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  #101  
Old 07-05-2020, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
But the Queen (or the regent) reigns, but doesn't govern. That was alreay settled 300 years or ago (or at least 200 years ago, give or take).


If, however, you are claiming that is daft to have a hereditary Head of State, which is similar to having someone of his/her family as regent instead of a politician, then I take that you are a republican ?

The monarch is involved in the governance of the country.

No, not a republican. What I do find silly however is that the monarch's relatives, other than the heir apparent, can be involved in any way with constitutional affairs by virtue of being Counsellors of State.
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  #102  
Old 07-05-2020, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post

But so long as the monarchy remains hereditary, the closer relatives of the monarch will have a realistic likelihood of one day being constitutionally required to be involved in government, as a monarch or as a regent. Under the circumstances, is it not better if they obtain some experience in government?

I tend to agree wth you on this one. Specially for the heir, who is most likely going to be King or Queen anyway, it is a good experience to serve as regent pro tempore or something similar like a Counsellor of State.



The question of the constitutional role of the family of the monarch is tricky. They may not normally discharge any functions with respect to the State , but they fall at least partially within the scope of public law in the sense that:


1. They are in the line of succession, which might imply some legal restrictions for example on religious confession, residence requirements and marriages , at least if they want to retain their and their descendant's succession rights.


2. Some of them are normally eligible to become regents or the equivalent to a British Counsellor of State or a Scandinavian Riksföreståndare /Rigsforstande , which are constitutional roles.


3. The heir to the throne in particular has a special status, which includes also public funding and state-paid staff in most cases.



I don't see much difference between the UK and other European monarchies in that respect. If one can accept that a random person by virtue of birth and family origin can be Head of State, I do not see why not accept that someone else, by the same reasons (birth and family origin) can temporarilly stand in for his/her relative who is Head of State when he/she is unavailable. In both situations, the goal is to separate the office of Head of State from partisan/political interference. And I think all senior members of RFs should be prepared from childhood to perform state functions if needed, as that is part of the "burden" of hereditary succession.
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  #103  
Old 07-05-2020, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post

But so long as the monarchy remains hereditary, the closer relatives of the monarch will have a realistic likelihood of one day being constitutionally required to be involved in government, as a monarch or as a regent. Under the circumstances, is it not better if they obtain some experience in government?
That's a fair question which I why made exceptions for those in direct line. The reality though is that the Dukes of Sussex or York or Princess Beatrice are not trained for the role of HofS & have no expertise to bring.

Any regency is tricky because I suspect many would be uncomfortable about giving the prerogatives of the monarch to any member of the royal family (other than direct heirs). Any such scenario today may well raise a lot of questions about how we govern ourselves.

There is precedence for this. Protector Seymour was not in the line of succession. Not strictly analogous I know.

I see the British monarchy in much the same way as the other realms with their stripped down versions where everything is centred solely on the GG.
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  #104  
Old 07-05-2020, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Durham View Post
Succinctly highlights why reform is needed. It's plain daft for a modern state to arrange its governance in such a manner.
Reform in the workings of the Counsellors of State; yes, I would agree. A provision for a regency is needed (in case of short term incapacitation - I see little reason for a prolonged regency if the monarch is permanently incapacitated; although I am sure the queen would think differently - or for minors) but there is no need for a monarch or deputy to be present in the country (almost) all the time. In some monarchies it is required but others work perfectly fine without that requirement. One of the first modernizations by king Willem-Alexander in his reign was introducing digital signatures (on his I-pad), so he could still sign laws anywhere in the world.
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  #105  
Old 07-05-2020, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Durham View Post
That's a fair question which I why made exceptions for those in direct line. The reality though is that the Dukes of Sussex or York or Princess Beatrice are not trained for the role of HofS & have no expertise to bring.
I agree, but the fact remains that the Duke of Sussex has a substantial chance of becoming head of state (all it would take is one car accident) and even the prospect of a Queen Beatrice is extremely slim but not impossible. So I would argue that they require more training, not less, as training on the job would be far riskier.
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  #106  
Old 07-05-2020, 12:08 PM
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This is a moot point. CoS are not really needed as TQ never leaves the UK anymore. If the need ever arises, it will easily skip over the non-available people (Harry, possibly Andrew) and the next in line will serve,

Although, I agree reform will be needed in the future. Under the current circumstances, Archie will never be allowed to serve as a CoS. Thus, changes will need to be made at some point.
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  #107  
Old 07-05-2020, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post

I don't see much difference between the UK and other European monarchies in that respect. If one can accept that a random person by virtue of birth and family origin can be Head of State, I do not see why not accept that someone else, by the same reasons (birth and family origin) can temporarilly stand in for his/her relative who is Head of State when he/she is unavailable. In both situations, the goal is to separate the office of Head of State from partisan/political interference. And I think all senior members of RFs should be prepared from childhood to exercise state functions if needed, as that is part of the "burden" of hereditary succession.
The point surely is that the monarch is already the HofS (despite the randomness of the process) but that doesn't mean we have to appoint a relative to be a CofS. We have the opportunity to look elsewhere if we so choose. I'm unsure as to what happened before 1911 if anyone else knows? The Commons (or Lords) Speaker (+deputies) are all non partisan.

