Part of a series on the
|History of Australia|
Australia is a constitutional monarchy whose Sovereign also serves as Monarch of the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada and eleven other former dependencies of the United Kingdom including Papua New Guinea, which was formerly a dependency of Australia. These countries operate as independent nations, and are known as Commonwealth realms. The history of the Australian monarchy has involved a shifting relationship with both the distant monarch and also the British government.
A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the sovereign exercises authority in accordance with a written or unwritten constitution. Constitutional monarchy differs from absolute monarchy in that constitutional monarchs are bound to exercise their powers and authorities within the limits prescribed within an established legal framework. Constitutional monarchies range from countries such as Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain, where the constitution grants substantial discretionary powers to the sovereign, to countries such as Japan and Sweden where the monarch retains no formal authorities.
Papua New Guinea, officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea is a country in Oceania that occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and its offshore islands in Melanesia, a region of the southwestern Pacific Ocean north of Australia. Its capital, located along its southeastern coast, is Port Moresby. The western half of New Guinea forms the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua.
A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state in which Queen Elizabeth II is the reigning constitutional monarch and head of state. Each realm functions as an independent co-equal kingdom from the other realms. As of 2019, there are 16 Commonwealth realms: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, 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.
The east coast of Australia was claimed in 1778, by Captain James Cook, in the name of and under instruction from King George III.The colony of New South Wales was founded in the name of the British sovereign eighteen years later, followed by five more: Tasmania (1825), Western Australia (1829), South Australia (1836), Victoria (1851), and Queensland (1859).
Captain James Cook was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy. He made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.
George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of the two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death in 1820. He was concurrently Duke and prince-elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg ("Hanover") in the Holy Roman Empire before becoming King of Hanover on 12 October 1814. He was the third British monarch of the House of Hanover, but unlike his two predecessors, he was born in Great Britain, spoke English as his first language, and never visited Hanover.
New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In September 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.
Prince Alfred, fourth child of Queen Victoria, became the first member of the Royal Family to visit the burgeoning colonies of Australia. He visited for five months in 1867, when he commanded HMS Galatea. He toured Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Tasmania and Sydney. The Melbourne Argus wrote on 26 November 1867: '[The Colony of] Victoria has not known in her thirty years' life a brighter day than yesterday. A Royal Prince, son of the greatest and noblest Queen that ever sat on the Throne of the British Empire, has landed on our shores, enjoyed our hospitality, and we are proud to know that we have done him honour worthy of ourselves and of the family he represents.'
Alfred reigned as Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha from 1893 to 1900. He was the second son and fourth child of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. He was known as the Duke of Edinburgh from 1866 until he succeeded his paternal uncle Ernest II as the reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in the German Empire.
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.
His or Her Majesty's Ship, abbreviated HMS and H.M.S., is the ship prefix used for ships of the navy in some monarchies. Derived terms such as "HMAS" and equivalents in other languages such as "SMS" are used.
On his second visit to Sydney, the only assassination attempt against a member of the Royal Family in Australia took place. While the Prince picnicked at Clontarf, near Sydney, Henry James O'Farrell, a man of Irish descent, approached Alfred and shot at him, lodging a bullet in his spine. The attack caused indignation and embarrassment in the colony, leading to a wave of anti-Irish sentiment. The next day, 20,000 people attended a meeting to protest at "yesterday's outrage"; Australians felt discomfited by the negative attention being drawn to their colonies.
Clontarf is a suburb of northern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Clontarf is located 13 kilometres north-east of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of Northern Beaches Council, in the Northern Beaches region.
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.
After the Prince spent five weeks in hospital, the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales voted to approve the erection of a monument to the event, "in testimony of the heartfelt gratitude of the community at the recovery of HRH", which became the Prince Alfred Hospital. The Prince granted the use of his coat of arms as the hospital's crest, and the institution later received royal designation from King Edward VII in 1902.
The New South Wales Legislative Assembly is the lower of the two houses of the Parliament of New South Wales, an Australian state. The upper house is the New South Wales Legislative Council. Both the Assembly and Council sit at Parliament House in the state capital, Sydney. The Assembly is presided over by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.
