Australia is a federal parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm. It is also a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.
The Queen is represented in Australia by a Governor General who is appointed by the Queen on the advice of Australia's prime minister. Usually the Governor General acts on the advice of ministers, but in some circumstances he or she may act without or against advice, exercising reserve powers which include the power to appoint or dismiss a prime minister.
The Queen's royal style and title in Australia is Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth.
According to the official British monarchy website, "When The Queen visits Australia, she speaks and acts as queen of Australia, and not as queen of the United Kingdom."
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Prince Harry and Prince Charles at V Beach Cemetery in Turkey
Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images
April 22, 2015
April 18, 2015
Prince Harry in Australia
Photo by CPL Oliver Carter/Australian Defence Force via Getty Images
April 9, 2015
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November 9, 2014
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More Royal News
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A Concise History of Australia by Stuart MacIntyre. Relates the advance from penal colony to a prosperous free nation, and discusses the search for binding traditions in a nation created by waves of newcomers.
The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes. Vividly retells the story of Australia's founding and early history.
Australia and the British Embrace: The Demise of the Imperial Ideal by Stuart Ward. Looks at recent reasons for the weakening of ties between Australia and Great Britain.
British Imperialism and Australian Nationalism by Luke Trainor. Manipulation, conflict, and compromise in the late 19th century.
In Defense of Australia's Constitutional Monarchy by Philip Benwell. In this collection of speeches and articles, Benwell (of the Australian Monarchists League) explains various interpretations of the constitution of Australia and "The Crown of the United Kingdom" under which the Australian Federation has been formed.
Queen and Australia (official site)