Crowned republic

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A crowned republic, or crowned democracy, is a form of constitutional monarchy where the monarch's role is commonly seen as largely ceremonial and where all the royal prerogatives are prescribed by custom and law in such a way that the monarch has limited discretion over governmental and constitutional issues.

The term has been used to informally describe governments of various realms, including Australia and the United Kingdom. It can refer to a constitutional monarchy where the sovereign personally exercises little discretion over the country's political or executive affairs, whether legally vested with ultimate executive authority or not.


As an informal term, "crowned republic" lacks any set definition as to its meaning, and the precise difference between a constitutional monarchy and a "crowned republic" remains vague. in consequence, different individuals have described various states as crowned republics for varied reasons. For example James Bryce wrote in 1921:

"By Monarchy I understand the thing not the Name i.e. not any State the head of which is called King or Emperor, but one in which the personal will of the monarch is constantly effective, and in the last resort predominant, factor of government. Thus, while such a monarchy as that of Norway is really a Crowned Republic, and indeed a democratic republic, monarchy was in Russia before 1917, and in Turkey before 1905, and to a less degree in Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy until 1918, an appreciable force in the conduct of affairs".[1]

As an example, some people have referred to Australia as a crowned republic,[2][3] with the Australian Republic Advisory Committee having described the country as a "crowned republic" and stating it is "a state in which sovereignty resides in its people, and in which all public offices, except that at the very apex of the system, are filled by persons deriving their authority directly or indirectly from the people" so "it may be appropriate to regard Australia as a crowned republic". [4]

The novelist and essayist H. G. Wells (1866-1946) used the term to describe the United Kingdom,[5][dead link] as did Alfred, Lord Tennyson in 1873 in an epilogue to Idylls of the King.[6]

In the Kingdom of Greece, the term Βασιλευομένη Δημοκρατία (Vasilevoméni Dimokratía, literally crowned democracy or crowned republic) became popular after the 23 October 1862 Revolution, which resulted in the introduction of the 1864 constitution.[7] The Constitution of 1952 enshrined the concept into law by declaring the form of government that of a Crowned Republic.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bryce 1921, p. 535
  2. ^ "FED: Australia already a crowned republic Reith - AAP General News (Australia) - HighBeam Research". Archived from the original on 2011-05-17.
  3. ^ "ACM Home - Australians for Constitutional Monarchy". Australians for Constitutional Monarchy.
  4. ^ Patmore 2009, p. 105
  5. ^ "Philosophy: H G Wells & the British Empire, Queen Elizabeth II, British Kingdoms".
  6. ^ "Idylls of the King, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson : To the Queen".
  7. ^ "Ελλάς (Πολίτευμα)" [Greece (Form of Government)]. (in Greek). Athens: Pyrsos Publishing. 1934. p. 239. Retrieved 2018-08-31. Through the Constitution of 1864, constitutional monarchy, or, as it had been described, "crowned democracy", or "democratic monarchy", was consolidated as the form of government in Greece.
  8. ^ "Σύνταγμα της Ελλάδος" [Constitution of Greece] (PDF). (in Greek). Athens: Hellenic Parliament. 1952. p. 6. Retrieved 2018-08-31. Article 21: The Form of Government of Greece is that of a Crowned Republic. All powers stem from the Nation and are exercised in accordance with the Constitution.