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The MONARCHY OF THE UNITED KINGDOM, commonly 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, Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
, ascended the throne on the death of her father, King George VI
George VI
, on 6 February 1952.

The monarch and his or her immediate family undertake various official, ceremonial, diplomatic 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, by tradition, commander-in-chief of the British Armed Forces . Though the ultimate formal executive authority over the government of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
is still 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
Scotland
and Anglo-Saxon England , which consolidated into the kingdoms of England
England
and Scotland
Scotland
by the 10th century AD. In 1066, the last crowned Anglo-Saxon monarch, Harold Godwinson
Harold Godwinson
, was defeated and killed during the Norman conquest of England and the English monarchy passed to the Normans' victorious leader, William the Conqueror , and his descendants.

From the 1080s, the lordships of South Wales
Wales
were held by a succession of Norman families inter-married with older Welsh houses loyal to the English throne, with many lordships also held by the English King in his own right. The process was completed in the 13th century when the north of Wales
Wales
, as a principality , became a client state of the English kingdom, while Magna Carta
Magna Carta
began a process of reducing the English monarch's political powers.

From 1603, when the Scottish monarch James VI inherited the English throne as James I, both 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 Catholics, from succession to the English throne. In 1707, the kingdoms of England
England
and Scotland
Scotland
were merged to create the Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
, and in 1801, the Kingdom of Ireland joined to create the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Ireland
Ireland
. The British monarch became nominal head of the vast British Empire
British Empire
, which covered a quarter of the world's surface at its greatest extent in 1921.

In the early 1920s, five-sixths of Ireland
Ireland
seceded from the Union as the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
, and the Balfour Declaration recognised the evolution of the dominions of the empire into separate, self-governing countries within a Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
. After the Second World War , the vast majority of British colonies and territories became independent, effectively bringing the empire to an end. George VI
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
United Kingdom
and fifteen other Commonwealth monarchies that share the same person as their monarch are called Commonwealth realms . The terms British monarchy and British monarch are frequently still employed in reference to the shared individual and institution; however, each country is sovereign and independent of the others, and the monarch has a different, specific, and official national title and style for each realm.

CONTENTS

* 1 Constitutional role

* 1.1 Appointment of the Prime Minister * 1.2 Dissolution of Parliament * 1.3 Royal Prerogative

* 2 History

* 2.1 English monarchy * 2.2 Scottish monarchy * 2.3 Personal union and republican phase * 2.4 After the 1707 Acts of Union * 2.5 Shared monarchy * 2.6 Monarchy
Monarchy
in Ireland
Ireland
* 2.7 Modern status

* 3 Religious role

* 4 Succession

* 4.1 Restrictions by gender and religion * 4.2 Regency

* 5 Finances * 6 Residences * 7 Style * 8 Arms * 9 See also * 10 Notes * 11 References * 12 External links

CONSTITUTIONAL ROLE

In the uncodified Constitution of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
, the Monarch (otherwise referred to as the Sovereign
Sovereign
or "His/Her Majesty
Majesty
", abbreviated H.M.) is the Head of State . Oaths of allegiance are made to the Queen and her lawful successors. " God Save the Queen " (or "God Save the King") is the British national anthem , and the monarch appears on postage stamps, coins and banknotes.

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, even if personally 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
House of Lords
and the House of Commons . * Executive power is exercised by Her Majesty\'s Government , which comprises Ministers , primarily the Prime Minister and the Cabinet , which is 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 (the Queen receives certain foreign intelligence reports before the Prime Minister does ). * Judicial power is vested in the Judiciary , who by constitution and statute have judicial independence of the Government. * The Church of England
Church of England
, of which the Monarch is the head, has its own legislative, judicial and executive structures. * Powers independent of government are legally 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 largely 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. The English Bill of Rights of 1689 curtailed the monarch's governmental power.

APPOINTMENT OF THE PRIME MINISTER

Whenever necessary, the Monarch is responsible for appointing a new Prime Minister (who by convention appoints and may dismiss every other Minister of the Crown , and thereby constitutes and controls the government). In accordance with unwritten constitutional conventions, the Sovereign
Sovereign
must appoint an individual who commands the support of the House of Commons, usually 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, and after "kissing hands " that appointment is immediately effective without any other formality or instrument.

In a hung parliament where no party or coalition holds a majority, the monarch has an increased degree of latitude in choosing the individual likely to command the most support, though it would usually be the leader of the largest party. Since 1945, there have only been three hung parliaments. The first followed the February 1974 general election when Harold Wilson
Harold Wilson
was appointed Prime Minister after Edward Heath resigned following his failure to form a coalition. Although Wilson's Labour Party did not have a majority, they were the largest party. The second followed the May 2010 general election , in which the Conservatives (the largest party) and Liberal Democrats (the third largest party) agreed to form the first coalition government since World War II. The third occurred shortly thereafter, in June 2017 , when the Conservative Party lost its majority in a snap election, though the party remained in power as a minority government.

DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT

In 1950 the King's Private Secretary Sir Alan Lascelles , writing pseudonymously to The Times
The Times
newspaper asserted a constitutional convention: according to the Lascelles Principles , if a minority government asked to dissolve Parliament to call an early election to strengthen its position, the monarch could refuse, and would do so under three conditions. When Harold Wilson
Harold Wilson
requested a dissolution late in 1974, the Queen granted his request as Heath had already failed to form a coalition. The resulting general election gave Wilson a small majority. The monarch could in theory unilaterally dismiss a Prime Minister, but a Prime Minister's term now comes to an end only by electoral defeat, death, or resignation. The last monarch to remove a Prime Minister was William IV , who dismissed Lord Melbourne in 1834. The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 removed the monarch's authority to dissolve Parliament; the Act specifically retained the monarch's power of prorogation however, which is a regular feature of the parliamentary calendar .

ROYAL PREROGATIVE

Main article: Royal prerogative in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Some of the government's executive authority is theoretically and nominally vested in the Sovereign
Sovereign
and is known as the royal prerogative . The monarch acts within the constraints of convention and precedent, exercising prerogative only on the advice of ministers responsible to Parliament, often through the Prime Minister or Privy Council . In practice, prerogative powers are exercised only on the Prime Minister's advice – the Prime Minister, and not the Sovereign, has control. The monarch holds a weekly audience with the Prime Minister. No records of these audiences are taken and the proceedings remain fully confidential. The monarch may express his or her views, but, as a constitutional ruler, must ultimately accept the decisions of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet (providing they command the support of the House). In Bagehot's words: "the Sovereign
Sovereign
has, under a constitutional monarchy ... three rights – the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, the right to warn."