The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital is a major public teaching hospital in Sydney, Australia, located on Missenden Road in Camperdown. It is a teaching hospital of the Central Clinical School of the Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney and is situated in proximity to the Blackburn Building of the university's main campus. RPAH is the largest hospital in the Sydney Local Health District, with approximately 700 beds. Following a $350 million redevelopment, the perinatal hospital King George V Memorial Hospital has been incorporated into it.
Fourteen years after the arrival of Prince Alfred, his nephews Princes George and Albert arrived to tour South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, while midshipmen on HMS Bacchante.
Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, was the eldest child of the Prince and Princess of Wales and grandson of the reigning British monarch, Queen Victoria. From the time of his birth, he was second in the line of succession to the British throne, but never became king because he died before his father and grandmother.
On 1 January 1901 Australia became a nation and dominion of the monarchy.
In the latter half of the nineteenth century public concern over intercolonial tariffs, defence and immigration led to a meeting of colonial representatives in Melbourne in 1889. Dominated by the "Father of Federation", New South Wales Premier Sir Henry Parkes, they agreed in principle to a union of the Australian colonies under the British Crown.
A series of constitutional conventions prepared a constitution, which Australians then presented to London. On 1 January 1901, the six Australian colonies federated into one self-governing colony of the British Empire.This followed the granting of Royal Assent to the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act by Queen Victoria on 9 July 1900. Styled a Dominion from 1907, Australia was later referred to as a realm of the Crown from the 1950s onward, so as to reflect the equal status of Australia with the other countries under the shared Crown, which came into effect with the passage of the Statute of Westminster in 1931.
|“||The death of the Queen – cast on the Empire a shadow like the blackness of an eclipse, and nowhere was that shadow darker than in Australasia – she was the symbol – the human embodiment – of the Empire...||”|
|— W. H. Fitchett, author and editor, Review of Reviews for Australasia, 20 February 1901|
In 1901 Prince George (then the Prince of Wales and later King George V) returned to open the first Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, in Melbourne.
In 1920 Prince Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) visited Australia. The public called him the "Digger prince" (digger in Australian slang means an Australian soldier with a particular reputation for bravery and fair play).
In 1927, Prince Albert (later George VI) visited Australia to open the first Parliament to sit in Parliament House, Canberra, the Australian capital.
Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, came to assist in the celebrations of the centenary of the state of Victoria in 1932. In 1945 he was appointed Governor-General of the Commonwealth, against the advice of the Australian government.He was the only member of the Royal Family to serve as a viceroy in Australia.
An important change in the relationship between the Sovereign and the Australian government and the Governor-General of Australia was marked by the appointment of Sir Isaac Isaacs as Governor-General. Isaacs was the first Australian-born Governor-General. The Commonwealth Cabinet, headed by James Scullin, considered his name in 1930.Isaacs was Chief Justice and a Justice of the High Court.
Prime Minister Billy Hughes had asserted the right of dominion governments to be consulted on the choice of Governors-General in 1919. Prime Minister Edmund Barton had made a similar assertion two decades earlier.Hughes was invited to select the name of the Governor-General from a list of three (British) names made up by the Secretary of State of the Colonial Office. The choice was however recommended to the King, George V, by the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs.
But the Commonwealth government directly nominating and recommending a Governor-General occasioned a controversy, both in the press at home and in Buckingham Palace. The Leader of the Opposition, John Latham, took the view that the federal executive councillors could advise the Governor-General, but not the King.George V was of the same opinion. The King's private secretary wrote to the secretary of State in London:
His Majesty feels strongly that it would be a grave mistake to give the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth an opportunity of naming the next Governor-General
And George, believing that the Governor-General was the personal representative of the Sovereign, intervened directly. The Palace wrote:
The King feels that, with the change in the position of the governor-general (sic) made at the Imperial Conference of 1926, which divested them of all political power and eliminated them from the administrative machinery of the respective Dominions, leaving them merely as the representative of the Sovereign, more than ever His Majesty should be consulted in the selection of candidates, and indeed, subject of course to the concurrence of the British Prime Minister, be left to make the choice himself.
