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What are the duties of Queen Elizabeth?
What are the duties of Queen Elizabeth?What follows is my fully revised answer to this question submitted 3/19/2019.First, I assume you mean Queen Elizabeth II and not Queen Elizabeth I.Second, Elizabeth II took a Coronation Oath which was part of the Coronation service and her duties, I believe, are what she promises to perform in this Oath, at least generically. The Oath follows with some key phrases made bold italics by me as well as bullets added for clarity. These do not appear in the original text. From The Queen's Coronation Oath, 1953:In the Coronation ceremony of 2 June 1953, one of the highlights was when The Queen made her Coronation Oath (taken from the Order of Service for the Coronation).The Queen having returned to her Chair, (her Majesty having already on Tuesday, the 4th day of November, 1952, in the presence of the two Houses of Parliament, made and signed the Declaration prescribed by Act of Parliament), the Archbishop standing before her shall administer the Coronation Oath, first asking the Queen,Madam, is your Majesty willing to take the Oath?And the Queen answering,I am willing.The Archbishop shall minister these questions; and The Queen, having a book in her hands, shall answer each question severally as follows:Archbishop. Will yousolemnly promise and swear to govern the Peoples of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon, and of your Possessions and the other Territories to any of them belonging or pertaining, according to their respective laws and customs?Queen. I solemnly promise so to do.Archbishop. Will you to your power cause Law and Justice, in Mercy, to be executed in all your judgements?Queen. I will.Archbishop. Will you to the utmost of your powermaintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your powermaintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will youmaintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will youpreserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?Queen. All this I promise to do.Then the Queen arising out of her Chair, supported as before, the Sword of State being carried before her, shall go to the Altar, and make her solemn Oath in the sight of all the people to observe the premisses: laying her right hand upon the Holy Gospel in the great Bible (which was before carried in the procession and is now brought from the Altar by the Arch-bishop, and tendered to her as she kneels upon the steps), and saying these words:The things which I have here before promised, I will perform and keep. So help me God.Then the Queen shall kiss the Book and sign the Oath.The Queen having thus taken her Oath shall return again to her Chair, and the Bible shall be delivered to the Dean of Westminster.So, very clearly, The Queen promised to perform these duties to the utmost of “her powers.”But what, then, are her “powers?” As one looks into this question, one learns more about her duties. In addition, one finds information about the nature of her powers - are they real powers or just ceremonial? The words of the Oath ask if she will “govern”, yet many of my sources below say she does not govern, she is just a figurehead only, and it is Parliament that governs. If that is true, and she has no part in governing, then why have her promise to govern in the Oath?Further, the Oath specifically requires that the judgements she makes be based in law and justice and tempered by mercy. Why does a figurehead have to make any judgements at all or promise to make them in this manner?If these duties and promises are about governing, then why include them at all in an Oath for a ceremonial head of state? Is there a connection that I missed? I am looking for some insight on that question.Mostly I find sources that support the idea that the Monarch fulfills only a ceremonial role and does not actually govern:The Queen's Role states: (bold italics, bullets are mine)Although the Queen is no longer responsible for governing the country, she carries out a great many important tasks on behalf of the nation.See also our Calendar of Royal DutiesHead of StateAs Head of State, the Queen goes on official State visits abroad. She also invites other world leaders to come to the United Kingdom. During their visit, Heads of State usually stay at Buckingham Palace, or sometimes at Windsor Castle or Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.Head of the Armed ForcesThe Queen is also the Head of the Armed Forces. She is the only person who can declare when the country is at war and when war is over, although she must take advice from her government first.Head of the Church of EnglandThe Queen is Head of the Church of England - a position that all British monarchs have held since it was founded by Henry VIII in the 1530s.The Queen appoints archbishops and bishops on the advice of