In the United Kingdom, the King or Queen acts as head of state. The British monarchy is constitutional, meaning that the king has no legislative initiative.
It, in turn, is concentrated in the parliament, which broadcasts the composition of the executive power – the prime minister and the ministers.
Duties of the Monarch
The monarch appoints the prime minister and cabinet ministers, opens parliamentary sessions, affixes the royal seal to laws passed by parliament, thereby promulgating them.
She presides over the Privy Council, which is made up of prominent politicians but is advisory in nature. Receives and sends off foreign ambassadors, appoints judges on the proposal of the Parliament and holds a weekly audience with the Prime Minister.
The detached position of the monarch from political decisions allows him to help the continuity after the change of government in the country. In 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II has appointed 15 Prime Ministers who have been from different political parties.
Although the monarch has no legislative or executive power, he continues to play an important role in the life of the countries of the Commonwealth of Nations, which includes 53 independent countries that were part of the British Empire.
The monarch is the head of state of another 14 countries, including Australia, Canada, Jamaica and New Zealand.
The King fulfills the role of head of state by representing national identity, unity and pride, providing a sense of stability and continuity, formally recognizing success and excellence and supporting the ideal of voluntary service.
The other members of the royal family also participate in this.
The presidency – the modern form of monarchy
In parliamentary republics, the institution of the presidency replaces that of the monarchy. The president performs the role of head of state, promulgates laws, convenes and dissolves parliament, participates in or is a patron of charitable initiatives, presides over councils with the participation of representatives of the executive power.
One of the differences is that there is no succession to the president – he is elected for a fixed term.
Similar is the role of the president in Germany, who is elected by the Federal Assembly, not by the citizens – his election is indirect.
Directly elected presidents have more extensive functions such as legislative initiative or the ability to veto laws of parliament – powers that the monarch does not have.