Australian constitutional law has provided since Federation in that the monarch of the United Kingdom is also monarch in Australia. Australia is thus one of the Commonwealth realms , 16 independent countries that share the same monarch. The monarch of Australia is the same person as the monarch of the 15 other Commonwealth realms within the member Commonwealth of Nations ; however, each country is sovereign and independent of the others. Likewise, on all matters relating to any Australian state, the monarch is advised by the Ministers of the Crown of that state. In the High Court of Australia held in Sue v Hill that, at least since the Australia Act , 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.
Typically, the monarch is styled King or Queen of Australia and is addressed as such when in Australia or performing duties on behalf of Australia abroad. The sovereign is the only member of the Royal Family to have a title established through Australian law; other members are accorded a courtesy title , which is the title they have been granted via Letters Patent in the United Kingdom.
Prior to , the title had simply been the same as that in the United Kingdom. The current form of the title is the result of occasional discussion and an eventual meeting of Commonwealth representatives in London in December , 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. 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.
Australia does not pay any money to the Queen, either for personal income or to support the royal residences outside Australia. Usually only when the Queen or other members of the Royal Family is in Australia does the Australian government support her. The Federal and State governments pay for them and their private entourage which can include hairdressers and nannies private flights, accommodation, meals, phone calls, minibar bills, and the presents they give out. 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.
Succession is according to British laws that have been incorporated into Australian law, both federal and state: In that spirit, the Perth Agreement of among the Commonwealth realms committed all of them to amending the line of succession to follow absolute primogeniture for those in the Royal family born in and after As part of the Agreement, Australia, along with the other realms, repealed the Royal Marriages Act , which gave precedence to male heirs and excluded from succession a person married to a Roman Catholic.
Upon a demise of the Crown the death or abdication of a sovereign , it is customary for the accession of the new monarch to be publicly proclaimed by the Governor-General on behalf of the Federal Executive Council , which meets at Government House, Canberra , after the accession. Parallel proclamations are made by the governors in each state. Following an appropriate period of mourning , the monarch is also crowned in the United Kingdom, though this ritual is not necessary for a sovereign to reign; for example, Edward VIII was never crowned, yet was undoubtedly king during his short time on the throne.
After an individual ascends the throne, he or she typically continues to reign until death. There is no provision in the law for a monarch to unilaterally abdicate; the only Australian monarch to abdicate, Edward VIII, did so as a consequence of abdicating as monarch of the United Kingdom, with which the Australian government had agreed.
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The legal personality of a component of the Australian state is sometimes expressed by reference to the sovereign. In criminal prosecutions, the state as a party is ordinarily named as "The Queen"—for instance, "The Queen v Crook". However, the prosecutors themselves are referred to as representing "the Crown". In the same sense, all state lands are called Crown land , state-owned buildings and equipment are called Crown-held property , and the copyright for all government publications is called Crown copyright. Where it is not obvious whether the legal personality concerned is the Commonwealth, one of the Australian States or some other state entity, the reference is specified as "The Queen or the Crown in right of" the entity concerned, such as "the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales".
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 In December , 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 , when a pledge of allegiance to "Australia" and its values was introduced. The High Court found, in , 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.
The constitution does not directly mention the term " head of state ". The Constitution defines the Governor-General as the monarch's representative. The few functions which the Queen does perform such as appointing the Governor-General are done on advice from the prime minister.
While current official sources use the description "head of state" for the Queen, in the lead up to the republic referendum in , Sir David Smith proposed an alternative explanation, that Australia already had a head of state in the person of the Governor-General, who since has invariably been an Australian citizen.
This view has some support within the group Australians for Constitutional Monarchy. Australia has a written constitution based on the Westminster model of government, with some federal elements modelled on the United States Constitution and a distinct separation of powers. It gives Australia a parliamentary system similar to the other Commonwealth realms, wherein the role of the Queen and Governor-General is both legal and practical. The sovereign of Australia is represented in the federal sphere by the Governor-General—appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister of Australia —and in each state by a governor —appointed by the monarch upon the advice of the relevant state premier.
