Talk:Commonwealth realm

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Table col. 4 - the footnote[edit]

The note is clearer in the version omitting "the monarch became head of state of the particular realm on this date as a result of one of these events".[1] All that is needed to make sense is "The monarch had previously been sovereign over the same territory by virtue of being monarch of the United Kingdom, or, in the case of Papua New Guinea, monarch of Australia." That could be reworded as: "The monarch had previously been sovereign over the same particular dominion, colony or other territory, by virtue of being monarch of the United Kingdom, or, in the case of Papua New Guinea, monarch of Australia." Qexigator (talk) 00:12, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Doesn't that rather leave one thinking, upon completion, "and then....?" That might be answered if the sentence went thusly: On the date shown, the sovereign ceased to be such over the particular Dominion, colony, or other territory by virtue of being monarch of the United Kingdom or, in the case of Papua New Guinea, monarch of Australia and thereafter reigned over the Dominion or Commonwealth realm specifically and solely as the legally distinct monarch of that realm. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 01:21, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Actually she had been head of state in each of her territories her subjects settled them, they were conquered in her name or they were ceded to her. Whether the queen acts on the advice of the British privy council, a Dominion privy council or rules by decree does not affect that. See "Ex parte Quark" (House of Lords, 2005). TFD (talk) 01:42, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
This is only a brief note, and the place for fuller details (and discussion) is the main ariticle for the particular territories, (including those at any time referred to as d/Dominion and or colony) or for more generic topics such as British Empire. The note is not the place for the arcaner (and sometimes debatable) points of usage of the terms from Tudor to modern times. The shorter wording proposed above reads implicitly: previously to "then", namely, the listed date. Qexigator (talk) 08:24, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
The statement that she was head of state by virtue of being sovereign over the U.K. is false. The House of Lords judgment explains this. You need a source to say that. TFD (talk) 09:07, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Given that "by virtue of" is not to be confused with "in right of", that may be a good point in its own way, TFD, but is not addressing the rewording proposed above: "The monarch had previously been sovereign over the same particular dominion, colony or other territory, by virtue of being monarch of the United Kingdom, or, in the case of Papua New Guinea, monarch of Australia." I see nothing in the admirable and oft cited reasoning of their Lordships in ex p. Quark (HL)[2] negating that. We know, per your own reasoning and theirs, that if the present monarch, Elizabeth, "had previously been sovereign over the same territory", that was "by virtue of being monarch of the United Kingdom"' and, as such, the crowned successor to the monarchy of England, of GB after the union with the monarchy of Scotland, and of UK after the union with the monarchy of Ireland; sovereignty over the colonies and other territories having been originated and continued, de jure and de facto, in the reigns of her predecessors in title. The validity of the instruction in ex p. Quark was by virtue of the Queen's sovereignty in the matter (to the exclusion of any other sovereign) which existed by virtue of her sovereignty in and over the UK, and as such she acted through the person holding office as UK SoS, who issued the Queen's instruction in ex p. Quark, when holding that office and function (and not otherwise), which he held by virtue of being a member of the UK cabinet appointed by the Queen on the advice of the UK prime minister (and not otherwise), and as such having personal and collective ministerial responsibilty as a member the cabinet, just as the Foreign Secretary who took responsibility and resigned when the Falklands Islands were invaded. In ex p. Quark Lord Bingham's para. 1 stated that the issue to be decided was whether the Secretary of State, when giving his (admittedly) unlawful instruction, was acting for the Queen in right of the United Kingdom (as Quark argued) or in right of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (as the Secretary of State argued). In 20. he concluded that the Court of Appeal's ruling, that the instruction issued by the Queen through her Secretary of State was issued by her in right of the United Kingdom, had not been correct. The difficulty of the point was shown by Collins J having decided against Quark, while the Court of Appeal had disagreed, holding that the instruction had been given by the Secretary of State on behalf of the Queen in right of the United Kingdom, and the Secretary of State was challenging that ruling before HoL. In his para. 9 Lord Bingham said it was now clear "whatever may once have been thought, that the Crown is not one and indivisible. The Queen is as much the Queen of New South Wales and other territories acknowledging her as head of state as she is of England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland or the United Kingdom. Thus the Secretary of State as a servant of the Crown exercises executive power on behalf of the Crown in whatever is, for purposes of that exercise of executive power, the relevant capacity of the Crown." The question which divided the parties was: "by what test is the relevant capacity of the Crown to be ascertained?". He reached his conclusion on the point after mentioning in 13. that the Crown in right of Alberta may be equated with the Government of Alberta, and on through a series of judicial rulings in precedent cases. To cap it all, Baroness Hale began her speech: "There is an air of complete unreality about this case. A British career diplomat, for the time being Governor of the Falklands Islands and Commissioner for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, would be minded to grant a licence to a company registered in the Falkland Islands to continue to fish ... in the territorial waters of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands... the Islands ceased to be a Falkland Islands dependency following the 1982 war to regain the Falkland Islands from Argentina. He ... is instructed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London not to grant the licence. The Foreign Office is relying instead on more strategic concerns for ... the maintenance of good relations with the other States which have interests there. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands have no permanent inhabitants other than the wildlife. They would probably not need a government at all were it not for the valuable fishing rights which surround them. Their government consists of the Commissioner and the Director of Fisheries... The Secretary of State who advises Her Majesty on the exercise of her powers in relation to the Islands is the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in the government of the United Kingdom. The legality of his actions can be challenged in the courts of the United Kingdom. To the extent that he is in any way democratically accountable for the instructions which he advises Her Majesty to give to the Commissioner, it is to the Parliament of the United Kingdom. In those circumstances, to maintain the strict separation between Her Majesty as Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Her Majesty as Queen of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands does indeed, as the Court of Appeal said, look like the 'abject surrender of substance to form'. I recognise that imperial law has had to draw that distinction, at least since the colonies began to attain full independence in the latter half of the 19th century." Qexigator (talk) 11:54, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
The statement is not false. Prior to 1931, every Dominion and colony was under the authority of the British parliament; in the British model, sovereignty is vested in the king in parliament; ergo, the Dominions and colonies were under the sovereignty of the UK. When the British parliament could no longer legislate for certain Dominions, those Dominions became sovereign kingdoms in their own right. No Lords judgement contradicts that fact. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 16:24, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
When territories were acquired by the king, he had the ability to legislate for them by direct order, for example by awarding charters or issuing royal proclamations. The king later chose to expand the power of Parliament to legislate for the empire ("imperial legislation"). Even then, the king retained power to appoint local judges and hear appeals. The same arrangement was set up for Man and CI, but no one claims that the Queen is head of state of the CI because she is head of state of the UK. Rather, HM has acquired both the U.K. and CI and has chosen to delegate some of her decisions to the British Parliament. In any case, you need a source that says the Queen was head of state in the territories by virtue of being Queen of the U.K. TFD (talk) 18:23, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't recall much of that in Maria Graham's Little Arthur’s History of England[3], or anywhere else. CI are the remnant of the Duchy of Normandy, held by its then duke who claimed the kingdom of England by right and was crowned after defeating his rival the pretender Harold, who was slain in battle defending his claim, and the mainland Duchy was lost by William's successor John; not much of a precedent for the acquisition by the monarch of the Isle of Man, or of possessions of the Crown in the days of Empire and later. If accuracy is called for, then let it be true to the known historical facts and the usages of constitutional law and practice. Qexigator (talk) 19:08, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

"CI are the remnant of the Duchy of Normandy"

-Not quite; Henry III of England relinquished all claim to both the Duchy of Normandy, both the territory and title; per the 1259 Treaty of Paris. He (Henry III) was allowed, per the Treaty; to retain all islands that he 'already held' (as well as the Duchy of Aquitaine, which was subsequently lost), which included the Channel Islands (retained to this day), but they do not in any way constitute a 'Duchy of Normandy', which at any rate (and because the French King had confiscated the Duchy), was granted -both title and lands- to various junior members of the French Royal Family up to the 1789 Revolution. The Queen thus holds the Islands in their own right, but has no specific title in right of either the Bailiwick of Guernsey, and the Bailiwick of Jersey.

