of Merioneth and Duke of Edinburgh. Philip left active military service when Elizabeth became queen in 1952, having reached the rank of commander, was formally made a British prince in 1957.
Philip and Elizabeth have four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. Through a British Order in Council issued in 1960, descendants of the couple not bearing royal styles and titles can use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor, used by some members of the royal family who do hold titles, such as Princess Anne and Princes Andrew and Edward. A keen sports enthusiast, Philip helped develop the equestrian event of carriage driving, he is a patron, president or member of over 780 organisations and serves as chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award for people aged 14 to 24. He is the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch and the oldest male member of the British royal family. Philip retired from his royal duties on 2 August 2017, at the age of 96, having completed 22,219 solo engagements since 1952. Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was born in Mon Repos on the Greek island of Corfu on 10 June 1921, the only son and fifth and final child of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg.
Philip's four elder sisters were Margarita, Theodora and Sophie. He was baptised in the Greek Orthodox rite at St. George's Church in the Old Fortress in Corfu, his godparents were his paternal grandmother Queen Olga of Greece, represented by Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark, Alexandros S. Kokotos, the Mayor of Corfu, representing the people of Corfu. Shortly after Philip's birth, his maternal grandfather, Prince Louis of Battenberg known as Louis Mountbatten, Marquess of Milford Haven, died in London. Louis was a naturalised British citizen, after a career in the Royal Navy, had renounced his German titles and adopted the surname Mountbatten—an Anglicized version of Battenberg—during the First World War, owing to anti-German sentiment in Great Britain. After visiting London for the memorial and his mother returned to Greece where Prince Andrew had remained behind to command an army division embroiled in the Greco-Turkish War; the war went badly for Greece, the Turks made large gains. On 22 September 1922, Philip's uncle, King Constantine I, was forced to abdicate and the new military government arrested Prince Andrew, along with others.
The commander of the army, General Georgios Hatzianestis, five senior politicians were executed. Prince Andrew's life was believed to be in danger, Alice was under surveillance. In December, a revolutionary court banished Prince Andrew from Greece for life; the British naval vessel HMS Calypso evacuated Prince Andrew's family, with Philip carried to safety in a cot made from a fruit box. Philip's family went to France, where they settled in the Paris suburb of Saint-Cloud in a house lent to them by his wealthy aunt, Princess George of Greece and Denmark; because Philip left Greece as a baby, he does not have a strong grasp of the Greek language. In 1992, he said that he "could understand a certain amount". Philip has stated that he has thought of himself as Danish, his family spoke English and German. Philip, who in his youth was known for his charm, was linked to a number of women including Osla Benning. Philip was first educated at The Elms, an American school in Paris run by Donald MacJannet, who described Philip as a "know it all smarty person, but always remarkably polite".
In 1928, he was sent to the United Kingdom to attend Cheam School, living with his maternal grandmother, Victoria Mountbatten, Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven, at Kensington Palace and his uncle, George Mountbatten, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven, at Lynden Manor in Bray, Berkshire. In the next three years, his four sisters married German princes and moved to Germany, his mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia and placed in an asylum, his father took up residence in Monte Carlo. Philip had little contact with his mother for the remainder of his childhood. In 1933, he was sent to Schule Schloss Salem in Germany, which had the "advantage of saving school fees" because it was owned by the family of his brother-in-law, Margrave of Baden. With the rise of Nazism in Germany, Salem's Jewish founder, Kurt Hahn, fled persecution and founded Gordonstoun School in Scotland, which Philip moved to after two terms at Salem. In 1937, his sister Cecilie, her husband Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse, her two young sons and Alexander, her newborn infant, her mother-in-law, Princess Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich, were killed in an air crash at Ostend.
The following year, his uncle and guardian Lord Milford Haven died of bone marrow cancer. After leaving Gordonstoun in early 193
Charles, Prince of Wales
Charles, Prince of Wales is the heir apparent to the British throne as the eldest child of Queen Elizabeth II. He has been Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay since 1952, is the oldest and longest-serving heir apparent in British history, he is the longest-serving Prince of Wales, having held that title since 1958. Charles was born at Buckingham Palace as the first grandchild of King George Queen Elizabeth, he was educated at Cheam and Gordonstoun schools, which his father, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, had attended as a child, as well as the Timbertop campus of Geelong Grammar School in Victoria, Australia. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cambridge, Charles served in the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy from 1971 to 1976. In 1981, he married Lady Diana Spencer and they had two sons: Prince William —later to become Duke of Cambridge—and Prince Harry —later to become Duke of Sussex. In 1996, the couple divorced following well-publicised extramarital affairs by both parties.
Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris the following year. In 2005, Charles married long-time partner Camilla Parker Bowles; as Prince of Wales, Charles undertakes official duties on behalf of the Queen and the Commonwealth realms. Charles founded The Prince's Trust in 1976, sponsors The Prince's Charities, is a patron, president and a member of over 400 other charities and organisations; as an environmentalist, he raises awareness of organic farming and climate change which has earned him awards and recognition from environmental groups. His support for alternative medicine, including homeopathy, has been criticised by some in the medical community and his views on the role of architecture in society and the conservation of historic buildings have received considerable attention from British architects and design critics. Since 1993, Charles has worked on the creation of Poundbury, an experimental new town based on his preferences, he is an author and co-author of a number of books. Charles was born at Buckingham Palace in London during the reign of his maternal grandfather George VI on 14 November 1948, at 9:14 pm, the first child of Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, first grandchild of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
He was baptised in the palace's Music Room by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher, on 15 December 1948. The death of his grandfather and the accession of his mother as Queen Elizabeth II in 1952 made Charles her heir apparent; as the monarch's eldest son, he automatically took the titles Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland. Charles attended his mother's coronation at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953; as was customary for upper-class children at the time, a governess, Catherine Peebles, was appointed and undertook his education between the ages of five and eight. Buckingham Palace announced in 1955 that Charles would attend school rather than have a private tutor, making him the first heir apparent to be educated in that manner. On 7 November 1956, Charles commenced classes in west London, he did not receive preferential treatment from the school's founder and headmaster, Stuart Townend, who advised the Queen to have Charles train in football because the boys were never deferential to anyone on the football field.
Charles attended two of his father's former schools, Cheam Preparatory School in Berkshire, from 1958, followed by Gordonstoun in the north-east of Scotland, beginning classes there in April 1962. Though he described Gordonstoun, noted for its rigorous curriculum, as "Colditz in kilts", Charles subsequently praised Gordonstoun, stating it had taught him "a great deal about myself and my own abilities and disabilities, it taught me to accept challenges and take the initiative." In a 1975 interview, he said he was "glad" he had attended Gordonstoun and that the "toughness of the place" was "much exaggerated". He spent two terms in 1966 at the Timbertop campus of Geelong Grammar School in Victoria, during which time he visited Papua New Guinea on a school trip with his history tutor, Michael Collins Persse. In 1973, Charles described his time at Timbertop as the most enjoyable part of his whole education. Upon his return to Gordonstoun, Charles emulated his father in becoming Head Boy, he left in 1967, with six GCE O-levels and two A-levels in history and French, at grades B and C respectively.
On his early education, Charles remarked, "I didn't enjoy school as much as I might have, but, only because I'm happier at home than anywhere else."Charles broke royal tradition a second time when he proceeded straight to university after his A-levels, rather than joining the British Armed Forces. In October 1967, he was admitted to Trinity College, where he read anthropology and history. During his second year, Charles attended the University College of Wales in Aberystwyth, studying Welsh history and language for a term, he graduated from Cambridge with a 2:2 Bachelor of Arts on 23 June 1970, the first heir apparent to earn a university degree. On 2 August 1975, he was awarded a Master of Arts degree from Cambridge, in accordance with the university's practice. Charles was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester on 26 July 1958, though his investiture was not held until 1 July 1969, when he was crowned by his mother in a televised ceremony held at Caernarfon Castle, he took his seat in the House of Lords in 1970, he made his maiden speech at a debate in June 1974, becoming the first royal to speak in the Lords since his great-great-grandfather Edward VII speaking as Prince of Wales, in 1884.
