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  • AQA Component The nature and sources of the British constitution

  • Edexcel Component 2 (UK Government) 3.1: The main powers of the Executive, including Royal Prerogative powers

Click to read the article below and then answer the questions:

How will King Charles influence politics in the UK?

Background: what you need to know

Neither AQA nor Edexcel set questions specifically on the political role of the monarchy. However, it is important to understand the part that it can still play indirectly — by making occasional oblique public statements (as with the late Queen’s observation on the 2014 Scottish independence referendum) or through private contacts with ministers. The Victorian constitutional authority, Walter Bagehot, stated that the monarch has a right to be consulted, to encourage and warn the Prime Minister.

The article also discusses the royal prerogative powers, exercised by the executive without reference to Parliament. These include the right to sign treaties, declare war and dissolve Parliament. The article highlights the practical limitations that apply to these powers.

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 1

  • Explain and analyse three ways in which royal prerogative powers are limited in practice [9 marks]

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 2

  • Evaluate the view that the UK constitution imposes significant restraints on the power of the executive

    In your answer you should draw on relevant knowledge and understanding of the study of Component 1: UK Politics and Core Political Ideas. You must consider this view and the alternative to this view in a balanced way. [30 marks]

Graham Goodlad, Portsmouth High School

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