JWULTRABLIZZARD (talk) 23:23, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

The head of state of Guernsey is the Duke of Normandy. It is quite clear. --Pete (talk) 23:34, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Given the meaning cited by TFD below for "by virtue of", it is unarguable (and has nowhere been credibly proposed in the course of public affairs or academically) that the Queen's title to sovereignty of the CI is by virtue of her succession to the UK Crown and not otherwise. Qexigator (talk) 00:23, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

"The head of state of Guernsey is the Duke of Normandy. It is quite clear"

-Not so. The Duchy was surrendered to the French Crown in 1259. More to the point, not only was succession to the Duchy governed by Salic Law meaning all the English monarchs from Henry VII onwards could not succeed to it even if they had held it (which they didn't), not only that, but we have a term in the English language for a female Duke; a woman who holds a Duchy in her own right: 'Duchess'. Furthermore, no English or British monarch ever used the title 'Duke (or Duchess) of Normandy' after 1259, either as part of their full titulary or in right of the Channel Islands. Any claim to the Islands was in right of the Duchy of Aquitaine from 1259 to 1340, from 1340 to 1422 and from 1423 to 1800 notionally as King of France (the English and British monarchs viewing themselves as such in English constitutional theory), and; after 1800, as King/Queen of the United Kingdom.

The Isle of Man, however; is somewhat different, as there was already an existing Lordship of Man that was surrendered to the Crown in 1765; and still exists as regards the Island, as it is not part of the UK and the rights and obligations of the Lord/Lady of Mann as regards the British Sovereign have not been changed or altered; it just happens that; after 1765, the Lord of Mann and the British Monarch happened to be the same person.

JWULTRABLIZZARD (talk) 13:34, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

While this is not more than a side issue, Mann has been under the sovereignty of the English monarchy from at least the 14c., not as part of the kingdom of England, nor of any other part of what later became the UK, but by policy more than mere happenstance. It was granted by the then king of England (Henry IV) to one of the English baronage (Henry Percy, 4th Baron Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland) in 1339.[4] Ever since sovereignty has passed with the Crown of England/GB/UK to successive monarchs, and not otherwise. From the Isle of Man Purchase Act 1765 ("Act of Revestment"), the title 'Lord of Mann' has been revested in the monarch. The origin of the monarch's sovereignty over Mann is radically different from the Channel Isles, but the monarchy's line of succession is identical, and by virtue of succession to the Crown. The Channel Islands are the offshore remnant of what had been been a part of the territory which William and certain of his succesors as kings of England had held as duke of Normandy, and the present title of the British monarchy to the CI is traceable to those dukes through Henry III. Qexigator (talk) 16:50, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

By the aforementioned Treaty of Paris; the Duchy and the title were given up by the English monarch. The English King was allowed to keep any islands that he 'already held possession of'; which included the Channel Islands. The Duchy of Normandy was subsequently granted to several minor French Royals, including (lastly) the son of Louis XVI. The Channel Islands were certainly not the 'remnant of the Duchy of Normandy' because the Duchy of Normandy continued to exist between 1289 and 1790, in which year it was divided up into departements. They were just the island territories that the King happened to hold after the Treaty of Paris, and have not been part of the 'Duchy of Normandy' since that date.

But the Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey, and the Bailiwick of Jersey certainly are similar in the fact that they are all not sovereign in their own right, but are subject to the sovereignty of the United Kingdom, albeit that Acts of the United Kingdom Parliament are only binding in Mann, Guernsey or Jersey if explicitly mentioned.

JWULTRABLIZZARD (talk) 17:43, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

Just wondering where this "English king" in 1763 comes from? George III never claimed to be King of England, though he said he was King of France for a bit. --Pete (talk) 17:52, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Good question. Oddly enough, according to this source[5] "The definitive Treaty of Peace and Friendship between his Britannick Majesty, the Most Christian King, and the King of Spain. Concluded at Paris the 10th day of February, 1763. To which the King of Portugal acceded on the same day." was made "In the Name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." Subjoined is a print of a document signed by the king of Castille and dated 10 December 1762 in which the Crown of England is mentioned as a party to preliminaries between the Crown of Castille "and that of France on the one part, and that of England and Portugal on the other". Qexigator (talk) 19:03, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
+ SYN could look for explanation to the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, a pact of mutual aid and succour in case of need. Qexigator (talk) 00:56, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Yes, JW, and in acts of UK parliament "British Islands" means the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. [1889]'[6]. The present monarch's title to CI is traceable to Henry III's treaty, and ascending upward through his predecessors to Duke William, first of the Norman kings of England. Qexigator (talk) 19:03, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

Qexigator: I'm not saying the British monarch doesn't trace their title to the islands back to that. What I am disputing is that any British monarch used the title 'Duke(or Duchess) of Normandy' between 1259 and today, or that the Channel Islands constitute in some way a notional 'Duchy of Normandy'; which they most certainly do not, and never have.

Please see here:

http://www.heraldica.org/topics/britain/royalstyle_uk.htm#Normandy

and here, from the Jersey Law Review:

https://www.jerseylaw.je/Publications/jerseylawreview/June99/le_rouai.aspx

JWULTRABLIZZARD (talk) 23:45, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

Fine, understood, no contest. Good links. Qexigator (talk) 00:25, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
The relevance of the example is that the royal family acquired the islands before they acquired England, hence they are not heads of state of CI by virtue of being heads of state of the U.K. The islands are similar to the overseas territories, inhabitants were considered British subjects, the queen appoints governors and is advised by the British Privy Council, Westminster may legislate, and appeals went to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council instead of the House of Lords.
Whether or not the sovereign is the Duke of Normandy is a side issue. There is no treaty, law or order that says the sovereign holds this title, but it is used sometimes for example on the palace website.[7]
TFD (talk) 00:18, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Regardless of what the palace website says (and there has been erroneous information posted on there before, for example as regards the Line of Succession), any claim the monarch is 'Duke of Normandy' is merely based on local sentiment (e.g. the 'Loyal Toast') and has absolutely no basis in law; i.e. reality.

