The monarchy of Australia is a form of government in which a hereditary king or queen serves as the nation's sovereign. Australia is governed under a form of constitutional monarchy, largely modelled on the Westminster system of parliamentary government, while incorporating features unique to the Constitution of Australia.
The present monarch is Elizabeth II, styled Queen of Australia, who has reigned since 6 February 1952. She is represented in Australia by the governor-general, in accordance with the Australian constitution and letters patent from the Queen. In each of the states, the monarch is represented by a governor, appointed directly by the Queen on the advice of each of her respective state governments.
The Australian monarch, besides reigning in Australia, separately serves as monarch for each of 15 other Commonwealth nations known as realms. This developed from the former colonial relationship between these countries and the United Kingdom, but they are now independent of each other and are legally distinct.
The monarch of Australia is the same person as the monarch of the 15 other Commonwealth realms within the 53-member Commonwealth of Nations; however, each country is sovereign and independent of the others. On all matters of the Australian Commonwealth, the monarch is advised by Australian federal Ministers of the Crown and, effective with the Australia Act 1986, no British government can advise the monarch on any matters pertinent to Australia. Likewise, on all matters relating to any Australian state, the monarch is advised by the ministers of the Crown of that state. The British government is thus considered a foreign power in regard to Australia's domestic and foreign affairs. Still, the High Court of Australia found that those natural-born citizens of other Commonwealth realms who migrated to Australia could not be classified as aliens (as referred to in the constitution) within Australia, given that they owed allegiance to the same monarch and thus are subjects of the Queen of Australia. However, in Sue v Hill, the High Court of Australia found that the United Kingdom was a foreign power for the purposes of Section 44 of the Australian Constitution, which determines eligibility for parliamentary office.
The sovereign's Australian title is currently Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth. The shared and domestic aspects of the Crown are therein highlighted by way of mentioning the sovereign's role specifically as the Australian monarch separately from, but along with, the his or her other lands. Typically, the monarch is styled King or Queen of Australia and is addressed as such when in Australia or performing duties on behalf of Australia abroad. The sovereign is the only member of the Royal Family to have a title established through Australian law; other members are accorded a courtesy title, which is the title they have been granted via Letters Patent in the United Kingdom.
Prior to 1953, the title had simply been the same as that in the United Kingdom. The current form of the title is the result of occasional discussion and an eventual meeting of Commonwealth representatives in London in December 1952, at which Canada's preferred format for the monarch's title was Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of and of Her other realms and territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith. Australia, however, wished to have the United Kingdom mentioned as well. Thus, the resolution was a title that included the United Kingdom but, for the first time, also separately mentioned Australia and the other Commonwealth realms. The passage of a new Royal Style and Titles Act by the Parliament of Australia put these recommendations into law.
It was proposed by the Cabinet headed by Gough Whitlam that the title be amended to "denote the precedence of Australia, the equality of the United Kingdom and each other sovereign nation under the Crown, and the separation of Church and State." A new Royal Titles and Styles Bill that removed specific reference to the monarch's role as Queen of the United Kingdom was passed by the federal parliament, but the Governor-General, Sir Paul Hasluck, reserved Royal Assent "for Her Majesty's pleasure" (similarly to Governor-General Sir William McKell's actions with the 1953 Royal Titles and Styles Bill). Queen Elizabeth II signed her assent at Government House, Canberra, on 19 October 1973.
Australia does not pay any money to the Queen, either for personal income or to support the royal residences outside Australia. Only when the Queen is in Australia does the Australian government support her in the performance of her duties. This rule applies equally to other members of the Royal Family. Usually the Queen's Australian governments pay only for the costs associated with the governor-general and st