Act of Settlement 1701
The Act of Settlement is an Act of the Parliament of England, passed in 1701 to settle the succession to the English and Irish crowns on Protestants only. The next Protestant in line to the throne was the Electress Sophia of Hanover, a granddaughter of James VI of Scotland and I of England. After her the crowns would descend only to her non-Roman Catholic heirs; the act was prompted by the failure of King William III and Queen Mary II, as well as of Mary's sister Queen Anne, to produce any surviving children, the Roman Catholic religion of all other members of the House of Stuart. The line of Sophia of Hanover was the most junior among the Stuarts, but consisted of convinced Protestants. Sophia died on 8 June 1714, before the death of Queen Anne on 1 August 1714. On Queen Anne's death, Sophia's son duly became King George I and started the Hanoverian dynasty in Britain; the act played a key role in the formation of the Kingdom of Great Britain. England and Scotland had shared a monarch since 1603, but had remained separately governed countries.
The Scottish parliament was more reluctant than the English to abandon the House of Stuart, members of, Scottish monarchs long before they became English ones. English pressure on Scotland to accept the Act of Settlement was one factor leading to the parliamentary union of the two countries in 1707. Under the Act of Settlement anyone who became a Roman Catholic, or who married one, became disqualified to inherit the throne; the act placed limits on both the role of foreigners in the British government and the power of the monarch with respect to the Parliament of England. Some of those provisions have been altered by subsequent legislation. Along with the Bill of Rights 1689, the Act of Settlement remains today one of the main constitutional laws governing the succession not only to the throne of the United Kingdom, but to those of the other Commonwealth realms, whether by assumption or by patriation; the Act of Settlement cannot be altered in any realm except by that realm's own parliament and, by convention, only with the consent of all the other realms, as it touches on the succession to the shared crown.
The original copy of the act is held in Germany, in the State Archive of Lower Saxony. Following the Perth Agreement in 2011, legislation amending the act came into effect across the Commonwealth realms on 26 March 2015, removed the disqualification arising from marriage to a Roman Catholic. Following the Glorious Revolution, the line of succession to the English throne was governed by the Bill of Rights 1689, which declared that the flight of James II from England to France during the revolution amounted to an abdication of the throne and that James' daughter Mary II and her husband, William III, were James' successors; the Bill of Rights provided that the line of succession would go through their descendants through Mary's sister Anne and her descendants, to the issue of William III by a possible marriage. During the debate, the House of Lords had attempted to append Sophia and her descendants to the line of succession, but the amendment failed in the Commons. Mary II died childless in 1694.
In 1700, Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, Anne's only child to survive infancy, died of a fever at the age of 11. Thus, Anne was left as the only person in line to the throne; the Bill of Rights excluded Catholics from the throne, which ruled out his descendants. However, it did not provide for the further succession after Anne. Parliament thus saw the need to settle the succession on Sophia and her descendants, thereby guarantee the continuity of the Crown in the Protestant line. With religion and lineage decided, the ascendancy of William of Orange in 1689 would bring his partiality to his foreign favourites that followed. By 1701 English jealousy of foreigners was rampant, action was considered necessary for correction; the Act of Settlement provided that the throne would pass to the Electress Sophia of Hanover – a granddaughter of James VI and I and a niece of King Charles I – and her descendants, but it excluded "for ever" "all and every Person and Persons who... is are or shall be reconciled to or shall hold Communion with the See or Church of Rome or shall profess the Popish Religion or shall marry a Papist".
Thus, those who were Roman Catholics, those who married Roman Catholics, were barred from ascending the throne. Eight additional provisions of the act would only come into effect upon the death of both William and Anne: The monarch "shall join in communion with the Church of England"; this was intended to ensure the exclusion of a Roman Catholic monarch. Along with James II's perceived despotism, his religion was the main cause of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, of the previous linked religious and succession problems, resolved by the joint monarchy of William III and Mary II. If a person not native to England comes to the throne, England will not wage war for "any dominions or territories which do not belong to the Crown of England, without the consent of Parliament"; this was far-sighted, because when a member of the House of Hanover ascended the British throne, he would retain the territories of the Electorate of Hanover in what is now Lower Saxony part of the Holy Roman Empire. This provision has been dormant since Queen Victoria ascended the throne, because she did not inherit Hanover under the Salic Laws of the German-speaking states.
