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  #1421  
Old 04-08-2022, 09:48 PM
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She will remain the queen unless she abdicates and I think everyone agrees that is not going to happen. The question is whether she should at some point delegate her duties to a regent (with her remaining queen!) who is capable of leaving his/her house and do the things that have traditionally become expected of the monarch and which adds to the value of having a monarchy.

So, in that we she can take her mini-retirement while officially remaining the head of state.
She is already delegating the visible jobs of the monarchy to Charles with no need for a Regent.

Under the UK laws she can't have a Regent. She isn't under 18 and she isn't 'incapacitated' and so she is the monarch. Those are the only two criteria allowed for a Regency.

She has shown, in the past two years, that there is NOTHING that has to be done in person as she has been able to do all the things she does via zoom or phone calls e.g. chair privy council meetings and audiences - or earlier in her reign by other people.

A Regency would mean that she was incapacitated and thus unable to perform her duties at all.

There is simply no need for any such discussion. Charles can, and has been, stepping in for her when needed. There is nothing she has to do that can't be done, under the existing laws, by others.
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  #1422  
Old 04-08-2022, 10:12 PM
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Out of curiosity, what practical difference would it make to formally appoint a Regent (or longterm Counsellors of State) in comparison to continuing to delegate tasks informally?


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I think the Issue of Regency would be easier when Charles could be named Regent for a fe dayslike it is done in Norway and Denmark when the Moanrch there is ill like in Norway or absent like in Denmark.

Then Charles could be named Regent for replacing HM at for example the State Opening of Parliament and after it it is ended.
As far as I can tell, it already is legally allowable under the present statute, the Regency Act of 1937. There is no requirement that a Regent or a Counsellor of State (the Act's name for a regent who is appointed at the pleasure of the monarch) serve for any specified length of time.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Edw8and1Geo6/1/16


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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
She is already delegating the visible jobs of the monarchy to Charles with no need for a Regent.

Under the UK laws she can't have a Regent. She isn't under 18 and she isn't 'incapacitated' and so she is the monarch. Those are the only two criteria allowed for a Regency.
There is a third criterion which would allow for a Regency proper: if "the Sovereign is for some definite cause not available for the performance of those functions".

Counsellors of State are allowed so long as the Sovereign is either ill or absent from the United Kingdom.
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  #1423  
Old 04-08-2022, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
There is no need to name anyone to be Regent for a single event.

Under the law of the UK a Regency can only be established for one of two reasons:

a) the monarch is under 18

b) the monarch is TOTALLY incapacitated.

There is NO duty that The Queen has to do. Even approving legislation can be done by Counsellors of State as has happened in the past.

What does she do constitutionally?
n

4. Open parliament - not necessary - as she hasn't done it every year during her reign. In both 1959 and 1963 it was done by the Lord Chancellor (due to the fact that she was expecting and so it wasn't done for her to be seen in public in such a state)
.
There doesn't have to be a Queen's speech necessarily every year because sometimes a session of Parliament lasts more than one year. That really depends on the government asking the Queen for a prorogation (which terminates a parliamentary session) or not. Annual sessions are the norm though.

As for the Lord Chancellor deputizing for the Queen, I am not sure that is now possible as the current Lord Chancellor ( the Rt Hon Dominc Raab MP) actually is not even a member of the House of Lords. And the Prince of Wales is not a member either. I don't think there would be a problem if the Prince of Wales were appointed a Counsellor of State for the State Opening of Parliament specifically.

But Counsellors of State should not be appointed for routine tasks such as meeting ambassadors or attending Privy Council meetings except when the Head of State is actually out of the country or otherwise truly incapacitated. I have doubts that the Queen can even physically receive ambassadors or meet Privy Councillors in her present fragile state and considering her mobility limitations, unless she is willing to appear in a wheelchair for example. Videoconfereces were a nice alternative during the pandemic, but they are not desirable as a permanent solution. Diplomatically, it would be certainly negative for the interests of the United Kingdom if the Head of State did not meet incoming ambassadors in person in normal (non-pandemic) times or could no longer host state visits. It is already bad enough that she is no longer attending Commonwealth functions or making outgoing state visits.

