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House of Representatives Practice, 6th edition – HTML version

Chapter 1 - The Parliament and the role of the House

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The Queen

Although the Queen is nominally a constituent part of the Parliament, the Constitution immediately provides that she appoint a Governor-General to be her representative in the Commonwealth.[3] The Queen’s role is little more than titular, as the legislative and executive powers and functions of the Head of State are vested in the Governor-General by virtue of the Constitution.[4] However, while in Australia, the Sovereign has performed duties of the Governor-General in person,[5] and in the event of the Queen being present to open Parliament, references to the Governor-General in the relevant standing orders[6] are read as references to the Queen.[7]

The Royal Style and Titles Act provides that the Queen shall be known in Australia and its Territories as:

Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth.[8]


3. Constitution, s. 2.
4. Constitution, s. 2 with s. 61; with certain exceptions relating to disallowance of laws and matters of assent (ss. 58, 59, 60, 74) still nevertheless formal in essence (see Ch. on ‘Legislation’) by virtue of the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1942.
5. See Royal Powers Act 1953.
6. S.O.s 4–8.
7. S.O. 9(a).
8. Royal Style and Titles Act 1973, Schedule.