Polls show two thirds of voters support the monarchy, but support is less amongst those in London.
05 June 2022 12:00 AM

British Monarchy

05 June 2022

What is monarchy?

Monarchy is rule by an individual who is royal, and the system is usually hereditary. The term monarchy derives from the Greek, monos arkhein, meaning ‘one ruler’.

Do the public support the monarchy?

The argument that the UK should abolish the monarchy and become a republic remains at the fringes of mainstream political debate.

The British monarchy as an institution generally retains large public support and the Queen herself is perceived largely as above criticism. .

According to YouGov polls at the time of the Queen’s platinum jubilee, 62% of Britons think the country should continue to have a monarchy in the future (down from 67% in October 2020), with only 22% saying the country should move to having an elected head of state instead.

Support for the monarchy is strongest amongst Conservative voters (84%), and with those over 65 (77%). By comparison, only 48% of labour voters are in favour of the monarchy, with the lowest level of support being amongst those aged between 18 and 24 (33%).

Otherwise, support for the royal family remains almost identical amongst different social classes, albeit there were regional variations. In 2020, just 58% of Londoners supported the continuation of the monarchy.

The role of the British monarch

The British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is the sovereign and head of state of the UK and its overseas territories. The monarch, referred to in the abstract as ‘The Crown’, is the formal source of all legislative and executive power.

However in practice, the British political system is a ‘constitutional monarchy‘: the supreme power held by the monarch is largely ceremonial and formal, with actual political power exercised by others.

In the United Kingdom, the monarch has the following constitutional duties: the state opening of parliament; the appointment of the prime minister; the approval of parliamentary legislation; the approval of official appointments; the approval of secondary legislation through the privy council; representational duties as head of state such as paying and receiving state visits to and from other heads of state; receiving the credentials of foreign Ambassadors; and regular confidential audiences with the p

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