the Prime Minister.The spiritual leader of the Church of England is the Archbishop of Canterbury.Government DutiesEvery day 'red boxes' are delivered to the Queen's desk full of documents and reports from the government ministers and Commonwealth officials. They must all be read and, if necessary, signed by the Queen.Represents the NationThe Queen represents the nation at times of great celebration or sorrow. One example of this is Remembrance Day ceremony at the Cenotaph monument in Whitehall. The Queen lays a wreath there each year to honour the members of the armed forces who have died fighting for their country.Royal Garden PartiesAt least three Royal Garden Parties are held at Buckingham Palace each year and about 8,000 guests attend each one.VisitsAlongside her other duties the Queen spends a huge amount of time travelling around the country visiting hospitals, schools, factories and other places and organisations.If one believes that the Monarch’s role is purely ceremonial, then Royal Duties of Queen Elizabeth supports this and explains the Queen, as the ceremonial Head of State, has the duty to attend more than 2,000 events annually. A “Calendar of Royal Duties”See also our Calendar of Royal Dutieslists some of them including Opening Parliament in November and The Trooping of the Colour in June to name just two. Of course it is physically impossible for HM to attend 2,000 events or more annually. She is assisted by many working Royal Family members who attend for her, in her name, and represent her. Certainly this list of duties emphasizes the ceremonial aspects of her job.How Much Power Does Queen Elizabeth II Actually Have? is an article is about the Monarch’s powers - duties? - in the Constitutional Monarchy known as the UK. It explains her duties which are more substantial than one might think.It also asks and answers the question of how much influence the Crown actually has over the government. How Much Power Does Queen Elizabeth II Actually Have? lists these powers and, again, I added some bold italics and bullets for clarity and for emphasis:Depending on how closely you follow the British royal family, you may know that Queen Elizabeth II has some bizarre powers as the United Kingdom’s monarch, such as eating swans and stealing children. Luckily, there’s no evidence that she exercises either of those powers. But does she have any sway in the British political process?Under the British Constitution, Queen Elizabeth II has quite a few powers and privileges. Ahead, discover some of the things that the queen has the power to do.She can open and close Parliament sessionsQueen Elizabeth II Visits Berlin | Michael Ukas /Pool /Getty ImagesRoyal Central reports that many of Queen Elizabeth II’s political powers are largely ceremonial. One easy example is her ability to summon and prorogue Parliament, essentially opening and closing Parliamentary sessions. Reader’s Digest points out that Parliament (not the royal family) is the United Kingdom’s highest governing body. The queen has to officially open the session every May to begin the Parliamentary year.That involves a ceremony where Queen Elizabeth II leads a procession through the Royal Gallery at the Palace of Westminster and then gives a formal address to both Houses of Parliament. In fact, it’s the only event where the House of Lords, the House of Commons, and the queen gather together. Reader’s Digest notes that the queen also technically has the power to fire everyone in the House of Commons and hold an election — but she’s never used this power, and the last time a monarch did was in 1830.Queen Elizabeth II has to sign off on new lawsAnother of Queen Elizabeth II’s ceremonial — but important — political powers is the Royal Assent. Parliament makes laws, but the queen must sign off on proposed bills before they can go into effect. By giving the Royal Assent, she approves the proposed law. She technically also can reject bills. But the last monarch to do that was Queen Anne, who in 1708 vetoed a measure that would have restored the Scottish militia.Royal Central reports that the queen also has the power to create secondary legislation. She can create Orders-in-Council and Letters Patent, which regulate matters relating to the crown, such as titles and precedence. The queen famously signed off on the 2013 Succession to the Crown Act, which discarded the centuries-old system of male-preference primogeniture to ensure that female heirs — like Princess Charlotte — won’t lose their places in the line of succession to younger brothers, as happened to Princess Anne.She can appoint Ministers to the Crown, and pardon criminalsQueen Elizabeth II | Bruno Vincent/Getty ImagesReader’s Digest reports that Queen Elizabeth II also has the power to appoint Ministers to the Crown. While most government officials in the United Kingdom have to be voted into office, the queen can select