The Monarchy Clear Guide:

The Monarchy OnLine team have a huge amount of knowledge about Royalty and so we have developed the ‘Monarchy Clear Guide’. This guide is written for easy online learning and provides a natural and helpful starting point from which people can find out ways in which to learn more about the monarchy and meet fellow supporters. In addition to this, with the amount of history, news and sometimes even negative press about the monarchy being available, this Clear Guide also provides answers to frequently asked questions. These are questions we have been asked over the last seven years since we started our community resource in Berkshire with the Constitutional Monarchy Association.

Clear Guide Plan sections:

1    What is Royalty?
2    What makes you Royal?
3    Titles & positions what do they mean today?
4    What do Royals do Today & how much do they cost?
5    Royals around the world, the commonwealth & UK relations.
6    Royal occasions & ceremonies
7    Frequently asked questions


The Monarchy Clear Guide is about sharing information....
That you can quickly and easily understand. This guide is only a starting point to learn more about the Monarchy, find helpful contacts and answer frequently asked questions that we have found often people don’t fully understand.

After running a Berkshire Monarchy group for over seven years have found that people really enjoy learning about the Monarchy together at our events. Additionally, people often seek quick answers to questions about Royalty today as this subject is not always covered at school.

As I often say, less can be more, so this is not a big read. Also, as you will see on our news and events section, we have linked the other websites so you can find out the latest news and publications.

Copyright Karen Aston 2014

You can read the guide below or download a PDF copy here.

1. What is Monarchy?

Royalty is Monarchy

Well, I think you have to start by saying what is monarchy.

Monarchy defines itself in different ways. Let us go back in history as you need to and say in the past Monarchs were usually absolute monarchs. They had total power over their subjects which they had gained by heredity, passed on from the parents.

In many countries in the world which have a monarchy it is still an almost absolute, this is a monarchical form of government in which the monarch has total power unrestricted powers over their people and country.

The great thing about Monarchy particularly in the United Kingdom (UK) and possibly why it has survived so long is, the UK Monarchy has developed gradually in response to the needs of the nation. In recent years changes to the way our monarchy is run have been made. For example, we have abandoned it being only the male heir that succeeds in preference to a female heir. This is a good example of how the Monarchy adapts to situations over the years. In later years the Constitutional Monarchy came about when it was felt that the people should have the power and not the monarch. Then there was a compromise because they still wanted the monarch but, still thought it is a good idea to have a figure head. On the other hand did not want that figurehead to have absolute power like in the past. So they came up with the Constitution which limited the power of the Monarch whilst still retaining the role. In the UK there is a Constitutional Monarchy.

What does Constitutional mean?  

Constitutional means that if people decide there ought to be some rules and principles as to the way the nation is run, it is called a Constitution. The constitution covers how the nation will be run and organised to keep to the rules. If anybody wants to say how things should be done, we appoint this written document, the Constitution, which is the way the UK do things today.

Can Parliament in the UK make laws about how our Monarchy is run?

Our British Monarchy today is totally under democratic control, the Queen can only act on the advice from her Ministers and of course the Monarchy only exists because of the will of the people as expressed in Parliament. Monarchy is such that it has fully adapted to the needs of the country over all the years but there was this example recently with the succession to the throne. The UK is complicated by the fact that as the Queen, as our Monarch who happens to also be the Monarch of another 15 monarchies in different parts of the world. Each of those Monarchies have to make a decision through their legislative assemblies.
What happens if we have a new Prime Minister and Government in the UK that didn't want a Monarchy any more?

Democratic assembly is absolutely paramount. So if it that was the case in the future that the majority of people in the Parliament decided that they wished to abolish the Monarchy it would go to a vote. This has already happened in some countries globally.

Who regulates this for the people?

Again it is the people in elected assemblies nowadays who do that. If you go back to the United States who were the founding fathers but over the past years Constitutions like with Monarchy gets altered. In the case of the UK it is a very interesting one in that apart from the Magna Carta, there is no written Constitution. The UK Constitution has come about by various different Acts taking place over the years and being cobbled together and regarded as UK Constitution.