Although the Royal Prerogative is extensive and parliamentary approval is not formally required for its exercise, it is limited. Many Crown prerogatives have fallen out of use or have been permanently transferred to Parliament. For example, the monarch cannot impose and collect new taxes; such an action requires the authorisation of an Act of Parliament. According to a parliamentary report, " The Crown
The Crown
cannot invent new prerogative powers", and Parliament can override any prerogative power by passing legislation.

The Royal Prerogative includes the powers to appoint and dismiss ministers, regulate the civil service, issue passports, declare war, make peace, direct the actions of the military, and negotiate and ratify treaties, alliances, and international agreements. However, a treaty cannot alter the domestic laws of the United Kingdom; an Act of Parliament is necessary in such cases. The monarch is commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces (the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
, the British Army , and the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
), accredits British High Commissioners and ambassadors, and receives diplomats from foreign states.

It is the prerogative of the monarch to summon and prorogue Parliament. Each parliamentary session begins with the monarch's summons. The new parliamentary session is marked by the State Opening of Parliament , during which the Sovereign
Sovereign
reads the Speech from the throne in the Chamber of the House of Lords, outlining the Government's legislative agenda. Prorogation usually occurs about one year after a session begins, and formally concludes the session. Dissolution ends a parliamentary term, and is followed by a general election for all seats in the House of Commons. A general election is normally held five years after the previous one under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 , but can be held sooner if the Prime Minister loses a motion of confidence, or if two-thirds of the members of the House of Commons vote to hold an early election.

Before a bill passed by the legislative Houses can become law, the royal assent (the monarch's approval) is required. In theory, assent can either be granted (making the bill law) or withheld (vetoing the bill), but since 1707 assent has always been granted.

The monarch has a similar relationship with the devolved governments of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland
Ireland
. The Sovereign
Sovereign
appoints the First Minister of Scotland on the nomination of the Scottish Parliament , and the First Minister of Wales
Wales
on the nomination of the National Assembly for Wales
National Assembly for Wales
. In Scottish matters, the Sovereign
Sovereign
acts on the advice of the Scottish Government . However, as devolution is more limited in Wales, in Welsh matters the Sovereign
Sovereign
acts on the advice of the Prime Minister and Cabinet of the United Kingdom. The Sovereign
Sovereign
can veto any law passed by the Northern Ireland Assembly
Northern Ireland Assembly
, if it is deemed unconstitutional by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Ireland
.

The Sovereign
Sovereign
is deemed the "fount of justice"; although the Sovereign
Sovereign
does not personally rule in judicial cases, judicial functions are performed in his or her name. For instance, prosecutions are brought on the monarch's behalf, and courts derive their authority from the Crown. The common law holds that the Sovereign
Sovereign
"can do no wrong"; the monarch cannot be prosecuted for criminal offences. The Crown Proceedings Act 1947 allows civil lawsuits against the Crown in its public capacity (that is, lawsuits against the government), but not lawsuits against the monarch personally. The Sovereign
Sovereign
exercises the "prerogative of mercy", which is used to pardon convicted offenders or reduce sentences.

The monarch is the "fount of honour ", the source of all honours and dignities in the United Kingdom. The Crown
The Crown
creates all peerages , appoints members of the orders of chivalry , grants knighthoods and awards other honours. Although peerages and most other honours are granted on the advice of the Prime Minister, some honours are within the personal gift of the Sovereign, and are not granted on ministerial advice. The monarch alone appoints members of the Order of the Garter , the Order of the Thistle , the Royal Victorian Order and the Order of Merit .

HISTORY

ENGLISH MONARCHY

See also: List of English monarchs The Bayeux Tapestry depicts the Norman Conquest of 1066.

Following Viking raids and settlement in the ninth century, the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex
Wessex
emerged as the dominant English kingdom. Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great
secured Wessex, achieved dominance over western Mercia
Mercia
, and assumed the title "King of the English". His grandson Æthelstan
Æthelstan
was the first king to rule over a unitary kingdom roughly corresponding to the present borders of England, though its constituent parts retained strong regional identities. The 11th century saw England
England
become more stable, despite a number of wars with the Danes, which resulted in a Danish monarchy for one generation. The conquest of England
England
in 1066 by William, Duke of Normandy , was crucial in terms of both political and social change. The new monarch continued the centralisation of power begun in the Anglo-Saxon period, while the Feudal System continued to develop.

William was succeeded by two of his sons: William II , then Henry I . Henry made a controversial decision to name his daughter Matilda (his only surviving child) as his heir. Following Henry's death in 1135, one of William I's grandsons, Stephen , laid claim to the throne and took power with the support of most of the barons . Matilda challenged his reign; as a result, England
England
descended into a period of disorder known as the Anarchy . Stephen maintained a precarious hold on power, but agreed to a compromise under which Matilda's son Henry would succeed him. Henry accordingly became the first Angevin king of England
England
and the first monarch of the Plantagenet dynasty as Henry II in 1154.

The reigns of most of the Angevin monarchs were marred by civil strife and conflicts between the monarch and the nobility. Henry II faced rebellions from his own sons, the future monarchs Richard I
Richard I
and John . Nevertheless, Henry managed to expand his kingdom, forming what is retrospectively known as the Angevin Empire
Angevin Empire
. Upon Henry's death, his elder son Richard succeeded to the throne; he was absent from England
England
for most of his reign, as he left to fight in the Crusades
Crusades
. He was killed besieging a castle, and John succeeded him.

John's reign was marked by conflict with the barons, particularly over the limits of royal power. In 1215, the barons coerced the king into issuing Magna Carta
Magna Carta
( Latin
Latin
for "Great Charter") to guarantee the rights and liberties of the nobility. Soon afterwards, further disagreements plunged England
England
into a civil war known as the First Barons\' War . The war came to an abrupt end after John died in 1216, leaving the Crown to his nine-year-old son Henry III . Later in Henry's reign, Simon de Montfort led the barons in another rebellion, beginning the Second Barons\' War . The war ended in a clear royalist victory and in the death of many rebels, but not before the king had agreed to summon a parliament in 1265.