The worst part is that many people in the UK seem to insist on keeping a Head of State with clear physical limitations (instead of a fully functioning Regent) for no rational reason, but rather based solely on some arcane religious beliefs about annointed sovereigns and divine rule.

I am not saying the Queen is completely incapacitated or anything that extreme. But common sense dictates that people should retire when they are 96. Pretending that you are not retired when, for most practical purposes, you effectively are, is much worse in my opinion.

I apologize if I am overstepping. Of course that is a matter for the British people and the British politicians, not for me, to decide. I am just giving by candid opinion as an outsider.
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  #1424  
Old 04-09-2022, 12:31 AM
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As for the Lord Chancellor deputizing for the Queen, I am not sure that is now possible as the current Lord Chancellor ( the Rt Hon Dominc Raab MP) actually is not even a member of the House of Lords. And the Prince of Wales is not a member either.
The Lord Chancellor still occasionally sits as a royal commissioner in the House of Lords, even as an MP. I think I once saw it explained that the woolsack isn't officially part of the House of Lords, but rather is considered to be an extension of the area around the throne, and any privy counsellor can sit in that area.
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  #1425  
Old 04-09-2022, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post

She has shown, in the past two years, that there is NOTHING that has to be done in person as she has been able to do all the things she does via zoom or phone calls e.g. chair privy council meetings and audiences - or earlier in her reign by other people.

A Regency would mean that she was incapacitated and thus unable to perform her duties at all.

There is simply no need for any such discussion. Charles can, and has been, stepping in for her when needed. There is nothing she has to do that can't be done, under the existing laws, by others.



she hasn't hosted a State Visit via Zoom and that would also be impossible to do.
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  #1426  
Old 04-09-2022, 01:05 AM
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Yes I agree with this. Queen Victoria, as an example. 'retired' after prince Albert's death and a regency was not required. She maintained her boxes and met with her ministers. As stated, that is all that is required.

Don't think the situation today can be compared with the times of Queen Victoria. For example there were barely State Visits which belongs now to the routine agenda of a head of State.
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  #1427  
Old 04-09-2022, 01:45 AM
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she hasn't hosted a State Visit via Zoom and that would also be impossible to do.
She could still host a State Visit via zoom anyway - as we have seen with her audiences with High Commissioners and Ambassadors. She has shown that her presence is NOT needed at all the things it was believed it was necessary before covid.

Charles has been doing the overseas visits at 'state' level for close to a decade now and has hosted overseas CHOGM's for a number of years - as he will do later this year.

Even when she does 'host' a State visit now she doesn't have to do much - she may have them for lunch and then hosts a banquet - hardly onerous work. She no longer even attends the 'return' banquet at the relevant embassy. That task has been given to Charles and Camilla.

The real 'work' is done by the PM in the official meetings. She is simply the person who shakes their hand for the photo ops and is then gone while any real talks are done by the politicians.

Put simply there is NOTHING that the Queen does that can't be done by someone else as has been shown throughout her reign.

Someone has to do these things but they don't have to be done by The Queen.

There was a time when it was believed that only the monarch could carry out an investiture but for decades now Charles and Anne (and at times other royals) have been doing them. It was once believed that a Privy Council meeting had to be done 'in person' but we have now had two years with none 'in person' and the decisions that have been approved have been regarded as as legal as those approved by 'in person' Privy Councils before that time. For many years it was believed that The Queen had to attend CHOGM to open those meetings but Charles has done that, overseas, a few times now and will do so again this year.

My point is that there is no need for any sort of talk of a Regency as The Queen can do what she can do via zoom and other things can be done by Charles or other people.

I wouldn't be surprised if she doesn't even make it to all of the planned Jubilee Events and that Charles will represent her at at least some of those events. She will want to be there of course as she loves the cheers of the crowd and would hate to see anyone else getting them on her behalf but four consecutive days of events seems to be beyond her these days, especially when all of them involve a fair amount of walking, even if that walking isn't seen by the public. Getting into and out of a carriage isn't something someone with mobility issues will find easy so I wouldn't be surprised to see no carriages at the Jubilee events but cars used instead. I hope to be proved wrong but I am seeing this more and more as the future.