When we say acts are we talking law here?

Yes, it is really important to realise that everything to do with the Monarchy and the Constitution is governed by law and is made by the Law making assembly which in the UK case is Parliament.

So can Parliament can make new laws about how our Monarchy is run?

The UK Monarchy is totally under democratic control, the Queen can only act on the advice from her Ministers and of course the Monarchy only exists because of the will of the people as expressed in Parliament. If we are talking about Parliament these people have been put into these positions as the people want them as their MP and obviously the head of the Political Party so these are people that have actually been elected to help make these decisions.

Does the UK Royal family contribute to helping plan or review law on Monarchy?

NO the Queen has the right to only comment to Council. As to Law these are again embodied in various acts over the years. So it is only possible, at meetings with the Prime Minister for the Queen to express a view but that is the only way in which a Constitutional Monarch now has any effect on the Law. Making Laws is vested solely in the democratic assembly.

2. What makes you Royal?

What makes people Royal?

Because they are related to the King or Queen or through marriage.

If a male married a Princess what would he become a Prince?

It does not work that way with men. Males who marry Princesses don't become Princes.

What if a female married a Prince?

In the case of a female who marries a Prince immediately becomes a Princess. Anybody who marries a Princess stays exactly the same as they were before until the Queen decides to give them some sort of title.

Does it have to be the Queen who decide title names that?

Yes, it has to be the Queen who decides.

When people talk about the Sovereign what does that mean?

"Sovereign" again is a historical term that goes back a long time and it means they hold ultimate power. We still use the term "sovereign" these days but its nature has become different over the years. "Sovereign" nowadays really means the constitution or Head of State and that's the difference from previously.

How many countries are the Queen the Head of State?

Sixteen independent countries and 14 British overseas territories. So that is a lot of postage stamps.

What are the significant headlines that the royals have been involved with over the years that have been significant in the way that the world has evolved?

Monarchy has been a marvellous example of stability and constancy. If there is one title you would apply to the Queen Elizabeth it would be Elizabeth the faithful to the declaration that she made when she was always only a young woman which she has carried out absolutely to the letter in the interest of her nation and the Commonwealth. Also, the other nations to which she is the Head of State over the whole of her reign. Constant and faithful, reliable and free from any sort of corruption.

What does a Royal award mean mean in today's society?

The public has got to recognise the fact that some awards are valuable. This may have a strange name, which is due to the British Empire which does not exist. There are different awards like the Order of St Michael and St George. Apart from the other old names which sometimes people have difficulty relating to, people can relate to the fact that there are awards. These standards of which are generally recognised and people feel it should be recognised and want to receive some recognition for work that has been done for the community.

3. Titles & Positions

What are the significant headlines that the royals have been involved with over the years that have been significant in the way that the world has evolved?

Monarchy has been a marvellous example of stability and constancy. If there is one title you would apply to the Queen Elizabeth it would be Elizabeth the faithful to the declaration that she made when she was always only a young woman which she has carried out absolutely to the letter in the interest of her nation and the Commonwealth. Also, the other nations to which she is the Head of State over the whole of her reign. Constant and faithful, reliable and free from any sort of corruption.

Royal Anniversaries always prove popular for many people. How long in relation to Queen Victoria has Queen Elizabeth been in service?

Queen Elizabeth will then have reigned for longer than Queen Victoria in 2016 at the moment she is the second longest serving Monarch in the entire world.

What happens to celebrate the Coronation?

Many special events take place and new UK events in the grounds of Buckingham Palace for example the Coronation Festival mounted by all companies that have the royal warrant. People demonstrating what products they make themselves and what items for which they have the royal warrant to supply. In the evening there will be gala performances of ballet, music and singing and so it should be an extraordinary event. Additionally, there are the exhibitions that take place in various Royal Palaces and the Exhibitions of the regalia and costumes that were worn by the royal family at the time of the Coronation.

Different titles & positions what do these mean today?