The next monarch, Edward Longshanks , was far more successful in maintaining royal power and responsible for the conquest of Wales
Wales
. He attempted to establish English domination of Scotland. However, gains in Scotland
Scotland
were reversed during the reign of his successor, Edward II , who also faced conflict with the nobility. In 1311, Edward II
Edward II
was forced to relinquish many of his powers to a committee of baronial "ordainers" ; however, military victories helped him regain control in 1322. Nevertheless, in 1327, Edward was deposed by his wife Isabella . His 14-year-old son became Edward III
Edward III
. Edward III
Edward III
claimed the French Crown, setting off the Hundred Years\' War between England
England
and France.

His campaigns conquered much French territory, but by 1374, all the gains had been lost. Edward's reign was also marked by the further development of Parliament, which came to be divided into two Houses. In 1377, Edward III
Edward III
died, leaving the Crown to his 10-year-old grandson Richard II
Richard II
. Like many of his predecessors, Richard II conflicted with the nobles by attempting to concentrate power in his own hands. In 1399, while he was campaigning in Ireland, his cousin Henry Bolingbroke seized power. Richard was deposed, imprisoned, and eventually murdered, probably by starvation, and Henry became king as Henry IV.

Henry IV was the grandson of Edward III
Edward III
and the son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster ; hence, his dynasty was known as the House of Lancaster . For most of his reign, Henry IV was forced to fight off plots and rebellions; his success was partly due to the military skill of his son, the future Henry V . Henry V's own reign, which began in 1413, was largely free from domestic strife, leaving the king free to pursue the Hundred Years' War in France. Although he was victorious, his sudden death in 1422 left his infant son Henry VI on the throne and gave the French an opportunity to overthrow English rule.

The unpopularity of Henry VI's counsellors and his belligerent consort, Margaret of Anjou , as well as his own ineffectual leadership, led to the weakening of the House of Lancaster. The Lancastrians faced a challenge from the House of York, so called because its head, a descendant of Edward III, was Richard, Duke of York . Although the Duke of York died in battle in 1460, his eldest son, Edward IV
Edward IV
, led the Yorkists to victory in 1461. The Wars of the Roses , nevertheless, continued intermittently during his reign and those of his son Edward V
Edward V
and brother Richard III
Richard III
. Edward V disappeared, presumably murdered by Richard. Ultimately, the conflict culminated in success for the Lancastrian branch led by Henry Tudor , in 1485, when Richard III
Richard III
was killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field
Battle of Bosworth Field
.

Now King Henry VII, he neutralised the remaining Yorkist forces, partly by marrying Elizabeth of York
Elizabeth of York
, a Yorkist heir. Through skill and ability, Henry re-established absolute supremacy in the realm, and the conflicts with the nobility that had plagued previous monarchs came to an end. The reign of the second Tudor king, Henry VIII
Henry VIII
, was one of great political change. Religious upheaval and disputes with the Pope
Pope
led the monarch to break from the Roman Catholic Church and to establish the Church of England
Church of England
(the Anglican Church).

Wales
Wales
– which had been conquered centuries earlier, but had remained a separate dominion – was annexed to England
England
under the Laws in Wales
Wales
Acts 1535 and 1542 . Henry VIII's son and successor, the young Edward VI
Edward VI
, continued with further religious reforms, but his early death in 1553 precipitated a succession crisis. He was wary of allowing his Catholic elder half-sister Mary I to succeed, and therefore drew up a will designating Lady Jane Grey as his heiress. Jane's reign, however, lasted only nine days; with tremendous popular support, Mary deposed her and declared herself the lawful sovereign. Mary I married Philip of Spain , who was declared king and co-ruler, pursued disastrous wars in France, and attempted to return England
England
to Roman Catholicism, burning Protestants at the stake as heretics in the process. Upon her death in 1558, the pair were succeeded by her Protestant half-sister Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I
. England
England
returned to Protestantism and continued its growth into a major world power by building its navy and exploring the New World.

SCOTTISH MONARCHY

See also: List of Scottish monarchs

In Scotland, as in England, monarchies emerged after the withdrawal of the Roman empire from Britain in the early fifth century. The three groups that lived in Scotland
Scotland
at this time were the Picts
Picts
in the north east, the Britons in the south, including the Kingdom of Strathclyde , and the Gaels or Scotti (who would later give their name to Scotland), of the Irish petty kingdom of Dál Riata in the west. Kenneth MacAlpin is traditionally viewed as the first king of a united Scotland
Scotland
(known as Scotia to writers in Latin, or Alba to the Scots). The expansion of Scottish dominions continued over the next two centuries, as other territories such as Strathclyde were absorbed.

Early Scottish monarchs did not inherit the Crown directly; instead the custom of tanistry was followed, where the monarchy alternated between different branches of the House of Alpin . As a result, however, the rival dynastic lines clashed, often violently. From 942 to 1005, seven consecutive monarchs were either murdered or killed in battle. In 1005, Malcolm II ascended the throne having killed many rivals. He continued to ruthlessly eliminate opposition, and when he died in 1034 he was succeeded by his grandson, Duncan I , instead of a cousin, as had been usual. In 1040, Duncan suffered defeat in battle at the hands of Macbeth , who was killed himself in 1057 by Duncan's son Malcolm . The following year, after killing Macbeth's stepson Lulach , Malcolm ascended the throne as Malcolm III.

With a further series of battles and deposings, five of Malcolm's sons as well as one of his brothers successively became king. Eventually, the Crown came to his youngest son, David I . David was succeeded by his grandsons Malcolm IV , and then by William the Lion , the longest-reigning King of Scots before the Union of the Crowns . William participated in a rebellion against King Henry II of England but when the rebellion failed, William was captured by the English. In exchange for his release, William was forced to acknowledge Henry as his feudal overlord. The English King Richard I
Richard I
agreed to terminate the arrangement in 1189, in return for a large sum of money needed for the Crusades. William died in 1214, and was succeeded by his son Alexander II . Alexander II, as well as his successor Alexander III , attempted to take over the Western Isles , which were still under the overlordship of Norway. During the reign of Alexander III, Norway launched an unsuccessful invasion of Scotland; the ensuing Treaty of Perth recognised Scottish control of the Western Isles and other disputed areas.