No monarch may leave "the dominions of England, Scotland, or Ireland", without the consent of Parliament. This provision was repealed in 1716, at the request of George I, the Elector of Hanover and Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg within the Holy Roman Empire.
Balfour Declaration of 1926
The Balfour Declaration of 1926, issued by the 1926 Imperial Conference of British Empire leaders in London, was named after Lord President of the Council Arthur Balfour. It declared the United Kingdom and the Dominions to be:... autonomous Communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown, associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations. The Inter-Imperial Relations Committee, chaired by Balfour, drew up the document preparatory to its unanimous approval by the imperial premiers on 15 November 1926, it was first proposed by South African Prime Minister J. B. M. Hertzog and Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King; the Declaration accepted the growing political and diplomatic independence of the Dominions in the years after World War I. It recommended that the governors-general, the representatives of the King who acted for the Crown as de facto head of state in each dominion, should no longer serve automatically as the representative of the British government in diplomatic relations between the countries.
In following years, High Commissioners were appointed, whose duties were soon recognised to be identical to those of an ambassador. The first such British High Commissioner was appointed to Ottawa in 1928; the conclusions of the imperial premiers conference of 1926 were re-stated by the 1930 conference and incorporated in the Statute of Westminster of December 1931, by which the British parliament renounced any legislative authority over dominion affairs, except as provided in law. Transcript of the Declaration
Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. Both the Duke and the King died in 1820, Victoria was raised under close supervision by her mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, she inherited the throne at the age of 18, after her father's three elder brothers had all died, leaving no surviving legitimate children. The United Kingdom was an established constitutional monarchy, in which the sovereign held little direct political power. Victoria attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments. Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840, their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the sobriquet "the grandmother of Europe". After Albert's death in 1861, Victoria avoided public appearances.
As a result of her seclusion, republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration, her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than that of any of her predecessors and is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, political and military change within the United Kingdom, was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire, she was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover. Her son and successor, Edward VII, initiated the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the line of his father. Victoria's father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of the reigning King of the United Kingdom, George III; until 1817, Edward's niece, Princess Charlotte of Wales, was the only legitimate grandchild of George III. Her death in 1817 precipitated a succession crisis that brought pressure on the Duke of Kent and his unmarried brothers to marry and have children.
In 1818 he married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, a widowed German princess with two children—Carl and Feodora —by her first marriage to the Prince of Leiningen. Her brother Leopold was Princess Charlotte's widower; the Duke and Duchess of Kent's only child, was born at 4.15 a.m. on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London. Victoria was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Manners-Sutton, on 24 June 1819 in the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace, she was baptised Alexandrina after one of her godparents, Emperor Alexander I of Russia, Victoria, after her mother. Additional names proposed by her parents—Georgina and Augusta—were dropped on the instructions of Kent's eldest brother, the Prince Regent. At birth, Victoria was fifth in the line of succession after the four eldest sons of George III: George, the Prince Regent; the Prince Regent had no surviving children, the Duke of York had no children. The Duke of Clarence and the Duke of Kent married on the same day in 1818, but both of Clarence's legitimate daughters died as infants.
The first of these was Princess Charlotte, born and died on 27 March 1819, two months before Victoria was born. Victoria's father died in January 1820. A week her grandfather died and was succeeded by his eldest son as George IV. Victoria was third in line to the throne after York and Clarence. Clarence's second daughter was Princess Elizabeth of Clarence who lived for twelve weeks from 10 December 1820 to 4 March 1821 and, while Elizabeth lived, Victoria was fourth in line; the Duke of York died in 1827. When George IV died in 1830, he was succeeded by his next surviving brother, Clarence, as William IV, Victoria became heir presumptive; the Regency Act 1830 made special provision for Victoria's mother to act as regent in case William died while Victoria was still a minor. King William distrusted the Duchess's capacity to be regent, in 1836 he declared in her presence that he wanted to live until Victoria's 18th birthday, so that a regency could be avoided. Victoria described her childhood as "rather melancholy".
