A SHARED MONARCHY

Model Girl 1

The Queen of New Zealand is also queen of 15 other countries including Australia, Canada, and Papua New Guinea. These countries are all independent nations within the Commonwealth. This is why they are called Commonwealth Realms. These 16 nations have agreed to share Elizabeth II as their head of state. However, she is very careful to keep her role in each nation separate from all the others. For example, in New Zealand, she only deals with New Zealand matters, and takes advice only from New Zealand government ministers. She even has a different title in each realm.

Most countries do not share a head of state. By sharing our Monarch with 15 other countries, New Zealanders are part of a global family of over 100 million people around the world. The Queen transcends nationalism. Furthermore, she is widely regarded as the best-informed and most respected public figure in the world. She is the second longest serving head of state in the world and has devoted her entire life to the countries she serves.

There is evidence that Governors-General in New Zealand have used all of these rights as well. We may never know exactly how many times the Queen and the Governors-General have helped strengthen our political system, or protect our democracy, but evidence suggests that they have been quietly involved a number of times. Whenever they have been involved, it has been in support of the New Zealand public. As the Queen's husband, Prince Philip, once said, "it is a misconception to imagine that the monarchy exists in the interests of the monarch. It doesn't. It exists in the interests of the people."