Talk:Monarchy of the United Kingdom

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Out of place statement?[edit]

Maybe it's just me but I fail to see the relevance of the last statement in this list to the "Constitutional role" section:

"Thus the acts of state done in the name of the Crown, such as Crown Appointments,[7] and even if personally performed by the Monarch, such as the Queen's Speech and the State Opening of Parliament, depend upon decisions made elsewhere:

  • Legislative power is exercised by the Crown in Parliament, by and with the advice and consent of Parliament, the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
  • Executive power is exercised by H.M. Government, which comprises Her Majesty's Ministers, primarily the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. They have the direction of the Armed Forces of the Crown, Her Majesty's Civil Service and other Crown Servants such as the Diplomatic and Secret Services (the Queen receives certain foreign intelligence reports before the Prime Minister does[8]).
  • Judicial power is vested in H.M. Judges, who by constitution and statute[9] have judicial independence of the Government
  • The Church of England, of which the Monarch is the head, has its own legislative, judicial and executive structures.
  • Powers independent of government are legally granted to other public bodies by statute or statutory instrument such as an Order-in-Council, Royal Commission or otherwise.
  • Apart from members of parliament and local authorities, no public officers are elected."

I'm not seeing how that last statement fits in with what powers are delegated from the Queen to others. What is this trying to say? Ltwin (talk) 20:05, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Restrictions by Gender and Religion: Review[edit]

