This article possibly contains original research . (March 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
This article needs additional citations for verification . (March 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Queen of Antigua and Barbuda|
|Heir apparent||Charles, Prince of Wales|
|First monarch||Elizabeth II|
|Formation||1 November 1981|
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
Antigua and Barbuda
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.
Antigua and Barbuda is a country in the West Indies in the Americas, lying between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It consists of two major islands, Antigua and Barbuda, and a number of smaller islands. The permanent population numbers about 81,800 and the capital and largest port and city is St. John's on Antigua. Lying near each other, Antigua and Barbuda are in the middle of the Leeward Islands, part of the Lesser Antilles, roughly at 17°N of the equator.
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, where the constitution grants substantial discretionary powers to the sovereign, to countries such as Japan and Sweden where the monarch retains no formal authorities.
A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state in which Queen Elizabeth II is the reigning constitutional monarch and head of state. Each realm is independent from the other realms. As of 2019, there are 16 Commonwealth realms: Antigua and Barbuda, 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.
Most of the Queen's powers in Antigua and Barbuda are exercised by the Governor-General, presently Rodney Williams, though the Monarch does hold several powers that are hers alone.
The Queen is the only member of the royal family with a constitutional role; she, her husband, Prince Philip, their son Prince Charles, and other members of the royal family undertake various public ceremonial functions within Antigua and Barbuda and abroad.
The current Antiguan and Barbudian monarchy can trace its ancestral lineage back to the Anglo-Saxon and Merovingian periods, and ultimately back to the kings of the Angles, the early Scottish kings, and the Frankish kingdom of Clovis I. Parts of the territories that today comprise Antigua and Barbuda were claimed under King Charles I in 1632. The country was proclaimed fully independent, via constitutional patriation, by Queen Elizabeth II in 1981.
Anglo-Saxon England was early medieval England, existing from the 5th to the 11th centuries from the end of Roman Britain until the Norman conquest in 1066. It consisted of various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 927 when it was united as the Kingdom of England by King Æthelstan. It became part of the short-lived North Sea Empire of Cnut the Great, a personal union between England, Denmark and Norway in the 11th century.
The Kingdom of Scotland was a sovereign state in northwest Europe traditionally said to have been founded in 843. Its territories expanded and shrank, but it came to occupy the northern third of the island of Great Britain, sharing a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England. It suffered many invasions by the English, but under Robert I it fought a successful war of independence and remained an independent state throughout the late Middle Ages. In 1603, James VI of Scotland became King of England, joining Scotland with England in a personal union. In 1707, the two kingdoms were united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain under the terms of the Acts of Union. Following the annexation of the Northern Isles from the Kingdom of Norway in 1472 and final capture of the Royal Burgh of Berwick by the Kingdom of England in 1482, the territory of the Kingdom of Scotland corresponded to that of modern-day Scotland, bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the southwest.
The Franks were a collection of Germanic peoples, whose name was first mentioned in 3rd century Roman sources, associated with tribes on the Lower and Middle Rhine, on the edge of the Roman Empire. Later the term was associated with Romanized Germanic dynasties within the collapsing Roman Empire, who eventually commanded the whole region between the rivers Loire and Rhine. They then imposed power over many other post-Roman kingdoms and Germanic peoples, and still later they were given recognition by the Catholic Church as successors to the old rulers of the Western Roman Empire.
Sixteen states within the 52-member Commonwealth of Nations are known as Commonwealth realms and Antigua and Barbuda is one of these. Despite sharing the same person as their respective national monarch, each of the Commonwealth realms is sovereign and independent of the others.
The Balfour Declaration of 1926 provided the Dominions the right to be considered equal to Britain, rather than subordinate; an agreement that had the result of, in theory, a shared Crown that operates independently in each realm rather than a unitary British Crown under which all the Dominions were secondary. The Monarchy thus ceased to be an exclusively British institution, although it has often been called "British" since (in both legal and common language) for reasons historical, legal, and of convenience. The Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act, 1927 was the first indication of this shift in law, further elaborated in the Statute of Westminster, 1931.
The Balfour Declaration of 1926, issued by the 1926 Imperial Conference of British Empire leaders in London, was named after Lord President of the Council Arthur Balfour. It declared the United Kingdom and the Dominions to be:
... autonomous Communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown, and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations.
