From what I understand, Britain has a long-standing tradition of parliamentary rule in the stead of their monarch, and the powers of the monarch are very limited.

Yet, assuming a degree of popular support, what would it take a reigning monarch to actually re-establish at least a minor, yet real hold on hard power? I'm talking about government support, such as majority approval of Lords/Commons (or both), etc.

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    There is absolutely no chance of the UK monarch expanding their powers. The UK monarch currently has a wide number of powers as long as they promise not to use them unless explicitly told to. It is more likely that the monarchy would be abolished (or at least removed from politics entirely) than additional powers would be granted.
    – Jontia
    Sep 26, 2019 at 12:58
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    Since we're talking hypotheticals here, couldn't Parliament give the monarch back their powers? If a "Royalist" party won a majority in Parliament, couldn't they choose to expand the monarch's powers?
    – divibisan
    Sep 26, 2019 at 16:05
  • @Jontia Saying that there's no chance under current assumptions for the monarch to expand their power is reasonable. Saying there's no chance ever is not. 500 years ago, the reverse question (of Parliment gaining as much power as it has) would have been equally absurd. And then there was a war and things changed.
    – Bobson
    Sep 26, 2019 at 17:38
  • @divibisan I suspect that that is the answer.
    – Bobson
    Sep 26, 2019 at 17:40
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    This is just too speculative to admit an answer. Presumably the same level of support as any legislation, if that's what's required. If you mean in unwritten terms, i.e. breaking conventions... there's no real way to predict. I don't think there's any polling on this matter "would you give the queen more real power". Sep 26, 2019 at 18:13

1 Answer 1


The last couple of times it came up, the answer would have been winning a civil war against forces acting in the name of Parliament.

In the UK, the (human) Sovereign combines the "opening supermarkets" duties that many countries ascribe to their Presidents with the figurehead role that is sometimes assigned to their flag, and like most flags, if they cease to look suitable, they have tended to be replaced. It's possible that a military force could at some point seize power in the name of the King or Queen, but at this point it's unlikely that that would actually lead to them having any "Absolute Monarch" style direct power.

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    I think you're trying to challenge the frame of the question, but as it stands I don't think this actually answers it. The question presupposes that there is popular support for re-empowering the monarch and asks what would be required to do so.
    – Bobson
    Sep 26, 2019 at 17:31
  • Re a military coup it is more likely that the monach - as an apolitical Commander in Chief - will prevent this taking place. (Depending who you believe this as a very real possiblity in the 1970s.. Sep 27, 2019 at 14:04

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