Please provide Wiki users the courtesy of explaining your deletorious behaviour! Private and Confidential (talk) 10:29, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Cool it. I think its excessive for the lede, I am open to slightly better worded text in the main body. If your edit is reverted you should not edit war, but instead propose the change here so that other editors can get involved —Preceding unsigned comment added by Snowded (talkcontribs) 11:31, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I am perfectly cool, Snowded! I do not need "commands" from you..let's start.
I humbly advocate the following to be inserted appropriately:
The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, said under the Act's terms, Prince William "can marry by law a Hindu, a Buddhist, anyone, but not a Roman Catholic" and still be king. The relevant part of the Act states: "That all and every person and persons, who shall or may take or inherit the said Crown, by virtue of the limitation of this present act, and is, are or shall be reconciled to, or shall hold communion with, the See or Church of Rome, or shall profess the popish religion, or shall marry a papist, shall be subject to such incapacities." [1] Private and Confidential (talk) 10:36, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Use words like "deletorious" and you will frequently be asked to cool it. While I am at it please read WP:INDENT, I've done it for you above. Where do you want to insert that text? I'm happy with it although I don't think we need to quote the full act. --Snowded TALK 10:39, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
The wording is still excessive: a pronouncement from one Archbishop of Westminster in a general article covering the whole concept of monarchy in the United Kingdom seems to fall into the WP:RECENT and WP:UNDUE pitfalls and shouldn't be included.--Old Moonraker (talk) 10:46, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for indentation, Snowded. Welcome to further editors. This is good, if I may, Moonraker but let's call it what it is, please. It is a statement of the law as currently pertains in the UK, quoted with the BBC, hardly a pronouncement, and its purpose is to refer to relevant practical implications for current concerns with "Succession". I have no real objection to the point remaining but we not crediting the Archbishop for it since I am not sure he is the originator of the point. However, I defend the point's importance for relevancy to the article and I suggest the article is weaker without it.
I advocate inserting the text after this entry:
Roman Catholics and spouses of Roman Catholics are prohibited from succeeding.[2][3][4] Private and Confidential (talk) 11:00, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
How about
"Roman Catholics are prohibited from succeeding to the thrown, and if a member of Royal family marries a Catholic then they are removed from the line of succession. This has caused resentment, the {{Archbishop of Westminster]] stating Prince William "can marry by law a Hindu, a Buddhist, anyone, but not a Roman Catholic" and still be king."
I think that is balanced and not excessive. It is important in understanding the monarchy--Snowded TALK 11:06, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
The discussion in this article of this subject should only be brief, because Wikipedia:Manual of Style (summary style) applies to this article. The detail is given in two other articles: Act of Settlement 1701 and Succession to the British throne. I'm also not keen on "this has caused resentment" because it hasn't caused resentment in any actual member of the royal family or the public at large since about 1807. DrKay (talk) 11:30, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
It causes resentment in the Catholic community so its worth of inclusion, and it is a hang over which a lot of international readers will not be aware. I have made it brief - any alternative suggestions? --Snowded TALK 11:35, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
You know when members of the royal family feel resentment do you good Doctor..!?
Let's be clear. I don't think talk of resentment is helpful, if indeed it does exist among people whatever their beliefs. This is new and pertinent factual information, sorced from the BBC, to strengthen this article. It's addition is designed to raise the level of knowldege around this part of the article, I suggest it is not complete without it and it is not mentioned elsewhere in the article. So in the interests of factual accuracy and balance let's work out how to include it in a way that serves Wiki users. Private and Confidential (talk) 11:44, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
On the first sentence of Snowded's draft, the article already says that Catholics were and are still excluded. I don't see why we should repeat the same point.
On the second sentence of Snowded's draft, it would need to say who resented it if placed in the article.
On P&C's draft, it is unnecessary to quote the act in a summary article. DrKay (talk) 11:54, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
OK so lets add the Archbishops comment (its pretty obvious who resents it) into the section "Restrictions by gender and religion" --Snowded TALK 11:57, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Let's call it what it is, please. The comment is a statement of the law as currently pertains in the UK, quoted with the BBC, and its purpose is to refer to relevant practical implications for current concerns with "Succession". Any perceived "resentment" is yours.I think it is useful and worthy of Wiki users to include the text as I penned it. The comment is made today in our modern, multi-denominational society and refers to a point of contemporary legal statute, which is relevant to this article and subject: that only one section of the community, it happens to be Catholics, and no other on the grounds of religion is excluded by this Act of 1701.
Please consider appropriate wording modifications.
Private and Confidential (talk) 12:32, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────It is a wider issue though. Only practising Protestants in communion with the Church of England can inherit. Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc, are all excluded from succession not just Catholics. The provision that the Archbishop is talking about is only about the marriage of Protestants to people of other religions, where the only excluded religion is Catholicism. Perhaps the sentence "Roman Catholics and spouses of Roman Catholics are prohibited from succeeding." should be "Protestants married to practitioners of other faiths are not excluded, unless their spouse is a Roman Catholic." The preceding sentence already says that Catholics (and all other religions except Anglicanism) are excluded. This has slipped by without comment before because it's not much of an issue, and hasn't actually affected the succession in any way because everyone's forgotten the last time a non-Protestant married into the direct line of succession. Presumably Philip wasn't legally obliged to convert from Greek Orthodoxy, though his article tells us that he did anyway. Given the wider restriction against all religions except Anglicanism, why then focus on a complaint about a specific religion? Isn't the debate (if there is any, as I think most people are agreed) about whether to remove all the restrictions, not just the restriction against marrying a Catholic? DrKay (talk) 12:44, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Umm, but it is the case that the English Monarchy is (post the "Glorious" revolution) in part defined by anti-catholicism so it is significant --Snowded TALK 12:48, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Historically, of course, but I'm asking about the modern debate, which the new material attempts to address. Is it focused on the marriage to Catholics by royals in the line of succession or is it actually about disestablishment and religious equality? DrKay (talk) 13:12, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