Alexander III's unexpected death in a riding accident in 1286 precipitated a major succession crisis. Scottish leaders appealed to King Edward I of England
England
for help in determining who was the rightful heir. Edward chose Alexander's three-year-old Norwegian granddaughter, Margaret . On her way to Scotland
Scotland
in 1290, however, Margaret died at sea, and Edward was again asked to adjudicate between 13 rival claimants to the throne . A court was set up and after two years of deliberation, it pronounced John Balliol to be king. However, Edward proceeded to treat Balliol as a vassal, and tried to exert influence over Scotland. In 1295, when Balliol renounced his allegiance to England, Edward I invaded. During the first ten years of the ensuing Wars of Scottish Independence , Scotland
Scotland
had no monarch, until Robert the Bruce declared himself king in 1306.

Robert's efforts to control Scotland
Scotland
culminated in success, and Scottish independence was acknowledged in 1328. However, only one year later, Robert died and was succeeded by his five-year-old son, David II . On the pretext of restoring John Balliol's rightful heir, Edward Balliol , the English again invaded in 1332. During the next four years, Balliol was crowned, deposed, restored, deposed, restored, and deposed until he eventually settled in England, and David remained king for the next 35 years.

David II died childless in 1371 and was succeeded by his nephew Robert II of the House of Stuart . The reigns of both Robert II and his successor, Robert III , were marked by a general decline in royal power. When Robert III died in 1406, regents had to rule the country; the monarch, Robert III's son James I , had been taken captive by the English. Having paid a large ransom, James returned to Scotland
Scotland
in 1424; to restore his authority, he used ruthless measures, including the execution of several of his enemies. He was assassinated by a group of nobles. James II continued his father's policies by subduing influential noblemen but he was killed in an accident at the age of thirty, and a council of regents again assumed power. James III was defeated in a battle against rebellious Scottish earls in 1488, leading to another boy-king: James IV .

In 1513 James IV launched an invasion of England, attempting to take advantage of the absence of the English King Henry VIII. His forces met with disaster at Flodden Field ; the King, many senior noblemen, and hundreds of soldiers were killed. As his son and successor, James V , was an infant, the government was again taken over by regents. James V led another disastrous war with the English in 1542, and his death in the same year left the Crown in the hands of his six-day-old daughter, Mary I . Once again, a regency was established.

Mary, a Roman Catholic, reigned during a period of great religious upheaval in Scotland. As a result of the efforts of reformers such as John Knox
John Knox
, a Protestant ascendancy was established. Mary caused alarm by marrying her Catholic cousin, Lord Darnley , in 1565. After Lord Darnley's assassination in 1567, Mary contracted an even more unpopular marriage with the Earl of Bothwell , who was widely suspected of Darnley's murder. The nobility rebelled against the Queen, forcing her to abdicate. She fled to England, and the Crown went to her infant son James VI , who was brought up as a Protestant. Mary was imprisoned and later executed by the English queen Elizabeth I.

PERSONAL UNION AND REPUBLICAN PHASE

In 1603 James VI and I became the first monarch to rule over England, Scotland, and Ireland
Ireland
together.

Elizabeth I's death in 1603 ended Tudor rule in England. Since she had no children, she was succeeded by the Scottish monarch James VI , who was the great-grandson of Henry VIII
Henry VIII
's older sister and hence Elizabeth's first cousin twice removed. James VI ruled in England
England
as James I after what was known as the " Union of the Crowns ". Although England
England
and Scotland
Scotland
were in personal union under one monarch – James I became the first monarch to style himself "King of Great Britain" in 1604 – they remained two separate kingdoms. James I's successor, Charles I , experienced frequent conflicts with the English Parliament related to the issue of royal and parliamentary powers, especially the power to impose taxes. He provoked opposition by ruling without Parliament from 1629 to 1640, unilaterally levying taxes and adopting controversial religious policies (many of which were offensive to the Scottish Presbyterians
Presbyterians
and the English Puritans
Puritans
). His attempt to enforce Anglicanism led to organised rebellion in Scotland
Scotland
(the "Bishops\' Wars ") and ignited the Wars of the Three Kingdoms . In 1642, the conflict between the King and English Parliament reached its climax and the English Civil War began.

The Civil War culminated in the execution of the king in 1649, the overthrow of the English monarchy, and the establishment of the Commonwealth of England . Charles I's son, Charles II , was proclaimed King of Great Britain
Great Britain
in Scotland, but he was forced to flee abroad after he invaded England
England
and was defeated at the Battle of Worcester
Battle of Worcester
. In 1653, Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
, the most prominent military and political leader in the nation, seized power and declared himself Lord Protector (effectively becoming a military dictator, but refusing the title of king). Cromwell ruled until his death in 1658, when he was succeeded by his son Richard . The new Lord Protector had little interest in governing; he soon resigned. The lack of clear leadership led to civil and military unrest, and for a popular desire to restore the monarchy. In 1660, the monarchy was restored and Charles II returned to Britain.

Charles II's reign was marked by the development of the first modern political parties in England. Charles had no legitimate children, and was due to be succeeded by his Roman Catholic brother, James, Duke of York . A parliamentary effort to exclude James from the line of succession arose; the "Petitioners", who supported exclusion, became the Whig Party, whereas the "Abhorrers", who opposed exclusion, became the Tory Party. The Exclusion Bill failed; on several occasions, Charles II dissolved Parliament because he feared that the bill might pass. After the dissolution of the Parliament of 1681, Charles ruled without a Parliament until his death in 1685. When James succeeded Charles, he pursued a policy of offering religious tolerance to Roman Catholics, thereby drawing the ire of many of his Protestant subjects. Many opposed James's decisions to maintain a large standing army, to appoint Roman Catholics to high political and military offices, and to imprison Church of England
Church of England
clerics who challenged his policies . As a result, a group of Protestants known as the Immortal Seven invited James II's daughter Mary and her husband William III of Orange to depose the king. William obliged, arriving in England
England
on 5 November 1688 to great public support. Faced with the defection of many of his Protestant officials, James fled the realm and William and Mary (rather than James II\'s Catholic son ) were declared joint Sovereigns of England, Scotland
Scotland
and Ireland.