But what is, as you say; most important, is that Crown Dependencies, like Overseas Dependencies, are subject to the sovereignty of the United Kingdom (and thus HM the Queen) and not in their own right. A British citizen does not require a passport to live or work in the Isle of Man, for example. There is no Manx Citizenship, a Manx person being a British Citizen and nothing else, and so on.

Thus, Elizabeth II, Lady of Mann, HM Queen in Right of the Bailiwick of Jersey, and HM Queen in Right of the Bailiwick of Jersey are all subject to the sovereignty of HM Elizabeth II, Queen of the UK, (and thus, also; the United Kingdom). All of the former three are legal persons in their own right, but they are not sovereign, but rather subject to the sovereignty of the United Kingdom (and, by extension, its Queen). Elizabeth II, for example, does not receive ambassadors as Lady of Mann in respect of the Isle of Mann.

JWULTRABLIZZARD (talk) 13:04, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

"...thus, also; the United Kingdom", or perhaps, having regard to the Westminster system, more precisely: "the Queen in Council and the Queen in Parliament". A Manx passport is issued not by an office or official of UK but by the Chief Secretary's Office of the Isle of Man Government; but we have the sagacious words of Baroness Hale to guide us in these increasingly abstruse affairs (in ex p. Quark, linked above): the responsible minister in the UK government, who has advised the Queen on the exercise of her powers in relation to a dependent territory, is, at least notionally, accountable for that advice to the UK parliament. Remarks above about the state of affairs after the Treaty of Paris (1259) respecting the title Duke of Normandy and the territory of the duchy make the lead for Duchy of Normandy look a bit iffy. Qexigator (talk) 15:20, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

The treaty held that "islands (if any) which the King of England should hold", he would retain "as peer of France and Duke of Aquitaine"

-so; if the Channel Islands are anything; per the 1259 Treaty of Paris; they are part of the Duchy of Aquitaine!

JWULTRABLIZZARD (talk) 13:04, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

British citizenship was only created in 1948. Under common law (Calvin's Case 1608), persons born in all the King's territories were subjects. Hence Calvin, born in Scotland, which was still a separate country, had the same rights in England as subjects born there. When the Hanoverians were kings of England, people born in Hanover were British subjects, although Hanover remained a separate country within the Holy Roman Empire.
There is no reason to believe that the queen of Jersey is subject to the Queen of the U.K. In Ex parte Quark, the Lords decided "whether the Secretary of State [of the UK], when giving his unlawful instruction, was acting for Her Majesty the Queen in right of the the United Kingdom or in right of SGSSI.... Such power and authority can be exercised only by the Queen, who in this context is (and is only) the Queen of SGSSI." De facto of course, the British government controls SGSSI. But they do it on the authority of the queen of SSGI, not on the authority of the queen of the UK.
TFD (talk) 16:24, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

JW: Without digging too deeply into this, and without a blow by blow account from that treaty on (and declining to enter into sophistical or speculative reasoning running on from doubtful premises, or to consider the effect of EU in passport related matters): given the passage of time and the happening of supervening events, including the end of the kingdom and nobility of France and the Duchy of Aquitaine, 1) one way or another the feudal obligations between the parties to that treaty, and their heirs and successors, have lapsed and have been of no practical effect for... a long time; 2) if the present sovereign, like her predecessors, with the advice or acquiesence of her UK government, and with popular support, chooses to re-assert or revive the title by tracing it up to and above duke William, can it be reasonable to maintain that certain British Islands in the English Channel are part of a non-existent Duchy of Aquitaine, a claim which is asserted by no one remotely representing that defunct entity, nor by the French Republic as successor to the ancien re'gime of the French monarchy? Moreover, it is not directly relevant to the "Commonwealth realm" article, nor, as far as I can see, indirectly, nor to other matters such as fishing rights or nationality or citizenship. Qexigator (talk) 17:01, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

I am not saying that the Channel Islands do constitute a 'non-existant Duchy of Aquitaine'; what I am saying is that whatever they do constitute (which is 'merely' the separate Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey, or, uh, 'the Channel Islands'); they most certainly do not constitute a 'Duchy of Normandy', headed by a 'Duke of Normandy' (who in any case would be a duchess)-the Loyal Toast on the Islands notwithstanding.

JWULTRABLIZZARD (talk) 17:59, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Rather more than a few quaint local traditions. The laws of Guernsey are written in the local dialect based on Norman French. They have their own ways of doing things quite distinct from those found on the mainland. We Wikipedians should be wary of trying to practise any sort of cultural genocide by fitting the real world into our own convenient categories. Our aim is to describe the world for the benefit of those seeking information, rather than promoting our own cultural biases. If the people of Guernsey believe in a Duchy of Normandy to the extent of crafting their civic structure in that form, and the Queen is happy to oblige, then obviously it is more than a quaint notion. --Pete (talk) 18:22, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
JW, may I add to Pete's wise advice by assuring you that it is not being said here that the British Islands off the shore of Normandy, France "constitute a 'Duchy of Normandy' ". Those islands at one time were held as part of the Duchy of Normandy, and the present monarch's title, as already mentioned, ascends up to William, the then duke, who, after the death of Edward the Confessor, entered England with his Norman barons and a papal blessing, quelled resistance and was crowned king in Westminster Abbey. William's title to the duchy derived from the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte, 911, made between Rollo and Charles the Simple, king of Western Francia, and one of the Carolingian dynasty. Has enough been said on this point? Qexigator (talk) 19:06, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Details per links suffice[edit]

The Table (listing "Current Commonwealth realms") has six columns, and one row for each of the 16 realms. Col. 1 links to the article for the country, col. 2 links to the article on the Monarchy of that country. The third col. gives a date for each country, with an explanatory footnote until it was removed "incorrect unsourced".[8] If the note remained blank, the inference would be that the date could be found in one or other of the two links for each of the listed realms; and if a footnote is inserted it should be consistent with such links, but need not re-cite sources in this footnote, which would be mere clutter adding nothing of much value. The information at the links for Australia, Canada, NZ, and the others appears to be sufficient for wording the note thus:

  • Revised version (proposed): Dates indicate the year of enactment of the Statute of Westminster (Canada), adoption by realm (Australia and New Zealand), or grant of independence (all others except the UK). The monarch had previously been sovereign over the same particular dominion, colony or other territory, by virtue of being monarch of the United Kingdom, or, in the case of Papua New Guinea, monarch of Australia.