George Lascelles was 11th in line when he last served as a CofS. These sort of absurdities may well crop up again if the current system is maintained.
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  #108  
Old 07-05-2020, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
I agree, but the fact remains that the Duke of Sussex has a substantial chance of becoming head of state (all it would take is one car accident) and even the prospect of a Queen Beatrice is extremely slim but not impossible. So I would argue that they require more training, not less, as training on the job would be far riskier.
Well I don't want to derail the thread but I have no idea what would happen if the DofS were to become king. I don't know where to start with that one.
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  #109  
Old 07-05-2020, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Durham View Post
Well I don't want to derail the thread but I have no idea what would happen if the DofS were to become king. I don't know where to start with that one.
At this point if some devastating tragedy were to befall the Cambridge family, there is a better chance that the monarchy would be abolished than a runaway Duke being allowed to accede
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  #110  
Old 07-05-2020, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
While I also think that the duke is at the moment domiciled at the UK (unless he already got a green card for the US); could you please point us to the part of the explanation given at this website that pointed you in that direction? The pages I've read talk about (or more 'around') the issue but didn't really state how domicile is to be decided upon.
Apologies for missing this question earlier on. My guess was based not on the government guidance, which as said I haven't yet read, but on various pages I've read which give the impression that domicile is difficult to change after birth (example).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Durham View Post
Well I don't want to derail the thread but I have no idea what would happen if the DofS were to become king. I don't know where to start with that one.
Well, since it has a not insignificant chance of actually occurring, it would be far better if the royal family, government and parliament made advance arrangements and gave the public at least some idea of what would happen, rather than having to rush to deal with it if a tragedy ever happens.
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  #111  
Old 07-05-2020, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post

Well, since it has a not insignificant chance of actually occurring, it would be far better if the royal family, government and parliament made advance arrangements and gave the public at least some idea of what would happen, rather than having to rush to deal with it if a tragedy ever happens.
Well yes that's a very good idea. Who knows...such plans may already be afoot.
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  #112  
Old 07-05-2020, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Durham View Post
What arrangements existed before 1911 I wonder?
I don't think anyone had thought about it very much!

When George V became king, his two eldest sons were only 16 and 15, his sister Maud was in Norway, and neither of his other two sisters had very much about them, which I think is why he felt something needed doing.

When Edward VII became king, his heir was already of age, so could have taken over in time of crisis. When Victoria married, a Regency Act was passed so that Prince Albert could be regent if need be ... which didn't go down very well. And, going back in time, Regency Councils were set up or regents appointed ad hoc ... there was no permanent system in place.
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  #113  
Old 07-05-2020, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
Apologies for missing this question earlier on. My guess was based not on the government guidance, which as said I haven't yet read, but on various pages I've read which give the impression that domicile is difficult to change after birth (example).




Well, since it has a not insignificant chance of actually occurring, it would be far better if the royal family, government and parliament made advance arrangements and gave the public at least some idea of what would happen, rather than having to rush to deal with it if a tragedy ever happens.
As of now, if tragedy struck and Harry were next in line, he would be King ( period) as that is the law and, as I argued, changing the order of succession is very complicated and takes a long time. ( it took two years the last time it was done in 2013).

The thing about hereditary succession is that a person does not need any special qualities or merit to succeed . It suffices simply to be the next in line and not be otherwise disqualified for some other reason already envisaged in the law.

I agree that most people in the world would now see that kind of system as “daft” , but it is simple, unambiguous an uncomplicated . There is a predetermined order of succession based on an accident of birth and that order is followed. No need to warn the public about what would happen.

Edit: A different matter is , given that the order of succession is known , to make sure that people who are in line or closer to the throne, are adequately prepared, which is what I guess most European monarchies try to do.
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  #114  
Old 07-05-2020, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
As of now, if tragedy struck and Harry were next in line, he would be King ( period) as that is the law and, as I argued, changing the order of succession is very complicated and takes a long time. ( it took two years the last time it was done in 2013).

The thing about hereditary succession is that a person does not need any special qualities or merit to succeed . It suffices simply to be the next in line and not be otherwise disqualified for some other reason already envisaged in the law.