The new material is relevant to knowledge about "Restrictions by gender and religion" which occur in the UK Monarchy hence its place within this article. If you wish to widen the debate to the benefit of users, I, for one, look forward to your contribution.. Private and Confidential (talk) 13:28, 27 July 2010 (UTC) it appears no widening of the debate yet...are we edging any closer to a form of wording that resonates as fit-for-purpose with interested parties? Inactivity is your views in a timely fashion please.Private and Confidential (talk) 18:13, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Exclusion of professed Roman Catholics under the Act of Settlement is different from exclusion of those who are neither protestant nor Roman Catholic. Catholics are excluded "forever"; anyone else would have the opportunity to declare themselves a protestant, conform to the Church of England, and take the throne. Notice that George I was not an Anglican on August 1, 1714. john k (talk) 18:47, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm still not convinced that this section merits expansion, particularly with the proposed wording. There is no organised campaign for reform; there are no plans for reform; there is no public debate on reform. The report quoted by P&C is from 2007 and implies that Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor is pro-reform. More recent reports say otherwise, e.g. "Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton, have said they do not think it is a major issue for most Catholics."[1] DrKay (talk) 20:51, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't think it's a major issue for anyone, Catholic or not, probably because few people are aware of or understand the restrictions in the succession laws, or even have a great interest in the monarchy in general. Nevertheless, that does not make the issue any less notable. Gazzster (talk) 22:13, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
The exclusion is covered in the article. The question is over whether the current coverage should be expanded to include an unrepresentative out-of-date report and a quote from the Act. I still don't see any good arguments for either one. DrKay (talk) 07:23, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
My view is non-different from the view stated by an earlier editor in this discussion, John Kenney: "Exclusion of professed Roman Catholics under the Act of Settlement is different from exclusion of those who are neither protestant nor Roman Catholic." This is a fact which is communicated by the, one sentence, current day comment on this I suggest we include. I find I agree with Gazzster: this is not a major issue but it is notable: and so I recommend that it deserves a fair, precise, well-sourced and comprehensive treatment in the article. My contribution (sourced from recent BBC coverage) moves in this direction towards fuller understanding. I suggest, after the current day comment, we include the relevant actual wording of the Act - one sentence albeit a somewhat lengthy one - because it is just that: the actual relevant words of the Act from 1701. I don't see the drama in this perhaps others do. My view is that this article is markedly improved through raising/sharing relevant material, by including these two sentences, to increase knowledge among Wiki users. Further thoughts from editors please..Private and Confidential (talk) 15:45, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
My evidence is sourced from more recent coverage in the Catholic press, and shows that the one sentence quote is not representative of either Catholic opinion or Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor's opinion. Per policy at WP:UNDUE, articles are weakened not strengthened when material is weighted towards an unrepresentative view, which even the quoted authority no longer appears to hold. DrKay (talk) 20:14, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
...can we get some more views on this..please..I really don't want to get into an "evidence" discussion where there isn't one..but in the interests of making some progress on this:here goes, briefly. The view the Cardinal expressed in 2007 with the BBC is not contradicted by his saying, before, at the same time or after that this is not a major issue for Catholics. Change to the Act of Settlement is not a major issue for most if not all people, including Catholics, apart from it would seem the very few like the good Doctor for whom this appears strangely motivating. The Cardinal's view is not "unrepresentative" Dr. He is voicing UK LEGAL FACT, held to a person uniformly throughout the entire UK legal profession that: Prince William "can marry by law a Hindu, a Buddhist, anyone, but not a Roman Catholic" and still be king." If you are going to get into an evidence based validation for your objection to my right to pursue a factual strengthening of this article, Dr , then I think you might do better than assuming one quote is going to do it. But if you do then think one quote works you might try to pick one that actually does what you claim: a quote that says he withdraws his observation that Prince William "can marry by law a Hindu, a Buddhist, anyone, but not a Roman Catholic" and still be king." No such statement exists and the reason is obvious. Since the law has not changed since he made the statement with the BBC in 2007 it follows that it would be absurd for he or anyone else for that matter to deny that Prince William "can marry by law a Hindu, a Buddhist, anyone, but not a Roman Catholic" and still be king." since it was then and is now a binding LEGAL FACT. This comment is as representative of mainstream opinion as it is possible to be since it is an unequivocal statement of UK statutory law. It is an impossibility in this case for policy at WP:UNDUE, articles are weakened not strengthened when material is weighted towards an unrepresentative view, which even the quoted authority no longer appears to hold. to be relevant to this discussion. I do not want to get sidetracked in these sorts of clarifications. Perhaps I can make a suggestion. I sense that the real problem may be that it is the Head of the Catholic Church in the UK who has made the statement. Perhaps some industrious and talented Wiki editor can find the same point made by a Chief Rabbi, a High Court Judge, an Attorney General. Someone in authority who can equally well state the simple truth. We can include their words. People, please..let's come together to agree a form of words so Wiki users don't have to be kept in the dark on what I expected would be a clearly sensible and uncontroversial insert via the BBC, based as it is in both sentences on LEGAL FACT. Over to Wiki users..Private and Confidential (talk) 23:14, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
On a matter of fact, the Cardinal did not say that in 2007 or give an interview to the BBC. The article states that the Cardinal's comment was "In the past.."
On the matter of the quote from the Cardinal: as I have already said, the problem is that it implies he is pro-reform. That is an unfair implication.
On the matter of a non-Catholic source for a similar quote, there is already one: the Act itself.
On the matter of inclusion of a quote from the act: the article already states that heirs married to Catholics are excluded. There is no need to repeat the same point; it is already covered. Articles should not repeat material unnecessarily. DrKay (talk) 07:38, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
P&C - I don't think you are getting enough support at the moment to indicate that a change is likely. I don't think its valid to argue that the issue is a lack of concern to the population as I expect that is true of large parts of this article. The question related to what is relevant in the context of the article itself. At the moment I think it is unbalanced as it treats the exclusion of catholics as an incidental matter. It has been subject over the years to riots, the odd constitutional crisis (as recently as Prince Charles when it was rumored that he might marry a catholic). I think there needs to be a sentence or two that reflects that, maybe not the quote from the Cardinal (although the fact it is 2007 is not important, there are many older items in comparable pages on the wikipedia)--Snowded TALK 08:23, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Ok Dr let's play. Our Doctor informs us:
(1)(his words:)On a matter of fact, the Cardinal did not say that in 2007 or give an interview to the BBC. The article states that the Cardinal's comment was "In the past.." Mmmm. Not only has our Doctor claimed earlier in this discussion to know the feelings of members of the Royal Family past and present (since 1807, Doctor I think you said) He now tells us that he knows what a Cardinal said and did not say in 2007. Quite the capable fellow. He further tells us the Cardinal did not give an interview to the BBC when the BBC Archive Department will tell you otherwise. For the record, I have not said this comment on this occasion was sourced from an interview conducted between the Cardinal and the BBC. The reference I included is from within a BBC article, found here:
(2)(his words:)On the matter of the quote from the Cardinal: as I have already said, the problem is that it implies he is pro-reform. That is an unfair implication. Mmmm. Any implications you have identified from the comment are yours. I agree it is an unfair implication: made repeatedly by you. The actual comment is only a statement of the legal reality: nothing more.
(3)(his words:)On the matter of a non-Catholic source for a similar quote, there is already one: the Act itself. Mmmm. So let's include the line from the Act..!!??
(4)(his words:)On the matter of inclusion of a quote from the act: the article already states that heirs married to Catholics are excluded. There is no need to repeat the same point; it is already covered. Articles should not repeat material unnecessarily. Mmmm. So now a line in the text is better than the original in the Act..(?)Wikipedia is an Encyclopedia where the most acccurate, factual sources are considered valued above others. I will hope, for Wiki sake, to hear better objections than these. Can we open this is healthier if we have many contributions to this discussion.
Snowded, hello. I don't agree with your analysis. Editors here have made useful contributions, among them notably Gazzster and john k. which seemed to indicate support for a form of words WHICH WE ARE MEANT TO BE ARRIVING AT..(no more sidetracking please)Furthermore the UK Monarchy article is not a history paper. The Monarchy is a feature of our current lived experience so let's look at the article from this perspective as well as the history. My points are to provide fuller knowledge for Wiki users and are LEGAL FACTS not historical opinion. Good to see you back in this discussion. More contributing editors please. Private and Confidential (talk) 09:00, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
I think it makes sense that a note about the exclusion provisions of the succession laws should be accompanied by a comment by the highest ranking Catholic in the United Kingdom. You would expect him to comment. But standing alone, it might seem that it is a concern only for Catholics. So perhaps we should include some well-chosen quotes from other notable persons. Didn't Gordon Brown recently make some comment? And haven't private bills been introduced to change the laws? Has anybody tried to go to the EU with human rights concerns?Gazzster (talk) 21:39, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
How many times must it be said: these points are already covered in the daughter articles. See Act of Settlement 1701#Present debate and Succession to the British throne#Changes. The section in this article is a summary of those articles. DrKay (talk) 07:57, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
This article within this subject is not beyond improving: it is appropriate to the spirit and the usability of Wikipedia that we seek to identify where improvements can be made for Wiki users..I don't agree with the Dr.: The section in this article is a summary of those articles, [see previous entry in this discussion]. It isn't. Or at least I think it should be better than that, more than just a summary of material in daughter articles. It is its own article under its own title. I think if we allow it to be reduced to just a summary that tends to be quite a weak approach to information building within an article. A balance must be found where useful relevant data is accessible within the article relevant to its title. Information made available to Wiki users at the point at which they may expect to find it without having to be required to search daughter articles, makes sense, I suggest. Let's seek to be disciplined in what we include, I respect the line Gazzster takes towards fuller understanding. I suggest the article is too weak to be fit-for-purpose as it is now. It simply does not succeed in informing Wiki users about Restrictions by Gender and Religion in the Uk Monarchy adequately. We should strengthen it in its accuracy and relevancy to its title...more contributions on this from editors very welcome...Private and Confidential (talk) 11:12, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
I have not been following this debate and not read through all of the comments here. What i do not understand is the problem with the present wording? It mentions in the introduction that Roman Catholics are excluded still, the section on succession also covers it. Where is the problem? This article is also a Featured article so others must think it was fit for purpose. BritishWatcher (talk) 11:19, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
BritishWatcher, welcome to this discussion. I hope you will have, by now, given yourself/had someone help you with the appropriate care and time required to exercise the courtesy of reading the comments of editors who have made contributions to this discussion so far. If so, you will have traced the genesis of this discussion taking place and you will be aware that we are discussing a review of a section of this article. More precisely, what is being discussed is a form of words to be included in a sensible way which serves Wikiusers better in their quest for knowledge/understanding of an aspect of reality relating to the Uk the hope of making useful progress...any other views...from anyone...Private and Confidential (talk) 13:16, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Well P&C I read through the discussion (wasted 10 minutes of my life) and I'm still struggling to grasp what the problem is. Please see WP:SUMMARY as it seems you don't understand that this this is a feature of Wikipedia. Ltwin (talk) 20:30, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
I am looking for concrete, reasoned arguments for preventing inclusion of this detail. My case is that Wiki users benefit more from the two line adjustment I advocate than the current form. The line from the cardinal is relevant as is the line from the Act: both are well sourced and more accurate than the current wording and so strengthen knowledge within the article. I am going to open this up to suggestions as the article remains weak/improvable in this point and then it should move on for consideration to the next level in the interests of Wiki users who value better information over worse Private and Confidential (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 15:50, 23 August 2010 (UTC).
Looks like this argument has indeed moved on for consideration to the next level, P&C! This arcane law which so many sensible folk have known to be absurd for so long is becoming fit for the modern world. No gender bias against females succeeding and no religious bias against marriage to Catholics. Correction passed unanimously by all Commonwealth Heads of State. Happy to see this wiki article is now accurately updated and fit for purpose too. Bravo!Equitytriumphs (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 13:53, 28 October 2011 (UTC).

