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The Queen in England plays the role of the Head of State in a Constitutional monarchy. In this system all powers to frame and execute laws reside with the Parliament and the Queen has no role to play here. The Constitutional monarch governs according to the rules passed by the Parliament. She has to maintain total political neutrality. The Queen continues to be the head of the state for any change in the government. This in a way is meant to provide stability. The Queen has a role in bestowing honors and in the appointment of the Parliamentary leaders. Also, the Queen is the Head of the Armed Forces.
In United Kingdom Queen Elizabeth II is head of the state, who reigns but does not govern. The Position occupied by the Queen is largely ceremonial, with real power in legislative, executive or judiciary function of the government. Though there is no formally laid down law concerning all aspects of powers and conduct of the Queen, by tradition the queen never acts without the advice of the ministers in the government.
The functions of Queen include things like opening and dissolving the parliament, and giving formal assent to acts passed by the parliament. The queen also asks Prime Minister to form the government and formally approves his or her choice of members of the government.
In Great Britain today, the role of the queen is completely ceremonial. She (and whoever comes after her as monarch) has absolutely no actual power. In political science terms, she is the head of state for Great Britain but is not head of government.
It is said that the current queen has at least a bit of influence because she has been around so long. She is kept "in the loop" on important matters of government and actually talks to Prime Ministers relatively often. However, she is not able to exert any power over them other than perhaps some persuasive power if they choose to give it to her.
Instead, all the monarch does is to be a symbol of British unity and of the British nation -- in other words, she is the head of state.
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