I agree that most people in the works would niow see that kind of system as “daft” , but it is simple, unambiguous an uncomplicated . There is predetermined order of succession bared on an accident of birth and that order is followed,
Constitutional monarchy works well for Britain for the moment. Most seem content for it to continue. There are some elements that are a bit daft but the core fundamentals are sound.

I wasn't really clear about whether a process did exist whereby an individual could renounce succession rights & I appreciate the posts that have answered that question. Something else to be reformed maybe?
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  #115  
Old 07-05-2020, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Alison H View Post
I don't think anyone had thought about it very much!

When George V became king, his two eldest sons were only 16 and 15, his sister Maud was in Norway, and neither of his other two sisters had very much about them, which I think is why he felt something needed doing.

When Edward VII became king, his heir was already of age, so could have taken over in time of crisis. When Victoria married, a Regency Act was passed so that Prince Albert could be regent if need be ... which didn't go down very well. And, going back in time, Regency Councils were set up or regents appointed ad hoc ... there was no permanent system in place.
Victoria visited Germany quite a lot & then I think became fond of the South of France in later life. Was any provision made during her absences?
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  #116  
Old 07-05-2020, 01:56 PM
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The reality is in this modern age the need for Counsellors of State is diminishing all the time, that said there are plenty of royals around if required (I believe two are required - even ignoring Harry and Andrew there is Beatrice and Eugenie then Edward, Anne and their children. Louise is 16 now so will be of age in 5 years, Zara and Peter could both serve.
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  #117  
Old 07-05-2020, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
As of now, if tragedy struck and Harry were next in line, he would be King ( period) as that is the law and, as I argued, changing the order of succession is very complicated and takes a long time. ( it took two years the last time it was done in 2013).
Durham spoke of not knowing what would happen if the Duke of Sussex became king, so I believe he was not questioning that Harry would be King but what would happen if he did. (For example, I suppose it would be interesting to see what would happen if King Henry wanted to continue dividing his time between continents; would his Counsellors of State carry out his duties during his absences?)
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  #118  
Old 07-05-2020, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
Durham spoke of not knowing what would happen if the Duke of Sussex became king, so I believe he was not questioning that Harry would be King but what would happen if he did. (For example, I suppose it would be interesting to see what would happen if King Henry wanted to continue dividing his time between continents; would his Counsellors of State carry out his duties during his absences?)
According to the law, yes , I think so. But I doubt he would do it, I.e. split t his time between two continents if he were King.

Interestingly , if he did that and decided to spend part of his time in Canada rather the US, he could personally perform the functions of King of Canada while in residence there and he would have a constitutional standing in the country, which he doesn’t have now as Duke of Sussex .

Some countries like Norway or Sweden have constitutional rules under which, if the King spends more than six consecutive months out of the country , he can be deemed to have abdicated if Parliament so decides, but no such rule exists in the UK. The UK parliament could introduce a rule like that by law, but again it would require the consent of the Commonwealth realms as any abdication changes the order of succession.
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  #119  
Old 07-05-2020, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Durham View Post
Victoria visited Germany quite a lot & then I think became fond of the South of France in later life. Was any provision made during her absences?
I don't think so. Presumably things just had to wait until she got back! Medieval and early modern kings used to leave someone specific in charge whilst they were off fighting wars, but no-one seems to've bothered much for holidays/family visits abroad in later years. But a Regency Act was passed to allow Albert to take over in case of emergency, and, by the time Albert died, the Prince of Wales was nearly 21 and it was presumably assumed that he'd take charge if something really couldn't wait. But then George V, George VI and Elizabeth II all succeeded whilst their heirs were minors.


Hopefully this is all just academic. It's starting to remind me of that film from about 30 years ago where a singer from Las Vegas played by John Goodman from Roseanne ended up becoming king :-) !!
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  #120  
Old 07-05-2020, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
According to the law, yes , I think so. But I doubt he would do it, I.e. split t his time between two continents if he were King.

Interestingly , if he did that and decided to spend part of his time in Canada rather the US, he could personally perform the functions of King of Canada while in residence there and he would have a constitutional standing in the country, which he doesn’t have now as Duke of Sussex .

Some countries like Norway or Sweden have constitutional rules under which, if the King spends more than six consecutive months out of the country , he can be deemed to have abdicated if Parliament so decides, but no such rule exists in the UK. The UK parliament could introduce a rule like that by law, but again it would require the consent of the Commonwealth realms as any abdication changes the order of succession.
No I'm sure you're right it would make no sense for someone in the duke's position. Besides people in Britain wouldn't tolerate a part time monarch.

Having a shared monarch does complicate issues unlike in other countries.
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