Monarchy of Australia | Wikipedia audio article
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Monarchy of Australia | Wikipedia audio article

September 24, 2019

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 the entire nation of
Australia by the Governor-General, in accordance with the Australian Constitution and letters
patent from the Queen. In each of the Australian states, the monarch
is represented by a governor, appointed directly by the Queen on the advice of each of her
respective state governments. The governor of each Australian state is assisted
by a lieutenant-governor. Australian constitutional law has provided
since Federation in 1901 that the monarch of the United Kingdom is also the monarch
in Australia. This is understood today to constitute a separate
Australian monarchy, the monarch acting with regard to Australian affairs exclusively upon
the advice of Australian ministers. Australia is thus one of the Commonwealth
realms, sixteen independent countries that share the same person as monarch. The role and future of the monarchy has been
a recurring topic of public discussion.==International and domestic aspects==
Further information: Commonwealth realm: The Crown in the Commonwealth realmsThe monarch
of Australia is the same person as the monarch of the 15 other Commonwealth realms within
the 53-member Commonwealth of Nations; however, each country is sovereign and independent
of the others. On all matters of the Australian Commonwealth,
the monarch is advised by Australian federal Ministers of the Crown, and, effective with
the Australia Act 1986, no British government can advise the monarch on any matters pertinent
to Australia. Likewise, on all matters relating to any Australian
state, the monarch is advised by the Ministers of the Crown of that state. In 1999 the High Court of Australia held in
Sue v Hill that, at least since the Australia Act 1986, Britain has been a foreign power
in regard to Australia’s domestic and foreign affairs; it followed that a British citizen
was a citizen of a foreign power and incapable of being a member of the Australian Parliament,
pursuant to Section 44(i) of the Australian Constitution. In 2001 the High Court held that, until the
United Kingdom became a foreign power, all British subjects were subjects of the Queen
in right of the United Kingdom and thus could not be classified as aliens within the meaning
of Section 51(xix) of the constitution.===Title===The sovereign’s Australian title is currently
Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and
Territories, Head of the Commonwealth. Prior to 1953, the title had simply been the
same as that in the United Kingdom. A change in the title resulted from occasional
discussion and an eventual meeting of Commonwealth representatives in London in December 1952,
at which Canada’s preferred format for the monarch’s title was Elizabeth the Second,
by the Grace of God, Queen of [Realm] and of Her other realms and territories, Head
of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith. Australia, however, wished to have the United
Kingdom mentioned as well. Thus, the resolution was a title that included
the United Kingdom but, for the first time, also separately mentioned Australia and the
other Commonwealth realms. The passage of a new Royal Style and Titles
Act by the Parliament of Australia put these recommendations into law.It was proposed by
the Cabinet headed by Gough Whitlam that the title be amended to “denote the precedence
of Australia, the equality of the United Kingdom and each other sovereign nation under the
Crown, and the separation of Church and State.” A new Royal Titles and Styles Bill that removed
specific reference to the monarch’s role as Queen of the United Kingdom was passed by
the federal parliament, but the Governor-General, Sir Paul Hasluck, reserved Royal Assent “for
Her Majesty’s pleasure” (similarly to Governor-General Sir William McKell’s actions with the 1953
Royal Titles and Styles Bill). Queen Elizabeth II signed her assent at Government
House, Canberra, on 19 October 1973.===Finance===
In 2018 a trip by the Prince of Wales to the Commonwealth country of Vanuatu, escorted
by Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop in between a tour of Queensland
and the Northern Territory, was paid for by Australian taxpayers.In Oct 2011, the cost
of a 10-day royal visit to Australia was put at $5.85 million.Usually, the Queen’s Australian
governments pay only for the costs associated with the Governor-General and state governors
in their exercising of the powers of the Crown on behalf of the Queen, including travel,
security, residences, offices and ceremonial occasions.==Personification of the state==The monarch is also the locus of oaths of
allegiance; many employees of the Crown are required by law to recite this oath before
taking their posts, such as all members of the Commonwealth parliament, all members of
the state and territorial parliaments, as well as all magistrates, judges, police officers
and justices of the peace. This is in reciprocation to the sovereign’s
Coronation Oath, wherein he or she promises “to govern the Peoples of… Australia… according to their respective
laws and customs”. New appointees to the Federal Cabinet currently
also swear an oath that includes allegiance to the monarch before taking their post. However, as this oath is not written in law,
it has not always been observed and depends on the form chosen by the prime minister of
the time, suggested to the Governor-General. In December 2007, Kevin Rudd did not swear
allegiance to the sovereign when sworn in by the Governor-General, making him the first
