July 11

The Queen and Her Prime Ministers

There is an excellent short video on the Royal website on the relationship between the Sovereign and the British Prime Minister, of whom there have been ten, the first of which was Sir Winston Churchill.  The description in the text on the site is essentially mirrored in all our capitals (and in the other 14 Realms) where the Governor-General or Governor exercises the powers of the Australian Crown as trustee for the people.  There are at least three differences.  While the Crown has certain discretionary or reserve powers, the potential for their application is affected by different constitutional provisions. (The unelected House of Lords long ago lost the power to decline supply, so a similar political crisis to Australia’s in 1975 could give rise to the exercise of such powers.)  The frequency of audiences where the Governor-General or Governor receives the prime minister or premier varies. And the practice of kissing of hands has not been adopted.

 


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