In the main it comes from the fact that Kings and Queens in the past have various reasons usually political or to say thank you for winning wars or given titles on to various people. For instance after Winston Churchill ceased to be a great war leader in the second world war, he was offered a Dukedom. Previous warriors have been, in the past like the Dukes of Wellington and Marlborough. People can chose not to accept a title for all sorts of reasons. Monarchs in the past have have given titles to having given Dukedoms to…. or Marquis titles.

Can Royals give Lords and Ladies as well?

They could get Lords and Ladies titles in the past but, nowadays Parliament have changed that. Whilst the hereditary peers and their titles still exist and are passed on from generation to generation they don't necessarily have the right to sit in the House of Lords any more and the Government can also create its own Lords and Ladies in the form of life peers who are called the Barons and Baronesses and they are only for life and the title does not get passed on to their children.

How do titles continue for the future?

The norm on titles is that if they are awarded a title by the Queen and it is hereditary ones and this is happening very rarely now, if at all, then it automatically passes from the Father to the eldest son but hereditary peerages are almost defunct now.
Can the Queen make you a Lord or Lady today?

Yes, the Queen can it is still within her power to designate somebody and to give people titles. For example the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and that title was awarded and bestowed upon them by the Queen but, it is very very rare except for members of the royal family.

Why did the Queen choose in the case of as was Prince William and Kate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge?

There is all sorts of strange reasons that go into this and it is often criticised as to the Countess of Wessex in the case of Prince Edward and particularly as Wessex no longer exists but its seems to be due to pure preference on the part of the members of the royal family.

Is it only the Queen who can give out these titles and awards?

Yes it is except for life peerages.

Do other members of the British Royal Family like Prince Charles help the Queen due to her massive workload or because training for the future?

Members does not award honours but, merely hands out the insignia of honours on behalf of the Queen. Investitures are where the insignia of honours are already awarded. We are talking about honours now and not titles except for the title Sir which is an honour. There is the insignia of those awards which are made by an Honours Committee in the name of the Queen, and are handed out either by the Queen or by the Prince of Wales or the Princess Royal on the Queen's behalf. The Honours Committee has got a very difficult job trying to assess and compare with other people who should receive an honour and who should not. Very very difficult job indeed.

What does a Royal award mean mean in today's society?

The public has got to recognise the fact that some awards are valuable. This may have a strange name, which is due to the British Empire which does not exist. There are different awards like the Order of St Michael and St George. Apart from the other old names which sometimes people have difficulty relating to, people can relate to the fact that there are awards. These standards of which are generally recognised and people feel it should be recognised and want to receive some recognition for work that has been done for the community.

Honours and awards from other countries which might be from a Prince or Princess and award from someone else. What does that mean?

If the awards are being made by a reigning monarch in another country then they have the status of being a valid national honour and they are given to two categories of people. 1. People within the country who have rendered service to that country 2 People from outside the country who have rendered service to the country, or have been done for political reasons for example and may have been a visitor visiting the country. A royal might be given an award from that country. In fact countries can exchange awards.

People also mention Lords and Ladies of the Manor. This is a bit different a lot of people might say, so how does this work and you can even buy it online today?
These titles are of no national significance and is like any other commodity. Some people sell titles and have no link to any particular one country any more.

People sometimes put these titles in front of their names and after their name. Is there a right way to do that?

There certainly is, you find it in Burkes and Debrett's peerage. There are ways of using these titles and some people use them erroneously in order to give the impression that they are of greater significance than in fact they are not.

With her Royal Highness, his Royal Highness, an HRH, how do they know they definitely can be?

Because there are rules laid down in the past. The Monarch in this country has always known as Your Majesty and the sons and daughters of monarchs are and their sons and daughters are known as royal highnesses. It is just that this sort of thing was laid down years ago and it varies from country to country. We have serene Highnesses in some countries and some countries call their heir to the throne "Crown Prince" whereas we don't. So these titles are decided by historical issues in various different countries in the world.

How do you address a member of the Royal Family or the Queen? What is the best way and the correct way?

If you want to be formal whenever talking to any member of the Royal family you start with Your Majesty if it is the Queen or your royal highness if it is a member of the royal family initially, after that it is Sir or Madam. Today as people are advised at royal events, if you want to just wish to say Sir or Madam throughout that is perfectly acceptable as well.

