Monarchy of Saint Lucia | Wikipedia audio article
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Monarchy of Saint Lucia | Wikipedia audio article

August 25, 2019


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. Royal succession is governed by the English
Act of Settlement of 1701, which is part of constitutional law. The present queen Elizabeth II has reigned
over the separate Saint Lucian monarchy since 22 February 1979. She along with her husband and other members
of the Royal Family undertake various official, ceremonial and representational duties.==International and domestic role==
Fifty-two states are members of the Commonwealth of Nations. Sixteen of these countries are specifically
Commonwealth realms who recognise, individually, the same person as their Monarch and Head
of State; Saint Lucia is one of these. Despite sharing the same person as their respective
national monarch, each of the Commonwealth realms – including Saint Lucia – is sovereign
and independent of the others. As a constitutional monarch Queen Elizabeth
II entirely on the advice of her Saint Lucian ministers. The monarch is briefed by regular communication
for her Saint Lucian government. Most of the Queen’s daily constitutional roles
are mostly delegated to the Governor-General of Saint Lucia. The governor general is appointed entirely
upon the advice of her Saint Lucian government. The monarch maintains direct contact with
the governor general. The present Governor-General is His Excellency
Sir Emmanuel Neville Cenac GCMG.===Development of the monarchy===
Control of St Lucia was disputed between the British and French from 1659 until 1814 when
it was ceded to the British.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 this time (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. Under the Statute of Westminster, Saint Lucia
has a common monarchy with Britain and the other Commonwealth realms, and though laws
governing the line of succession to the Saint Lucian throne lie within the control of the
Saint Lucian Parliament, Saint Lucia 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. The island became self-governing in 1967 and
achieved independence in 1979.===Title===
In Saint Lucia, the Queen’s official title is: Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of
God, Queen of Saint Lucia and of Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth.This
style communicates Saint Lucia’s status as an independent monarchy, highlighting the
Monarch’s role specifically as Queen of Saint Lucia, as well as the shared aspect of the
Crown throughout the realms. Typically, the Sovereign is styled “Queen
of Saint Lucia,” and is addressed as such when in Saint Lucia, or performing duties
on behalf of Saint Lucia abroad.===Duties===
Most of the Queen’s domestic duties are performed by the Governor General. The Governor-General represents the Queen
on ceremonial occasions such as the opening of Parliament, the presentation of honours
and military parades. Under the Constitution, he is given authority
to act in some matters, for example in appointing and disciplining officers of the civil service,
in proroguing Parliament. As in the other Commonwealth realms, however,
the Monarch’s role, and thereby the vice-regent’s role, is almost entirely symbolic and cultural,
acting as a symbol of the legal authority under which all governments operate, and the
powers that are constitutionally hers are exercised almost wholly upon the advice of
the Cabinet, made up of Ministers of the Crown. 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”. In exceptional circumstances, however, the
Monarch or vice-regal can act against such advice based upon his or her reserve powers. There are also a few duties which must be
specifically performed by, or bills that require assent by the Queen. These include: signing the appointment papers
of Governors General, the confirmation of awards of honours, and approving any change
in her title. It is also possible that if the Governor General
decided to go against the Prime Minister’s or the government’s advice, the Prime Minister
could appeal directly to the Monarch, or even recommend that the Monarch dismiss the Governor
General.===Succession===Succession to the throne was 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 the Saint Lucian constitutional law, under
control of the Saint Lucian parliament only. In agreement with the other Commonwealth Realms,
Saint Lucia changed to absolute primogeniture in 2011 at the Perth Agreement. This legislation 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 Saint Lucia’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. The heir apparent is Elizabeth II’s eldest
son, Charles, who has no official title outside of the UK, but is accorded his UK title, Prince
of Wales, as a courtesy title.==Legal role==
All laws in Saint Lucia are enacted with the sovereign’s, or the vice-regal’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. The Vice-Regals 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 cognizable. 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 Saint Lucia the legal personality of the
State is referred to as “Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Saint Lucia.” For example, if a lawsuit is filed against
the government, the respondent is formally described as Her Majesty the Queen in Right
of Saint Lucia. The monarch as an individual takes no more
role in such an affair than in any other business of government.==Royal presence==
Elizabeth II first visited Saint Lucia as part of her Caribbean tour of 1966. During her visit she opened the new Winban
Research Centre. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh travelled
on HMY Britannia. They were treated to traditional Saint Lucian
Dances and a firework display. In 1985 The Queen and Duke returned to Saint
Lucia: The Queen laid the foundation stone for the new Red Cross headquarters and visited
residential homes for the elderly and schools. Other members have also visited Saint Lucia:
In 1979 Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy represented the royal family during
the official independence celebrations. The Prince of Wales visited in 1989 to commemorate
the tenth anniversary of these celebrations. In 2012, the Earl and Countess of Wessex,
were part of independence anniversary celebrations.==References====
See also==Figurehead
Prime Ministers of Queen Elizabeth II List of Commonwealth visits made by Queen
Elizabeth II Monarchies in the Americas
List of monarchies

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