A Dominion was the "title" given to the semi-independent polities under the British Crown, constituting the British Empire, beginning with Canadian Confederation in 1867. "Dominion status" was a constitutional term of art used to signify an independent Commonwealth realm; they included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, South Africa, and the Irish Free State, and then from the late 1940s also India, Pakistan, and Ceylon. The Balfour Declaration of 1926 recognised the Dominions as "autonomous Communities within the British Empire", and the 1931 Statute of Westminster confirmed their full legislative independence.
Under the Statute of Westminster, Antigua and Barbuda has a common monarchy with Britain and the other Commonwealth realms, and Antigua and Barbuda cannot change the rules of succession without the unanimous consent of the other realms, unless explicitly leaving the shared monarchy relationship by means of a constitutional amendment. This situation applies symmetrically in all the other realms, including the UK.
On all matters of the Antiguan and Barbudian state, the Monarch is advised solely by Antiguan and Barbudian ministers. Effective with the patriation of Antigua and Barbuda's Constitution, no British or other realm government can advise the Monarch on any matters pertinent to Antigua and Barbuda.
In Antigua and Barbuda, the Queen's official title is:
This style communicates Antigua and Barbuda's status as an independent monarchy, highlighting the Monarch's role specifically as Queen of Antigua and Barbuda, as well as the shared aspect of the Crown throughout the realms, by mentioning Antigua and Barbuda separately from the other Commonwealth realms. Typically, the Sovereign is styled "Queen of Antigua and Barbuda," and is addressed as such when in Antigua and Barbuda, or performing duties on behalf of Antigua and Barbuda abroad.
Antiguans and Barbudians do not pay any money to the Queen, either for personal income or to support the royal residences outside of Antigua and Barbuda. Only when the Queen is in Antigua and Barbuda, or acting abroad as Queen of Antigua and Barbuda, does the Antiguan and Barbudian government support her in the performance of her duties. This rule applies equally to other members of the Royal Family.
Usually the Queen's Antiguan and Barbudian government pays only for the costs associated with the Governor-General in his or her exercising of the powers of the Crown on behalf of the Queen, including travel, security, residences, offices, ceremonial occasions, etc.
The heir apparent is Elizabeth II's eldest son, Charles. The Governor-General is expected to proclaim him King of Antigua and Barbuda upon his accession to the Throne upon the demise of the Crown.
Succession to the throne is by male-preference primogeniture, and governed by the provisions of the Act of Settlement, as well as the English Bill of Rights. These documents, though originally passed by the Parliament of England, are now part of Antiguan and Barbudian constitutional law, under control of the Antiguan and Barbudian parliament only. As such, the rules for succession are not fixed, but may be changed by a constitutional amendment.
This legislation restricts the succession to the natural (i.e. non-adopted), legitimate descendants of Sophia, Electress of Hanover (1630–1714), a granddaughter of James I, and lays out the rules that the Monarch cannot be a Roman Catholic, nor married to one, and must be in communion with the Church of England upon ascending the throne. As Antigua and Barbuda's laws governing succession are currently identical to those of the United Kingdom (by the Statute of Westminster) see Succession to the British Throne for more information.
Upon a "demise in the Crown" (the death of a Sovereign) his or her heir immediately and automatically succeeds, without any need for confirmation or further ceremony. (Hence arises the phrase "The King is dead. Long live the King!") Nevertheless, it is customary for the accession of the Sovereign to be publicly proclaimed. After an appropriate period of mourning has passed, the Sovereign is also crowned in Westminster Abbey, normally by the Archbishop of Canterbury. A coronation is not necessary for a Sovereign to rule; for example, Edward VIII was never crowned, yet was undoubtedly King during his short reign.
After an individual ascends the Throne, he or she continues to reign until death. Monarchs are not allowed to unilaterally abdicate; no Antiguan and Barbudian monarch has abdicated.
Antigua and Barbuda's constitution is made up of a variety of statutes and conventions that are either British or Antiguan and Barbudian in origin, which gives Antigua and Barbuda a similar parliamentary system of government as the other Commonwealth realms. All powers of state are constitutionally reposed in the Monarch, who is represented in the country by the Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda — appointed by the Monarch upon the advice of the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda; most of the Queen's domestic duties are performed by these vice-regal representative.
The new constitution for Antigua and Barbuda was made by Order in Council (1981 No. 1106) under the West Indies Act 1967. It came into operation on 31 October 1981.
