Can a King/Queen be removed by the government?

I don’t mean by an armed method , by a legal method.

Can the UK, Sweden, Spain, etc. parliament decide one day to say “we prefer John Smith to be King and approve that law?” And the current King/Queen no longer has the title.

Australia also has its own Queen, who also happens to moonlight as Queen Elizabeth II. At the moment she is the pinnacle of the Australian constitutional food-chain as our head of state, represented by an appointed Governor-General.

There is an intermittent movement to make Australia a republic, which would require a constitutional amendment to provide for an elected head of state. Australia would not otherwise change anything else and could remain a member of the Commonwealth.

That’s the legal mechanism to remove our Queen. The last referendum to make that change failed, but there is some [a bit maybe, ish] of a feeling that once the Old Girl dies there will be less appetite for her son to take over and a referendum backed by the government would pass. In theory we could have a referendum question to replace her with the descendants of Ex-King Zog of Albania or another worthy regal lineage, but somehow I don’t think so.

The Norwegian rules of succession are part of the constitution, and the constitution can only be changed by a 2/3 vote of at least 2/3s of parliament in two consecutive parliamentary periods.

But given a strong majority over several years for such a major change the parliament can do almost anything.

It is more accurate to say that QEII is the Australian Commonwealth’s Monarch whose single role is to appoint the Head of State, being the Governor General, on the advice of the Prime Minister.

The examples given seem to be methods by which a nation can either choose to no longer to have a monarchy or to decide successors to existing monarchs.

Following up on the OP, are there any nations with legal, non-violent methods to remove a sitting monarch from that position and what are those nations/methods? Or, again legal and non-violent, to replace a sitting monarch with another person?

In 2008 Nepal got rid of their King and declared they are a republic . That was after a Marxist takeover of the government. It was not violent removal but there had been a war going on for a while before that takeover.

Japan does not. In fact, when the current Emperor wanted to abdicate, a special law was required in order to allow this, and the law was customized for only him.

There are only four in line for the throne: the heir, the Crown Prince who will ascend to the throne in spring next year; the spare, the Crown Prince’s younger brother; the younger brother’s son; and then the current Emperor’s younger brother.

There is a law which codifies all of this, and it is possible to change this, although not likely unless there were extraordinary circumstances.

Laws allowing monarchs to be changed on the whims of politicians would not be really popular. The people who really care about having the monarchs are the same ones who care that the bloodlines and traditions are carefully followed.

That may be true of Australia. In Canada, the Queen is the official head of state and the governor general her representative and carries out her “wishes”, as decreed by the Canadian parliament. That can be changed only by a constitutional amendment and that is virtually impossible.

I don’t know how true this is, but I read once that the constitution specifies male primogeniture, while Britain now specifies simple primogeniture. Thus it could happen sometime in the future that a queen regnant could be the head of state of Britain while her younger brother be the formal head of state of Canada.

Varies by location and time, of course.

Sancho I of León was removed from office by Parliament because his obesity and obsession with food made him incapable; his grandmother Toda, queen of Navarre, took him to visit her son-in-law Abderramán III in Córdoba, where Sancho went on a crash diet. Eventually and with the help of Abderramán’s troops he recovered his kingdom.

Article 59 of the current Spanish Consitution states:

  1. Being the Monarch a minor, their father or mother, or if these are not available the adult relative closest to the succession line, will become Regent during the Monarch’s minority.

  2. If the Monarch is demonstrated to be incapable, and having this incapacity being recognized by Parliament [N: both chambers], the Crown Prince shall become Regent if an adult; otherwise, Regency shall be set as per 1.

  3. If nobody fulfills the previous requisites, a Regent or Regents in number of 1, 3 or 5 shall be appointed by Parliament.

  4. The Regent(s) must hold Spanish nationality and be a legal adult.

  5. The Regent(s) shall always act according to the Constitution and in the Monarch’s name.
    So, in case of dementia, coma, etc. Parliament can remove the Monarch, but they can’t do it because they’ve decided they don’t like the current one.

Out of curiosity:

I suppose you refer to her as “the Queen” or “our Queen” but when a typical Australian feels inclined to provide a place-name when referring to her casually, is she “Queen of Australia”? “Queen of England”? “Queen of the Commonwealth”? Other? [and same question for Canadians]

As far as the UK is concerned, the answer is “Yes of course”. There’s no written constitution to say what parliament can or can’t, must or mustn’t, do, so if a parliamentary majority took it into its head to pass a law abolishing the monarchy, of course it could.

As a matter of practical reality, though, public opinion would need to be clearly onside after long public debate, general election and/or a referendum; but there is no prescribed rule or procedure.

isn’t there talk some want Charles to not be king and go right to William? I assume Charles is not in favor of that plan. :slight_smile: I guess the idea is to go with a younger person.

Indeed, the UK’s current monarch was established by acts of Parliament, establishing a line of succession long ago and amended to account for events like the abdication of Edward VIII. So as PatrickLondon indicated, the only constraints on Parliament’s ability to designate a new monarch by law are political.

The UK precedent is set by the Glorious Revolution. While it wasn’t entirely without military effort, it was at the behest of Parliament.

However the modern way, as in the case of Edward VIII, is to force them to abdicate. This avoids any mess and provides the ex-monarch with a cushy retirement to ensure their compliance.

I expect Charles to become King; I hope his first and only act is to abdicate in favour of William.

what’s the record for oldest person to become king/queen? In UK or any country? Charles is 70 now.

UK answer - assuming he survives his mother, Charles will be the oldest person ever to become monarch.

In the UK it was William IV at 64 - Charles will easily beat him. The last Mughal Bahadur Shah was ~62.

I’m not aware of anyone older, but there might be a few. However in general ascending to the throne so late in life is quite rare. Particularly in the pre-modern era when adult mortality rates( quite aside from the notorious skewing by high child mortality rates )were not nearly so favorable and enfeebled monarchs and competitors were a little more apt to be pushed aside or out-competed by ambitious youngsters. If a monarch did live to an unusually ripe old age they were very liable to outlive their children.

Louis XIV for example is still the record-holder as longest reigning European monarch at a little over 72 years( QEII is gaining on him ). But he was succeeded by a five-year old great-grandson.

Parliament claimed that James II also abdicated. They said that by leaving England the way he did, he was also making a de facto abdication and choosing to give up his throne. James denied this but Parliament was writing the rules.

Sophia of Hanover was the Heir Presumptive when she died in 1714. She died in June and Queen Anne (her cousin) died in August; if that had been reversed, Sophia would have become Queen at the age of 83.