Qexigator (talk) 15:56, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

That's what you proposed at the top of the preceeding section. My question and suggestion posed there still stands. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 16:24, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, Mies., but in view of another's distracting and demonstrably mistaken comment about what was supposedly false, and re Quark, it was necessary to make the proposal clearly visible to anyone else who has a look in here. My response to your comment was initially as above, 08:24, 13 November 2013; and reconsidering it now, I do not see yours as an improvement on the above Revised version (proposed). If you want me to spell out why, it is because yours is too wordy and remains too opaque for this little note (to my mind). Please do even better, if you can. Qexigator (talk) 16:52, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
If the relevant power had been a republic, then I would agree with you. Puerto Rico for example was ceded to the United States and the President of the United States became head of state by virtue of being head of state of the United States. However British overseas territories were claimed on behalf of the sovereign, not the U.K. TFD (talk) 16:54, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Quite so, my point as demonstrated above: "British overseas territories were claimed on behalf of the sovereign, not the U.K." Have a look at Baroness Hales's HoL speech. Regret relevance of POTUS and Puerto Rico escapes me, but seems way off topic. Qexigator (talk) 17:43, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
You wrote, "The monarch had previously been sovereign... by virtue of being monarch of the United Kingdom." But that is not true, because the territories had been claimed by or ceded to her, not the United Kingdom. I used the example of the U.S., because overseas territories have actually been ceded to them. TFD (talk) 17:58, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for being less cryptic. Now, could you help a little more, for the purposes of the proposed note for improving the article, by 1) sourcing that, and 2) explaining why that is anything more than a distinction without a difference? May be the point can be settled one way or the other. Qexigator (talk) 18:16, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The oldest CR, Barbados was claimed when an English captain wrote on a tree, "James, king of England and of this island."[9] The Treaty of Paris 1763, which ceded Quebec was agreed between the Kings of England and France. All other CRs were originally acauired in a similar manner In any case you need a source to include text, I do not need a source to question it.

We cannot say "by virtue of" because the legal position is that James who happened to be the King of England acquired territory outside England. Before he was King of England he was King of Scots, but did not become head of state of England "by virtue of" being King of Scots. And of course James governed all his colonies directly, without consulting parliament.

TFD (talk) 19:50, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Just a quibble, but in 1763 there was no such office as "King of England". --Pete (talk) 20:25, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
TFD: No further source is needed for the proposed note. With regard to your remarks about Barbados, Quebec, and all other CR, perhaps you have not grasped the simple point about English language usage for "by virtue of" (which is not subject to any one's diktat, but which can readily be ascertained by reference to any good dictionary), or of the constitutional practices connected with the monarchy of England/GB/UK; and the deficiency of the case represented by your comments is not well advanced by coyness about citing something in support. If you are right, you would not have much difficulty in producing something more credible. I know of no one who contends that James became monarch and sovereign of the kingdom of England by virtue of being King of Scots. Qexigator (talk) 20:36, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
"By virtue of" means "because of; on the grounds of; by reason of; due to; based on", according to Wiktionary.[10] The sovereign does not become head of state of state B because he is already head of state of state A, he becomes head of state of state B when it comes into his possession, either when another person or country cedes that property to him, or his agent acquires it on his behalf. Similarly the Queen does not own her corgis because she is Queen, but because she acquired them. You have no source for including this phrase and it is contrary to legal reality. To use another example, if you are a baron of X and you buy the barony of y, you are not now the baron of y "by virtue of" having already been the baron of x.
BTW how is the king of Scots becoming king of England any different from the his becoming king of Barbados?
TFD (talk) 22:30, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Perhaps the fact that he was actually styled 'King of Scots' (or 'of Scotland') as all or part of his Royal Style, whereas he was not, nor was any monarch prior to Elizabeth II, styled 'King/Queen of Barbados'

"The monarch had previously been sovereign... by virtue of being monarch of the United Kingdom."

-the difference being that the monarch of any monarchy is sovereign, in legal terms, they are the legal embodiment of the state; 'the Queen vs John Smith', treaties involving Britain for example are conducted in the name of 'Her Brittanic Majesty', rather than 'the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland'. In short, a monarch and the country over which they rule are; in legal terms, one and the same. The notion that any monarch of a given monarchy is sovereign shown in the Ancient Greek origin of the term; 'Monos Archos'; 'rule by one'

This is as opposed to any republic; where the people themselves are sovereign, the legal embodiment of the state; as opposed to the Head of State, which is why, for example, courts in the United States (a republic) are conducted thus: 'The People vs John Smith', 'We the people'; et cetera, and treaties in the name of a republic are conducted in the name of that republic as opposed to the Head of State of the republic, who is not sovereign, but the people are, for example a treaty involving say the United Kingdom and France would be: "the French Republic and his Brittanic Majesty agree to etc. etc." The notion of sovereignty by the people in a republic is reflected in the Latin origin of the term: 'Res Publica'; 'the people's concern (or rule)'.

JWULTRABLIZZARD (talk) 23:10, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Given that a contention about determining questions of the monarch's title to the Crown, or sovereignty over any particular territory or territories, is reduced to absurdity if its proponent resorts to analogy about private and personal ownership of pets such as corgis (or spaniels), or a fanciful notion about buying first one and then another "barony", these may be entertaining as sophistry, but suggest that nothing better is available. Qexigator (talk) 01:09, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
It is only absurd when viewed through modern (republican) concepts of the state. In the middle ages, there was no distinction between what the king owned personally and what he owned in trust for the state. There was no concept of the state. When William conquered England, it became his personal property and he divided the it among his "barons" as tenants, while retaining personal title. James I obtained Barbados as his personal property and leased it to his friends. It was only in 1766 that parliament passed the Declaratory Act which said, "That the said colonies and plantations in America have been, are, and of right ought to be, subordinate unto, and dependent upon the imperial crown and Parliament of Great Britain...." When the sovereign acquires personal property, whether land or chattels, it is his because it is his, not because he is king of the U.K. And if that property is a country, then he is lord or king of that country. TFD (talk) 02:40, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Incidentally, the U.K. showed little interest in the colonies, leaving them to the King as his own personal possessions separate from England, until late in the history of the Empire. TFD (talk) 03:37, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Those remarks are far from accurate and way off the point: the wording of the note as proposed above. The government of the colonies was of keen interest to many of the subjects of the Tudor and later monarchs (and at the time of the interregnal "Commonwealth"), and was exercised by the monarch's Privy Council according to the laws and customs of the constitution, the royal prerogative, and the politics and exigencies of the time. As to William's claim to the kingdom of England, suffice to say it is well enough known that the law of inheritance relating to land (real property, hereditaments) and movables (personalty) differ significantly, historically and now, and so do feudal and later titles of sovereignty and its lawful transmission. Qexigator (talk) 08:50, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
It would be helpful if you could provide a source for your views on constitutional law and the colonies. I do not see the relevance of your reference to the privy council. Certainly kings have always had advisors, but whereas today the sovereign acts on the advice of the PM who is responsible to parliament, in the past they chose their own advisors and were not require to follow their advice. TFD (talk) 18:38, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Not easily sourced in quite those terms; "relevance of reference to the privy council"? that is something which could be debated for months in the correspondence section of a specialist journal until closed by the editor, if s/he had ever let it get going. I accept that some may not agree at first sight, if ever, but it is now less than a side issue here. Cheers! Qexigator (talk) 19:25, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
BTW land was deemed to be the personal property of the king, so while a baron may own movable property, he held land in tenure from the king, which limited his ownership, hence the laws regarding land and moveable property differed. That restriction of course did not apply to the king. Anyway, the relevance of this discussion is that the wording said the king was head of state by virtue of being king of England, when in fact he was head of state by virtue of being king of the territory. TFD (talk) 19:46, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
You may know that it took a generation or two for the law of succession to a barony granted by William to become settled and later to be reformed by Edward I and to be developed in the Courts (King's Bench, Common Pleas, Exchequer, Chancery), H VIII's Statute of Uses etc, and so on to the tenures permitted under the 1925 legislation, and the abolishment of copyhold tenure, and the regulation of leasehold. This is an extensive subject with many detailed ramifications, both for practising lawyers and legal historians, which also affects the title of the monarch to the crown and the crown estate and the crown jewels, and the property held in a private capacity, not to mention the differences between the kingdoms of England and Scotland. While, in short and in brief, it could be said in a general way that the king was head of state by virtue of being king of the territory and not by virtue of being king of England, the reverse can also be a better way of putting it in some contexts. But then, the general reader would need sufficient explanation, while an advanced student might be left to sink or swim. And Wikipedia articles, of course, must aim to be both accurate and consistent, as well as avoiding UNDUE so far as possible. Qexigator (talk) 20:27, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Over time medieval law has evolved so that the U.K. operates in the same manner as a republic, but retains some of the language of a monarchy. So while British overseas territories are effectively territories of the U.K., they are held in the name of the queen. This is reflected in her title of queen of the U.K. and her other territories. If the U.K. became a republic, the territories would formally become possessions of the U.K., and the head of state of each territory would be the local governor, regardless of the source of his or her authority. And even if you do not accept what I say, you still need a source that says the queen became head of state of the territories because she was head of state of the U.K. TFD (talk) 21:22, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
If it has been proposed that the queen became head of state of a territory because she was head of state of the U.K. I must have missed it. Republics, like monarchies, take a variety of forms, whatever may have been hoped, predicted, speculated or prepared, and like monarchies are at any given time more, or less, flexible, elastic, politically and practically responsive, and adaptable to events and circumstance. Qexigator (talk) 22:04, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
You began this discussion thread by suggesting the wording "The monarch had previously been sovereign over the same particular dominion, colony or other territory, by virtue of being monarch of the United Kingdom, or, in the case of Papua New Guinea, monarch of Australia." Of course the existing text was substantially the same. TFD (talk) 23:07, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Not worded "head of state", which some may prefer, others not. Links are to Monarchy articles. Enough said. Qexigator (talk) 00:02, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Comments to date seem to show that there is no sufficient reason to alter the above-proposed wording for the Table footnote (subject to tweaking), which is based on the earlier version that was removed by an editor without acceptable reason. Qexigator (talk) 09:23, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