Scullin raised the question of dominion governments directly advising the King on vice-regal appointments at the 1930 Imperial Conference. It was decided that the King should act on the advice of his dominion ministers. Still, Scullin had to go to London personally to persuade the King to appoint Isaacs. George reluctantly agreed. After Isaacs, two more British nominees followed: Lord Gowrie (1936–1945) and Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester (1945–1947). Nevertheless, the principle had been established that the Governor-General was the constitutional representative, not the personal representative, of the Sovereign. This was an important step in establishing the independence of the office. In 1988, the commission established by the government of Bob Hawke to review the Constitution could report:
Although the Governor-General is the Queen's representative in Australia, the Governor-General is in no sense a delegate of the Queen.
The isolated, mineral-rich colony of Western Australia had been reluctant to federate. The Constitution does not list Western Australia as one of the original states.Discontent with federation lead to a referendum on 8 April 1933. In answer to the question 'are you in favour of the State of Western Australia withdrawing from the Federal Commonwealth established under the Commonwealth of Australia Constitutional Act (Imperial)?' the people of Western Australia voted in the affirmative by two to one.
The referendum brought the secessionist Labor government of Philip Collier to power. In 1934 the new government sent a delegation to London to petition the King, George V, and the British Parliament to overturn the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900.Such an act would have dissolved the Commonwealth and left the states free to federate anew or not as they wished. A joint committee of the House of Lords and House of Commons considered the petition, and rejected it in 1935. It did so on the grounds that it could not overturn the Act without the approval of the Federal Parliament.
On 10 December 1936 Edward VIII abdicated after it became clear that the British and Dominion governments would not accept his intended marriage to American divorcee and commoner, Wallis Simpson. The Statute of Westminster required the Dominion governments be consulted on matters relating to the succession. The Dominions Office in London proposed three solutions to the crisis to the governments of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India and Canada:
Australia, South Africa and Canada chose abdication. India and New Zealand had no firm view.According to Harold Laski, writing in the New York Times ,
This issue is independent of the personality of the King. It is independent of the personality of the Prime Minister. It does not touch on the wisdom or unwisdom of the marriage the King has proposed. It is not concerned with the pressure, whether of the churches or the aristocracy, that is hostile to this marriage. It is the principle that out of this issue no precedent must be created that makes the Royal authority once more a source of independent political power in the State.
According to this view, the constitutional independence of the Dominions was at stake. This event demonstrated the legal independence of the Dominion monarchies established by the Statute of Westminster.
In 1954, Queen Elizabeth II became the first reigning Australian monarch to visit Australia. Her presence provided a sense of certainty to the nation, as well as focusing world attention on Australia.Around 7 million Australians (of a total population of just under 9 million at the time) greeted her.
She has since returned on several occasions (a total of 15 official visits) and has officiated at such important moments as the bicentenary in 1970 of James Cook's voyage along the East Coast of Australia; the opening of the Sydney Opera House in 1973; her Silver Jubilee in 1977; proclamation of the Australia Act in 1986; various events commemorating the bicentenary of the arrival of First Fleet and the opening of the new Parliament House in Canberra in 1988; the centenary of federation in 2000; her Golden Jubilee in 2002; and more.
The National Carillon in Canberra was dedicated by Elizabeth II on 25 April 1970. The Swan Bells in Perth include the twelve bells of Saint Martin-in-the-Fields that were cast between 1725 and 1770 by three generations of the Rudhall family of bell founders from Gloucester, under the order of the Prince of Wales, later crowned as King George II. Donated to Perth in 1988, they are known to have pealed as the explorer James Cook set sail on the voyage that founded Australia, and are the only sets of royal bells to have left England.
Elizabeth II is the first monarch to be styled sovereign of Australia. In 1953 the Australian Parliament passed two bills. The first was the Royal Style and Titles Act 1953. This added the word "Australia" to the Queen's titles.In 1973 a further Act removed "Defender of the Faith" from her Australian title. In 1958 Elizabeth amended the letters patent of Queen Victoria which constituted the office of Governor-General.
Until then Australian constitutional documents were signed by the monarch and counter-signed by a British minister of state. But now such documents were to be counter-signed by the Prime Minister of Australia.Further, they were to be sealed with the Royal Great Seal of the Commonwealth of Australia. Queen Victoria's letters patent had ordered a Great Seal for Australia in 1900, but it was never made. On 19 October 1955 Elizabeth, advised by Prime Minister Robert Menzies, issued a warrant for the Seal.