What does a Royal award mean mean in today's society?

The public has got to recognise the fact that some awards are valuable. This may have a strange name, which is due to the British Empire which does not exist. There are different awards like the Order of St Michael and St George. Apart from the other old names which sometimes people have difficulty relating to, people can relate to the fact that there are awards. These standards of which are generally recognised and people feel it should be recognised and want to receive some recognition for work that has been done for the community.

4.  What do Royals do today? Cost & funding considerations.

What do you think Royals do in today's society?

It is a tremendous amount Royals do today that is not only given to the community in this country but across the world. In the UK for starters: as a symbol of national unity as a head of state above politics and above action they are a centre, a symbol that people can regard and is also a symbol of continuity, an example of the constancy and ongoing nature of a nation. In addition, monarchy can be the head of the Armed Forces although the actions of the Armed Forces are totally governed by the legislative assembly. Nonetheless must be able to understand the Armed Forces, its ranks, its history and so on needs somebody who has a considerable amount of information gained over many years. Members of the royal family that tenure of their positions is lifelong and they are able to gain this enormous understanding, not only of the Armed Forces but of charities and the way of life of the country as a whole and to be able to be patrons of these organisations to support them is immensely valuable. Then there is their worldwide role acting as ambassadors again, not connected to any political party that they can be to in other countries. One of the reasons why the Queen is so highly regarded abroad is because when she goes there she represents the nation as a whole, or several nations as a whole, or the commonwealth as a whole and this is of huge benefit.

Do the monarchy have a job description if working with business, that they must do, this as the sovereign or the Queen for example?

No the Queen might well advise or suggest but it is a matter of organisations seeking royal patronage. This is examined on the basis by members of the royal family as to whether they have any particular knowledge or interest on a particular subject area, whether they have any experience of it, and also there own individual workload how many organisations they are a patron of.

So the monarchy can decide who they support?

Yes, passion but also they are trying to achieve a balance across the country so that all aspects of our national life are represented in one way or another by one member of the royal family or another person.

How much does it actually cost in the UK? Some people say it it is 67 pence per person, per year, how much does it cost if you are a taxpayer or not?

It is a very difficult question to answer with any major institution you have to say to yourself just what costs are taken into account do you add in a proportion of the cost for Police a proportion of the security and so and so on. Would you not have those costs if you had any other sort of Head of State, such as the President. So itis very difficult to work out the exact cost of the Monarchy. However, the costs are broken down for people to see if they want to see them from outside and they are all on the royal website If anyone wishes to look there are various different types of aspects of the royal family and decipher for themselves. Best to also add up and divide how many people in the country to work out how much each person pays and that is the best way of doing it. So exact latest figures on that not sadly available at this time. The latest figures are on there but to work out the cost of the monarchy it depends on what aspects of it you feel ought to be included and which you don't think are relevant and should be included. The best way to work out the cost per head is to go on to the Royal website and do your sums.

5. Royals around the world commonwealth & relations to UK

What the Commonwealth is when it was set up and who is in it?

Some people might have the idea that the Commonwealth consists entirely of a former British Colonies and indeed that was how it came about. As each country in the British Commonwealth and British Empire achieved its independence, an organisation was set up to enable such nations to still cooperate with each other even though entirely independent. As time went on, certain other nations particularly those surrounded by commonwealth countries like Mozambique, which was a Portuguese colony, said as they were surrounded by commonwealth countries we would like to be a member too. So there are now some countries which were never British colonies which are being accepted into membership of the Commonwealth.

What is the Commonwealth?

It is a free association of members states for their mutual benefits and it has at the Head of it at the moment is Her Majesty the Queen but it does not necessarily have to be the British Monarch. There will be some debate on the death of the Queen as to whether it should continue. Again a monarchy because it is nonpolitical the Queen was associated with all these countries in the past when they were part of the British Empire it seems natural that she should be regarded as a symbol of this free Association and therefore was head of the Commonwealth. So the answer to the question is it is 50? For independent nations globally? 54% independent globally most of which are of the British colonies in the British Empire.