The republican Commonwealth of England[edit]

The current wording:

"the tradition of monarchy was broken by the republican Commonwealth of England"

seems a rather coy description of the regicide -- which rather cuttingly ended the debate over the divine right of kings -- and "republican Commonwealth" was described otherwise by W.C as:

"the triumph of some twenty thousand resolute, ruthless, disciplined, military fanatics ..."

I think the sentence carries a simplistic point of view and glosses over one of the most influential periods in formulating the current position of the Monarchy in the UK constitution. -- PBS (talk) 11:44, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Wealth of the Crown[edit]

No-one really knows what this is. The jewels I have heard valued at £2billion, the art the same. But the real, huge value is in the land, especially the land abroad. According to an American friend of mine the Crown one on the biggest landowners on the island of Manhattan. The rent from that must be very substantial. Also, on last night's Channel 4 news it was said that of the 20 biggest tax havens in the world the Crown owns 14. Again the income form these must very considerable as tax havens for the super-rich to dodge tax can't come cheap. Obviously none of this is good enough for an encyclopedia but I may try and do some digging. If any other editors are interested in this please leave me a message. SmokeyTheCat 13:12, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, but most of what you've just written is wrong. David (talk) 16:51, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
The idea that the Queen personally or through the Crown Estate owns parts of Manhatten comes up on the internet or the newspapers every so often but with no evidence to back it up in fact I remember reading a statement a few years ago from Buckingham Palace stating that the Queen does not in any way own property outside the UK. Penrithguy (talk) 18:54, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Republican Tone[edit]

This article tries to minimise the role of Her Majesty, saying that she has nothing to say or do and all is done in her name. That is not true. The Queen HAS actual powers and she performs crucial tasks on government, parliament and civil life. Anyone who reads this article would think the monarchy is just a formality and not working state institution. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:16, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

There's a difference between the formal (de jure) and the actual powers (de facto) of the Crown. The contents of the article are not principally intended; nota bene, as arguments for or against either monarchists or republicans; but as an accurate description how the Crown, and the Monarch in person, functions within the framework of the unwritten UK constitutional framework. This not a controversial position among scholars of political science and constitutional law. RicJac (talk) 14:23, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
There is some disagreement with respect to the de facto powers of the monarch in the present day. For a recent discussion see wherein the Guardian discusses use of the royal veto. Tresmegistus (talk) 22:37, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

United Kingdom article[edit]

Could editors please join in the discussion relating to the monarch's role, powers, etc, for the United Kingdom article.

Talk:United Kingdom#Politics

Thanks. David (talk) 10:44, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Few adjustments to Monarchy of Ireland and the top text and the infobox[edit]

I clarified the names and royal titles adopted for the UK and the King in 1927. I also changed the infobox that suggested the UK began in 1707 with Queen Anne. That was the Kingdom of Great Britain 1707-1801. The term UK was officially introduced with the Act of Union of 1801. I also made clear that those married to Catholics were not necessarily disqualified from the succession. Only those who marry Catholics were. When (like the Duchess of Kent) a spouse converts to Catholiscism, that did not disqualify their husbands or wives. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 13:36, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

The first articles in both the Acts of Union 1707 say the "United Kingdom". DrKay (talk) 14:00, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
It has been argued that the term "United Kingdom" as used in the Act of 1707 was a matter of speech. Not the christening of a Kingdom. The text of the first article of 1707 mentions the phrase UK outside the part in which the Kingdom gets it's name of Great Britain. That Kingdom was diplomatically known as the Kingdom of Great Britain throughout the 18th century, as it is on wikipedia. The Union of 1801 has always been diplomatically known as the UK. Besides, if the Act of 1707 created a whole new monarchy, why would the Act of 1801 be different from that?
The 1707 text of article one is:

That the two Kingdoms of England and Scotland shall upon the First day of May which shall be in the year One thousand seven hundred and seven and for ever after be united into one Kingdom by the name of Great Britain. And that the Ensigns Armorial of the said United Kingdom be such as Her Majesty shall appoint and the Crosses of St. George and St. Andrew be conjoyned in such manner as Her Majesty shall think fit and used in all Flags Banners Standards and Ensigns both at Sea and Land.

The act of 1801's article one however says:

That it be first article of the union of the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland, that the said kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland shall, upon the first day of January, which shall be in the year of our lord one thousand eight hundred and one, and for ever, be united into one kingdom, by the name of “the united kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,” and that the royal stile and titles appertaining to the imperial crown of the said united kingdom and its dependencies, and also the ensigns, armourial flags and banners thereof, shall be such as his Majesty by his royal proclamation under the great seal of the united kingdom shall be pleased to appoint.

Both acts explicitly mention "by the name of" followed by what they are supposed to be called. I don't think there can be doubt therefore what the names of these Kingdoms are /were.
Therefore the Parliament of Great Britain 1707-1801 did not include the term "United Kingdom" in it's name, while Parliament since 1801 has. It was only by changing the name of Parliament in 1927 that the term Northern Ireland became part of the name of the state.Gerard von Hebel (talk) 17:17, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
As can be seen from the article content as well as the first sentence of the lead and the redirects pointing here, the article (although titled Monarchy of the United Kingdom) is about the British monarchy. The foundation of the British monarchy and who was the first British monarch is contentious. DrKay (talk) 16:42, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

Attorney-General's statement[edit]

A great overview of the role and position within the constitution of the monarch and the heir apparent from the current Attorney General.

Read from para. 6 at the foot of page 3

Conventions and practices, including ones relating to the heir apparent and his "preparations for kingship". Quite a notable statement and possibly could be used to reference (and expand/correct) this Wikipedia article and others.

Can I ask editors to read through the document, especially from the bottom of page 3, as it is an excellent source and explains the situation (re: the monarch's/the PoW's role in British politics and government) clearly and concisely too. David (talk) 13:36, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, it is a well-written and concise opinion and not in the usual arcane legalese one might otherwise have expected. I can see no good reason for why it should not be included in this article & in PoW. RicJac (talk) 03:58, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Voluntary abdication?[edit]

The article states as fact that Edward VIII was the only monarch to abdicate voluntarily, and cites James II as involuntarily abdicating. But, as said in the article on James II, the Convention Parliament held that James, by fleeing the country, had voluntarily abdicated.

