The Constitution Unit


Monarchy, Church and State

Prince William, King Charles III, Queen Camilla

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. Then came a book on the royal prerogative, and a report on reforming the prerogative, published in November 2022. Our latest contribution is a report on future challenges for the monarchy (December 2022).

We also publish frequent blog posts about the monarchy: the most recent are in the side bar. And you can read a list of FAQs on the Monarchy, coronation and accession below:

British Monarchy: FAQs

Coronation: FAQs

The Regency Acts: What happens if the King is too ill to work?

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


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Accession and Coronation

A project examining the accession and coronation, including how the oaths might be revised and updated, and planning for the next 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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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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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.