Does it change? do people come in and come out, leave it if they cannot afford to do it any more or they don't want to do it any more?

Yes, and often it is the case that the other members of the commonwealth decide that the particular conduct of a Commonwealth country is such that they don't feel it should be part of this organisation and certain countries have been asked to leave the Commonwealth. Others have chosen to leave themselves such as Zimbabwe because they felt that they best ought to leave before they were pushed out. Commonwealth countries have High Commissioners to act as a the senior diplomat. Non Commonwealth countries have ambassadors. All of these post held in very high regard by an member of the royal household with the only difference being a commonwealth country.

Is there is no legal structuring?

No none at all.

Who actually makes the final decisions, Is it the Queen?

No it is made by the Heads of Government meetings and at those meetings whether a country stays in the Commonwealth or not is decided there, or individual countries decide whether they want to opt in or opt out for local reasons, and some have been in at one time and gone out and come back in again, such as South Africa.

Can for example a country say they would like to be in the Commonwealth. How would they do it?

Countries can apply to the Commonwealth Heads of Meetings and say we would like to be a member. Please would you consider our application and then the representatives of all the Governments of the countries in the Commonwealth make a decision.
As far as the UK being within Europe, is there any kind of links with the European Union does that have any royal connections?

No, it doesn't and there is often the problem here in that some people say that being part of the European Union diminishes the sovereignty of the British Monarch. That's very debatable, particularly in modern times and there are some decisions that are made and some laws which are passed which have to be done because we are part of the members of the European Union which would not necessarily have taken place were we not.

As an example Prince Philip has comes from another country. Is there any direct links to particular countries around the world or is that down to the preference of the Monarch or how does that work?

There are links with foreign royals through marriage and relationships but otherwise the relationships with other monarchs are either private or for family reasons or public as governments think it is a good idea. Right so again it could be for the benefit of the people.

The Queen's has a notable passion and desire for modernising the monarchy. Now that is quite a big agenda what has happened in the last 10 years to do this?

In the past communication between the royal family and the public was not very alway great and it this has improved immensely over the years. The royal website and the royal presence on facebook and twitter. The improved royal relationships with the media and the involvement of the members of the royal family in the media all this has changed hugely over time. Also, because the royal family have had to adapt to changes in social circumstances when the Queen came to the throne she was sending out each year to people who reached the age of 100 a few hundred telegrams and the number of people who are alive in the country at the moment who are aged 100 and over is in the region of 12,000.

Does the Queen still send out birthday greetings?

Yes, indeed and that is what has changed too we no longer have telegrams and these are cards that are sent out by the Queen. It seems strange really as whereas the rest of the monarchy has modernised and is using all modern communication techniques and we still have to rely on snail mail about the congratulation cards.

Are there any kind of plans for the future for that? To view it or change it?

Yes, it has been reviewed and now the Queen sends out congratulation cards to people who are not only celebrating their Diamond wedding anniversaries, but their blue diamond when 65 and their platinum on their 70th wedding anniversary. As people now living in their 90s are now celebrating their 70th wedding anniversaries.

Does the Queen pay for greetings cards out of her budget?

Yes, it does come out of the royal budget.

Can it be anywhere in the United Kingdom that the Queen will send out mail?

No this happens in every country of which the Queen is the Head of State.


6. Royal occasions & ceremonies who, where, when, why, what for...

Are honours given at certain times of the year or as and when they are needed?
There are two honours lists one is on the Queen's official birthday and the other is the New Year and the Birthday Honours the investitures and where the insignias of those honours handed out take place many times during the year.

We see on television a lot of royal occasions and more recently had the Diamond Jubilee. We are coming up to the Coronation what is the purpose of royal ceremonies and occasions?

The purpose is this is a lovely unifying way of bringing the country together to celebrate the nation. Yes, it is celebrating Her Majesty in one respect but it is a lovely reason for coming together. We say that we have had the Head of State for a long time and we want to celebrate that fact. We are also celebrating British nations togetherness at the same time, just like in so many other aspects celebrations are when the fact we have a Monarchy brings the country closer together.