The Royal Powers Act 1953 further secured the Sovereign's new status as Queen of Australia by conferring on her powers that the Constitution did not give her. The Queen could now preside at Federal Executive Councils in person and open the Commonwealth Parliament.Elizabeth II has performed both actions three times each.
On 30 May 1973 the prerogative of appointing Australian ambassadors to nations outside the Commonwealth was transferred to the Governor-General. Likewise the viceroy assumed authority to appoint high commissioners to Commonwealth countries.The line of communication between Sovereign and viceroy became the Australian High Commission in London, in place of the British High Commission in Canberra. When mention of the United Kingdom was removed from the Queen's titles in Australia in the same year, the government of the state of Queensland, concerned that this action was a first step towards declaring Australia to be a republic, sought to declare her "Queen of Australia, Queensland and her Other Realms and Territories", in order to ensure that the Monarchy would at least be entrenched in Queensland.
The action was blocked by the High Court of Australia in the so-called Queen of Queensland case in 1974. However, it highlighted the fact that the relation of the Australian states to the Crown was then independent of the relation of the Commonwealth to the Crown, and this paradox led to the Hannah and the Wran affairs which eventually led to the Australia Act of 1986.
The Australian monarch rarely intervenes in Australian affairs. During the 1975 constitutional crisis over the failure of Gough Whitlam's Labor government to secure supply, the Queen remained neutral, which both sides of the debate took to imply tacit approval. When Governor-General Sir John Kerr dismissed Whitlam, the Labor Speaker of the House of Representatives, Gordon Scholes, asked the Queen to revoke her viceroy's act. The Queen's Private Secretary replied:
As we understand the situation here, the Australian Constitution firmly places the prerogative powers of the Crown in the hands of the Governor-General as the representative of the Queen of Australia. The only person competent to commission an Australian Prime Minister is the Governor-General, and The Queen has no part in the decisions which the Governor-General must take in accordance with the Constitution. Her Majesty, as Queen of Australia, is watching events in Canberra with close interest and attention, but it would not be proper for her to intervene in person in matters which are so clearly placed within the jurisdiction of the Governor-General by the Constitution Act.
The reluctance of the Queen of Australia to become involved in this high-profile political crisis involving the Commonwealth government contrasted with other instances when the monarch and her officers became directly involved in the politics of Australian states. In 1975, prior to the Dismissal, the Governor of Queensland, Sir Colin Hannah criticised the Whitlam government in a partisan manner.At the time, Hannah was commissioned Administrator, or acting governor-general, whenever John Kerr was out of the country. The Queen acted on Whitlam's advice to withdraw this commission. The United Kingdom government later advised the Queen not to dismiss him, on the grounds that it would be hard to justify the dismissal of Hannah for political involvement, when Kerr remained beyond reproach for his role in the 1975 constitutional crisis. She did, however, refuse to extend his term.
The Premier of Queensland, Joh Bjelke-Petersen argued that the Queen is to be advised by the state premier on her choice of governors, and so London ought not to advise the sovereign in the matter. Whitlam's successor, Malcolm Fraser, sought to have Hannah's commission restored. He was refused, and the British foreign secretary, Lord Carrington, then the principal adviser to the Queen on state matters, advised Hannah of his impropriety during Whitlam's term of office.
This episode greatly concerned the Australian state premiers on both sides of politics. They had governed in the belief that convention meant they were the Queen's advisers in state matters, not British ministers. London's actions were indicative of the direct relationship between the Queen of the United Kingdom and the Governors of the Australian states. This relationship now appeared to bypass the Queen's role as the Australian monarch, and her link to the Governor-General and the Commonwealth. Apparently the Queen of the United Kingdom still had direct powers over the Australian states where she acted in that role on the advice of her British ministers.
State governors had been dismissed by monarchs before. In 1917 George V had recalled Sir Gerald Strickland, Governor of New South Wales. Strickland had leaked to the press that he was about to dismiss the premier, William Holman.However, the King had been acting at the request of Holman, and the King had acted according to convention, on the advice of his chief minister.