"medieval law has evolved so that the U.K. operates in the same manner as a republic,"

-nonetheless, courts, treaties, Acts of Parliament, hell, the whole process of government is still carried out in the monarch's name, rather than the country-the United Kingdom, itself, just as it is with every other monarchy on the planet and as opposed, at least constitutionally, to every republic bar none.

JWULTRABLIZZARD (talk) 23:52, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

Yes. Do you see the footnote (proposed below) or any other part of the article needing amendment in this respect? Qexigator (talk) 00:25, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Right, everything is carried out in the monarch's name. In substance though, power has devolved in the same manner as republics, so that when a CR becomes a republic, it does not cause substantial change to the laws and institutions. So while we may say "the U.K. acquired Quebec", the wording of the law is that the King acquired Quebec. So it is wrong to say the king became sovereign of Quebec "by virtue of" being King of GB. He became sovereign of Quebec by virtue of its having been ceded to him. TFD (talk) 00:38, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
But whatever the origin of a territorial title, such as lordship, overlordship, dominion or sovereignty, a successor in title holds by virtue of lawful succession (in the case of the Queen, from and after Edward the Confessor, and allowing for later events, such as deposition, usurpation, Tudor legislation, restoration and the Act of Settlement). In the case of the U.K. the Queen's title to all parts of the Union territory and the British Islands, is by virtue of the succession. However, now that the Commonwealth realms number 16, the question of a simultaneous alteration in the line of succession after her is being attended to under the legislative processes described in the Perth Agreement article. Speculative reasoning based on current republican theory or practise may be more misleading than helpful. But we can safely say that the Queen's title to the succession is not by virtue of descent from kings of Hanover. Qexigator (talk) 10:00, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Not following your argument. Are you saying that because the laws of succession in various countries are the same the means that the Queen is still queen in each realm by virtue of being Queen of the UK? TFD (talk) 20:08, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
If it was not clear, I am pushed into extended tautology. In respect of the British monarchy, a successor in title holds by virtue of lawful succession whatever is transmissible upon a demise of the crown. Charles I had succeeded to the crowns of two kingdoms, in each case by virtue of the laws of succession of each kingdom. The present Queen succeeded to the single crown of the United Kingdom, and to the sovereignty of the British Islands, and the sovereignty of the other realms and territories of which the previous monarch, George, her father, died possessed, under and by virtue of the law of succession then in force, and not otherwise. In the course of her reign, she has, upon the advice of responsible ministers of the Crown, assented to or approved certain legislative enactments or instruments such that there are now 16 Commonwealth realms of which she is the monarch, and in each realm its monarchy is transmissible to the next in line by virtue of the laws of succession. It can be said that her sovereignty in respect of each territory exists by virtue of her succession to the Crown of the United Kingdom in the first place, as the sine qua non of such other sovereignty as she now has anywhere. In principle, and subject to the course of events, any sovereignty transmitted to her lawful successor, including any arising in her reign de novo, will be by virtue of that person's succession and the succession of the Queen and of her predecessors in title, which it would be tedious to recite or enumerate. But in brief, if, at the death of king George he was king of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or any other territory, that same sovereignty was necessarily transmitted to the present Queen, in the absence of any act or event to the contrary. Qexigator (talk) 00:49, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
See "Ex parte Quark" (House of Lords, 2005), "the Crown is not one and indivisible. The Queen is as much the Queen of New South Wales and Mauritius and other territories acknowledging her as head of state as she is of England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland or the United Kingdom." I do not see how the fact that the King and Queen allowed Westminster to legislate for their succession both in England and their other territories meant that they had become sovereign there in virtue of being King and Queen of England. And of course, except for Australia, Canada and NZ, Westminster retains the power to determine succession in CRs. TFD (talk) 02:36, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps you have not observed that I have discussed ex p. Quark above, and perhaps you are unaware of the significance of questions of succession of title under English law, generally as well as in connection with the Crown, from the time of Edward the Confessor, on through the reforms of Edward I and later down to the present day, which I have also touched on above. Given all that, the point you are making here remains opaque to me, Qexigator (talk) 10:42, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

er...didn't Mauritius cease to be a Commonwealth Realm in 1992?

JWULTRABLIZZARD (talk) 12:08, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

What now, JW? All can see 1) that the article mentions that Mauritius became a republic in 1992 and the royal standard for Mauritius then became obsolete, and 2) Lord Bingham, in para. 9 (quoted above, and linked at previous quote[11]), was citing a case referring to Mauritius which was in a 1968 volume of the Law Reports. Qexigator (talk) 13:56, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Right. But then I didn't know that was in 1968.

