The modern constitutional monarchies are generally parliamentary monarchies with a system of Séparation of the capacities where the monarch is the symbolic system chief of the Executive power. This capacity is in practice reserved for a Prime Minister whom it named, having to have the support of the Parlement and towards which its government is only responsible.
The monarch, independent of the political parties, has constitutional prerogatives in order to exert his role eminently symbolic system as a guarantor of the Constitution and the democracy, the national unit and the territorial integrity, but also as a symbol of the historical continuity of the State, representative and guarantor of his interests abroad. He can also have a right to watch, of council and warning on the policy followed by the government, and be a referee, in the event of political crisis or governmental. So he plays a neutral part and can be used as mediator, it is in that the monarch is one moderating capacity according to Benjamin Constant. Thus, the parliamentary monarch reigns but does not control, or to take again the exact formula of Adolphe Thiers: The king does not manage, does not control, it reigns.
The hereditary monarch can be king or queen , as in the majority of European monarchies, but also large-duke or Large-duchess, as with the Luxembourg, prince , as with Monaco or with the Liechtenstein, emir, as with the Kuwait, or emperor , as with the Japan.
OriginThe concept holds its origins of the absolute monarchies of the end of the Moyen-âge in which the authority of the government is exerted by the monarch and his government. The development of the popular participation in the Démocratie S passed the capacity of governments chosen to legislative assemblies and Parliaments, producing more democratic systems. Thus the monarch reigns but does not make the law.
Theoretical chief of the executiveIn a constitutional monarchy the post of head of the state is usually transmitted within a royal family. The Head of the State is theoretically responsible for the Exécutif, which explains the origin of denominations such as “the government of Its Majesty”.
In certain countries the monarch can sit at the government although he does not play of role in the formation of the policy. In others, the monarch has a right of access with all the businesses of the government. However, some Constitution S monarchical exclude the monarch from any governmental participation. It is the case in Sweden and with the Japan in particular, whose sovereigns remain nevertheless the constitutional monarchs.
Effective chief of the executiveHowever, there exist still constitutional monarchies in which the monarch is equipped with true political powers. It is the case in Monaco where the sovereign Prince on the initiative of the laws and names the princely Government. This last is responsible only in front of him. Indeed, the strict separation of the capacities makes that the Government is not resulting from the National council (Parliament Monegasque monocaméral).
ApplicationNowadays, it is practically always associated with a representative democracy what forms a compromise between the theories of sovereignty of the people and a government following a tradition. Although the king or the queen can be seen as head of government, it is the Prime Minister who controls the country. Its capacity derives directly or indirectly from elections.
In the worldOn two continents (America and Oceania), there is one monarch, Elizabeth II, of which all the kingdoms are members of the the Commonwealth.
Old constitutional monarchiesSeveral countries knew a constitutional monarchy before becoming republics, among which have can quote:
- the France, of 1830 with 1848, with the Monarchy of July under the reign of Louis-Philippe Ier
- the Germany, of 1871 with 1919, with the German Empire
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