Top 10 Powers of Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth ll might look like just a sweet old lady and head of the Royal family but she is much, much more than that. She is the richest and most powerful person in the world.
#10 The Queen Her Own Personal Poet
The poet laureate is an honorary position in British society appointed by the Monarch to a poet ” whose work is of national significance,” according to the official website of the British Monarchy. When first the role was introduced, the appointee was paid £200 per year plus a butt of canary wine. Today the poet laureate is given a barrel of Sherry.
#9 The Queen is Head of a Religion
Queen Elizabeth ll is head of the Church of England. Her formal title is defender of the faith and supreme governor of the Church of England, and she also has the power to appoint Bishops and Archbishops. Britain’s state religion was first established after King Henry VIII split away from the Catholic Church in Rome in the 16th century.
#8 The Queen can Pardon Criminals
If she sees fit, Queen Elizabeth II can grant “royal pardon” to anyone convicted of a crime. The original purpose of “royal pardon” was to provide exemption from the now-abolished death penalty. The practice of royal pardon is less common today.
#7 The Queen has to Legitimize Laws
Parliament may have the power to make the laws, but the Queen must sign off on a proposed bill before it officially goes into effect. She must give what’s known as “royal assent,” which means that she approves the proposed law.
#6 The Queen can Issue Passports
Any citizen of the United Kingdom with a passport has that passport thanks to the Queen. The Queen herself doesn’t usually issue them directly, though; ministers will usually be the ones to issue passports, on her behalf. Every British passport is issued in her name. She also has the power to withdraw them.
#5 The Queen can Present ‘Titles of Honour’
The Queen can personally bestow honors on individuals who have proven themselves to be exemplary citizens of the United Kingdom. They may earn such distinctions through everything from charity work to artistic or scientific contributions. There is a whole host of potential honors, but the titles you’re probably most familiar with are “Sir” (Knight) and “Dame.”
#4 The Queen is the Commander of all Armed Forces
Yes, the 92-year-old monarch is Commander-in-Chief of the United Kingdom’s entire military force! All British soldiers must swear an oath to her before officially joining the armed forces. With the power to command the army, though, comes the power to delegate that duty as well. The Queen can assign the position of Commander-in-Chief to another government official, most commonly the Prime Minister or the Secretary of State for Defence.
#3 The Queen is the Head of all Commonwealth Nations
A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state in which Queen Elizabeth II is the reigning constitutional monarch. Each realm functions as an independent co-equal kingdom from the other realms. As of 2019, there are 16 Commonwealth realms: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and the United Kingdom. All 16 Commonwealth realms are members of the Commonwealth of Nations, an intergovernmental organization of 53 member states. Elizabeth II is Head of the Commonwealth.
#2 The Queen can Dissolve Parliament
If she so chooses, the Queen could fire everyone in the House of Commons and hold a new election of entirely new members. The last time a monarch dissolved Parliament was in 1830, and a decision to do so today would most likely be hugely unpopular with the citizenry.
#1 The Queen can Declare War
Not only can the Queen declare war on other countries, she’s the only one in the United Kingdom with the power to do so. Queen Elizabeth II has never declared war throughout her entire reign; the last monarch to do so was King George VI, Elizabeth’s father, who declared war on Nazi Germany in 1939.