One of the most complicated features of the Australian Monarchy is that it is in fact a shared monarchy. Some 53 independent sovereign states, including Australia, are members of the Commonwealth of Nations (Formerly The British Empire, and later British Commonwealth). 16 of these countries are specifically Commonwealth Realms who recognise the same Queen, Elizabeth II, separately, as their head of state.
Queen Elizabeth II, is the current Monarch's conventional title for all her Commonwealth Realms, but is generally regarded as "Queen of Australia" only when she is actually present in Australia or when she otherwise performs ceremonies relevant to Australia. Some examples are conferring Australian Honours while in the United Kingdom or participating in Australian remembrance ceremonies in France.
Most of the Queen of Australia's domestic duties are performed by the Governor General of Australia at the federal level and Governors at the state level. There are few duties which must be performed specifically by the Queen (e.g., signing the appointment papers of Governors), or require assent by the Queen as well as the Governor General, but on occasion the Monarch must personally act directly in partisan affairs.
In addition to the Queen's role in each of her realms, the Australian Monarch is also the nominal Head of the Commonwealth. Though this title, does not imply any political power over member nations, and does not automatically belong to the monarch, only the shared Monarch of the Commonwealth Realms has ever held this title.
Although Queen Elizabeth II is also monarch of the United Kingdom and several other Commonwealth countries, each nation – including Australia – is sovereign and independent of the others. The identity of the sovereign is determined by the conditions set out in the Act of Settlement. Under the Statute of Westminster, 1931, Australia has a common monarchy with Britain and the other Commonwealth Realms and cannot change the rules of succession without the unanimous consent of the other Realms, unless Australia explicitly leaves the shared monarchy relationship by means of a constitutional amendment.
On all matters of state to do with Australia, the monarch is advised solely by the Australian federal and state premiers. Effective with the Australia Act, 1986 no British government can advise the Monarch on any matters pertinent to Australia.
Succession to the throne is by male-preference primogeniture and governed by the provisions of the Act of Settlement and the English Bill of Rights. These documents are now part of Australian constitutional law. As Australia's rules of succession are identical to those of the United Kingdom (by the Statute of Westminster), see Succession to the British Throne for more information.
As in the UK, the Queen's role is almost entirely symbolic and cultural, and the powers that are constitutionally hers are exercised wholly upon the advice of the elected government. In exceptional circumstances, however, the Queen or Governor-General may act against such advice based upon her reserve powers. For the most part, however, the Monarch functions as a rubber stamp and a symbol of the legal authority under which all governments operate. It has been correctly said since the death of Queen Anne (1714), the last monarch to head the British cabinet (when almost all of Australia was still occupied only by Indigenous Australians), that the monarch "reigns" but does not "rule". For more explanation of the Queen's role, see Governor General of Australia.
All powers of state are constitutionally reposed in the Queen, who is represented at the federal level by the Governor-General of Australia and at the state level by Governors. The Governor-General is appointed by the Queen upon the advice of the Prime Minister of Australia.
Royal Assent and proclamation are required for all acts of Parliament and of the state legislatures. Territor
"Just tryin' to have a little fun, folks..."