prime minister not to do so; however, he (like all other members of parliament) did swear
allegiance to the Queen, as required by law, when sworn in by the Governor-General as newly
elected parliamentarians. Similarly, the Oath of Citizenship contained
a statement of allegiance to the reigning monarch until 1994, when a pledge of allegiance
to “Australia” and its values was introduced. The High Court found, in 2002, though, that
allegiance to the Queen of Australia was the “fundamental criterion of membership” in the
Australian body politic, from a constitutional, rather than statutory, point of view.===Head of state===The constitution does not directly mention
the term “head of state”. The Constitution defines the Governor-General
as the monarch’s representative. According to the Australian Parliamentary
Library, Australia’s head of state is the monarch, and its head of government is the
prime minister, with powers limited by both law and convention for government to be carried
on democratically. The federal constitution provides that the
monarch is part of the Parliament and is empowered to appoint the Governor-General as the monarch’s
representative, while the executive power of the Commonwealth which is vested in the
monarch is exercisable by the Governor-General as the monarch’s representative. The few functions which the monarch does perform
(such as appointing the Governor-General) are done on advice from the prime minister.A
review of the political situation in Australia from the 1970s to the present shows that,
while the position of the monarch as head of state has not been altered, some Australians
have argued in favour of changing the constitution into a form of republican government that
would, they propose, be better suited to the Commonwealth of Australia than the current
monarchy. While current official sources use the description
“head of state” for the monarch, in the lead up to the republic referendum in 1999, Sir
David Smith proposed an alternative explanation, that Australia already has a head of state
in the person of the Governor-General, who since 1965 has invariably been an Australian
citizen. This view has some support within the group
Australians for Constitutional Monarchy. It is designed to counter the objections by
republicans, such as the Australian Republic Movement, that no Australian can become, or
can be involved in choosing, the Australian head of state. The leading textbook on Australian constitutional
law formulates the position thus: “The Queen, as represented in Australia by the Governor-General,
is Australia’s head of state.”==Constitutional role and royal prerogative
Foreign affairs====The royal prerogative also extends to foreign
affairs: the Governor-General-in-Council negotiates and ratifies treaties, alliances, and international
agreements. As with other uses of the royal prerogative,
no parliamentary approval is required;===Parliament===
The sovereign, along with the Senate and the House of Representatives, being one of the
three components of parliament, is called the Queen-in-Parliament. The authority of the Crown therein is embodied
in the mace (House of Representatives) and Black Rod (Senate), which both bear a crown
at their apex. The monarch and viceroy do not, however, participate
in the legislative process save for the granting of Royal Assent by the Governor-General. Further, the constitution outlines that the
Governor-General alone is responsible for summoning, proroguing, and dissolving parliament,
after which the writs for a general election are usually dropped by the Prime Minister
at Government House. The new parliamentary session is marked by
the State Opening of Parliament, during which either the monarch or the Governor-General
reads the Speech from the Throne. As the monarch and viceroy, by convention,
cannot enter the House of Representatives, this, as well as the bestowing of Royal Assent,
takes place in the Senate chamber; Members of Parliament are summoned to these ceremonies
from the House of Representatives by the Crown’s messenger, the Usher of the Black Rod, after
he knocks on the doors of the lower house that have been slammed closed on him to symbolise
the barring of the monarch from the House of Representatives. All laws in Australia, except in the Australian
Capital Territory (ACT) Legislative Assembly, are enacted only with the viceroy’s granting
of Royal Assent, done by the Governor-General or relevant governor, with the Great Seal
of Australia or the appropriate state seal, while territorial legislatures, unlike their
state counterparts, are subject to the oversight of the government of Australia. The Governor-General may reserve a bill “for
the Queen’s pleasure”; that is withhold his consent to the bill and present it to the
sovereign for her personal decision. Under the constitution, the sovereign also
has the power to disallow a bill within one year of the Governor-General having granted
Royal Assent. This power, however, has never been used.===Courts===
In the United Kingdom, the sovereign is deemed the fount of justice. However, he or she does not personally rule
in judicial cases, meaning that judicial functions are normally performed only in the monarch’s
name. Criminal offences are legally deemed to be
offences against the sovereign and proceedings for indictable offences are brought in the
sovereign’s name in the form of The Queen [or King] against [Name] (sometimes also referred
to as the Crown against [Name]). Hence, 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 Australia is not subject
to suit in foreign courts without her express consent. The prerogative of mercy lies with the monarch,
