Published on February 22, 2014
BY: Zhunusova Aigerim, IR-
The British Sovereign can be seen as having two roles: Head of State, and 'Head of the Nation'. As Head of State, The Queen undertakes constitutional and representational duties which have developed over one thousand years of history. There are inward duties, with The Queen playing a part in State functions in Britain. Parliament must be opened, Orders in Council have to be approved, Acts of Parliament must be signed, and meetings with the Prime Minister must be held. There are also outward duties of State, when The Queen represents Britain to the rest of the world. For example, The Queen receives foreign ambassadors and high commissioners, entertains visiting Heads of State, and makes State visits overseas to other countries, in support of diplomatic and economic relations. As 'Head of Nation', The Queen's role is less formal, but no less important for the social and cultural functions it fulfills. These include: providing a focus for national identity, unity and pride; giving a sense of stability and continuity; recognizing
• The Queen cannot act alone, she needs the support of Parliament and the Prime Minister to do something like declares a war. In extreme instances, when the Queen feels that the UK is in danger or is being poorly served by Parliament, she could dissolve (close down) Parliament and call for elections and make some drastic decisions, but she'd still need the support of many Parliament officers. The Queen is supposed to act in the interest of the UK public and her role is mostly advisory. She reads state papers every day and meets with the Prime Minister at least once a week. The Prime Minister doesn't have to take her advice, although, due to her long experience it would sometimes be very wise to pay attention to her. • The Queen’s role is to: -Perform the ceremonial and official duties of Head of State, including representing Britain to the rest of the world; -Provide a focus for national identity and unity; -Provide stability and continuity in times of change;
Elizabeth I - the last Tudor monarch - was born at Greenwich on 7 September 1533, the daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Her early life was full of uncertainties, and her chances of succeeding to the throne seemed very slight once her half-brother Edward was born in 1537. She was then third in line behind her Roman Catholic half-sister, Princess Mary. Roman Catholics, indeed, always considered her illegitimate and she only narrowly escaped
Elizabeth I in her coronation robes, patterned with Tudor roses and trimmed with ermine.
Elizabeth succeeded to the throne on her half-sister's death in November 1558. She was very welleducated (fluent in six languages), and had inherited intelligence, determination and shrewdness from both parents.
Elizabeth became queen at the age of 25, and declared her intentions to her Council and other peers who had come to Hatfield to swear allegiance. The speech contains the first record of her adoption of the mediaeval political theology of the sovereign's "two bodies": the body natural and the body politic: “My lords, the law of nature moves me to sorrow for my sister; the burden that is fallen upon me makes me amazed, and yet, considering I am God's creature, ordained to obey His appointment, I will thereto yield, desiring from the bottom of my heart that I may have assistance of His grace to be the minister of His heavenly will in this office now committed to me. And as I am but one body naturally considered, though by His permission a body politic to govern, so shall I desire you all ... to be assistant to me, that I with my ruling and you with your service may make a good account to Almighty God and leave some comfort to our posterity on earth. I mean to direct all my actions by good advice and counsel.”
From the start of Elizabeth's reign, it was expected that she would marry and the question arose to whom. She never did, although she received many offers for her hand; the reasons for this are not clear. She considered several suitors until she was about fifty. Her last courtship was with Francis, Duke of Anjou, 22 years her junior. While risking possible loss of power like her sister, who played into the hands of King Philip II of Spain,
Elizabeth chose never to marry. If she had chosen a foreign prince, he would have drawn England into foreign policies for his own advantages (as in her sister Mary's marriage to Philip of Spain); marrying a fellow countryman could have drawn the Queen into factional infighting. Elizabeth used her marriage prospects as a political tool in foreign and domestic policies. However, she was presented as a selfless woman who sacrificed personal happiness
Elizabeth's foreign policy was largely defensive. The exception was the English occupation of Le Havre from October 1562 to June 1563, which ended in failure when Elizabeth's Huguenot allies joined with the Catholics to retake the port. Elizabeth's intention had been to exchange Le Havre for Calais, lost to France in January 1558.Only through the activities of her fleets did Elizabeth pursue an aggressive policy. This paid off in the war against Spain, 80% of which was fought at sea. She knighted François Drake after his circumnavigation of the globe from 1577 to 1580, and he won fame for his raids on Spanish ports and fleets. An element of piracy and self-enrichment drove Elizabethan seafarers, over which the queen had little control.
Ivan the Terrible shows his treasures to Elizabeth's ambassador. Painting by Alexander Litovchenko, 1875
Queen Elizabeth drew her final breath on March 24, 1603, at Richmond Palace in Surrey. With her death came the end of the house of Tudor, a royal family that had ruled England since the late 1400s. The son of her former rival, Mary Stuart, succeeded her on the throne as James I.
The death of Queen Elizabeth
While her end of her reign had been difficult, Elizabeth has largely been remembered as being a queen who supported her people. Her lengthy time on the throne provided her subjects with stability and consistency, and her sharp wits and clever mind helped navigate the nation through religious and political challenges. Sometimes referred to as the Golden Age, the arts had a chance to blossom with
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