Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Queen of Australia
The title Queen of Australia has existed since 1973, when the Parliament of Australia passed the Royal Style and Titles Act (1973). This act repealed sections of the Royal Style and Titles Act (1953), which had been passed at the time of Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the Throne.
In the 1953 Act, Elizabeth's Australian style and titles were specified to be:
Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Australia and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.
Under the 1973 Act her Australian style and titles became:
Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth.
It will be noted that the title "Defender of the Faith" was deleted by this Act from the Queen's Australian style and titles. In the United Kingdom the Church of England is a state church, and the Queen is its "Supreme Governor." Australia has no state church, and neither the Queen nor the Governor-General have any official connection with the Anglican Church of Australia.
The Australia Act of 1986 severed all legal and political ties with the United Kingdom. This established Australia as a monarchy completely separate from the monarchy of the United Kingdom, linked only by the fact that they happen to share the same monarch, along with fourteen other Commonwealth Realms.
The Act of Settlement of 1701, originally an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, is the law outlining the line of succession for the Australian Crown. This Act provides that only Protestant descendants of Sophia, Electress of Hanover, who have not, furthermore, married a Catholic, can succeed to the Throne. With the patriation of the constitution in 1986, this law became Australian constitutional law.
Some Australians feel this Act is in conflict with Australian law preventing discrimination on grounds of religion, but this issue has never been tested. (However, the principle has been tested elsewhere; in Toronto, Canada, Toronto city councillor Tony O'Donohue launched a court action in 2002 arguing that the Act of Settlement violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; see Monarchy in Canada.)
Further, the Queen assumes the role of Queen of Australia when she is either present in Australia or when she performs certain ceremonies outside Australia at the request of her Australian government.
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