In Australia's constitutional system, one of the main duties of the Governor-General is to appoint a Prime Minister, who thereafter heads the Cabinet and advises the Governor-General on how to execute his or her executive powers over all aspects of government operations and foreign affairs. This means that the monarch's and the viceroy's roles are primarily symbolic and cultural, acting as a symbol of the legal authority under which all governments and agencies operate.
In practice, ministers direct the use of the royal prerogative that resides in the monarch, which includes the privilege to declare war, maintain peace, and direct the actions of the Australian Defence Force. The Governor-General is empowered by the constitution to summon and prorogue parliament , and call elections ; however the powers are almost never exercised without advice from the Prime Minister. Still, the royal prerogative belongs to the Crown, and not to any of the ministers and the Governor-General may unilaterally use these powers in exceptional constitutional crisis situations,  such as when, during the Australian constitutional crisis , Sir John Kerr dismissed Prime Minister Gough Whitlam , on the occasion of a stalemate over government funding between the House of Representatives and the Senate.
There are also a few duties which must be specifically performed by the Queen.
These include signing the appointment papers of Governors-General, the confirmation of the creation of awards of Australian honours ,   and the approval of any change in her Australian title. In accordance with convention , the Governor-General, to maintain the stability of government, must appoint as prime minister the individual most likely to maintain the support of the House of Representatives: The Queen is informed by her viceroy of the acceptance of the resignation of a prime minister and the swearing-in of a new prime minister and other members of the ministry , and she holds audience with her Australian ministers where possible.
Members of various executive agencies and other officials are appointed by the Governor-General, including High Court Judges.
Ministers and parliamentary secretaries are also appointed to the Federal Executive Council. Public inquiries are also commissioned by the Crown through a Royal Warrant , and are called Royal Commissions. A casual vacancy in the Senate is filled by an appointee from the same political party by a state parliament or state governor.
The royal prerogative also extends to foreign affairs: The Governor-General, on behalf of the Queen, also accredits Australian High Commissioners and ambassadors, and receives diplomats from foreign states. In addition, the issuance of passports falls under the royal prerogative, and, as such, all Australian passports are issued in the name of the Governor-General as the monarch's representative.
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.
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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. In the United Kingdom, the sovereign is deemed the fount of justice.
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]. 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.follow url
In accordance with the Australia Act , the Queen has the power to appoint, on the advice of the relevant state premier , a governor in each of the Australian states, who themselves appoint executive bodies, as well as people to fill casual Senate vacancies , if the relevant state parliament is not in session. The state governors continue to serve as the direct representatives of the Queen, in no way subordinate to the Governor-General, and they carry out on her behalf all of the Queen's constitutional and ceremonial duties in respect of their respective state.
The Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory resemble states in many respects, but are administered directly by the Commonwealth of Australia; an administrator , appointed by the Governor-General upon the advice of the Commonwealth government, takes the place of a state governor in the Northern Territory. The Australian Capital Territory has no equivalent position. Members of the Royal Family have been present in Australia since the late s, 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 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 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.
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 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. The monarchy is presently 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. 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.
Until its new constitution went into force in , 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. 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.
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. Section 68 of the Australian Constitution says: The development of a distinctly Australian monarchy came about through a complex set of incremental events, beginning in , when Captain James Cook , in the name of, and under instruction from, King George III , claimed the east coast of Australia.
After Queen Victoria 's granting of Royal Assent to the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act on 9 July , which brought about Federation in , whereupon the six colonies became the states of Australia , the relationship between the state governments and the Crown remained as it was pre 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 on, which resulted in the Balfour Declaration of , 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.
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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. Her son Prince Charles attended school in Australia in The sovereign did not possess a title unique to Australia until the Australian parliament enacted the Royal Styles and Titles Act in ,  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.
It was with the passage of the Australia Act in , 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 was that if, in , 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.
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It was around the same time [ clarification needed ] that a discussion on the matter of Australia becoming a republic began to emerge, later culminating in the Australian republic referendum , which was defeated by 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.
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