advisors and cabinet officials herself. Royal Central notes that the queen is also responsible for appointing the Prime Minister after a general election or a resignation.Other interesting political powers Queen Elizabeth II has? The sovereign retains the power to declare war against other nations. However, as Royal Central notes, the Prime Minister and Parliament usually do this, in practice. And the last monarch to declare war was King George VI, Elizabeth’s father, who declared war on Nazi Germany in 1939. The queen can also grant a royal pardon to anyone convicted of a crime, and in 2013, she granted a posthumous pardon to World War II codebreaker Alan Turing. And under British law, the queen cannot be prosecuted and is free from civil action.The queen is technically responsible for issuing passports and commanding the British militaryQueen Elizabeth II also has powers that ministers exercise for her. For instance, Reader’s Digest reports that anyone with a British passport technically has it thanks to the queen. Each one is issued in her name, even though other people do the work for her.The queen is also the Commander-in-Chief of the United Kingdom’s military, and all British soldiers have to swear an oath to her before they officially join. “With the power to command the army, though, comes the power to delegate that duty as well,” Reader’s Digest explains. “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.”Queen Elizabeth II can bestow honors on individualsQueen Elizabeth II | Tim Ireland – WPA Pool/Getty ImagesRoyal Central reports that “One of the main prerogative powers that are still used personally by The Queen these days is the power to grant honours. As all honours derive from the Crown, The Queen has the final say on knighthoods, peerages and the like.”She can create peerages for people, either life peerages or hereditary ones (though she hasn’t done the latter in decades). The queen can also create orders of knighthood. And she can grant any citizen honours ranging from the Royal Victorian Order to the Order of the Garter, or making someone a Knight or Dame.Queen Elizabeth II owns every dolphin in Britain and doesn't need a driving license — here are the incredible powers you didn't know the monarchy has also states:It's true that her role as the British head of state is largely ceremonial, and the Monarch no longer holds any serious power from day to day. The historic "prerogative powers" of the Sovereign have been devolved largely to government ministers. But this still means that when the British government declares war, or regulates the civil service, or signs a treaty, it is doing so only on her authority.So although she does not take most actions herself, government ministers and/or civil servants still do everything in her name.I think this is an interesting dichotomy and as we Americans say, check and balance, so neither an aggressive Parliament or an out of control Monarch rules the day. They act in concert for the people’s best interests - a very interesting tango.The Monarch’s duties are deemed primarily ceremonial, but some of these “ceremonial duties” sounds like major authority to me.Her Majesty has what is called Queen’s Assent, quite different from and even more powerful than her other power of Royal Assent. With Queen’s Assent she can block debate of proposed law on any bill that affects the Monarchy’s interests, a Royal filibuster I would say, and quite significant. Queen Elizabeth II owns every dolphin in Britain and doesn't need a driving license — here are the incredible powers you didn't know the monarchy has continues as follows:“The Queen's consent is necessary to turn any bill into an actual law. Once a proposed law has passed both houses of Parliament, it makes its way to the Palace for approval, which is called "Royal Assent." The most recent British Monarch to refuse to provide Royal Assent was Queen Anne, back in 1708.Royal Assent is different than "Queen's consent," in which the Queen must consent to any law being debated in Parliament that affects the Monarchy's interests (such as reforming the prerogative or tax laws that might affect the Duchy of Cornwall, for example). Without consent, the bill cannot be debated in Parliament.Queen's consent is exercised only on the advice of ministers, but its existence provides the government with a tool for blocking debate on certain subjects if bills are tabled by backbench rebels or the opposition.It has been exercised at least 39 times, according to documents released under the Freedom of Information act, including "one instance [in which] the Queen completely vetoed the Military Actions Against Iraq Bill in 1999, a private member's bill that sought to transfer the power to authorise military strikes against Iraq from the monarch to parliament," The Guardian reported in 2013.She opens Parliament each year and after each election must ask