So where do they happen? I have seen them in Windsor and London? Does it have to be in a Palace?

No, it can happen anywhere and of course the Queen and other members of the royal family attend all sorts of events in all sorts of places all over different parts of the United Kingdom and all over the world.

Would it be just one royal person as the Queen and Prince Philip go to a lot of things but is there a criteria to make it royal event?

Just a member of the royal family makes it a royal event.

Does that have to be a royal member from the United Kingdom or could it be a royal from overseas?

Of course it all depends on the organisers events people could say that with a royal from overseas attending a royal event but they would have to be clear in their description that they are talking about royals rather than royals from this country.

Does the Queen get upset do you think when people say that is not royal to celebrate royalty?

Well they would get concerned if there was some confusion as of course there often is by people who are not necessarily even serving royals or current royal families from the rest of the world being invited to these events in order to give them the royal connotation.

Who decides how long these go on for as some of these are going on for a very long time, such as the Order of the Garter? Do they just say they don't do that anymore or do they just have to carry on?

No the decisions are nearly always that might affect the country are made by a legislative body which of course in our case is the Houses of Parliament and of course the Queen in Parliament and all the laws are actually signed by the Queen but she has to sign them and act upon the advice of her Ministers and the circumstances she could refuse them are almost entirely non existent nowadays. As for events, the duration of them is usually decided by the organisers themselves or in the case of national events by the Government.

How often do they do that? Do they set up many new ones every year or say we can't do all these or is there a certain number of events?

There is no certain number they come about because of the wishes of the people as expressed and sometimes the Queen is apprehensive about having such events and the fact that money is being spent on them and the events are usually held because the people want to hold them.

How do State visits work?

If the visit is dictated by the Government, the Government decides that it is the national interest to foster relationships with another country and state visits are a lovely public way to demonstrate this link because they attract so much publicity because it can be the Heads of State of these two countries rather than Heads of Government who are involved. This is a lovely way of demonstrating the rapport that the Government feels there ought to be with the country. This not a new approach and has been happening a long time.

That will continue as long as people want them by the sound of it?

Yes, that's right.

Is there a maximum that the Queen can do a year, or does she just do them when it is needed?

She does them when they are needed but of course from all sorts of practical points of view there are certain times when the Queen's schedule cannot possibly fit any more in. As it is she is one of the busiest Heads of State in the world and there are limitations.

So looking at the amazing work in the future with the Queen how does the Queen decide to visit? Do they have to review it with the Government?

If the Government wished to change it the system has been established for many years then of course the Government could do so but unless the Government wants a change the procedure that has been laid down for centuries carries on until its another thing with the Monarchy there is never a period of time when other Heads of State like other when we don't really have a legitimate head of Government because between the elections and transfer of power the second to the Monarch dies, then the next Monarch takes over.

7. Frequently asked questions

What causes people to be against to the Monarchy?

Often it is a question of dogma. Republicans as an example may say we have got certain principles in life which have to be applied rigidly, in absolutely every aspect of life. As a result, you can't have any situation where people are not the subject of elections and democracy like the Monarchy. Therefore, elections by the people for the people is what the country must have. People may feel that this completely ignores the fact that there are various different forms of democracy that are appropriate and in fact preferential in some circumstances and the monarchy is one of them.

Are Socialists anti monarchy?

We have Socialist governments in this country that have been very supportive of the monarchy and so its not necessarily linked to socialism.

The Queen stands above politics and that and it is what is best for the people. How does the royal family cope attacks and nastiness and do they try to put their side across?

It is a very difficult one because the more they respond to attacks the more attacks there are going to be because the media often look for opportunities to have stories about the royals. So, in the main unless the situation is getting far out of control there is no response from the royal family or the royal household to all sorts of daft things or scurrilous things that are published in the Press. Otherwise it gives oxygen to such stories and so they are largely ignored by the royal household.

You see on the TV if someone significant person has died in the world the royal household often respond. Do they do that with the ladies in waiting how does that work?

