Royal prerogative  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity, recognized in common law and, sometimes, in civil law jurisdictions possessing a monarchy as belonging to the sovereign alone. It is the means by which some of the executive powers of government, possessed by and vested in a monarch with regard to the process of governance of their state, are carried out. Individual prerogatives can be abolished by Parliament, although in the United Kingdom special procedure applies.

Though some republican heads of state possess similar powers, they are not coterminous, containing a number of fundamental differences, and may be either more or less extensive (cf. reserve powers).

In England, while prerogative powers were originally exercised by the monarch acting alone, without an observed requirement for parliamentary consent (after Magna Carta), since the accession of the House of Hanover they have been generally exercised on the advice of the Prime Minister or the Cabinet, who in turn is accountable to Parliament, exclusively so, except in matters of the Royal Family, since at least the time of Queen Victoria.

Typically in liberal democracies which are constitutional monarchies, such as those of Denmark, Japan or Sweden, the royal prerogative serves as a prescribed ceremonial function of the state power.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Royal prerogative" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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