the person best able to form a viable government (usually the Head of the Party that received the most votes) to be Prime Minister and form the new government. During HM’s long reign, she has done this more often than any other Monarch.I suppose this dichotomy only works because Her Majesty The Queen has been very wise when wielding her powers over her long reign. The Monarch’s Relationship with Parliament is described in this article. It goes into some detail and then concludes:The Queen's role in Parliament is:• Assenting to Bills passed by Parliament, on the advice of Ministers;• Giving audiences to Ministers, at which Her Majesty may be consulted, encourage and warn;• Opening each new session of Parliament;• Proroguing or dissolving Parliament before a general election.Duties, Rights and Powers of H.M. The Queen is another excellent article and helps clarify the dichotomy that I see. It also makes some very excellent points about the value of the Monarchy to the nation and contrasts the valued attributed to the Monarchy with Parliament. It gives insights into Duties, Rights and Powers of H.M. The Queen, and for the most part, echoes previously mentioned sources that state the Monarchy is just a ceremonial, not a governing, position. From Duties, Rights and Powers of H.M. The Queen: (with my bullets and bold italics)According to a famed British constitutional scholar, Walter Bagehot, Queen Elizabeth II “could disband the army; she could dismiss all the officers . . .she could sell off all our ships-of-war and all our naval stores; she could make a peace by the sacrifice of Cornwall and begin a war for the conquest of Brittany. She could make every citizen in the United Kingdom, male or female, a peer; she could make every parish in the United Kingdom a ‘University’; she could dismiss most of the civil servants, and she could pardon all offenders.”Her Majesty’s actual rights as a Queen are only three:The right to be consulted by the Prime MinisterTo encourage certain courses of actionTo warn against othersHowever her duties are far greater than her rights. Her Majesty’s duties do not just consist one or two, but the many below:“Constitutional Arbitration.” In times of Crisis, as with a hung Parliament, the lack of an automatic choice of Prime Minister or an unjustifiable and unnecessary request for a dissolution of Parliament, the Monarchy provides an impartial and non-political arbitrator, like an umpire called in when the players cannot agree. It would also be able to intervene if the government acted un-constitutionally by, say putting the opposition in jail, abolishing elections, or instructing the police not to prosecute members of the government for criminal offences. The Monarch can also dissolve Parliament, and appoint a Prime Minister to their liking, which has been done throughout Her Majesty’s reign. This duty falls upon the Monarch not only in England, but in the Commonwealth countries that retain the British Sovereign as their Monarch and Head of State.“Stability.” A form of Government that only came into being yesterday can quite easily be overthrown tomorrow; an institution sanctified by 1,000 years of Sovereignty is more deeply embedded in the consciousness of the nation and more closely woven into the fabric of political life. It can still be overthrown (as by Oliver Cromwell in 1649), but people are still likely to think very hard before they pick up the sword. The Monarchy was Restored (1659 Charles II).“Continuity.” Governments come and go, A week is a long time in Parliament, and five years a lifetime. But the Sovereign is always there, and the apparatus of monarchy helps to bridge the discontinuities of party politics.“Experience.” A lifetime of reading state papers, meeting heads of state and ambassadors, and holding a weekly audience with the Prime Minister gives The Queen an unequalled store of knowledge and experience. Politicians see state papers only when they are in office, but the Queen sees them every day. Her constitutional right to be consulted, to encourage and to warn makes this experience available to every government, as it is after all, Her Government.“Unity.” Party politics is about disagreement and confrontation. It encourages polarization – rich against poor, north against south, management against unions, black against white, Catholic against Protestant. Parliament institutionalizes division and conflict. The monarchy is about national unity and institutionalizes cooperation and consensus.“Succession.” The heredity principle does more than provide a formula for unopposed succession. It also means that everyone knows who the successor is likely to be, and that he or she will have been groomed for the job from birth.“Intelligibility.” A family at the head of the nation’s affairs is something everyone can understand and indentify with. It makes the state seem human, personal and accessible. A parliament portrays public life as a battlefield; the monarchy portrays it as a family circle.