and is exercised in the state jurisdictions by the governors, who may pardon offences
against the Crown, either before, during, or after a trial. In addition, the monarch also serves as a
symbol of the legitimacy of courts of justice, and of their judicial authority; sessions
of the High Court, for example, are opened with the words “the High Court of Australia
is now in session; God Save the Queen.” In a practice dating back to colonial times,
state courts traditionally display the arms of the sovereign in right of the United Kingdom,
except in New South Wales and Queensland where some of these have been replaced with the
state arms.==Cultural role=====
Royal presence and duties===Members of the Royal Family have been present
in Australia since the late 1800s, on military manoeuvres, for official tours, or as the
vice-regal representative of the monarch. The Queen was the first reigning monarch of
Australia to set foot on Australian soil on 3 February 1954. The Queen has visited the country 16 times,
usually on important milestones, anniversaries, or celebrations of Australian culture, while
other royals have been asked to participate in lesser occasions. In these instances, when acting at the direction
of the Australian Cabinet, they do so as monarch of Australia and members of the Royal Family,
respectively, and carry out two types of duties: official and unofficial. Official duties involve the sovereign representing
the state at home or abroad, or other Royal Family members participating in a government-organised
ceremony either in Australia or elsewhere. The sovereign and/or his or her family have
participated in events such as various centennials and bicentennials; Australia Day; the openings
of Olympic and other games; award ceremonies; D-Day commemorations; anniversaries of the
monarch’s accession; and the like. Other royals have participated in Australian
ceremonies or undertaken duties abroad, such as Prince Charles at the Anzac Day ceremonies
at Gallipoli, or when the Queen, Prince Charles, and Princess Anne participated in Australian
ceremonies for the anniversary of D-Day in France in 2004. On 22 February 2009, Princess Anne represented
the Queen at the National Bushfires Memorial Service in Melbourne. The Queen also showed her support for the
people of Australia by making a personal statement about the bushfires and by also making a private
donation to the Australian Red Cross Appeal. The Duke of Edinburgh was the first to sign
a book of condolences at the Australian High Commission in London.Unofficial duties are
performed by Royal Family members on behalf of Australian organisations of which they
may be patrons, through their attendance at charity events, visiting with members of the
Australian Defence Force as Colonel-in-Chief, or marking certain key anniversaries. The invitation and expenses associated with
these undertakings are usually borne by the associated organisation. Apart from Australia, the Queen and other
members of the Royal Family regularly perform public duties in the other 15 nations of the
Commonwealth in which the Queen is sovereign. As the Crown within these countries is a legally
separate entity from the Australian Crown, it is funded in these countries individually,
through the ordinary legislative budgeting process.===Symbols===The monarchy is currently symbolised through
images of the sovereign on currency and in portraits in public buildings; on Australian
decorations and honours, some postage stamps and on coats of arms and other government
symbols. The crown is used as a heraldic symbol in
the coats of arms of the Commonwealth and the states of Victoria, Queensland and Western
Australia. Crowns are also visible on police and military
badges. The Queen’s Birthday is observed as a public
holiday in all states. “God Save the Queen” is Australia’s royal
anthem. The “Vice-Regal Salute”, played only for the
Governor-General and each state governor, is the first four and last four bars of “Advance
Australia Fair”. There are also hundreds of places named after
Australian and British monarchs and members of the Royal Family. The states of Queensland and Victoria were
named after Queen Victoria; Adelaide, the capital of South Australia is named after
Queen Adelaide, the consort of William IV; numerous streets, squares, parks and buildings
are also named in honour of past or present members of the Royal Family.===Religious role===Until its new constitution went into force
in 1962, the Anglican Church of Australia was part of the Church of England. Its titular head was consequently the monarch,
in his or her capacity as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. However, unlike in England, Anglicanism was
never established as a state religion in Australia.==Vice-regal residences==
The Governor-General’s official residence is Government House, commonly known as “Yarralumla”,
in the city of Canberra. The Australian monarch stays there when visiting
Canberra, as do visiting heads of state. Government House is the site of most state
banquets, investitures, swearing-in of ministers, and other ceremonies. Another vice-regal residence is Admiralty
House, in Sydney, and is used principally as a retreat for the Governor-General. The Australian states also maintain official
residences for their respective governors, though the monarch or other members of the
Royal Family may stay there when in the state.==Australian Defence Force==The Crown has a place in the Australian Defence
Force (ADF), which consists of the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army, and Royal Australian