JWULTRABLIZZARD (talk) 15:08, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Quexigator, I am aware of the succession laws. But you have not explained how they are relevant. The succession laws of the Crown in the U.K., SGSSI and the Channel Islands are the same. How does that make the Queen sovereign of any of those territories "by virtue of" being sovereign of any other? The succession to two baronies may be the same if the baron of each is the same person. That does not make the baron a baron in the second barony by virtue of being baron of the first.
Sorry, JWULTRABLIZZARD, I should have mentioned that the Mauritius case was from 1968 - I do not know if it referred to the colony or CR. And the NSW case was from 1871, before the Australian federation was formed.
TFD (talk) 17:22, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
TFD: Refer to my comment above specifically distinguishing Charles I and two kingdoms. Qexigator (talk) 08:06, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
If I understand you correctly, Charles I became king of Scotland and of England under separate laws, therefore they were separate kingdoms. But while he became king of the "realm of England" under the Succession Act 1543, the colonies were not part of the realm, as confirmed in the Act of Settlement 1701. Furthermore, the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 had said that the kings of England "be alwayes Kings of Ireland", yet the crown of Ireland would not be merged with the crown of Great Britain until the Acts of Union 1800.
I still do not see your reasoning. If someone transfers two properties to you in the same will, they do not become one properties and you do not become owner of one by virtue of being owner of the other. And if you ask the managers of one property to manage the second, that does not merge the two properties either.
And of course the House of Lords confirmed that the crown in each territory was separate and not subordinate to any other crown.
TFD (talk) 18:19, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
It is sufficiently apparent that the reasoning concerns succession after an alteration has occurred on merger or otherwise. It may be you are being led astray by your own reasoning, which remains opaque to me. Qexigator (talk) 22:19, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Then I do not know what you are arguing. TFD (talk) 23:07, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Which?[edit]

Which version is better suited as footnote?

  • longer: Dates indicate the year of enactment of the Statute of Westminster (Canada), adoption by realm (Australia and New Zealand), or grant of independence (all others except the UK). The monarch had previously been sovereign over the same particular dominion, colony or other territory, by virtue of being monarch of the United Kingdom, or, in the case of Papua New Guinea, monarch of Australia.
  • shorter: Dates indicate the year of enactment of the Statute of Westminster (Canada), adoption by realm (Australia and New Zealand), or grant of independence (all others except the UK). The monarch had previously been sovereign over the same particular dominion, colony or other territory, by virtue of being monarch of the United Kingdom, or, in the case of Papua New Guinea, monarch of Australia.
  • shortest: Dates indicate the year of enactment of the Statute of Westminster (Canada), adoption by realm (Australia and New Zealand), or grant of independence (all others except the UK). The monarch had previously been sovereign over the same particular dominion, colony or other territory, by virtue of being monarch of the United Kingdom, or, in the case of Papua New Guinea, monarch of Australia.

Qexigator (talk) 11:41, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

Note, the current version uses the term "head of state" and mentions "as a result of one of these events[citation needed]"

  • Current version[12]: Dates indicate the year of enactment of the Statute of Westminster (Canada), adoption by realm (Australia and New Zealand), or grant of independence (all others except the UK); the monarch became head of state of the particular realm on this date as a result of one of these events[citation needed]. The monarch had previously been sovereign over the same territory by virtue of being monarch of the United Kingdom, or, in the case of Papua New Guinea, monarch of Australia.

Qexigator (talk) 12:08, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

  • shortest - it's only a note, we don't want to put anything major in a note to a heading in a table. --Pete (talk) 16:58, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
  • shortest: agree, in principle and for this case specifically. Qexigator (talk) 17:47, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
+ per TFD below. Qexigator (talk) 19:09, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
  • shortest It avoids the incorrect statement that the monarch became head of state of the realm on that date. However, even that version is problematic, because it is original research. We know for example that the statute of Westminster was passed in 1931, we do not know why that is relevant. The requirement to be a CR is not independence but membership in the Commonwealth, which can only be acquired upon achieving independence. Also, the date a realm adopted the Statute is irrelevant. The palace website lists NZ as "1931". TFD (talk) 18:51, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

In view of above, let us now settle for shortest version, as the least contentious and only one favoured to date. This could be tweaked or expanded if consensus emerges for something else. Qexigator (talk) 12:33, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Well, I realise that I am currently in the minority here, but I don't see any of the tree options as optimal. Both of the latter two lead me back to the same issue I've raised twice already: It leaves readers asking: So what? That leaves the first option, but it requires some tweaking. So, I guess my vote is for the current version, but with amendments. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 17:02, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Well, you have always been welcome to propose a tweak in the customary way of collaborative and friendly editing. Wouldn't that be better than claiming the supposed benefit of "status quo" for an admittedly defective version? Your "So what?" point was not unanswered Qexigator (talk) 17:21, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
But I did: On the date shown, the sovereign ceased to be such over the particular Dominion, colony, or other territory by virtue of being monarch of the United Kingdom or, in the case of Papua New Guinea, monarch of Australia and thereafter reigned over the Dominion or Commonwealth realm specifically and solely as the legally distinct monarch of that realm. It can even be altered again to incoporate your 'shortest' wording above: Dates indicate the year of enactment of the Statute of Westminster (Canada), adoption of it by the realm (Australia and New Zealand), or grant of independence (all others except the UK). Thereafter, the sovereign reigned over the Dominion or Commonwealth realm specifically and solely as the legally distinct monarch of that realm. Perhaps the last few words could do with additional work.
You do know retaining the status quo until consensus is found to change it is a part of the normal editing cycle, right? You'll note WP:TALKDONTREVERT asks editors whose bold edits have been reverted to either leave what was there first in place and discuss or try an alternate edit, not to revert back to their favoured new composition. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 19:15, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Your view appears to be in conflict with current legal opinion as explained by the House of Lords. Do you have any sources that support your view? TFD (talk) 06:59, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
It appears to be in conflict with your personal interpretation of the legal opinion explained by the House of Lords. Qex has already sufficiently debunked said interpretation. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 17:20, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I did not "interpret" the Lords, I quoted them, "the Crown is not one and indivisible. The Queen is as much the Queen of New South Wales and Mauritius and other territories acknowledging her as head of state as she is of England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland or the United Kingdom." They quoted Denning, who wrote, "independence, or the degree of independence, is wholly irrelevant to the issue" You interpreted that to mean that the Crown became divisible when Canada became independent. I would appreciate if you could explain how your opinion is consistent with the judgment. TFD (talk) 06:22, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Another short version[edit]

In view of above, please consider this further revised proposal for the footnote in subsection below.

  • Dates indicate the year independence was granted, except as annotated (and as in linked articles for Australia, Canada and New Zealand).