“Recognition of Achievement.” By honours, awards, visits, patronage and sponsorship the sovereign and the Royal Family can recognize and reward achievement by individuals and organizations, and publicly affirm their value to the nation.“Focus of Allegiance.” A person and a family are a powerful symbol for the armed services of what they are fighting for, and are not so vulnerable to the winds of political favour in supporting the forces and honouring their sacrificing.“Moral Leadership.” Because the monarchy is permanent, it can set a consistent moral standard which people can look to as a guide and example.“Model Behaviour.” The monarchy can also give the nation an example or, to be more precise, a range of examples of acceptable behaviour in the smaller matters of social convention and behaviour. Even when some members of the Royal Family do not behave as well as people expect them to, they are still contributing to the process of reviewing and revising the nations behaviour patterns.“Custodianship of the Past.” Through its ceremony, pageantry and ritual, the monarchy preserves the link with Britain’s history and reminds people of the country’s past achievements and the antiquity of their state.“Trusteeship of the Future.” By being close to the heart of affairs, but outside of the political arena, the Royal Family can focus attention on the country’s long-term dangers and opportunities as a counterweight to the inevitably short-term preoccupations of politicians in the heat of the party battle.“Uniting the Nation with the State.” Most important of all is the combination of the constitutional role as Head of State and the social role as Head of the Nation within a single institution, a single family and a single office. If the sovereign can be the focus of the people’s loyalty, pride, patriotism and a sense of nationhood, then the people are simultaneously focusing these emotions on the state of which the Queen is the constitutional head; they are confirming and supporting the legitimacy of the political, legal and economic system which regulates their daily lives.“The Commonwealth.” A Commonwealth Realm is a country which has The Queen as its Monarch. The Queen is Head of State (Queen) of 15 Commonwealth realms in addition to the UK. She is also Head of the Commonwealth itself, a voluntary association of 53 independent countries. From Australia to Antigua, Canada to Cameroon, the Commonwealth is a remarkable international organisation, spanning every geographical region, religion and culture. It exists to foster international co-operation and trade links between people all over the world“Powers of the Queen”The power to appoint and dismiss the Prime MinisterThe power to appoint and dismiss other ministers.The power to summon, prorogue and dissolve ParliamentThe power to make war and peaceThe power to command the armed forces of the United KingdomThe power to regulate the Civil ServiceThe power to ratify treatiesThe power to issue passportsThe power to appoint bishops and archbishops of the Church of EnglandThe power to create peers (both life peers and hereditary peers).If the Queen pleases, she can ride in a horse carriage down Rotten Row, where others can only ride horseback. Her picture will appear on postage stamps, but she will not need them; her personal mail is franked. She can drive as fast as she likes in a car which needs no license number. She could tell her sister Princess Margaret when she could marry. She can confer Britain’s highest civilian decoration, the Order of Merit—one honour in which the Sovereign retains freedom of choice.What Her Majesty cannot do is vote. Nor can she express any shading of political opinion in public. The Queen cannot sit in the House of Commons, although the building is royal property. She addresses the opening session of each Parliament, but she cannot write her own speech. The Queen cannot refuse to sign a bill of Parliament, and she cannot appear as a witness in court, or rent property from her subjects.It seems that there is some controversy over whether “The Queen cannot refuse to sign a bill of Parliament.” Maybe this is the missing connection I referred to earlier.Secret papers show extent of senior royals' veto over bills - seems to show that the Monarchy plays much more than a ceremonial role and actually DOES play a part in governing, more than many realize, and expresses a concern that this calls for more “transparency.”I thought as I read about Royal assent - Wikipedia and Queen's Consent - Wikipedia that these powers seem much more than ceremonial. Secret papers show extent of senior royals' veto over bills supports my thoughts. From Secret papers show extent of senior royals' veto over bills:The extent of the Queen and Prince Charles's secretive power of veto over new laws