The role of the Queen and the Governor-General is both legal and practical; the Crown is regarded as a corporation, in which several parts share the authority of the whole, with the Queen as the person at the centre of the constitutional construct.
The vast powers that belong to the Crown are collectively known as the Royal Prerogative, which includes many powers such as the ability to make treaties or send ambassadors, as well as certain duties such as to defend the realm and to maintain the Queen's peace. Parliamentary approval is not required for the exercise of the Royal Prerogative; moreover, the Consent of the Crown must be obtained before either House may even debate a bill affecting the Sovereign's prerogatives or interests. It is important to note that the Royal Prerogative belongs to the Crown, and not to any of the ministers, though it may sometimes appear that way.[ citation needed ] Although the Royal Prerogative is extensive, it is not unlimited. For example, the Monarch does not have the prerogative to impose and collect new taxes; such an action requires the authorisation of an Act of Parliament.
The Crown is responsible for appointing a Prime Minister. In accordance with unwritten constitutional conventions, the Monarch or Governor-General must appoint the individual most likely to maintain the support of the House of Representatives: usually, the leader of the party which has a majority in that House. If no party has a majority, two or more groups may form a coalition, whose agreed leader is then appointed Prime Minister. In a Parliament in which no party or coalition holds a majority, the Crown is required by convention to appoint the individual most likely to command the support of the House of Commons, usually, but not necessarily, the leader of the largest party. Situations can arise in which the Governor-General's judgement about the most suitable leader to be Prime Minister has to be brought into play. The Queen is informed by the Governor-General of the acceptance of the resignation of a prime minister and the swearing-in of a new prime minister and members of the Ministry.
It is a duty of the Crown to also appoint and dismiss ministers, members of various executive agencies, other officials. The appointment of Senators and the Speaker of the Senate also falls under the Royal Prerogative. Effectively, however, the appointees are chosen by the Prime Minister, or, for less important offices, by other ministers.
In addition, it is the Crown's prerogative to declare war, make peace, and direct the actions of the military, although the Prime Minister holds de facto decision-making power over the armed forces. The Royal Prerogative also extends to foreign affairs: the Sovereign or Governor-General may negotiate and ratify treaties, alliances, and international agreements; no parliamentary approval is required. However, a treaty cannot alter the domestic laws of the Antigua and Barbuda; an Act of Parliament is necessary in such cases. The Governor-General, on behalf of the Queen, also accredits Antiguan and Barbudian High Commissioners and ambassadors, and receives diplomats from foreign states. In addition, all Antiguan and Barbudian passports are issued in the Monarch's name. In Antigua and Barbuda major public inquiries are called Royal Commissions, and are created by the Cabinet on behalf of the Monarch through a Royal Warrant.
The Sovereign is one of the three components of Parliament; the others are the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Governor-General is also responsible for summoning the House of Commons, though it remains the Monarch's prerogative to prorogue, and dissolve Parliament. The new parliamentary session is marked by the State Opening of Parliament, during which either the Sovereign or the Governor-General reads the Speech from the Throne in the Senate Chamber, outlining the Government's legislative agenda. Prorogation usually occurs about one year after a session begins, and formally concludes the session. Dissolution, the timing of which is affected by a variety of factors, ends a parliamentary term (which lasts a maximum of five years), and is followed by general elections for all seats in the House of Commons. The Monarch or the Governor-General may theoretically refuse a dissolution.
Because the Antiguan and Barbudian Monarchy is a constitutional one, the powers that are constitutionally the Monarch's are exercised almost wholly upon the advice of his or her Prime Minister and the Ministers of the Crown in Cabinet, who are, in turn, accountable to the democratically elected House of Commons, and through it, to the people. It has been said since the death of Queen Anne in 1714, the last monarch to head the British cabinet, that the monarch "reigns" but does not "rule". This means that the Monarch's role, and thereby the Governor-General's role, is almost entirely symbolic and cultural, acting as a symbol of the legal authority under which all governments and agencies operate.
All laws in Antigua and Barbuda are enacted with the Sovereign's, or the Governor-General's signature. The granting of a signature to a bill is known as Royal Assent; it and proclamation are required for all acts of Parliament, usually granted or withheld by the Governor-General, with the Public Seal of Antigua and Barbuda. The Governor-General may reserve a bill for the Monarch's pleasure, that is to say, allow the Monarch to make a personal decision on the bill. The Monarch has the power to disallow a bill (within a time limit specified by the Constitution).