Her mother was protective, Victoria was raised isolated from other children under the so-called "Kensington System", an elaborate set of rules and protocols devised by the Duchess and her ambitious and domineering comptroller, Sir John Conroy, rumoured to be the Duchess's lover. The system prevented the princess from meeting people whom her mother and Conroy deemed undesirable, was designed to render her weak and dependent upon them; the Duchess avoided the court because she was scandalised by the presence of King William's illegitimate children. Victoria shared a bedroom with her mother every night, studied with private tutors to a regular timetable, spent her play-hours with her dolls and her King Charles Spaniel, Dash, her lessons included French, German and Latin, but she spoke only English at home. In 1830, the Duchess of Kent and Conroy took Victoria across the centre of England to visit the Malvern Hills, stopping at towns and great country houses along the way. Similar journeys to oth
A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state in which Queen Elizabeth II is the reigning constitutional monarch and head of state. Each realm is independent from the other realms; as of 2019, there are 16 Commonwealth realms: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands and the United Kingdom. All 16 Commonwealth realms are members of the Commonwealth of Nations, an intergovernmental organisation of 53 member states. Elizabeth II is Head of the Commonwealth. In 1952, Britain's proclamation of Elizabeth II's accession used the term realms to describe the seven sovereign states of which she was queen—the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Ceylon. Since new realms have been created through independence of former colonies and dependencies and some realms have become republics. There are 16 Commonwealth realms with a combined area of 18.7 million km2 and a population of 144 million, of which all but about two million live in the six most populous: the United Kingdom, Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Jamaica.
The Commonwealth realms are, for purposes of sovereign states. They are united only in their voluntary connection with the institution of the monarchy, the succession, the Queen herself. Political scientist Peter Boyce called this grouping of countries associated in this manner, "an achievement without parallel in the history of international relations or constitutional law." Terms such as personal union, a form of personal union, shared monarchy, among others, have all been advanced as definitions since the beginning of the Commonwealth itself, though there has been no agreement on which term is most accurate, or whether personal union is applicable at all. Since the Balfour Declaration of 1926, the realms have been considered "equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown." and the monarch is "equally and explicitly of separate, autonomous realms." Andrew Michie wrote in 1952 "Elizabeth II embodies in her own person many monarchies: she is Queen of Great Britain, but she is Queen of Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Ceylon... it is now possible for Elizabeth II to be, in practice as well as theory Queen in all her realms."
Still, Boyce holds the counter-opinion the crowns of all the non-British realms are "derivative, if not subordinate" to the crown of the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom no longer possesses any legislative power over any country besides itself, although some countries continue to use, by their own volition, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as part of their own judiciary. Since each realm has the same person as its monarch, the diplomatic practice of exchanging ambassadors with letters of credence and recall from one head of state to another is redundant. Diplomatic relations between the Commonwealth realms are thus at a cabinet level only and high commissioners are exchanged between realms. A high commissioner's full title will thus be High Commissioner for Her Majesty's Government in. For certain ceremonies, the order of precedence for the realms' high commissioners or national flags is set according to the chronological order of, when the country became a Dominion and the date on which the country gained independence.
Conflicts of interest have arisen from this relationship amongst independent states, ranging from minor diplomatic matters—such as the monarch expressing on the advice of one of her cabinets views that counter those of another of her cabinets—to more serious conflicts regarding matters of armed conflict, wherein the monarch, as head of state of two different realms, may be at war and at peace with a third country, or at war with herself as head of two hostile nations. In such cases, viceroys have tended to avoid placing the sovereign directly in the centre of the conflict, meaning that a governor-general may have to take controversial actions on his or her own initiative through the exercise of the reserve powers. In recent years, advocates have argued for free movement of citizens among a subset of the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand, which they argue "share the same head of state, the same native language, the same respect for the common law." Opinion on the prospect of the plan coming to fruition is mixed.
British Eurosceptics have expressed a preference for a relationship "similar in nature and goals to the EU" between the same four countries: the CANZUK Union without repeating the "mistakes of Europe"—though this possibility has been characterised as "difficult and in some ways far-fetched". Despite this, public opinion polling conducted by organisations such as CANZUK International and YouGov have indicated widespread support for free movement of goods and people across Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, with support for the proposals ranging from between 58–64% in the United Kingdom, 70–72% in Australia, 75–77% in Canada and 81–82% in New Zealand; the evolution of the Commonwealth realms has resulted in the Crown having both a shared and a separate character, with the one individual being mona