Qexigator (talk) 19:38, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

+ It has become apparent that the present version[13] is not regarded as well suited to the footnote, nor is what Mies. has proposed above. Another way would be to let Canada and NZ each be annotated, like Australia, in terms consistent with their linked articles and valid sources there. Perhaps Canada's could be: "Year of enactment of the Statute of Westminster"; Australia's: "Year of adoption of Statute of Westminster, retroactive to 1939"; NZ's "? ? ?". Qexigator (talk) 01:44, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

It seems more likely that the relevance of the date was that if was when each realm became a member of the Commonwealth, assuming that the 1931 Act created the Commonwealth. But it would be good to have a source. TFD (talk) 08:40, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

further revised[edit]

Given that - 1) we have a Date column only because different years are attributable to each realm in the list, 2) the note for the box at the top of the column should be the barest minimum to indicate why years differ, and 3) there is sufficient explanatory content in the lead - the following should suffice as the note:

  • Dates after 1952 (the year of the Queen's accession) indicate the year independence was granted when the state country became independent and a Commonwealth member; before 1952 the dates indicate the year when the Statute of Westminster had been adopted.

That version would need no further explanatory wording.

Qexigator (talk) 10:23, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Isn't it more relevant that that was the date they joined the Commonwealth? Also, there is no date for the U.K. TFD (talk) 17:24, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
"joined C..." Now revised as above. UK "n/a" per existing note: no problem. Qexigator (talk) 23:20, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

In view of discussion to date on this page, which wording better suits the column 4 footnote? For comparison, here is the current version overlaid with above proposed version (which is sufficient to indicate why different years are attributed and avoids surplus or disputable wording):

  • Dates after 1952 (the year of the Queen's accession) indicate when the country became independent and a Commonwealth member; before 1952 the dates indicate the year when the year of enactment of the Statute of Westminster had been adopted. (Canada), adoption by realm (Australia and New Zealand), or grant of independence (all others except the UK).[further explanation needed]

Qexigator (talk) 10:18, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

What's the significance of the adoption of the Statute of Westminster? --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 17:24, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
In this note, Statute of Westminster is mentioned per specific annotations and lead. Qexigator (talk) 17:43, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't see where the note indicates the SoW is mentioned like that. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 17:56, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
How could it be plainer (without verbosity unsuited here)? "The Statute of Westminster 1931 provided for the then Dominions, named therein as Canada, Australia, New Zealand....to have full or nearly full legislative independence as equal members of the British Commonwealth of Nations ...." (lead). Australia "1942 *Adoption of Statute of Westminster was declared retroactive to 1939". Canada "1931". NZ "1947". Those dates have been generally accepted; is any now disputed? Qexigator (talk) 18:25, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
The problem isn't a need to make the note plainer. It's an absence of conclusion: This is the date the Statute of Westminster was enacted. Well, what of it? The note doesn't say. What you quote is from the lead; so, I'm assuming you're assuming anyone who reads the note doesn't need the note to say what the date of enactment of the Statute of Westminster matters, since they will already have read the lead in detail and remember precisely what the Statute of Westminster meant and means to the Dominions/Commonwealth realms. Is that correct? --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 20:41, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, of course. No problem. Qexigator (talk) 20:50, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
The significance of the Statute is that it "legalized" the Commonwealth, i.e., gave legal recognition to the Commonwealth. See "The Commonwealth" (pp. 558 ff.).[14] Hence that can be seen as the date the dominions joined the U.K. as members, which made them "Commonwealth Realms." The fact that they had de facto independence before and some dominions would not have de jure independence until later is entirely irrelevant to the date they became Commonwealth Realms, which is achieved through becoming a member of the Commonwealth. Conceivably a country could attain independence, retain the monarchy and not become a member of the Commonwealth. TFD (talk) 19:10, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Is it proposed that op.cit. is agreeable with 1) the lead, and 2) the dates in the column, or that either must be revised? That essay usefully examines the three overlapping phases of nomenclature, but note that "legalized" is being used there stylistically, and no more precisely than "'consecrated'" and "enshrined". Anyhow, this may be no more than a red herring: I don't see the article mentioning a date when "they became Commonwealth Realms". Qexigator (talk) 20:50, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
If the date in the palaces list of Commonwealth Realms does not indicate when they became Commonwealth Realms, then what do you think its purpose? And if it has no purpose, then why should we include it? TFD (talk) 21:05, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Please identify which date and where in the article is the one you mention in connection with the palace website. Qexigator (talk) 21:46, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
See the "Date" field in the chart in Current Commonwealth realms. See the top of this discussion thread which you started by writing "we have a Date column." These dates are taken from the palace's page "Commonwealth members". Why else would we list "1931" for Canada, Australia and NZ?
The details on the palace website under date make it clear it refers to membership. There is no date for the UK because since the Commonwealth was the continuator of the Empire, the UK was already a member. Fiji "rejoined in 1997 after 10 year lapse", South Africa "withdrew in 1961, rejoined in 1994", Mozambique is listed as 1995, although since it was never a colony it never received independence from the UK but received independence from Portugal in 1975.
TFD (talk) 23:01, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Given the lead why is that objectionable? What is proposed instead? A date before 1931? Qexigator (talk) 23:16, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I suggest if we chose to use dates, we use the palace website, and avoid the irrelevant details about when the 1931 statute was received in each realm. TFD (talk) 23:24, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

If so, the year for Australia, Canada and NZ would all be 1931, Australia's annotation would be omitted, and the revised overlay would be:

  • Dates indicate the year of enactment of the Statute of Westminster, or after 1952 (the year of the Queen's accession) when the country became independent and a Commonwealth member. (Canada), adoption by realm (Australia and New Zealand), or grant of independence (all others except the UK).[further explanation needed]

Qexigator (talk) 23:51, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

What about, "Date indicates the year each realm became a member of the Commonwealth." TFD (talk) 06:32, 19 November 2013 (UTC)


Further revised overlay:

  • Dates indicate the year each country became a member of the Commonwealth, as from the year of enactment of the Statute of Westminster or the year of the country's independence. (Canada), adoption by realm (Australia and New Zealand), or grant of independence (all others except the UK).[further explanation needed]

Qexigator (talk) 08:12, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Don't forget the UK. TFD (talk) 08:36, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Do you propose rescinding the "n/a" footnote? If so, why? What date? Qexigator (talk) 08:56, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
  • + If Australia, Canada and NZ each became a member of the Commonwealth, as from the year of enactment of the Statute of Westminster, and given that it is undisputed that the UK has necessarily been one of the Commonwealth realms from the start and continuously thereafter, the year for Australia, Canada, NZ and UK would all be 1931, and the annotations for Australia and UK would be omitted. The lead has sufficiently explained that the term "Commonwealth realm" was not then the normal, standard terminology in official or popular use.

Qexigator (talk) 13:19, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

+ For reliieving any lingeing doubts, see UK CIVIL SERVICE NATIONALITY RULES, GUIDANCE ON CHECKING ELIGIBILITY,[15] p.3 "In summary, only nationals from the following countries (or associations of countries) are generally eligible for employment in the Civil Service: the United Kingdom (and British protected persons), the Republic of Ireland, the Commonwealth, the European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland and Turkey (1)>.The countries of the Commonwealth are listed in Annex B.[[16]] TERRITORIES FORMING PART OF THE COMMONWEALTH. This is a 2-column table, with one headed "Members of the Commonwealth" and the other "Date of Membership" (as at September 2011). Top of the list is UK 1931 (Statute of Westminster). Others include Australia 1931 (Statute of Westminster), Canada 1931 (Statute of Westminster), New Zealand 1931 (Statute of Westminster). Qexigator (talk) 20:12, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

endpoint?[edit]

Given the top of the "further revised" subsection as a terminus a quo (Date column only because different years are attributable to each realm; the note should be the barest minimum;[17] sufficient explanatory content is in the lead) the proposal now reached may be at or near the terminus ad quem:[18]

  • Dates indicate the year each country became a member of the Commonwealth, as from the year of enactment of the Statute of Westminster or the year of the country's independence.

