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Minister of the Crown is a formal constitutional term used in
Commonwealth realm A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state A sovereign state is a polity, political entity represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a perma ...
s to describe a
minister Minister may refer to: * Minister (Christianity)Image:LutheranClergy.JPG, upA Lutheran minister wearing a Geneva gown and Bands (neckwear), bands. In many churches, ministers wear distinctive clothing, called vestments, when presiding over service ...
of the reigning sovereign or
viceroy A viceroy () is an official who runs a polity in the name of and as the representative of the monarch of the territory. The term derives from the Latin prefix ''vice-'', meaning "in the place of" and the French word ''roy'', meaning "king". A ...

viceroy
. The term indicates that the minister serves '' at His/Her Majesty's pleasure'', and advises the sovereign or viceroy on how to exercise the
Crown prerogative The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity, recognized in common law and, sometimes, in civil law jurisdictions possessing a monarchy, as belonging to the sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied ...
s relating to the minister's department or ministry.


Ministries

In Commonwealth realms, the sovereign or viceroy is formally advised by a larger body known as a
privy council A privy council is a body that advises the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. 110–11 "he head of state He or HE may refer to: ...
or executive council, though, in practice, they are advised by a subset of such councils: the collective body of ministers of the Crown called the ministry. The ministry should not be confused with the cabinet, as ministers of the Crown may be outside a cabinet. In the
UK
UK
, ministers are the MPs and members of the
House of Lords The House of Lords, formally The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the of the . Membership is by , or . Like the , it meets in the . ar ...

House of Lords
who are in the government.


History

Ministers of the Crown in Commonwealth realms have their roots in
early modern The early modern period of modern history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of 's past. It is understood through , , , and , and since the , from and s. Humanity's written history was preceded by its , beginning with ...
England, where monarchs sometimes employed " cabinet councils" consisting of Ministers to advise the monarch and implemented his decisions. The term ''Minister'' came into being as the sovereign's advisors "ministered to", or served, the king. Over time, former ministers and other distinguished persons were retained as peripheral advisers with designated ministers having the direct ear of the king. This led to the creation of the larger Privy Council, with the Cabinet becoming a committee within that body, made up of currently serving Ministers, who also were heads of departments. During a period between the accession of King
James VI James is a common English language surname and given name: * James (name), the typically masculine first name James * James (surname), various people with the last name James James or James City may also refer to: People * King James (disambiguati ...

James VI
of
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
to the throne of England in 1603 and the unification of Scotland and England in 1707, the two entities were separate "countries" in
personal union A personal union is the combination of two or more states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The Stat ...

personal union
through the one monarch who was advised by two separate sets of Ministers of the Crown for each country. As the
English overseas possessions The English overseas possessions, also known as the English colonial empire, comprised a variety of overseas territories that were colonised, conquered, or otherwise acquired by the former Kingdom of England during the centuries before the Act ...
and later
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
expanded, the colonial governments remained subordinate to the imperial government at Westminster, and thus the Crown was still ministered to only by the
Imperial Privy Council The Privy Council of the United Kingdom is a privy council, formal body of advisers to the British monarchy, sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership mainly comprises Politics of the United Kingdom, senior politicians who are current o ...
, made up of British Ministers of the Crown. When Canada became a
Dominion The term dominion was used to refer to one of several self-governing nations of the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other D ...

Dominion
in 1867, however, a separate
Canadian Privy Council Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of these connections exist and are collectively the source of ...
was established to advise the Canadian Governor General on the exercise of the Crown prerogative in Canada, although constitutionally the viceroy remained an agent of the British government at
Whitehall Whitehall is a road and area in the City of Westminster, Central London. The road forms the first part of the A roads in Zone 3 of the Great Britain numbering scheme, A3212 road from Trafalgar Square to Chelsea, London, Chelsea. It is the main ...

Whitehall
. After that date, other colonies of the empire attained Dominion status and similar arrangements were made. Following the passage of the Statute of Westminster in 1931, however, the dominions became effectively autonomous kingdoms under one sovereign, thus returning the monarch to a position similar to that which existed pre-1707, where he or she was ministered to by separate ministries and cabinets for each respective realm or colony. Thus, today, no Minister of the Crown in any Commonwealth realm can advise the monarch to exercise any powers pertaining to any of the other dominions.


Uses in other countries

In
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
, during the " Restauración" period (1874-1931) the term Minister of the Crown ''(
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
: Ministro de la Corona)'' was used for a person who was in charge of a ministerial department of His Majesty's Government. For example, during the reign of
King Alfonso XIII Alfonso XIII (17 May 1886 – 28 February 1941), also known as El Africano or the African, was King of Spain , coatofarms = Coat of Arms of Spanish Monarch.svg , coatofarms_article = Coat of arms of the King of Spain , image ...
, when Carlos María Cortezo y Prieto de Orche was appointed as "Ministro de Instrucción Pública y Bellas Artes" (minister of education), in the royal decree it was noted that he was a minister of the Crown.


See also

*
Minister of State Minister of State is a title borne by politician A politician is a person active in party politics A political party is an organization that coordinates candidate A candidate, or nominee, is the prospective recipient of an award or ...
*
Monarchy of Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda is a constitutional monarchy and a Commonwealth realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as its Queen regnant, reigning monarch and Head of state#Governors-general (Commonwealth realms), head of state since 1 November 1981. As such ...
*
Monarchy of Australia The monarchy of Australia is the institution in which a person serves as Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Aus ...
*
Monarchy of The Bahamas The monarchy of the Bahamas is a system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign of the The Bahamas, Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The current monarch and Head of state#Governors-general (Commonwealth realms), head of stat ...
*
Monarchy of Barbados The monarchy of Barbados was a system of government in which a hereditary monarch was the sovereign and head of state of Barbados. Barbados shared the Sovereign with the other Commonwealth realm, Commonwealth realms, with the country's monarchy ...
*
Monarchy of Canada The monarchy of Canada is the institution in which a person serves as Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of . Its extend from the to the and northward into the , covering , making it the world's . Its southern and western ...
* Monarchy of the Cook Islands *
Monarchy of Jamaica The monarchy of Jamaica is a constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to ...
*
Monarchy of New Zealand The monarchy of New Zealand is the constitutional A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents A precedent is a principle or rule established in a previous legal case A legal case is in a genera ...
*
Monarchy of Spain , coatofarms = Coat of Arms of Spanish Monarch.svg , coatofarms_article = Coat of arms of the King of Spain , image = King Felipe VI of Spain.jpg , incumbent = Felipe VI , incumbentsince = 19 June 2014 , h ...
*
Monarchy of the Solomon Islands The monarchy of Solomon Islands is a system of government in which a constitutional monarch is the head of state of Solomon Islands. The present monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who is also the head of state of fourteen other Commonwealth realm ...
*
Monarchy of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents A precedent is a principle or rule established ...


References

{{Reflist Commonwealth realms Government in Canada Government of the United Kingdom