In 1980 Neville Wran, the Premier of New South Wales, announced his intention to introduce a bill that would require the Queen to be advised by Australian state ministers alone on matters concerning the governance of that state.
Wran had tested the British ministers by requesting the Governor of New South Wales not be told of his impending re-appointment. When British officials ignored this request, Wran took it as proof of their willingness to interfere in Australian state affairs. Buckingham Palace was alarmed at the impending bill, and when it was passed through both houses of the New South Wales Parliament, Lord Carrington wrote to Sir Roden Cutler, the state's Governor, telling him that the Queen would refuse the Royal Assent to the bill.The secretary of the Premier's Department, Gerry Gleason, told the British Consul-General that New South Wales was 'being buggered about' and that the British needed their 'backsides kicked'.
The constitutional problem was resolved by the Australia Act 1986. By this Act all state governors are appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Australian state's Premier alone. British ministers have no constitutional authority to advise the Queen on any matter related to the Australian states. There is debate as to whether the actions of the Australian states have in effect made Queen Elizabeth their direct monarch the same way she is Queen of Australia, effectively making her the Queen of New South Wales, of Victoria, of Tasmania, of South Australia, of Western Australia, and also the Queen of Queensland.
In the 1970s more Australians began to seriously reconsider Australia's constitutional framework. The constitutional crisis of 1975 occasioned many to question the role of the monarchy in a modern Australia. There were no serious attempts to alter the constitutional role of the Queen until the 1986 Australia Act. Nevertheless Australians were more conscious of being an independent nation, and there was a downplaying of the monarchy in Australia, with references to the monarchy being removed from the public eye (e.g., the Queen's portrait from public buildings and schools, and the Royal Mail became a government-owned corporation, Australia Post).
Public attitudes were quietly changing, though republicanism did not become a seriously considered proposition until 1991, when Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating formed the Republic Advisory Committee to investigate the possibility of Australia becoming a republic. Under Liberal/National Coalition Prime Minister John Howard, Australia held a two-question referendum. The first question asked whether Australia should become a republic with a president appointed by parliament, a bi-partisan appointment model which had previously been decided at a constitutional convention in February 1998.
The second question, generally deemed to be far less important politically, asked whether Australia should alter the constitution to insert a preamble. Neither of the amendments passed, with the question on the republic defeated by 54.4% in the popular vote and 6-0 in the states. While monarchists declared the result proof that the people were happy with the monarchy, republican voices stated that it was indicative of the lack of choice given in the republican model.
Four months after the referendum, the Queen returned to Australia in 2000. In Sydney, in a speech at the Conference Centre in Darling Harbour, she stated her belief in the democratic rights of Australians on all issues including that of the monarchy:
My family and I would, of course, have retained our deep affection for Australia and Australians everywhere, whatever the outcome. For some while it has been clear that many Australians have wanted constitutional change... You can understand, therefore, that it was with the closest interest that I followed the debate leading up to the referendum held last year on the proposal to amend the Constitution. I have always made it clear that the future of the monarchy in Australia is an issue for you, the Australian people, and you alone to decide by democratic and constitutional means. It should not be otherwise. As I said at the time, I respect and accept the outcome of the referendum. In the light of the result last November I shall continue faithfully to serve as Queen of Australia under the constitution to the very best of my ability, as I have tried to do for the last 48 years.
In March 2006, organisers of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne came under fire when it was announced that they would not play "God Save the Queen" at the ceremonies where the Queen was to open the Games. Despite the fact that the song is officially the Australian Royal Anthem, to be played whenever the sovereign is present, the games organisers refused to play it. After repeated calls from Prime Minister John Howard, organisers agreed to play eight bars of the Royal Anthem at the opening ceremony.
However, there remained speculation that the opening of the games could be "thrown into chaos" should thousands of Australians continue to sing "God Save the Queen" after the eight bars were complete, drowning out singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. In the end, with the crowd singing along, Dame Kiri sang Happy Birthday to the Queen, the rendition of which then turned into an abbreviated God Save the Queen, and at which point the majority of attendees at the stadium stood.
When Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (Labor) assumed office in 2007, he stated that the republic was not a priority for his first term. He did affirm that it formed part of the Labor policy platform. During a visit to Britain in April 2008 he stated his belief that the republican debate should continue.During the weekend of 19/20 April a meeting of various members of Australian society met in Canberra to come up with ideas for Australia's future. This has become known as the Australia 2020 Summit. The republic was floated again, and widely supported. Rudd came out in support and intimated that the republic may become a reality before the end of the reign of Elizabeth II. Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard (2010-2013 ) stated that she is a republican. However she wished an appropriate model of republic be explored before the issue was taken to the people again. Kevin Rudd did not flag the question of a republic during his second term of office as Prime Minister.
It has been suggested that Australia should have a uniquely Australian monarch, whereby someone who is in line to the Australian throne, but who is not expected to become monarch of the United Kingdom, would become monarch of Australia and reside in Australia. It has been claimed that this would be a suitable compromise between monarchists and republicans. This proposal, however, does not have mainstream political support.
The monarchs of Australia are the same as those of the United Kingdom. The sovereigns reigned over Australia as monarchs of the United Kingdom until 1942 (by a legal fiction, from 1939). From that year they reigned as sovereigns in right of Australia, though the first to be accorded an Australian title, Queen of Australia, was Elizabeth II, in 1953.
|Sovereigns of Australia from 1900 to present:|
|House of Hanover|
|1||Victoria||1 January 1901 – 22 January 1901|
|House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha|
|2||Edward VII||22 January 1901 – 6 May 1910|
|House of Windsor|
|3||George V||6 May 1910 – 20 January 1936|
|4||Edward VIII||20 January 1936 – 11 December 1936|
|5||George VI||11 December 1936 – 6 February 1952|
|6||Elizabeth II||6 February 1952 – Present|
The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative of the Australian monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II. As the Queen is concurrently the monarch of 15 other Commonwealth realms, and resides in the United Kingdom, she, on the advice of her prime minister, appoints a governor-general to carry out constitutional duties within the Commonwealth of Australia. The governor-general has formal presidency over the Federal Executive Council and is commander-in-chief of the Australian Defence Force. The functions of the governor-general include appointing ministers, judges, and ambassadors; giving royal assent to legislation passed by parliament; issuing writs for election; and bestowing Australian honours.
Governor-general or governor general, in modern usage, is the title of an office-holder appointed to represent the monarch of a sovereign state in the governing of an independent realm. Governors-general have also previously been appointed in respect of major colonial states or other territories held by either a monarchy or republic, such as Japan in Korea and France in Indochina.
The monarchy of New Zealand is the constitutional system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of New Zealand. The current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, ascended the throne on the death of her father, King George VI, on 6 February 1952.
The Government of Australia is the government of the Commonwealth of Australia, a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy. It is also commonly referred to as the Australian Government, the Commonwealth Government, Her Majesty's Government, or the Federal Government.
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 fifteen other Commonwealth realms.
Antigua and Barbuda is a constitutional monarchy and a Commonwealth realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as its reigning monarch and head of state since 1 November 1981. As such she is Antigua and Barbuda's sovereign and officially called Queen of Antigua and Barbuda.
The monarchy of Australia concerns the form of government in which a hereditary king or queen serves as the nation's sovereign and head of state. Australia is governed under a form of constitutional monarchy, largely modelled on the Westminster system of parliamentary government, while incorporating features unique to the Constitution of Australia. The present monarch is Elizabeth II, styled Queen of Australia, who has reigned since 6 February 1952. She is represented in Australia as a whole by the Governor-General, in accordance with the Australian Constitution and letters patent from the Queen, and in each of the Australian states, according to the state constitutions, by a governor, assisted by a lieutenant-governor. The monarch appoints the Governor-General and the governors, on the advice respectively of the Commonwealth government and each state government. These are now almost the only constitutional functions of the monarch with regard to Australia.
The monarchy of Jamaica is a constitutional system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of Jamaica. The terms Crown in Right of Jamaica, Her Majesty in Right of Jamaica, or The Queen in Right of Jamaica may also be used to refer to the entire executive of the government of Jamaica. Though the Jamaican Crown has its roots in the British Crown, it has evolved to become a distinctly Jamaican institution, represented by its own unique symbols.
