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The Constitution Unit

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Monarchy, Church and State

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The UK is one of eight parliamentary monarchies in Europe. Our research seeks to inform public debate on a range of issues including the constitutional and political role of the monarchy, prerogative powers, and the relationship between the monarchy, church and state.

Our work in this field began with church and state, looking at the implications of disestablishment. Then in 2016 we published a report about the role and future of the Monarchy. This led on to work on the next accession and coronation, looking in particular at the accession and coronation oaths. Our next project was a comparative study of the eight parliamentary monarchies in Europe, leading to publication of an edited book in 2020. Our latest project is a book on the royal prerogative, to be published in autumn 2022.  It is a contribution to a comparative study of prerogative powers in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK led by Prof Philippe Lagassé.

You can read a list of FAQs on the Monarchy, coronation and accession below

 

British Monarchy: FAQs

Accession and Coronation: FAQs

 

The Constitution Unit’s research in this area is led by Professor Robert Hazell and Dr Bob Morris and falls into the following areas.

 

Research

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Prerogative Powers

Professor Robert Hazell is part of a SSHRC-funded research project which compares how the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are seeking to regulate prerogative powers.

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Monarchies in Europe

In March 2019 we held a conference to discuss the role of monarchy in a parliamentary democracy, with representatives from Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. The subsequent papers were edited into a book The Role of Monarchy in Modern Democracy (Hart, 2020).

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Accession and Coronation

This project began by looking at the accession and coronation oaths, but broadened out into other aspects. We held two private seminars with groups of experts, and in May 2018 published two reports, one on the oaths, and the other on planning the Accession and Coronation.

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Future of the Monarchy

To mark the Queen’s 90th birthday, we published a report in 2016 about the role and future of the Monarchy. We have also written a chapter in Constitutional Futures Revisited about the Reign of Charles III.

 

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Church and State

Our three year research project into Church and State explored the realities of establishment, and what would be involved if the Church of England were disestablished. It concluded that disestablishment will only happen if the Church wants it: the government is unlikely to make the first move.