The British Monarch / Монарх в Великобритании
The British monarchy in this country has been for many centuries and it is known as a constitutional monarchy (or parliamentary monarchy). Under the British Constitution the Monarch remains the head of the state but the power of Her Majesty the Queen of the UK is limited by the British Parliament. That is why they often say that the monarch in this country reigns but does not rule.
Although the British Sovereign no longer has a political or executive role, he or she continues to play an important part in the life of the nation.
As the Head of State, the Queen fulfils different state duties which have developed over a thousand years of history. She takes part in a number of special royal occasions every year.
First of all, it is, of course, the official birthday of the Monarch. It is remarkable that there is one Queen in the UK, but she has two birthdays. The Queen celebrates her actual birthday on April 21st, which is spent privately at Windsors’ with friends and family. She also celebrates her official birthday on either the first or the second, and sometimes the third, Saturday in June.
The Queen turned 80 on April 21st, 2006, and celebrated her official birthday on June 17th, 2006.
The tradition of an official birthday for the Sovereign was begun for practical reasons. Monarchs who had their birthdays in the winter months often had problems because of cold, wet weather which spoilt parades and other outdoor celebrations. King Edward VII, who was born on November 9th, was the first Monarch to mark his official birthday on a separate day to his actual birthday throughout his reign, holding celebrations in either May or June. The Queen continues the tradition.
The official birthday is always marked in the same way with the Trooping of the Colour ceremony and a fly-past over Buckingham Palace. In addition to this, the Queen’s Birthday Honours List is announced, the Union Flag is flown from government buildings and gun salutes are fired at noon.
Trooping of the Сolour is actually the Horse Guards Parade near St. James’s Park. Earlier the regiments of the Commonwealth and the British Army trooped the flags in the battles. Now Trooping of the Colour has become a ceremony for regiments to display their past military achievements to the general public.
There is also such official ceremony as the State Opening of the Parliament, which takes place in October or November. On this occasion the Queen rides in a state carriage from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster (House of Lords) and reads her speech from the throne there.
The Remembrance Day is held in November. It is the service in the White Hall for the dead of World War II.
In June the Queen is present at the Derby at Epsom and at the Royal Ascot in Windsor.
There are three official residences of the Monarch — Buckingham Palace in London, Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Windsor Castle in Windsor.
In addition to these state duties, the Queen has a less formal role as "the Head of Nation". This role of the monarch is symbolic. She embodies national identity, unity and pride, gives a sense of stability and continuity.
► Читайте также другие темы раздела "The political system of the UK / Политическая система Великобритании":
- The UK and the World. The political system of the country / Политическая система Великобритании
- The British Monarch / Монарх в Великобритании
- The British Government / Правительство Великобритании
- The House of Commons/ Палата Общин
- The House of Lords / Палата Лордов
- Political Parties / Политические партии
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