These days she seems to do two/four audiences via video and one via phone each week over two or three days. She hasn't done four days of engagements for quite some time now.
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  #1428  
Old 04-09-2022, 05:22 AM
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I know this is a sensitive matter to lift, but we must face the truth... And that is that she won’t be getting younger and that her sunset has undeniably begun health wise, even though we all hope it will be a slow and dignified sunset...

It is not being negative at all - it is being realistic... She is very soon 96 years old and has done way more than what anyone could ask for...

The show must be able to go on with outgoing and incoming State Visits, physical audience’s and visit etc by the Chief of the House...
The current situation with digital audience’s was meant as a temporary solution during the pandemic but now it seems tp have become sort of permanent for health reasons...
As of now, it is highly doubtful that The Queen will be able to open the parliament or even participate that much in the Jubilée celebrations.. Even less likely attending a Garden Party or hosting a full State Visit... It can’t go on like that in all eternity without the whole point of Monarchy being seriously questioned...
in all eternity??? That is hardly the case is it? The queen is an old lady, she is possibly not up to certain things for the rest of her life, but in the nature of things that is a few years, not all eternity
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  #1429  
Old 04-09-2022, 05:36 AM
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Don't think the situation today can be compared with the times of Queen Victoria. For example there were barely State Visits which belongs now to the routine agenda of a head of State.
No, but Victoria did make life difficult for politicans, she did her duties up to a point but she expected them to go to Scotland to see HER, and was a youngish woman in robust physical health when she went into seclusion. The queen is doing her best after being a busy and hard working monarch for 70 years, to continue to do a certain amount of duties and I dont think that the British public are going to rise up and get rid of the monarchy because she wishes to remain as queen but isn't up to more than minimal work...at her age.
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  #1430  
Old 04-09-2022, 08:29 AM
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I can't see that anyone is going to question the point of the monarchy because a much-loved and respected 96-year-old lady wishes to take things easy. Queen Victoria went into seclusion when she was a physically fit and healthy woman of 42, little older than Prince William is now. Whilst people understood and sympathised with her grief for Prince Albert, they lost patience when she remained in seclusion years afterwards. That can't be compared to the present situation.

Whilst it's sad to see the Queen stepping back, I think most people are actually quite glad of it, for her sake. A lot of people will have been in the position of trying to persuade a beloved grandparent or great-uncle/great-aunt that they are no longer young and that they need to take things easy, and I think that's how a lot of people feel about the Queen.
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  #1431  
Old 04-09-2022, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Alison H View Post
I can't see that anyone is going to question the point of the monarchy because a much-loved and respected 96-year-old lady wishes to take things easy. Queen Victoria went into seclusion when she was a physically fit and healthy woman of 42, little older than Prince William is now. Whilst people understood and sympathised with her grief for Prince Albert, they lost patience when she remained in seclusion years afterwards. That can't be compared to the present situation.

Whilst it's sad to see the Queen stepping back, I think most people are actually quite glad of it, for her sake. A lot of people will have been in the position of trying to persuade a beloved grandparent or great-uncle/great-aunt that they are no longer young and that they need to take things easy, and I think that's how a lot of people feel about the Queen.
I dont think its sad, it is just inevitable and while I am sure the queen would like to do more and is possibly a bit frustrated, I think that she is doing the utmost that she can and that it is fine. I dont think that there is any case for a regency, unless she really is so ill that she can't read her boxes or is not able to concentrate on things.... She does not want to abdicate, I dont think that she thought of herself as living to SUCH an age as she has managed, but since she has, I think she is sitll fit neough to do the minimum amount of work. Possibly no other monarch will keep on as monarch at such an age, certainly I could see William abdicating at 70 but the queen is form a different generation and would not wish to give up.
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  #1432  
Old 04-09-2022, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post

The worst part is that many people in the UK seem to insist on keeping a Head of State with clear physical limitations (instead of a fully functioning Regent) for no rational reason, but rather based solely on some arcane religious beliefs about annointed sovereigns and divine rule.

