The Royal Family

The British Royal Family have been in existence for over a thousand years and are the oldest form of government in England.

It was not until the end of the 17th century that the British Monarchy ceased to be ‘executive monarchs’, meaning they had the right to make and pass legislation. 

In the two proceeding centuries, the British Sovereign became a ‘constitutional monarchy’, meaning that power and the day-to-day running of the country was passed over to elected Parliaments. The Monarchy remains the Head of State and although it does not have a political role to play, they have many duties and visits, which they perform around the world.

The Sovereign acts as a focus for national identity, unity and pride; gives a sense of stability and continuity; officially recognises success and excellence; and supports the ideal of voluntary service.

The current Royal Family belong to the House of Windsor, after George V changed the name of the royal house from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1917.

Queen Elizabeth II – England’s Current Monarch

  • Crowned Queen of United Kingdom and Head of the Commonwealth in 1952
  • In 2012, England & the Commonwealth will celebrate Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee (60 years on the throne)
  • Queen Elizabeth II is currently the oldest reigning British monarch and the second longest reigning monarch after Queen Victoria
  • Her Majesty is Queen in sixteen countries around the world, known as Commonwealth Realms, which have a combined population of 134 million people