It is done by the household officers and the Queen. The Queen might well lead on this and say I think we ought to send a message of condolence in such a case it would quite often be the other way round, where household officers or even the Government will approach the Palace and say we think it would be a good idea for the Queen to respond on behalf of the nation.

Are there a protocols to Royal HouseHold communications?

Yes there is a protocol but there again that is always subject to change as well. And the protocol would that be in that circumstance that has happened we will do this with the discretion of the Queen.

When a member of the royal family dies as we all do at some point in life, where would they be buried? How would that decision be made?

Of course there are lots of customs and precedent but the decision is usually made by the royal family as it would be by anybody who were deciding where their relatives how they would like to be buried. In the case of Princess Margaret she decided unusually that she wanted her remains to be cremated at a public crematorium and then buried in a particular way, but most monarchs are buried in the Chapel at Windsor Castle. It depends on the wishes of each individual. So that could be reflective of where they live or where they liked spending time. All of those things as a normal person they could say I really would like to be cremated because you are this you have to do that. No there isn't.

Is there enough education about the Monarchy today in the UK?

One of the big worries we have in the UK many people feel, at the moment, is that when some people are asked to comment on the Monarchy they do so from a lack of knowledge and in place of knowledge there is just prejudice and the lack of information so they are unable to make an informed decision. This is often due to the fact that education in this country on matters Constitutional and about our institutions in general has gradually diminished over the years to the extent that in many Schools it is almost completely non existent. This is a great worry because it means that when issues as important as whether we have a constitutional monarchy or republic, or not, are considered they are not being done on the basis of adequate impartial information and this has got to be rectified.

How is this education deficit going to be rectified do you think?

It is going to be rectified by improving the standards in Schools and by making sure that on the national curriculum there is a component that has to be delivered.

From an educational viewpoint what is the best way of delivering this?

Well first of all through Schools because a captive audience to which a message that has been proved generally could be delivered but also of course it is very valuable for the social media nowadays to be used as well. With this subject there needs to be balanced education in Schools are that all sides of a particular argument are fairly put over and, therefore, it would be necessary for there to be an agreed syllabus and agreed method for teaching this particular subject so there is a fair and impartial look at the pros and cons many teachers have expressed.

Who is going to make that decision for schools?

The Government.

Will it be for a certain amount of time and how long would they do this for?

If they said okay we will do this we need to put that on the syllabus. It will last until they decide to do something different for the future.

Would there be a maximum or minimum number of hours to teach on this?


What do you think is the best way of teaching, through visits, through talks, through celebration?

It is what's practical, unfortunately, the showing of audio visual material is one thing and having packs for teachers is another. Yes, those are the two main ways because any other form of instruction is difficult in Schools.

Do people have to bow and curtsy to a Royal as a lot of people get worried about that?

The answer is you do whatever you feel you would like to do and there are no rules about this these days. If you want to incline your head if you are a man, or in fact if you are a woman come to that, that's fine. If a woman wants to curtsy that's fine too. It is not essential but it is still quite liked by members of the royal family, particularly by the Queen as a matter of respect to their office as well as to the person. Remember this does not only occur with monarchs in the Republic of Ireland the Prime Minister whenever he meets the President always does a little bow. It is the way people are addressed and some engagement with the Embassies around the world and the royal families? When the Ambassadors are appointed they are theoretically appointed the Court of St James and they go and visit the Head of State of the country which in our case is the Queen. They hand over their letters of appointment and the Queen receives them so really she is just acting as the Head of State in those respects but any other rapport with the country takes place with the elected Government rather than with the Monarch.
Who is going to be our next King or Queen?

As circumstances are at the present moment as long as there are not any changes at the sad moment for the Nation and the Commonwealth when Her Majesty the Queen dies his Royal Highness Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, would become the next King instantly.

Do you think the Queen might have to step down if she is ill or poorly? How does that work?

Well in this particular country the system is that if the Queen felt that more of the duties were to be undertaken by other members of the royal family which is the case at the moment then other members of the royal family performs certain things on the Queen's behalf. If we were to get to the stage where as what happened to George III where the King or Queen were so incapacitated that he or she could not undertake any duties at all then a regency is declared by the Government. In the case of George III, his son who later became George IV was appointed Prince Regent and acted in the King's name, so that is what happens in our system.