James's overthrow, known as the Glorious Revolution
Glorious Revolution
, was one of the most important events in the long evolution of parliamentary power. The Bill of Rights 1689
Bill of Rights 1689
affirmed parliamentary supremacy, and declared that the English people held certain rights, including the freedom from taxes imposed without parliamentary consent. The Bill of Rights required future monarchs to be Protestants, and provided that, after any children of William and Mary, Mary's sister Anne would inherit the Crown. Mary died childless in 1694, leaving William as the sole monarch. By 1700, a political crisis arose, as all of Anne's children had died, leaving her as the only individual left in the line of succession. Parliament was afraid that the former James II or his supporters, known as Jacobites , might attempt to reclaim the throne. Parliament passed the Act of Settlement 1701 , which excluded James and his Catholic relations from the succession and made William's nearest Protestant relations, the family of Sophia, Electress of Hanover
Hanover
, next in line to the throne after his sister-in-law Anne. Soon after the passage of the Act, William III died, leaving the Crown to Anne.

AFTER THE 1707 ACTS OF UNION

England
England
and Scotland
Scotland
were united as Great Britain
Great Britain
under Queen Anne in 1707. See also: List of British monarchs
List of British monarchs

After Anne's accession, the problem of the succession re-emerged. The Scottish Parliament, infuriated that the English Parliament did not consult them on the choice of Sophia's family as the next heirs, passed the Act of Security 1704 , threatening to end the personal union between England
England
and Scotland. The Parliament of England retaliated with the Alien Act 1705 , threatening to devastate the Scottish economy by restricting trade. The Scottish and English parliaments negotiated the Acts of Union 1707
Acts of Union 1707
, under which England and Scotland
Scotland
were united into a single Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
, with succession under the rules prescribed by the Act of Settlement.

In 1714, Queen Anne was succeeded by her second cousin, and Sophia's son, George I , Elector of Hanover , who consolidated his position by defeating Jacobite rebellions in 1715 and 1719. The new monarch was less active in government than many of his British predecessors, but retained control over his German kingdoms, with which Britain was now in personal union. Power shifted towards George's ministers, especially to Sir Robert Walpole , who is often considered the first British prime minister , although the title was not then in use. The next monarch, George II , witnessed the final end of the Jacobite threat in 1746, when the Catholic Stuarts were completely defeated. During the long reign of his grandson, George III
George III
, Britain's American colonies were lost, the former colonies having formed the United States of America , but British influence elsewhere in the world continued to grow, and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Ireland was created by the Acts of Union 1800 . The union of Great Britain and Ireland
Ireland
into the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
occurred in 1801 during the reign of King George III.

From 1811 to 1820, George III
George III
suffered a severe bout of what is now believed to be porphyria , an illness rendering him incapable of ruling. His son, the future George IV , ruled in his stead as Prince Regent
Regent
. During the Regency and his own reign, the power of the monarchy declined, and by the time of his successor, William IV , the monarch was no longer able to effectively interfere with parliamentary power. In 1834, William dismissed the Whig Prime Minister, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne , and appointed a Tory, Sir Robert Peel
Robert Peel
. In the ensuing elections, however, Peel lost. The king had no choice but to recall Lord Melbourne. During William IV's reign, the Reform Act 1832 , which reformed parliamentary representation, was passed. Together with others passed later in the century, the Act led to an expansion of the electoral franchise and the rise of the House of Commons as the most important branch of Parliament.

The final transition to a constitutional monarchy was made during the long reign of William IV's successor, Victoria . As a woman, Victoria could not rule Hanover
Hanover
, which only permitted succession in the male line, so the personal union of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and Hanover
Hanover
came to an end. The Victorian era
Victorian era
was marked by great cultural change, technological progress, and the establishment of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
as one of the world's foremost powers. In recognition of British rule over India, Victoria was declared Empress of India in 1876. However, her reign was also marked by increased support for the republican movement , due in part to Victoria's permanent mourning and lengthy period of seclusion following the death of her husband in 1861.

Victoria's son, Edward VII
Edward VII
, became the first monarch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1901. In 1917, the next monarch, George V
George V
, changed "Saxe-Coburg and Gotha" to "Windsor" in response to the anti-German sympathies aroused by the First World War . George V's reign was marked by the separation of Ireland
Ireland
into Northern Ireland, which remained a part of the United Kingdom, and the Irish Free State , an independent nation, in 1922.

SHARED MONARCHY

Map of the British Empire
British Empire
in 1921 Map of the Commonwealth realms today

During the twentieth century, the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
evolved from the British Empire
British Empire
. Prior to 1926, the British Crown reigned over the British Empire
British Empire
collectively; the Dominions and Crown Colonies were subordinate to the United Kingdom. The Balfour Declaration of 1926 gave complete self-government to the Dominions, effectively creating a system whereby a single monarch operated independently in each separate Dominion. The concept was solidified by the Statute
Statute
of Westminster 1931 , which has been likened to "a treaty among the Commonwealth countries".

The monarchy thus ceased to be an exclusively British institution, although it is often still referred to as "British" for legal and historical reasons and for convenience. The monarch became separately monarch of the United Kingdom, monarch of Canada
Canada
, monarch of Australia
Australia
, and so forth. The independent states within the Commonwealth would share the same monarch in a relationship likened to a personal union .

George V's death in 1936 was followed by the accession of Edward VIII , who caused a public scandal by announcing his desire to marry the divorced American Wallis Simpson
Wallis Simpson
, even though the Church of England opposed the remarriage of divorcées. Accordingly, Edward announced his intention to abdicate ; the Parliaments of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and of other Commonwealth countries granted his request. Edward VIII
Edward VIII
and any children by his new wife were excluded from the line of succession, and the Crown went to his brother, George VI
George VI
. George served as a rallying figure for the British people during World War II, making morale-boosting visits to the troops as well as to munitions factories and to areas bombed by Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
. In June 1948 George VI
George VI
relinquished the title Emperor of India, although remaining head of state of the Dominion
Dominion
of India .

At first, every member of the Commonwealth retained the same monarch as the United Kingdom, but when the Dominion
Dominion
of India became a republic in 1950, it would no longer share in a common monarchy. Instead, the British monarch was acknowledged as "Head of the Commonwealth " in all Commonwealth member states, whether they were realms or republics. The position is purely ceremonial, and is not inherited by the British monarch as of right but is vested in an individual chosen by the Commonwealth heads of government. Member states of the Commonwealth that share the same person as monarch are known as Commonwealth realms .