The monarch of Belize is the head of state of Belize. The incumbent Queen of Belize is Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 21 September 1981. The heir apparent is Elizabeth's eldest son, Prince Charles, though the Queen is the only member of the royal family with any constitutional role. She and the rest of the royal family undertake various public ceremonial functions across Belize and on behalf of Belize abroad.
The Monarchy of the Bahamas is a system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The current monarch and head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since the country became independent on 10 July 1973. The Bahamas share the Sovereign with the other Commonwealth realms. The Queen does not personally reside in the islands, and most of her constitutional roles are therefore delegated to her representative in the country, the Governor-General of the Bahamas. Royal succession is governed by the English Act of Settlement of 1701, as amended by the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, with the latter statute reflecting the Perth Agreement, to which the Bahamas government acceded. The two acts are part of constitutional law.
The monarch of Grenada is the head of state of Grenada. The present monarch is Elizabeth II, who is also Sovereign of a number of the other Commonwealth realms. The Queen's constitutional roles are mostly delegated to the Governor-General of Grenada. Royal succession is governed by the English Act of Settlement of 1701, which is part of constitutional law.
The monarchy of Papua New Guinea is a system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of Papua New Guinea. The current monarch, since 16 September 1975, is Queen Elizabeth II. Although the person of the sovereign is equally shared with 15 other independent countries within the Commonwealth of Nations, each country's monarchy is separate and legally distinct. As a result, the current monarch is officially titled the Queen of Papua New Guinea and, in this capacity, she, her consort, and other members of the Royal Family undertake public and private functions domestically and abroad as representatives of the Papua New Guinean state. However, the Queen is the only member of the Royal Family with any constitutional role. The Queen lives predominantly in the United Kingdom and, while several powers are the sovereign's alone, most of the royal governmental and ceremonial duties in Papua New Guinea are carried out by the Queen's representative, the governor-general.
Saint Kitts and Nevis is a constitutional monarchy in which a monarch is head of state. The present monarch is Elizabeth II, who is also Sovereign of the other Commonwealth realms. The Queen's constitutional roles are mostly delegated to the Governor-General of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Royal succession is governed by the English Act of Settlement of 1701, which is part of constitutional law.
The monarchy of Saint Lucia is a system of government in which a hereditary, constitutional monarch is the sovereign and head of state of Saint Lucia. The present monarch of Saint Lucia is Elizabeth II, who is also the Sovereign of the Commonwealth realms. The Queen's constitutional roles are mostly delegated to the Governor-General of Saint Lucia.
The monarchy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is the constitutional system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, forming the core of the country's Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. The Crown is thus is the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Vincentian government. While Royal Assent and the royal sign-manual are required to enact laws, letters patent, and orders in council, the authority for these acts stems from the Vincentian populace, and, within the conventional stipulations of constitutional monarchy, the sovereign's direct participation in any of these areas of governance is limited, with most related powers entrusted for exercise by the elected and appointed parliamentarians, the ministers of the Crown generally drawn from amongst them, and the judges and Justices of the Peace.
The monarchy of Tuvalu is a system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of Tuvalu. The present monarch of Tuvalu is Queen Elizabeth II, who is also the Sovereign of 15 other Commonwealth realms. The Queen's constitutional roles are mostly delegated to the Governor-General of Tuvalu.
The Constitutional history of Australia began with the first white settlement in Sydney in 1788 and has undergone numerous constitutional changes since.
There are six monarchies in Oceania; that is: self-governing sovereign states in Oceania where supreme power resides with an individual hereditary head, who is recognised as the head of state. Each is a constitutional monarchy, wherein the sovereign inherits his or her office, usually keeps it until death or abdication, and is bound by laws and customs in the exercise of their powers. Five of these independent states share Queen Elizabeth II as their respective head of state, making them part of a global grouping known as the Commonwealth realms; in addition, all monarchies of Oceania are members of the Commonwealth of Nations. The only sovereign monarchy in Oceania that does not share a monarch with another state is Tonga. Australia and New Zealand have dependencies within the region and outside it, although five non-sovereign constituent monarchs are recognized by New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and France.