Air Force. Section 68 of the Australian Constitution
says: “The command in chief of the naval and military forces of the Commonwealth is vested
in the Governor-General as the Queen’s representative.” In practice, however, the Governor-General
does not play any part in the ADF’s command structure other than following the advice
of the Minister for Defence in the normal form of executive government.Australian naval
vessels bear the prefix Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) and many regiments carry the “royal”
prefix. Members of the Royal Family have presided
over military ceremonies, including Trooping the Colours, inspections of the troops, and
anniversaries of key battles. When the Queen is in Canberra, she lays a
wreath at the Australian War Memorial. In 2003, the Queen acted in her capacity as
Australian monarch when she dedicated the Australian War Memorial in Hyde Park, London.[1]Some
members of the Royal Family are Colonels-in-Chief of Australian regiments, including: the Royal
Regiment of Australian Artillery; Royal Australian Army Medical Corps; the Royal Australian Armoured
Corps and the Royal Australian Corps of Signals, amongst many others. The Queen’s husband, the Duke of Edinburgh,
is an Admiral of the Fleet in right of the Royal Australian Navy, Marshal of the Royal
Australian Air Force, and Field Marshal of the Australian Army.==History==The development of a distinctly Australian
monarchy came about through a complex set of incremental events, beginning in 1770,
when Captain James Cook, in the name of, and under instruction from, King George III, claimed
the east coast of Australia. Colonies were eventually founded across the
continent, all of them ruled by the monarch of the United Kingdom, upon the advice of
his or her British ministers, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in particular. After Queen Victoria’s granting of Royal Assent
to the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act on 9 July 1900, which brought about Federation
in 1901, whereupon the six colonies became the states of Australia, the relationship
between the state governments and the Crown remained as it was pre-1901: References in
the constitution to “the Queen” meant the government of the United Kingdom (in the formation
of which Australians had no say) and the Colonial Laws Validity Act 1865 – by which colonial
laws deemed repugnant to imperial (British) law in force in the colony were rendered void
and inoperative – remained in force in both the federal and state spheres; and all the
governors, both of the Commonwealth and the states, remained appointees of the British
monarch on the advice of the British Cabinet, a situation that continued even after Australia
was recognised as a Dominion of the British Empire in 1907. As Queen-Empress, Victoria “symbolised the
British Empire of which all Australians were subjects”. In response to calls from some Dominions for
a re-evaluation in their status under the Crown after their sacrifice and performance
in the First World War, a series of Imperial Conferences was held in London, from 1917
on, which resulted in the Balfour Declaration of 1926, which provided that the United Kingdom
and the Dominions were to be considered as “autonomous communities within the British
Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate to one another in any aspect of their domestic
or external affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown.” The Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act, 1927,
an Act of the Westminster Parliament, was the first indication of a shift in the law,
before the Imperial Conference of 1930 established that the Australian Cabinet could advise the
sovereign directly on the choice of Governor-General, which ensured the independence of the office. The Crown was further separated amongst its
dominions by the Statute of Westminster 1931, and, though it was not adopted by Australia
until 1942 (retroactive to 3 September 1939), the law’s validity in the United Kingdom required
its government to seek Australia’s consent in allowing the abdication of Edward VIII
as the King of Australia and all the other Dominions in 1936. The Curtin Labor Government appointed Prince
Henry, Duke of Gloucester, as Governor-General during the Second World War. Curtin hoped the appointment might influence
the British to despatch men and equipment to the Pacific War, and the selection of the
brother of King George VI reaffirmed the important role of the Crown to the Australian nation
at that time. The Queen became the first reigning monarch
to visit Australia in 1954, greeted by huge crowds across the nation. Her son Prince Charles attended school in
Australia in 1967. Her grandson Prince Harry undertook a portion
of his gap-year living and working in Australia in 2003.The sovereign did not possess a title
unique to Australia until the Australian parliament enacted the Royal Styles and Titles Act in
1953, after the accession of Elizabeth to the throne, and giving her the title of Queen
of the United Kingdom, Australia and Her other Realms and Territories. Still, Elizabeth remained both as a queen
who reigned in Australia both as Queen of Australia (in the federal jurisdiction) and
Queen of the United Kingdom (in each of the states), as a result of the states not wishing
to have the Statute of Westminster apply to them, believing that the status quo better
protected their sovereign interests against an expansionist federal government, which
left the Colonial Laws Validity Act in effect. Thus, the British monarch could still – at
least in theory, if not with some difficulty in practice – legislate for the Australian