MONARCHY IN IRELAND

See also: Monarchy
Monarchy
of Ireland
Ireland

In 1155 the only English pope, Adrian IV , authorised King Henry II of England
England
to take possession of Ireland
Ireland
as a feudal territory nominally under papal overlordship. The pope wanted the English monarch to annex Ireland
Ireland
and bring the Irish church into line with Rome, despite this process already underway in Ireland
Ireland
by 1155. An all-island kingship of Ireland
Ireland
had been created in 854 by Máel Sechnaill mac Máele Ruanaid . His last successor was Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair , who had become King of Ireland
Ireland
in early 1166, and exiled Diarmait Mac Murchada
Diarmait Mac Murchada
, King of Leinster. Diarmait asked Henry II for help, gaining a group of Anglo-Norman aristocrats and adventurers, led by Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke , to help him regain his throne. Diarmait and his Anglo-Norman allies succeeded and he became King of Leinster again. De Clare married Diarmait's daughter, and when Diarmait died in 1171, de Clare became King of Leinster. Henry was afraid that de Clare would make Ireland
Ireland
a rival Norman kingdom, so he took advantage of the papal bull and invaded, forcing de Clare and the other Anglo-Norman aristocrats in Ireland
Ireland
and the major Irish kings and lords to recognise him as their overlord . English lords came close to colonising the entire island, but a Gaelic resurgence from the 1260s resulted in the island divided between Gaelic-Irish and Anglo-Irish lords by 1400. Many of the latter became completely Gaelicised, and did not recognise England's kings except perhaps nominally. Some, such as Manus O\'Donnell and Conn O\'Neill, 1st Earl of Tyrone , were kings themselves.

By 1541, King Henry VIII
Henry VIII
of England
England
had broken with the Church of Rome and declared himself Supreme Head of the Church of England
Church of England
. The pope's grant of Ireland
Ireland
to the English monarch became invalid, so Henry summoned a meeting of the Irish Parliament to change his title from Lord of Ireland
Ireland
to King of Ireland. However much of the island was beyond English control, resulting in the extended Tudor conquest of Ireland
Ireland
that only made the Kingdom of Ireland a reality in 1603, at the conclusion of the Nine Years\' War (Ireland) . Nevertheless, Ireland
Ireland
retained its own parliament, becoming an independent state in 1642-1649 (Confederate Ireland
Ireland
), and again in 1688-91. Only warfare such as the Williamite War in Ireland
Ireland
and subsequent occupation enabled the English crown from 1692, and successive British states from 1707, to retain the country.

In 1800, as a result of the Irish Rebellion of 1798 , the Act of Union merged the kingdom of Great Britain
Great Britain
and the kingdom of Ireland into the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Ireland
Ireland
. The whole island of Ireland
Ireland
continued to be a part of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
until 1922, when what is now the Republic of Ireland
Ireland
won independence as the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
, a separate Dominion
Dominion
within the Commonwealth. The Irish Free State
Irish Free State
was renamed Éire
Éire
(or "Ireland") in 1937, and in 1949 declared itself a republic, left the Commonwealth and severed all ties with the monarchy. Northern Ireland
Ireland
remained within the Union. In 1927, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
changed its name to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Northern Ireland, while the monarch's style for the next twenty years became "of Great Britain, Ireland
Ireland
and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India".

MODERN STATUS

In the 1990s, Republicanism in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
grew, partly on account of negative publicity associated with the Royal Family (for instance, immediately following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales ). However, polls from 2002 to 2007 showed that around 70–80% of the British public supported the continuation of the monarchy.

RELIGIOUS ROLE

The sovereign is the Supreme Governor of the established Church of England
England
. Archbishops and bishops are appointed by the monarch, on the advice of the Prime Minister, who chooses the appointee from a list of nominees prepared by a Church Commission. The Crown's role in the Church of England
Church of England
is titular; the most senior clergyman, the Archbishop of Canterbury , is the spiritual leader of the Church and of the worldwide Anglican Communion
Anglican Communion
. The monarch takes an oath to preserve Church of Scotland
Church of Scotland
and he or she holds the power to appoint the Lord High Commissioner
High Commissioner
to the Church's General Assembly , but otherwise plays no part in its governance, and enjoys no powers over it. The Sovereign
Sovereign
plays no formal role in the disestablished Church in Wales
Wales
or Church of Ireland
Ireland
.

SUCCESSION

Main articles: Succession to the British throne and Coronation of the British monarch

The relationship between the Commonwealth realms is such that any change to the laws governing succession to the shared throne requires the unanimous consent of all the realms. Succession is governed by statutes such as the Bill of Rights 1689
Bill of Rights 1689
, the Act of Settlement 1701 and the Acts of Union 1707
Acts of Union 1707
. The rules of succession may only be changed by an Act of Parliament ; it is not possible for an individual to renounce his or her right of succession. The Act of Settlement restricts the succession to the legitimate Protestant descendants of Sophia of Hanover
Hanover
(1630–1714), a granddaughter of James I .

Upon the death of a sovereign, his or her heir immediately and automatically succeeds (hence the phrase "The king is dead, long live the king! "), and the accession of the new sovereign is publicly proclaimed by an Accession Council
Accession Council
that meets at St James\'s Palace . Upon their accession, a new sovereign is required by law to make and subscribe several oaths: the Accession Declaration as first required by the Bill of Rights, and an oath that they will "maintain and preserve" the Church of Scotland
Church of Scotland
settlement as required by the Act of Union. The monarch is usually crowned in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
, normally by the Archbishop of Canterbury. A coronation is not necessary for a sovereign to reign; indeed, the ceremony usually takes place many months after accession to allow sufficient time for its preparation and for a period of mourning.

After an individual ascends the throne, he or she reigns until death. The only voluntary abdication, that of Edward VIII
Edward VIII
, had to be authorised by a special Act of Parliament, His Majesty\'s Declaration of Abdication Act 1936 . The last monarch involuntarily removed from power was James VII and II , who fled into exile in 1688 during the Glorious Revolution
Glorious Revolution
.

RESTRICTIONS BY GENDER AND RELIGION

See also: Succession to the Crown Act 2013
Succession to the Crown Act 2013

Succession was largely governed by male-preference cognatic primogeniture , under which sons inherit before daughters, and elder children inherit before younger ones of the same gender. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
, David Cameron
David Cameron
, announced at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2011 that all 16 Commonwealth realms , including the United Kingdom, had agreed to abolish the gender-preference rule for anyone born after the date of the meeting, 28 October 2011. They also agreed that future monarchs would no longer be prohibited from marrying a Roman Catholic – a law which dated from the Act of Settlement 1701. However, since the monarch is also the Supreme Governor of the Church of England
Church of England
, the law which prohibits a Roman Catholic from acceding to the throne remains. The necessary UK legislation making the changes received the royal assent on 25 April 2013 and was brought into force in March 2015 after the equivalent legislation was approved in all the other Commonwealth realms.