Will such an approach be reviewed in a year or ten years?

No because it is not necessary it is only necessary to look at it when circumstances require it,but circumstances don't require it at the present and we hope they never will.

When it comes to religion the Queen is the head of the Church of England?

She is the supreme Governor of the Church of England the title which goes back to Henry VIII and was more of a political issue in those times. It is a problem and we know that the Prince of Wales would like to be defender of all the faiths so this may change. Again it is not just a title in particular as the actual head of the Church of England from all points of view is the Archbishop of Canterbury but the Queen has this title and some influence but it can be a problem in the multi cultural society.

So how does it fit at the moment sovereign of all faiths at the moment does the Queen support all religions and faiths?

Yes she does and when she goes to other countries and she goes to religious establishments of these countries and she also attends all sorts of religious events some of which are ecumenical but it does present a problem in that she has this role so far as the Church of England is concerned.

As far as these religious events all over the world, does they adopt the national dress considerations of covering hair how does that work?

It works entirely according to the wishes of the country being visited.

Does the Queen dress differently often on royal visits?

Yes she does. For instance it has always been the tradition that the people wear black when they are going to make a formal state visit to see the Pope and so the Queen although she is the supreme Governor of the Church of England and she has also visited the Pope she dressed in black, and when she visited Saudi Arabia she wore what the Saudi Arabians felt was appropriate as she does whenever she goes to any other country as to whatever they feel they would most like to see her in.

How about the cultural dietary some countries have a religion that doesn't eat pork do Royals do that too?
The Queen and all members of the royal family all have their own dietary requirements and so there is a discussion with the countries being visited to see if there can be some sort of compromise between what the royals usually eat and what is available in the country. So that again is flexible.

As far as children and the way that royal children are brought up in royal families how does that fit in today's royal society? Do they have to go to, for example, children of a Prince or Princess do they have responsibilities as children?

They don't have responsibilities as children no but they might just accompany their parents to royal events but they don't take on royal roles until they become adults, but it is the case that like with any other individual parents they can make decisions as to what sort of education their children have. In some cases in the Queen's case she did not ever go to School. In the case of other members of the royal family they may go to different schools. It is down to each individual member of the royal family what is the best for their children. Flexible then, for what could be best for the children.

What is a Royal Warrant and how do you get one?

Companies that are asked to supply for the royal family after they have done so for several years usually about five years may seek to have the royal warrant as it is of great benefit to them from a commercial point of view and that is how it goes about. It is only given to companies which are of good reputation and who have regularly for a period of a few years regularly and correctly and constantly supplied members the royal family with their products. This can also be a service

Is there a maximum number and who awards that?

Yes, the Queen or the Prince of Wales or the Duke of Edinburgh. Awarded by the Queen and the Prince of Wales at the moment. When the Queen Mother was alive she did as well but they are the only members of the royal family that award royal warrants these days.

How does this work with the royal collection as that is a charity that works with the royal household?

The royal collection is, in fact, a charitable trust and that means it carries out certain obligations on the part of the sovereign. The royal collection is those items which have been purchased by members of the royal family, particularly monarchs over the years and now held in trust for the nation by the monarch and that's how that works.

So those could change or other royal households could bring and add to it?

Yes gifts are often made for instance by the Royal academy gave a gift of paintings to the royal collection to celebrate the Queens Diamond Jubilee and will be on display at a special exhibition at Buckingham Palace so the royal collection is constantly being added to.


My special thanks to everyone that have supported me to learn about the Monarchy.

I would also like to acknowledge Dr Barry Twigg MBE for always sharing his expert knowledge and time to help me learn over recent years. Likewise, members of the Berkshire CMA group and UK organisation.

There’s a lot of information out there about the Monarchy, but it’s not always easy to find a guide to the basics. I know how confusing it can be to get to grips with what the Monarchy is all about and doing in society today. So I’ve put together the Monarchy clear guide. If you want to understand the topic quickly, and find contacts to provide more detailed material, then this is the guide you’ve been looking for.
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