states, and the viceroys in the states were appointed by and represented the sovereign
of the United Kingdom, not that of Australia; as late as 1976, the British ministry advised
the Queen to reject Colin Hannah as the nominee of the Queensland Cabinet for governor, and
court cases from Australian states could be appealed directly to the Judicial Committee
of the Privy Council in London, thereby bypassing the Australian High Court. It was with the passage of the Australia Act
in 1986, which repealed the Colonial Laws Validity Act and abolished appeals of state
cases to London, that the final vestiges of the British monarchy in Australia were removed,
leaving a distinct Australian monarchy for the nation. The view in the Republic Advisory Committee’s
report in 1993 was that if, in 1901, Victoria, as Queen-Empress, symbolised the British Empire
of which all Australians were subjects, all of the powers vested in the monarch under
Australia’s Constitution were now exercised on the advice of the Australian government. In practice, the Queen’s representative in
Australia, the governor-general, represented the British Government directly in 1901 and
until 1936, when the first High Commissioner of the United Kingdom to Australia was appointed. It was around the same time that a discussion
on the matter of Australia becoming a republic began to emerge, later culminating in the
1999 Australian republic referendum, which was defeated by 54.4% of the populace, despite
polls showing that the majority supported becoming a republic. It is believed the proposed model of the republic
(not having a directly elected president) was unsatisfactory to most Australians. The referendum followed the recommendation
of a 1998 Constitutional Convention called to discuss the issue of Australia becoming
a republic. Still, nearly another ten years later, Kevin
Rudd was appointed as Prime Minister, whereafter he affirmed that a republic was still a part
of his party’s platform, and stated his belief that the debate on constitutional change should
continue.The previous Prime Minister, Julia Gillard re-affirmed her party’s platform about
a possible future republic. She stated that she would like to see Australia
become a republic, with an appropriate time being when there is a change in monarch. A statement unaligned to this position was
recorded on 21 October 2011 at a reception in the presence of the Queen at Parliament
House in Canberra when Gillard stated that the monarch is “a vital constitutional part
of Australian democracy and would only ever be welcomed as a beloved and respected friend.” The then Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, a
former head of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy stated on 21 October 2011, “Your
Majesty, while 11 prime ministers and no less than 17 opposition leaders have come and gone,
for 60 years you have been a presence in our national story and given the vagaries of public
life, I’m confident that this will not be the final tally of the politicians that you
have outlasted.”A Morgan poll taken in October 2011 found that support for constitutional
change was at its lowest for 20 years. Of those surveyed 34% were pro-republic as
opposed to 55% pro-monarchist, preferring to maintain the current constitutional arrangements. A peer-reviewed study published in the Australian
Journal of Political Science in 2016 found that there had been a significant improvement
to support for monarchy in Australia after a twenty-year rapid decline following the
1992 annus horribilis.A poll in February 2018 found support for the monarchy has dropped
to a record low.==List of Australian monarchs=====
Alternative head of state===Although the Australian government recognises
Elizabeth II as head of state, a documentary broadcast on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom
popularised the claim that an Australian citizen is the rightful King. Based on an argument that Edward IV of England
was illegitimate, Simon Abney-Hastings, 15th Earl of Loudoun would be the monarch of Australia
under this alternative path to succession. At the time of his father’s passing, he worked
for a fabrics company in the town of Wangaratta, Victoria and said would prefer not to take
the throne.===Timeline of monarchs=====
See also==States headed by Elizabeth II
Prime Ministers of Queen Elizabeth II List of Commonwealth visits made by Queen
Elizabeth II List of Australian organisations with royal
patronage Peerage of the Commonwealth of Australia==Notes====
National Archives of Australia: King George VI (1936–52)
^ National Museum of Australia: Royal Romance ^ National Archives of Australia: Royal Visit
1954 ^ National Archives of Australia: Royal Visit
1963 ^ National Archives of Australia: Prince Charles
^ Australian Government: Royal Visits to Australia ^ National Archives of Australia: Royalty
and Australian Society ^ Yahoo News: Prince Edward to visit Vic fire
victims ^ ABC News: Royal couple set for busy Aust
schedule ^ Queen, Howard honour war dead
^ World leaders hail D-Day veterans==Bibliography==
Smith, David (2005). Head of State: the Governor-General, the Monarchy,
the Republic and the Dismissal. Paddington, NSW: Macleay Press. ISBN 1876492155. Twomey, Anne (2006). The Chameleon Crown: the Queen and her Australian
Governors. Annandale, NSW: Federation Press. ISBN 9781862876293.==External links==
Governor-General of Australia Letters Patent – 21 August 1984
Australians for Constitutional Monarchy The Australian Republican Movement
The Australian Monarchist League

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