Parliament consists of the Queen and the two Houses :
- the House of Commons ( the lower House )
the House of Lords ( the upper House )
The Sovereign :The Queen opens and dissolves Parliament. Each session begins with the State Opening of Parliament by the Queen. She delivers the Queen’s speech, which is the legislative agenda written by thegovernment for the coming year. ( Wednesday, 26 May 2010 )
She gives Royal Assent to the bills passed by Parliament. She can theoretically veto them but never does – as it would be a sign of hertaking political sides.
She nominates bishops and ambassadors, upon the Prime Minister’s recommendation.
On New Year’s day and on her official birthday in June, as the “Fount of all honours” sheconfers honours and titles as they appear on the Prime Minister’s list. (Life Peers , Companions of Honour , Knights , and members of different orders)
The Queen is also the Head of the Navy, Army andAir Force.
The Queen is the Head of the Established Church of England. The spiritual Head of the Church of England is the Archbishop of Canterbury ( now Rowan Williams )
The Queen is the Head ofthe Commonwealth ( 54 members most of which are former British colonies).
Every four years the Commonwealth’s members celebrate the Commonwealth Games, the world’s second largest multi-sport eventafter the Olympic Games.
Queen Elizabeth is the Head of State of 16 members of the Commonwealth : Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Antigua andBarbuda, Grenada, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, St Kitts and Nevis, Santa Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu –
The House of Commons : ( there are 650 members ofParliament : MPs )
The Commons proceedings are presided over by a Speaker who is an MP elected by the other members of the House and who does not necessarily belong to the majority party.The...