The Sovereign

1.4The Crown is hereditary, subject, however, to special limitations by Parliament; and the King or Queen has always enjoyed, by prescription, custom and law, the chief place in Parliament and the sole executive power. The right of succession and the prerogatives of the Crown itself are, however, subject to limitations and change by legislative process with the consent and authority of the Sovereign;1 and in the exercise of the prerogatives and powers of the Crown the Sovereign now, by constitutional convention, depends on the advice of Ministers of the Crown, who continue to serve in that capacity only so long as they retain the confidence of Parliament.


  1. 1. For additions made by statute to the royal style and title, see the Royal Titles Acts 1876, 1901 and 1953, and see also, The Title of the Sovereign (Cmd 8748); and MacCormick v The Lord Advocate 1953 SC 396 at 403 and 409–10. The Succession to the Crown Act 2013 made provision about non-discrimination of heirs to the Throne on the basis of gender.