I am not saying the Queen is completely incapacitated or anything that extreme. But common sense dictates that people should retire when they are 96. Pretending that you are not retired when, for most practical purposes, you effectively are, is much worse in my opinion.

I apologize if I am overstepping. Of course that is a matter for the British people and the British politicians, not for me, to decide. I am just giving by candid opinion as an outsider.

Differing perspectives are interesting.

It may be that the role of the monarch as something other than just a head of state is misunderstood or not understood at all. The monarch is more than just an office holder. The monarch occupies a position. One dictated by fate (or by God indeed as some may still believe).

Maybe from the outside it all looks & sounds a bit peculiar. Particularly when viewed from a republic or from a society where a monarch is considered in a purely civic sense.

Anyone can greet an ambassador or read a speech in parliament or preside over a banquet. GG's in the realms prove that. But no one else living ties people to their history & identity in quite the same way as the monarch.

The monarchy is atavistic. It runs very very deep.
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  #1433  
Old 04-09-2022, 11:17 AM
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The more I read, the more I'm convinced that the Regency Act will not be put in place unless HM, The Queen is no longer *mentally* capable of being monarch.

Iluvbertie has so nicely pointed out all the different ways that different functions of the monarch have changed and adapted (just by Covid alone). Right now it seems to us that the problem the Queen is having is mobility problems which, to me, coming about at going on 96 years old is simply amazing that it's taken this long.

She is still mentally alert and capable of making decisions. She can still sign her name to legislature in the red boxes where required. She can still make her will be known as the monarch. *These* are the things where a regent would need to step in if the monarch could no longer do. Elizabeth still can. She could do all these things from her desk in bunny slippers if she so chooses. She can still sign her name to the State Opening of Parliament speech and have Charles deliver it for her.

It's my belief that Charles, as a regent, would make decisions for her. That is not something that is anywhere neededed at this time.
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  #1434  
Old 04-09-2022, 11:24 AM
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Differing perspectives are interesting.

It may be that the role of the monarch as something other than just a head of state is misunderstood or not understood at all. The monarch is more than just an office holder. The monarch occupies a position. One dictated by fate (or by God indeed as some may still believe).

Maybe from the outside it all looks & sounds a bit peculiar. Particularly when viewed from a republic or from a society where a monarch is considered in a purely civic sense.

Anyone can greet an ambassador or read a speech in parliament or preside over a banquet. GG's in the realms prove that. But no one else living ties people to their history & identity in quite the same way as the monarch.

The monarchy is atavistic. It runs very very deep.
So, if I understand you correctly, the ONLY thing required of a monarch is to be alive? As someone else can do all his/her duties? And as soon as the monarch dies, his/her successor has the new job of staying alive until he/she dies and the process repeats itself?!

From your perspective as described above, would you have been advocating for queen Juliana to remain the monarch without a regent until her final breath? Even though the last several years of her life she wasn't publicly seen by anyone (since 1998 to be precise (nor were any photographs shared)) because of dementia. For years (at least from 2001 until her death in 2004; but most likely it had started to deteriorate years earlier) she had no short term memory at all (according to her husband!) and at times had no idea who her husband or other family members were etc.

Of course, I am not saying that queen Elizabeth is in anyway close to that situation but I am trying to understand the fundamental position.
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  #1435  
Old 04-09-2022, 11:28 AM
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So, if I understand you correctly, the ONLY thing required of a monarch is to be alive? As someone else can do all his/her duties? And as soon as the monarch dies, his/her successor has the new job of staying alive until he/she dies and the process repeats itself?!

That is literally the core of the European system of monarchy. If the monarch was incapacitated they had a regent. If said regent, or anyone else, wanted to take the monarch's place they killed them off. Very rarely do we see cases of abdication or letting deposed monarchs live in pre-revolutionary Western Europe.
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Old 04-09-2022, 11:47 AM
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So, if I understand you correctly, the ONLY thing required of a monarch is to be alive? As someone else can do all his/her duties? And as soon as the monarch dies, his/her successor has the new job of staying alive until he/she dies and the process repeats itself?!

