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What are the similarities between constitutional monarchy and dictatorship?

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There are few, if any, similarities between a constitutional monarchy and a dictatorship. In the former, there are a number of legal and political constraints which serve to limit the monarch's power. Furthermore, such power as the monarch enjoys is largely ceremonial; in actual fact, the real power lies with democratically elected politicians, who nevertheless carry out their duties in the monarch's name.

In a dictatorship, on the other hand, there are no such meaningful constraints upon the ruler's power. To be sure, a dictator will still operate within a legal framework, but the law in a dictatorship is there to serve the interests of the dictator, not to restrain him. The dictator effectively is the law and enjoys potentially untrammeled power. What he says, goes.

If one had to suggest a similarity between the two forms of government, it would be that they both display the outward trappings of absolute sovereignty, but only one of them—dictatorship—has the substance of absolutism.

In a constitutional monarchy such as the United Kingdom, the monarch is the sovereign. He or she formally opens Parliament; the government is always "Her Majesty's or His Majesty's Government"; and legislation can only become law via the Royal Assent.

Yet such seemingly dictatorial elements remain purely on the surface. In actual fact, power within this particular system of constitutional monarchy lies with the democratically elected Parliament.

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