(The article on the Convention Parliament has its own POV problems, but that is another matter.)

Seems we shouldn't state as fact a point which is controversial. Thoughts? --Tbanderson (talk) 17:20, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

I tend to agree. I'm not sure about Richard II either. Deb (talk) 17:31, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
The "abdication" of James II wasn't voluntarily just because Parliament said so. In fact he remained a pretender to the throne of England until he died. I'm pretty sure Richard II and Edward II didn't volunteer either. These kings were overthrown. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 17:46, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, but the point is no one can be sure either way - when you say "I'm pretty sure", you are talking about making an educated guess. Unless there is definite evidence (the official records say otherwise), it shouldn't be stated in a wikipedia article that Edward VIII was the only one to abdicate voluntarily.Deb (talk) 09:35, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
Gerard says "In fact he remained a pretender to the throne of England until he died." That could prove he didn't intend to abdicate, or it could prove that James had second thoughts, right? --Tbanderson (talk) 18:57, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
It "suggests" those things, but I don't think it "proves" them. Proof would be a statement by James II saying "I never intended to abdicate." I'm not sure if he ever made such a statement. Deb (talk) 11:28, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
It does more than suggest them. He kept calling himself King of England, Ireland and of Scots. He even accepted the recognition of these titles and the authority associated with them by some foreign powers, most notably France. He kept giving people peerages as if he was a ruling monarch. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 12:48, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes, but even a reference to these activities would not prove that he did not abdicate. As Tbanderson mentions, he could simply have changed his mind after the event. The "proof" would be what I mentioned in my previous comment Deb (talk) 15:22, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
James never issued a statement of abdication, neither written nor verbal. He left the country fleeing for his life. Leaving the country is not an act of abdication. Elizabeth II frequently does, and is never thought to have abdicated. Tresmegistus (talk) 20:11, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
This is a specious argument.Deb (talk) 20:24, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
James II's abdication was a legal fiction invented by Parliament to absolve itself of the deposition of a monarch regarded as reigning by divine right. They did not want to negotiate with a captive king, as they had done with his father. It is pretty clear that James did not voluntarily abdicate. But it's questionable that any English/British monarch ever voluntarily abdicated. Can Edward be said to have voluntarily abdicated, knowing that his refusal would bring on a constitutional crisis of enormous magnitude? Could we say such of Richard II or Edward II, who knew that poison or a knife in the chest at midnight were the likely alternatives? A better phrase to use is perhaps, 'freely abdicated'. I don't think any English or British monarch could be said to have freely abdicated. Scandinavian and Netherlands monarchs, yes. So it's perhaps wiser to omit the reference to 'voluntary abdication' altogether.Gazzster (talk) 02:49, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
The legal position is that Parliament alone decides who is to be the monarch, and who is no longer to be the monarch. Edward VIII is said to have abdicated, but in reality such an act on his part would have been of nil effect until the parliament agreed. He signed an Instrument of Abdication on 10 December 1936, but that of itself did not cause him to cease being king. It was only when the parliament passed His Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act 1936, and Edward gave his Royal Assent to that act on 11 December, that he ceased being king. It was hypothetically possible for him to have changed his mind after a good night's sleep, and refused to sign the act. That would have sparked a constitutional crisis of a different kind, but Edward would have remained king at least until the matter was resolved. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 03:47, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
True, that was the case for Edward VIII, but it really has no bearing on whether the abdication was 'voluntary' or not ('free' is the word I would choose to use). But certainly for James II this is not the case, for the constitutional conventions you allude to had not yet been canonised.Gazzster (talk) 22:41, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

Criticism of the British Monarchy[edit]

A new section has been included regarding legitimate criticisms of the British monarchical system. The article is unquestioningly too biased towards the monarchy. In order to ensure a subjectively balanced portrayal of differing opinions regarding the political implications of the British monarchical system, a section titled "Criticisms" is necessary.

Another section titled "Modern Status" was previously existent; but was really a criticism of the modern monarchy than descriptive of the "modern status" of the actual monarchy.

Administrators have recommended that the section be merged under the new title "Criticism" and be expanded further to present a more balanced approach to the article. When editing the subtitle "Criticism", follow Wikipedia's citation policy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:53, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