Only individuals who are Protestants may inherit the Crown. Roman Catholics are prohibited from succeeding. An individual thus disabled from inheriting the Crown is deemed "naturally dead" for succession purposes, and the disqualification does not extend to the individual's legitimate descendants.

REGENCY

Main articles: Regency Acts and Counsellor of State

The Regency Acts allow for regencies in the event of a monarch who is a minor or who is physically or mentally incapacitated. When a regency is necessary, the next qualified individual in the line of succession automatically becomes regent, unless they themselves are a minor or incapacitated. Special
Special
provisions were made for Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
by the Regency Act 1953, which stated that the Duke of Edinburgh
Edinburgh
(the Queen's husband) could act as regent in these circumstances.

During a temporary physical infirmity or an absence from the kingdom, the sovereign may temporarily delegate some of his or her functions to Counsellors of State , the monarch's spouse and the first four adults in the line of succession. The present Counsellors of State are: the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales
Wales
, the Duke of Cambridge , Prince Harry and the Duke of York .

FINANCES

Main article: Finances of the British royal family
British royal family

Until 1760 the monarch met all official expenses from hereditary revenues, which included the profits of the Crown Estate (the royal property portfolio). King George III
George III
agreed to surrender the hereditary revenues of the Crown in return for the Civil List , and this arrangement persisted until 2012. An annual Property Services Grant-in-aid paid for the upkeep of the royal residences, and an annual Royal Travel Grant-in-Aid paid for travel. The Civil List covered most expenses, including those for staffing, state visits, public engagements, and official entertainment. Its size was fixed by Parliament every 10 years; any money saved was carried forward to the next 10-year period. From 2012 until 2020, the Civil List and Grants-in-Aid are to be replaced with a single Sovereign
Sovereign
Grant , which will be set at 15% of the revenues generated by the Crown Estate.

The Crown
The Crown
Estate is one of the largest property owners in the United Kingdom, with holdings of £7.3 billion in 2011. It is held in trust, and cannot be sold or owned by the Sovereign
Sovereign
in a private capacity. In modern times, the profits surrendered from the Crown Estate to the Treasury have exceeded the Civil List and Grants-in-Aid. For example, the Crown Estate produced £200 million in the financial year 2007–8, whereas reported parliamentary funding for the monarch was £40 million during the same period.

Like the Crown Estate, the land and assets of the Duchy of Lancaster , a property portfolio valued at £383 million in 2011, are held in trust. The revenues of the Duchy form part of the Privy Purse , and are used for expenses not borne by the parliamentary grants. The Duchy of Cornwall
Duchy of Cornwall
is a similar estate held in trust to meet the expenses of the monarch's eldest son. The Royal Collection , which includes artworks and the Crown Jewels , is not owned by the Sovereign personally and is held in trust , as are the occupied palaces in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
such as Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
and Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
.

The sovereign is subject to indirect taxes such as value-added tax , and since 1993 the Queen has paid income tax and capital gains tax on personal income. Parliamentary grants to the Sovereign
Sovereign
are not treated as income as they are solely for official expenditure. Republicans estimate that the real cost of the monarchy, including security and potential income not claimed by the state, such as profits from the duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall and rent of Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
and Windsor Castle, is £334 million a year.

Estimates of the Queen's wealth vary, depending on whether assets owned by her personally or held in trust for the nation are included. Forbes
Forbes
magazine estimated her wealth at US$450 million in 2010, but no official figure is available. In 1993, the Lord Chamberlain
Lord Chamberlain
said estimates of £100 million were "grossly overstated". Jock Colville , who was her former private secretary and a director of her bank, Coutts
Coutts
, estimated her wealth in 1971 at £2 million (the equivalent of about £25 million today ).

RESIDENCES

Buckingham Palace, the monarch's principal residence Holyrood Palace, the monarch's official Scottish residence Main article: List of British royal residences

The Sovereign's official residence in London is Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
. It is the site of most state banquets, investitures, royal christenings and other ceremonies. Another official residence is Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
, the largest occupied castle in the world, which is used principally at weekends, Easter and during Royal Ascot , an annual race meeting that is part of the social calendar . The Sovereign's official residence in Scotland
Scotland
is the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh
Edinburgh
. The monarch stays at Holyrood for at least one week each year, and when visiting Scotland
Scotland
on state occasions.

Historically, the Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster
and the Tower of London
Tower of London
were the main residences of the English Sovereign
Sovereign
until Henry VIII
Henry VIII
acquired the Palace of Whitehall
Palace of Whitehall
. Whitehall was destroyed by fire in 1698, leading to a shift to St James\'s Palace . Although replaced as the monarch's primary London residence by Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
in 1837, St James's is still the senior palace and remains the ceremonial Royal residence. For example, foreign ambassadors are accredited to the Court of St James\'s , and the Palace is the site of the meeting of the Accession Council
Accession Council
. It is also used by other members of the Royal Family.

Other residences include Clarence House
Clarence House
and Kensington Palace . The palaces belong to the Crown; they are held in trust for future rulers, and cannot be sold by the monarch. Sandringham House in Norfolk
Norfolk
and Balmoral Castle
Balmoral Castle
in Aberdeenshire are privately owned by the Queen.

STYLE

Main article: Style of the British sovereign

The present Sovereign's full style and title is "Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Ireland
and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith". The title "Head of the Commonwealth " is held by the Queen personally, and is not vested in the British Crown. Pope
Pope
Leo X first granted the title "Defender of the Faith " to King Henry VIII
Henry VIII
in 1521, rewarding him for his support of the Papacy during the early years of the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
, particularly for his book the Defence of the Seven Sacraments . After Henry broke from the Roman Church, Pope
Pope
Paul III revoked the grant, but Parliament passed a law authorising its continued use.

The Sovereign
Sovereign
is known as "His Majesty" or "Her Majesty". The form "Britannic Majesty" appears in international treaties and on passports to differentiate the British monarch from foreign rulers. The monarch chooses his or her regnal name , not necessarily his or her first name – King George VI
George VI
, King Edward VII
Edward VII
and Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
did not use their first names.