has been exposed after Downing Street lost its battle to keep information about its application secret.Whitehall papers prepared by Cabinet Office lawyers show that overall at least 39 bills have been subject to the most senior royals' little-known power to consent to or block new laws. They also reveal the power has been used to torpedo proposed legislation relating to decisions about the country going to war.andIn one instance the Queen completely vetoed the Military Actions Against Iraq Bill in 1999, a private member's bill that sought to transfer the power to authorise military strikes against Iraq from the monarch to parliament.She was even asked to consent to the Civil Partnership Act 2004 because it contained a declaration about the validity of a civil partnership that would bind her.In the pamphlet, the Parliamentary Counsel warns civil servants that if consent is not forthcoming there is a risk "a major plank of the bill must be removed"."This is opening the eyes of those who believe the Queen only has a ceremonial role," said Andrew George, Liberal Democrat MP for St Ives, which includes land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, the Prince of Wales' hereditary estate."It shows the royals are playing an active role in the democratic process and we need greater transparency in parliament so we can be fully appraised of whether these powers of influence and veto are really appropriate. At any stage this issue could come up and surprise us and we could find parliament is less powerful than we thought it was." . . .. . . "There has been an implication that these prerogative powers are quaint and sweet but actually there is real influence and real power, albeit unaccountable," said John Kirkhope, the legal scholar who fought the freedom of information case to access the papers.There is an inate contradiction here. The Queen cannot express a public opinion politically, yet when giving or withholding Royal Assent she may be making a political judgement . . . And in her Oath of Office she promisedLaw and Justice, in Mercy, to be executed in all your judgements?This process has not been necessarily secret in any sinister way, but part of the consultations between the Prime Minister and the Queen. Is it required that all consultations between them be made public? If that were so, how could George VI and Winston Churchill handled WWW II decisions without exposing their decisions and strategy to the Nazis?Does that not defeat the purpose of Constitutional Monarchy where most of the government are elected officials? If every decision must be made public (for public approval?) are you now becoming a pure (and inefficient) democracy?Secret papers show extent of senior royals' veto over bills expresses alarm that the Monarchy had any say at all. “Secret Papers” lists the following bills where either The Queen or The Prince of Wales exercised Royal Assent and, in one case, did not give the expected rubber stamp:Royal influenceHere is a list of government bills that have required the consent of the Queen or the Prince of Wales. It is not exhaustive and in only one case does it show whether any changes were made. It is drawn from data gleaned from two Freedom of Information requests.The QueenAgriculture (miscellaneous provisions) bill 1962Housing Act 1996Rating (Valuation Act) 1999Military actions against Iraq (parliamentary approval bill) 1999 – consent not signifiedPollution prevention and control bill (1999)High hedges bills 2000/01 and 2002/03European Union bill 2004Civil Partnership Act 2004Higher Education Act 2004National Insurance Contributions and Statutory Payments Act 2004Identity cards bill 2004-06Work and families bill 2005-06Commons bill 2006Animal Welfare Act 2006Charities Act 2006Child maintenance and other payments bill (2006/07)Rating (Empty Properties) Act 2007Courts, Tribunals and Enforcement Act 2007Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007Fixed term parliaments bill (2010-12 session)Prince CharlesConveyancing and Feudal Reform (Scotland) Act 1970Land Registration (Scotland Act) 1979Pilotage bill 1987Merchant Shipping and Maritime Security Act 1997House of Lords Act 1999Gambling bill 2004-05Road Safety bill 2004-05Natural environment and rural communities bill 2005-06London Olympics bill 2005-06Commons bill 2006Charities Act 2006Housing and regeneration bill 2007-08Energy bill 2007-08Planning bill 2007-08Co-operative and community benefit societies and credit unions bill 2008-09Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction (Lords) 2008-09Marine and Coastal Access (Lords) 2008-09Coroners and justice bill 2008-09Marine navigation aids bill 2009-2010Wreck Removal Convention Act 2010-12To me, as an American, it makes sense there is a “veto” system in place where the Executive - The Queen - exercises veto power after receiving the advice of her advisors, and this is what IS