  • I'm not sure what administrators have recommended that, but they're certainly not Wikipedia administrators. Articles should endeavour to not have criticism sections, but incorportate all viewpoints, positive, neutral, and critical, into the relevant sections, in proportion to their significance in third party sources. See WP:NPOV and Wikipedia:Criticism. WilyD 16:24, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  • In any event, continued edit warring is not acceptable, so have a discussion here instead. WilyD 16:38, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
The section entitled "Criticism" was unduly deleted, it met all the criteria. Simply put, it appears that you are biasing the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 16:51, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
With regard to the specific content, I didn't particularly read it. I'm not involved in developing/maintaining this article. But consensus is one of the criteria, and it wasn't being met here. To stop further edit warring, the article is locked so everyone has to sit down and reach a consensus on how to organise material/what material to include, and so on. WilyD 16:53, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
As indicated in the edit summary[2], by WilyD above, in the linked essay, and by Myopic Bookworm in the previous discussion at Talk:Monarchy of the United Kingdom/Archive 3#Lack of a criticism section, the addition of a section solely devoted to "Criticism" is itself bias. DrKay (talk) 16:57, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Issue resolved, a separate article entitled "Criticism of the British Monarchy" will be introduced. I would like your help to organize the future article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 18:59, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
That sounds like a POV fork that would have much the same problems as the section. You say above that this article is "too biased towards the monarchy" but there is another section above this one that starts off with someone complaining about the #Republican Tone of the article. That indicates to me that the article is balanced, and an occasional complaint from either extreme that the article is not skewed to their own POV is only to be expected. I remain to be convinced that there is either any pro-monarchy or any pro-republican bias in the article. DrKay (talk) 19:22, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a propaganda tool for monarchists. Criticism is perfectly legitimate here. The comment that said I did'nt read it is funny, and the argument that having a section with the opposing view is POV is hilarious. The whole article is a listing the functionning of this discusting ideology like nothing is wrong with this mentality is just too funny. We need to mention that this tyranical, racist and violent system is a failed ideology. Currently England is Republic with Clowns. It functions has a republic, but it keeps a clown system to pretend they won a war they lost a long time ago. I will put the section on criticism back in the page. Dear Monarchists, you don't own Wikipedia.EMvague (talk) 00:32, 23 April 2014 (UTC)


Criticism of the British Monarchy includes, but is not limited to the following themes: That the monarchy is un-elected, and therefore an inherently discriminatory elitist institution. It has also been observed that the nature of the monarchical system creates special privileges for the crown and the royal family that are exclusive [5]. The monarchy has also been criticized for undermining fundamental democratic and republican values through the enforcement of a rigid social structure [6]. Other grounds for criticism include the lack of independent financial accountability and transparency [7]. The National Audit Office was not allowed to audit the Royal Household. As a response to the monarchy, Republicanism in the United Kingdom grew during the in the 1990s, on account of negative publicity associated with the Royal Family, including (for instance, immediately following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales) [8]. It should be noted, that prior to 2003, criticism of the British Monarchy was punishable by imprisonment under the crime of Treason.[9].


Note that I have initiated an AfD at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Criticism of the British Monarchy, which appears to be a pov content fork. Safiel (talk) 16:02, 18 January 2014 (UTC)


  1. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Act of Settlement 1700(c.2), Article II, retrieved 14 May 2010 
  3. ^ Union with Scotland Act 1706 (c.11), Article II, retrieved 14 May 2010 
  4. ^ Union with England Act 1707 (c.7), Article II, retrieved 14 May 2010 
  5. ^ Queen Elizabeth II's Military titles
  6. ^ Hames, Tim; Leonard, Mark (1998). Modernising the monarchy. Demos. p. 22. ISBN 978-1-898309-74-1
  7. ^ "The mysteries of the royal finances are symptomatic of the monarchy's lack of openness and accountability" Peter Tatchell Royals 'cost the taxpayer £37.4m'
  8. ^ Seely, Robert (5 September 1997), Can the Windsors survive Diana's death?, Britannia Internet Magazine, retrieved 20 April 2008 
  9. ^ R. (Rusbridger) v. Attorney General [2003] UKHL 38; [2004] AC 357; [2003] 3 All ER 784.

Ireland did not "leave" the Commonwealth; it declared itself a republic and thereby was excluded.[edit]

I made an edit to clarify that Ireland did not "leave" the Commonwealth. It declared itself a republic and was by virtue of so doing, excluded. I have no problem adding wording to the effect that it was willingly excluded or the like. However, this is an important historical fact. Ireland never issued any statement withdrawing its Commonwealth membership in April 1949. Frenchmalawi (talk) 04:01, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Here is my current suggestion:

The Irish Free State was renamed Ireland in 1937. In 1949, Ireland officially declared that it was a republic. Because it did this, its membership was automatically terminated. Ireland's government policy did not object to this.

At midnight on the 17/18 April 1949, Ireland announced it had left the Commonwealth and had become the Republic of Ireland. On recognition of this, the British government published its Ireland Bill on 3 May to legislate for the Republic's leaving of the Commonwealth.
ref: The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume IV: The Twentieth Century, pp 161-2. --Bill Reid | (talk) 18:44, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

Irish language names for Irish state[edit]

The Irish Free State had an Irish language name. It was "Saorstát Éireann". Ireland has an Irish language name, "Éire". This is English language Wikipedia. Why are some Editor(s) trying to make out that the name of the Irish state is "Éire"? I have reverted that edit. If this is controversial, it ought to be discussed. The Irish state has had the same name since 1937. Frenchmalawi (talk) 04:08, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Secession versus Independence[edit]

I have amended a statement that Ireland, then the Irish Free State, gained "independence from" the UK. Ireland seceded from the UK. I don't think its right to say it gained independence from it. Ireland was part of the UK. Could it have gained independence from itself?.....I am open to informed thoughts of others on this topic. This concerns Ireland but it is no doubt applicable to other countries like South Sudan. It crops up in this particular article. Frenchmalawi (talk) 04:27, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

The need for a 'Criticism' section and previous censorship of it[edit]

Previous attempts have been made to include a section detailing criticism and opposition to the British Monarchy within this article. However, others have asserted that these views are a ‘minority’ position and therefore do not warrant mention. Well, yes, were they in the majority, Britain would be a republic. The opponents to including a criticism section have defended their conviction by including a fleeting point of how popular the Monarchy remains as a result of opinion polls in the ‘modern status’ sub-section of the ‘History’ section – for them, this is quite enough to close down the discussion. Therefore, this casual dismissal of something that is not regarded as mainstream necessarily distorts the current article’s contents as biased and tacitly pro-monarchy. The omission of the fact that there are individuals and tradition opposed to the Monarchy in Britain is not only motivated by efforts to portray the Monarchy as monolithically popular, it is an educational disgrace unfitting of an encyclopaedia.