The Sovereign is deemed the "fount of justice," and is responsible for rendering justice for all subjects. The Sovereign does not personally rule in judicial cases; instead, judicial functions are performed in his or her name. The common law holds that the Sovereign "can do no wrong"; the monarch cannot be prosecuted in his or her own courts for criminal offences. Civil lawsuits against the Crown in its public capacity (that is, lawsuits against the government) are permitted; however, lawsuits against the Monarch personally are not cognisable. In international cases, as a sovereign and under established principles of international law, the Queen of Antigua and Barbuda is not subject to suit in foreign courts without her express consent.[ citation needed ] The Sovereign, and by extension the Governor-General, also exercises the "prerogative of mercy," and may pardon offences against the Crown. Pardons may be awarded before, during, or after a trial.
In Antigua and Barbuda the legal personality of the State is referred to as "Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Antigua and Barbuda." For example, if a lawsuit is filed against the government, the respondent is formally described as Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Antigua and Barbuda. The monarch as an individual takes no more role in such an affair than in any other business of government.
The Oath of Allegiance is required by law to be sworn by new members of the Royal Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force, police officers, and parliamentarians; it is an oath to the Monarch as Sovereign of Antigua and Barbuda, and to his/her heirs and successors according to law. The Oath of Allegiance is as follows:
Elizabeth II, Queen of Antigua and Barbuda, and her husband, the royal consort the Duke of Edinburgh, included the Antigua and Barbuda in their Caribbean tour of 1966, and in the Silver Jubilee tour of October 1977. The Queen visited again in 1985.
The Earl of Wessex opened Antigua and Barbuda's new parliament building on the country's twenty fifth anniversary of independence, 30 October 2006, reading a message from his mother, the Queen. HRH The Duke of York visited Antigua and Barbuda in January 2001.
Minister of the Crown is a formal constitutional term used in Commonwealth realms to describe a minister to the reigning sovereign or their viceroy. The term indicates that the minister serves at His/Her Majesty's pleasure, and advises the sovereign or viceroy on how to exercise the Crown prerogatives relative to the minister's department or ministry.
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 King-in-Council or the Queen-in-Council, depending on the gender of the reigning monarch, is a constitutional term in a number of states. In a general sense, it would mean the monarch exercising executive authority, usually in the form of approving orders, in the presence of the country's executive council.
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.
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 Cook Islands are a constitutional monarchy within the Realm of New Zealand. Under the Cook Islands Constitution, the Sovereign in Right of New Zealand has been Head of State of the Cook Islands since 4 August 1965. The Sovereign is represented by the Queen's Representative; as such, the Queen is the de jure head of state, holding several powers that are hers alone, while the Queen's Representative is sometimes referred to as the de facto head of state. The viceregal position is currently held by Tom Marsters.
The monarchy of Jamaica is a constitutional system of government in which a hereditary monarch and head of state is the sovereign 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 Barbados is the core of the country's Westminster style parliamentary democracy, being the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the government. The current Barbadian monarch and head of state, since 6 February 1952, is Queen Elizabeth II. As the sovereign, she is the personal embodiment of the Barbadian Crown. 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 Queen of Barbados and, in this capacity, she, her husband, and other members of the Royal Family undertake public and private functions domestically and abroad as representatives of the Barbadian 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 Barbados are carried out by the Queen's representative, the governor-general.
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 royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity, recognized in common law and, sometimes, in civil law jurisdictions possessing a monarchy, as belonging to the sovereign and which have become widely vested in the government. It is the means by which some of the executive powers of government, possessed by and vested in a monarch with regard to the process of governance of the state, are carried out.
The Perth Agreement is an agreement made by the prime ministers of the sixteen countries of the Commonwealth of Nations which retain the Westminster monarchical form of government. The Perth Agreement concerns amendments to the royal succession to the British Monarchy, whose institutions and legal framework are (largely) shared equally between Britain and the other Commonwealth realms. The changes, in summary, comprised replacing male-preference primogeniture ― under which male descendants take precedence over females in the line of succession ― with absolute primogeniture ; ending the disqualification of those married to Roman Catholics; and limiting the number of individuals in line to the throne requiring permission from the Sovereign to marry. However, the ban on Catholics and other non-Protestants becoming Monarch and the requirement for the Sovereign to be in communion with the Church of England remained.