If only one monarch has used a particular name, no ordinal is used; for example, Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
is not known as "Victoria I", and ordinals are not used for English monarchs who reigned before the Norman conquest of England. The question of whether numbering for British monarchs is based on previous English or Scottish monarchs was raised in 1953 when Scottish nationalists challenged the Queen's use of "Elizabeth II", on the grounds that there had never been an "Elizabeth I" in Scotland. In MacCormick v Lord Advocate , the Scottish Court of Session ruled against the plaintiffs, finding that the Queen's title was a matter of her own choice and prerogative. The Home Secretary told the House of Commons that monarchs since the Acts of Union had consistently used the higher of the English and Scottish ordinals, which in the applicable four cases has been the English ordinal. The Prime Minister confirmed this practice, but noted that "neither The Queen nor her advisers could seek to bind their successors". Future monarchs will apply this policy.

Traditionally, the signature of the monarch includes their regnal name but not ordinal, followed by the letter R, which stands for rex or regina ( Latin
Latin
for king and queen, respectively). The present monarch's signature is "Elizabeth R". From 1877 until 1948 reigning monarchs added the letter I to their signatures, for imperator or imperatrix (emperor or empress in Latin), from their status as Emperor or Empress of India . For example, Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
signed as "Victoria RI" from 1877.

ARMS

Main article: Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom
Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom

The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom
Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom
are "Quarterly, I and IV Gules three lions passant guardant in pale Or ; II Or a lion rampant within a double tressure flory-counter-flory Gules ; III Azure a harp Or stringed Argent ". The supporters are the Lion and the Unicorn ; the motto is " Dieu et mon droit " (French: "God and my Right"). Surrounding the shield is a representation of a Garter bearing the motto of the Chivalric order of the same name; "Honi soit qui mal y pense ". ( Old French : "Shame be to him who thinks evil of it"). In Scotland, the monarch uses an alternative form of the arms in which quarters I and IV represent Scotland, II England, and III Ireland. The mottoes are "In Defens" (an abbreviated form of the Scots "In My Defens God Me Defend ") and the motto of the Order of the Thistle ; " Nemo me impune lacessit
Nemo me impune lacessit
". ( Latin
Latin
: "No-one provokes me with impunity"); the supporters are the unicorn and lion, who support both the escutcheon and lances , from which fly the flags of Scotland
Scotland
and England
England
. The coat of arms of Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
in the United Kingdom. The design, in use since the accession of Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
in 1837, features the arms of England
England
in the first and fourth quarters, Scotland
Scotland
in the second, and Ireland
Ireland
in the third. In Scotland
Scotland
a separate version is used (shown right) whereby the Arms of Scotland take precedence.

The monarch's official flag in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
is the Royal Standard , which depicts the Royal Arms in banner form . It is flown only from buildings, vessels and vehicles in which the Sovereign
Sovereign
is present. The Royal Standard is never flown at half-mast because there is always a sovereign: when one dies, his or her successor becomes the sovereign instantly.

The Royal Standard of the United Kingdom: The Monarch's official flag

The Royal Standard of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
as used in Scotland
Scotland

When the monarch is not in residence, the Union Flag
Union Flag
is flown at Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
, Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
and Sandringham House , whereas in Scotland
Scotland
the Royal Standard of Scotland
Scotland
is flown at Holyrood Palace and Balmoral Castle
Balmoral Castle
.

Union Flag
Union Flag
of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom

The Royal Standard of Scotland
Scotland

SEE ALSO

* States headed by Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
* List of monarchies * House of Windsor

NOTES

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Dominion
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* ^ Sayer, Jane E. (September 2004), "Adrian IV", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, retrieved 20 April 2008 (Subscription required) * ^ Flanagan, M. T. (September 2004), "Dermot MacMurrough", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, retrieved 20 April 2008 (Subscription required) * ^ Flanagan, M. T. (2004), "Clare, Richard fitz Gilbert de, second earl of Pembroke (c.1130–1176)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, retrieved 14 October 2008 (Subscription required) * ^ Ives, E. W. (September 2004), "Henry VIII", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, retrieved 20 April 2008 (Subscription required) * ^ Seely, Robert (5 September 1997), Can the Windsors survive Diana\'s death?, Britannia Internet Magazine, retrieved 20 April 2008 * ^ Grice, Andrew (9 April 2002), "Polls reveal big rise in support for monarchy", The Independent
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* ^ Monarchy
Monarchy
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REFERENCES

* Ashley, Mike (1998). The Mammoth Book
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of British Kings and Queens. London: Robinson. ISBN 1-84119-096-9 . * Bagehot, Walter ; edited by Paul Smith (2001). The English Constitution. Cambridge University Press. * Brazier, Rodney (1997). Ministers of the Crown. Oxford University Press. * Brock, Michael (September 2004; online edition, January 2008). "William IV (1765–1837)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 22 April 2008 (subscription required). * Castor, Helen (2010). She-Wolves: the Women who Ruled England Before Elizabeth. Faber and Faber . * Cannon, John; Griffiths, Ralph (1988). The Oxford Illustrated History of the British Monarchy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-822786-8 * Crabbe, V.C.R.A.C. (1994). Understanding Statutes. Cavendish Publishing. * Flanagan, M. T. (2004). "Mac Murchada, Diarmait (c.1110–1171)" and Clare, Richard fitz Gilbert de, second earl of Pembroke (c.1130–1176)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 14 October 2008 (subscription required). * Fraser, Antonia (Editor) (1975). The Lives of the Kings & Queens of England. London: Weidenfeld online edition, January 2008). "Henry VIII (1491–1547)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 20 April 2008 (subscription required). * Matthew, H. C. G. (2004). " Edward VIII
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(later Prince Edward, duke of Windsor) (1894–1972)" and " George VI
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(1895–1952)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 14 October 2008 (subscription required). * Sayers, Jane E. (2004). " Adrian IV (d. 1159)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 20 April 2008 (subscription required). * Tomkins, Adam (2003). Public Law. N.Y.: Oxford University Press (Clarendon Law ser.). * Waldron, Jeremy (1990). The Law. Routledge. * Weir, Alison (1996). Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy. (Revised edition). London: Pimlico. ISBN 0-7126-7448-9 .

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* Official website of the British Monarchy * Official YouTube channel * Official Facebook Page

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