For example, it is imperative to mention that many people condemn the Royal Prerogative as arbitrary, enabling the Prime Minister and government to bypass Parliament. It is also generally taboo to mock or openly criticise members of the Royal Family and the institution of Monarchy itself (the recent attempts to excise points establishing this fact serving as patent example of this). Nevertheless, satirical depictions of the Royals have gradually become commonplace. Furthermore, the fact that Britain has a long-standing republican tradition really ought to be mentioned on here.

Bias is implicit throughout the current article. For example, quotes favourable to the institution and made by the likes of Walter Bagehot, are used consistently to esteem it. Conversely, no critical quotes of it appear anywhere in the article. Moreover, returning to ‘modern status’ section – the point about republicanism growing in the 1990s implies that it only suddenly came into existence during that decade. This needs to be better-composed and the long history of republicanism given due credit. (talk) 11:03, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

I'd agree that there is no reason not to include a criticism section just because someone claims that most people support the monarchy (an assertion which is certainly open to debate). However, a "public image of the monarchy" section - or article - could hardly be rejected provided the required references are in place, and would by its very nature have to be written from a neutral point of view. Deb (talk) 11:22, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
And there is already an article on the subject of Republicanism in the United Kingdom. Deb (talk) 11:25, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Deb, you are correct that there is an article dedicated to British republicanism. However, that does not deal with the need for a section detailing opposition/criticism within the current framework of the monarchical British Constitution on this page. For example, Members of Parliament are required by law to make an Oath of Allegiance to the Monarch and his/her heirs before taking their seats in the Commons - however, several MPs use this occasion to assert their anti-monarchist convictions. (talk) 12:56, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Good articles should basically never have criticism sections - rather, reactions (both positive and negative) should be integrated into the text. It's possible it's not covered in enough depth (though the article is large), but the Modern Republicanism is hardly the only bit on negative reactions (or even the only Republicanism bit Monarchy_of_the_United_Kingdom#Personal_union_and_republican_phase. The bit of history on the First Baron's War and Second Baron's War, also mentioned (briefly) criticisms. Given the article size, it's possible that most changes should be in subordinate articles - for instance the guy in Ontario who keeps suing about no Catholic succession is mentioned in Perth_Agreement#Background; which is probably about right - given a history of more than a thousand years, and an empire that spanned a quarter of the globe, he's not that important in the big scheme of things. WilyD 13:13, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes and no. I think a separate article on the public image of the monarchy might be worth considering and could be used to incorporate the historical trend as well as current thinking. I'm sure a lot of people are unaware that there were about seven assassination attempts on Queen Victoria or that the press rejoiced when King George IV died. Deb (talk) 14:23, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
A Public image of the British Monarchy that covered supporters, detractors, and the conflicted (and, probably what the Royal Family does to cultivate their image) could be really cool. Note though that Criticism of the British Monarchy got nuked for being a criticism article that was highly non-neutral. WilyD 15:38, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure that "public image" would necessarily cover it - there are more fundamental arguments over the monarchy, which are not based on what their public image may be. A decision would also be needed on whether the article should be restricted to attitudes within the UK, or in the other realms as well. How about Public attitudes towards the monarchy in the United Kingdom? Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:03, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
This looks like a straw man argument. I don't see anyone opposing the section on these bases. I see no reason to cover the Victorian republican movement twice. One mention is sufficient. DrKay (talk) 17:24, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Then we at least generally agree that criticism/satire of the British Monarchy is worth establishing in a separate wiki page with Deb's suggestion of it being neutralised as a 'Public Perception' of the institution. What is more disturbing,however, is that DrKay seems to think he owns this page judging from the edit history. (talk) 14:18, 22 July 2015 (UTC)


Buckingham Palace is not the Monarch's official residence, St Jame's Palace is, as correctly stated on the St Jame's Palace Wikipedia entry. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:31, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

Naturally dead?[edit]

A sentence in the article says: An individual thus disabled from inheriting the Crown is deemed "naturally dead" for succession purposes, and the disqualification does not extend to the individual's legitimate descendants. How does a dead person get legitimate descendants for succession purposes? Gerard von Hebel (talk) 22:49, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

By conceiving them when alive. The excluded person is not dead anyway. They are treated as dead when considering the succession. So, even though they are still alive, the succession jumps to their legitimate non-excluded descendants, by-passing the excluded person. DrKay (talk) 07:15, 25 March 2016 (UTC)