Of course, I am not saying that queen Elizabeth is in anyway close to that situation but I am trying to understand the fundamental position.
That's an interesting take. It's not the only thing. But what I've outlined, the idea that the sovereign should not be seen as someone who just carries out the duties of a head of state, is a fundamental aspect of the monarchy. Otherwise questions over regencies & abdications can't be fully understood in the British context.

The situation you describe would be covered by a regency.
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  #1437  
Old 04-09-2022, 12:10 PM
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Any ceremonial head of state, whether a monarch or president, is superfluous to the machinations of government. They exist because the people want to have a head of state that they can separate from the government and cross-party lines and be above politics. We can romanticize the monarchy as much as we want but at its core it's not really necessary. Hence why there is no reason really for Queen Elizabeth to abdicate or initiate a Regency act right now.

Whilst I do wish more monarchies would adopt the Dutch system, with regular abdications and only the reigning person holding the title King/Queen, each system is different. Elizabeth II, after nearly a century of public life and service, can kick up her feet and enjoy being Queen while everyone else does the heavy lifting. The British people are not choosing an incapacitated head of state by allowing this, rather, they are honouring a woman who's dedicated her life to them by letting her off easy on the last few moments of her life.

One of the most effective things the Queen has done in recent years was her "We'll meet again" speech. While the States was severely divided by its political head of state, and even in the UK many were divided by its Prime Minister, she was able to rise above politics and provide a balm to the Nation. She did all of this without leaving her living room. There are many ways for a ceremonial head of state to be an effective leader and I think the British people can easily forgive HM for not opening parliament, attending state dinner banquets, and in general finding the easiest way for to be of service in her twilight years.
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  #1438  
Old 04-09-2022, 12:25 PM
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So, if I understand you correctly, the ONLY thing required of a monarch is to be alive? As someone else can do all his/her duties? And as soon as the monarch dies, his/her successor has the new job of staying alive until he/she dies and the process repeats itself?!

From your perspective as described above, would you have been advocating for queen Juliana to remain the monarch without a regent until her final breath? Even though the last several years of her life she wasn't publicly seen by anyone (since 1998 to be precise (nor were any photographs shared)) because of dementia. For years (at least from 2001 until her death in 2004; but most likely it had started to deteriorate years earlier) she had no short term memory at all (according to her husband!) and at times had no idea who her husband or other family members were etc.

Of course, I am not saying that queen Elizabeth is in anyway close to that situation but I am trying to understand the fundamental position.
But the Juliana sitaution is nothing like the present queen ELizabetths. Juliana was ill, was unable to do the duties of queen at all.. so she had a Regent, I presume. If the queen were in that condition, she would have a regent. but she's not and she is still capalble of the main duties of a queen.. so there's no need for a Regent. If she DID feel that she was tired out and wanted to abdicate, Im sure noone would grudge it to her... but she does not wnat to and she is not completely incapaciated.
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  #1439  
Old 04-09-2022, 12:52 PM
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That is literally the core of the European system of monarchy. If the monarch was incapacitated they had a regent. If said regent, or anyone else, wanted to take the monarch's place they killed them off. Very rarely do we see cases of abdication or letting deposed monarchs live in pre-revolutionary Western Europe.
Henry VI was virtually catatonic due to some form of mental illness - opinions as to what it was vary. He still remained monarch until he was actually deposed by Edward IV ... and, after being deposed for a second time, he died in suspicious circumstances. Edward II was removed from power and (unless you believe the conspiracy theories about him escaping and living in Italy) was also murdered. Peter III of Russia was deposed by his wife and was also murdered. Ivan VI of Russia was also murdered by Catherine the Great, despite having been in prison since he was a baby.

There was a lot of chopping and changing in 19th century France, maybe that's an exception to the rule but that was because they kept going back to being a republic.

And the papacy isn't a monarchy, but it's only very recently that we've seen a Pope retire. It's that same idea of being ... I was going to say the chosen one, but that sounds like Jose Mourinho talking . "The anointed one" might be a better expression.

Times have changed, and monarchs do now retire, but Queen Elizabeth II will not abdicate unless she becomes so incapacitated that she can't even sign documents or make a speech on video. Her mother continued working in some capacity until just before her death at 101: Prince Philip officially retired, but the Queen Mother never did.
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