happening according to Secret papers show extent of senior royals' veto over bills:A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: "It is a long established convention that the Queen is asked by parliament to provide consent to those bills which parliament has decided would affect crown interests. The sovereign has not refused to consent to any bill affecting crown interests unless advised to do so by ministers."A spokesman for Prince Charles said: "In modern times, the prince of Wales has never refused to consent to any bill affecting Duchy of Cornwall interests, unless advised to do so by ministers. Every instance of the prince's consent having been sought and given to legislation is a matter of public record."It appears to me that the duties of Queen Elizabeth are varied and many - so many that she cannot possibly perform them all without the help of the working Royals she has chosen to assist her. These duties - powers, rights and privileges - have been adequately identified in the sources provided. The Queen does not act alone; only as advised by her ministers. All sources agree on The Queen’s duties except for the duty of Royal Assent. Is it always a rubber stamp or may The Queen withhold Royal Assent?It appears to be a shock to some that Queen Anne in 1708 was NOT the last Monarch to veto a bill by withholding Royal Assent. That honor belongs to Queen Elizabeth II in 1999. Queen Elizabeth II owns every dolphin in Britain and doesn't need a driving license — here are the incredible powers you didn't know the monarchy has reveals that Royal Assent is NOT just a rubber stamp:Queen's consent is exercised only on the advice of ministers, but its existence provides the government with a tool for blocking debate on certain subjects if bills are tabled by backbench rebels or the opposition.It has been exercised at least 39 times, according to documents released under the Freedom of Information act, including "one instance [in which] the Queen completely vetoed the Military Actions Against Iraq Bill in 1999, a private member's bill that sought to transfer the power to authorise military strikes against Iraq from the monarch to parliament," The Guardian reported in 2013.I find it hard to believe that Secret papers show extent of senior royals' veto over bills, refers to Royal Assent as:. . . the most senior royals' little-known power to consent to or block new laws.Little-known power? Not by any reasonably informed historian or even history buff. Royal prerogative in the United Kingdom - Wikipedia describes the very long history of and attempts to define royal prerogative including:The royal prerogative originated as the personal power of the monarch. From the 13th century in England, as in France, the monarch was all-powerful, but this absolute power was checked by "the recrudescence of feudal turbulence in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries". An early attempt to define the royal prerogative was stated by Richard II's judges in 1387.  If the definition of the concept has been debated since 1387, it is very unlikely that this is a “little known power” as Secret papers show extent of senior royals' veto over bills claims.What are The Queen’s powers? states what Secret papers show extent of senior royals' veto over bills fails to remember, again, the bold italics for emphasis are mine:The Royal Prerogative are a set number of powers and privileges held by The Queen as part of the British constitution. Nowadays, a lot of these powers are exercised on Her Majesty’s behalf by ministers – things such as issuing or withdrawing passports that, without the Royal Prerogative, would require an act of parliament each time.Over time, the prerogative powers have been used less and less though the important thing in our Constitutional Monarchy is that they still exist, they remain a means of protecting democracy in this country ensuring that no one can simply seize power.Monarchy of the United Kingdom - Wikipedia says this about the Royal Prerogative with my bold italicized text;The monarch and their immediate family undertake various official, ceremonial, diplomatic and representational duties. As the monarchy is constitutional, the monarch is limited to non-partisan functions such as bestowing honours and appointing the Prime Minister. The monarch is commander-in-chief of the British Armed Forces. Though the ultimate executive authority over the government is still formally by and through the monarch's royal prerogative, these powers may only be used according to laws enacted in Parliament and, in practice, within the constraints of convention and precedent.This does not mean that the Royal Prerogative no longer exists or is some secret, little known power. It has existed for many centuries. It is one of the many duties that Queen Elizabeth II must perform or exercise within the framework of a Constitutional Monarchy.