Qexigator (talk) 15:49, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Statute of Westminster[edit]

The article opens with: "A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state that is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, has Queen Elizabeth II as its reigning constitutional monarch, and has a royal line of succession in common with the other realms." Shouldn't the definition somehow mention the Statute of Westminster, that is part of the constitutional law of all CR's and basically defines what a CR is? Gerard von Hebel (talk) 13:37, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

The Statute of Westminster 1931 was only part of the constitutional law of Canada, Australia and NZ. TFD (talk) 16:41, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
The article on the Statute of Westminster 1931 states however that: "The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and identical but separate versions of it are now domestic law within each of the other Commonwealth realms." Which is basically what I'm trying to bring across here. Apart from the question of what is or is not constitutional law, this piece of legislation is basic to what a CR is. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 17:32, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
That article is wrong and the statements are not sourced. The Statute said that the UK could not legislate for the Dominions without their permission. In the 1980s, Westminster ceded all power to legislate for them. However it ceded powers to legislate for all the other Commonwealth Realms when they became independent. The Statute also says that the Dominions had to agree to the succession laws, but no agreement is required from any other Commonwealth Realm (see Perth Agreement). TFD (talk) 17:52, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
GvH- The first paragraph of the lead gives the defining attributes of the realms as at today. The next paragraph briefly describes the sequence of events resulting in there now being sixteen realms, as from the 1931 Statute. That seems clear enough. How would you propose to reword the first paragraph to include the Statute, taking into account TFD's comment (17:52, 11 September)? Qexigator (talk) 18:01, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Basically, legislation already on the statute book, remained in force after the SoW came into place and also after the later CR's became independent, if those Dominions or CR's agreed to that. That the UK can't legislate for the CR's anymore is another matter altogether. My idea was simply to add: "as established by the Statute of Westminster", since I don't see how that piece of legislation is not binding for each CR. Every CR is at liberty to accept pieces of UK legislation in whatever form (treaty or domestic law remaining on the book) they see fit. On what else for instance is the parallel succession to the throne based? Gerard von Hebel (talk) 18:17, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
The words "established by the Statute of Westminster" would not exactly fit, and, even if accepted for the lead as close enough, would tend to obscure more than clarify the present position. It is not so stated in the body of the article, but this is: ...with the British proclamation of Elizabeth II's accession to the throne in 1952, the phrases Commonwealth realm and Head of the Commonwealth became established.... ; and this: The process of separation was completed when the residual rights of the British parliament in the affairs of Canada, Australia and New Zealand established by the Statute of Westminster were repealed in the 1980s. Qexigator (talk) 18:36, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Legislation of the imperial parliament remained in effect in all former colonies, including the states of the U.S., after they became independent. So for example the Limitation Act 1623 remained in force in Maryland, and has subsequently been substantially amended, although some of the original wording remains. Can you please refer to anything in the 1931 Statute you think applies to any of the Commonwealth Realms except Canada, Australia and NZ. (The Wikipedia article has a link to the Statute.) TFD (talk) 18:56, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Quexigator, I think you are referring to changes in terminology that accompanied the evolving position of the monarch in his or her different Realms (or Dominions), like introducing the word "Realm" or the adaptations made to the royal title, or even changes in how further legislation came about and what legislation was accepted where. That's not what I mean, because these changes were a consequence of, or made possible only by, the provisions of the Statute. These were not changes that defied, changed or did away with the Statute itself. They just added to what was already there! Gerard von Hebel (talk) 19:57, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
TFD, The Statute is the founding document of the Commonwealth, to which the members, by what was by then international agreement, subscribed. Some even made it part of their constitutional law. Has it been revoked by later legislation or international agreement? Are members that joined later somehow not subscribed to it? I do know changes were made for Republics that wanted to join after 1950, but CR's are still part of the makeup of that international organization. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 20:01, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
It is not the founding document of the Commonwealth. It became part of the constitutional law of Canada, Australia and NZ upon its reception in those nations and remains so. But it does not and has never applied to any nation that attained independence after its enactment. Instead of making unsubstantiated statements, can you provide sources for what you believe. TFD (talk) 20:09, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

I'm indeed just stating my opinion on the talk page just like you are. Just discussing. I wonder then TFD, what makes the parallel succession to the throne (among other things) legal in Tuvalu, Grenada or Jamaica? Gerard von Hebel (talk) 20:18, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

In all those countries the head of state as identified as Elizabeth II and her successors. IOW whoever happens to be head of state of the UK, even a president, is recognized as king or queen in those countries. That is in the constitutions of each of those countries, and also Canada, Australia and NZ. However the 1931 Statute says, "any alteration in the law touching the Succession to the Throne...shall hereafter require the assent as well of the Parliaments of all the Dominions as of the Parliament of the United Kingdom:" Accordingly the assent of the parliaments of the UK, Canada, Australia and NZ is required to change the succession laws. That anyway is the legal reasoning accepted by the Perth Agreement. TFD (talk) 20:34, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
So, what you're saying is basically that parallel succession is only lawfully established in the UK, Canada and NZ, and they can decide about it alone, and thet the other CR's just follow. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 21:08, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, I've learned something today which I was hitherto unaware of. Thanks TFD and Quexigator! Although I must add, that if the UK is bound by the Statute, it follows that states that simply accept the monarch of the UK 'qualitate qua' as their monarch, cannot by definition be entirely free from it's provisions either. Parallel succession remains dependent on the provisions of the Statute indirectly for those countries as well, I would argue! Gerard von Hebel (talk) 21:25, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
One wonder how the Scots will go about this if they vote Yes on the 18th of September. Will they return to their own succession law as it was before 1707 (then already parallel to the Act of settlement but separate from it, I forgot what their act was called), or will they go about it in the same way as the newer CR's. They might not even join the Commonwealth but still retain the Queen.... Gerard von Hebel (talk) 21:35, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Glad to help. The laws governing the independence of former territories is complex and issues tend to be resolved when they come up. The SNP says that Scotland will remain in the Commonwealth with the Queen as head of state. But I do not know if it will be a continuation of the crown of the UK or of Scotland. I suspect it will be the latter and they can in any case adopt whatever succession laws they like. Likewise whether or it would be considered a Commonwealth Realm, a Commonwealth Monarchy (as member of the Commonwealth that has a different crown) or something else. TFD (talk) 00:37, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that would be an interesting question. If it comes about at all! I do feel that all the options you mention are on the table, even if perhaps few realize it. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 01:20, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Cell colours[edit]

Is there a reason for the grey cell colour in the first column? It seems it has been that way for a while but I can't see any particular reason for it design-wise, and it reduces readability. -- Chuq (talk) 04:02, 31 October 2014 (UTC)