Crowned republic

A crowned republic is a form of government "under whose constitution the monarch does not have executive power".[1] Subsequently, within a "crowned republic" although a monarch may still embody the nation, all legal executive authority is instead vested with another governmental body or position. The term "crowned republic" is thus an informal term used to describe a monarchical system of governance which is almost indistinguishable from that of a parliamentary republic.


Although the definition of a crowned republic is based on whether or not the sovereign possesses executive authority, some authors have used the term in slightly different ways to illustrate a point. For example, James Bryce wrote in 1921 that "while such a monarchy as that of Norway is really a Crowned Republic, and indeed a democratic republic, monarchy was in Russia before 1917, and in Turkey before 1905, and to a lesser degree in Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy until 1918, an appreciable force in the conduct of affairs".[2] Others have referred to Australia as a crowned republic as it is seen as "a state in which sovereignty resides in its people and in which all public offices, except that at the very apex of the system, are filled by persons deriving their authority directly or indirectly from the people" so "it may be appropriate to regard Australia as a crowned republic".[3] In addition, the novelist and essayist H. G. Wells used the term to describe the United Kingdom,[4] as did Alfred, Lord Tennyson in his poem Idylls of the King.[5] However, in all these cases the term does not meet the prescribed definition of the term, as although the power of government ultimately rests with the people (as it does in all democracies), legal executive authority (vice democratic powers) is still vested with the monarch. Subsequently, the term "crowned republic" is largely used in these cases to illustrate a point, namely the similarity of the actual machinery of government (and bureaucratic action) between both republican and monarchical forms of democratic governance.

See also


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