The nation of New Zealand is a Commonwealth region
and a constitutional realm, and since the 6th of
February 1952, Queen Elizabeth II has been its
Intrinsically, she is more of a figurehead, although
she does maintain several abilities that are solely
hers, as the Governor-General is oftentimes referred
to as the real head of state.
The Queen’s official title in New Zealand is
“Elizabeth the Second, By the Grace of God, Queen of
New Zealand and Her Other Realms and Territories,
Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith”.
The New Zealand kingdom is made up of New Zealand, the Ross
Dependency and Tokelau, and the autonomous states Niue and
the Cook Islands.
Charles, Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Elizabeth II, is
the nation’s heir apparent.
New Zealand shares the same monarchy with 54 other
independent sovereign countries that are affiliated with the
Commonwealth of Nations which had once been called the
The Commonwealth of Nations is an association of largely
onetime British colonies or its dependencies (except
Mozambique and the United Kingdom itself). 16 of these
nations are Commonwealth states that acknowledge the same
monarch, individually, as their chief of state.
The present conventional title of
the Queen is Queen Elizabeth II. This applies to
every one of her Commonwealth Realms, but in general
is looked upon as Queen of New Zealand only if she
is actually within New Zealand or whenever she
performs responsibilities applicable to New Zealand,
on the proposal of her ministers in New Zealand.
Some such instances are when she confers New Zealand
royal awards while in the UK.
The majority of the domestic duties of New Zealand's
sovereign are executed by New Zealand’s
Governor-General. There are a number of tasks which
only the sovereign must perform. One such duty is
the signing of the Letters patent naming the
Governor-General. Nevertheless, from time to time
the monarch must in person intervene directly in
affairs concerning parties (this has yet to occur in
Aside from the monarch’s role in each kingdom, the Head of
the Commonwealth were the last two sovereigns. While this
position does not necessarily belong to the monarch,
Elizabeth II and George VI are the only individuals who have
ever been conferred the title. This title does not entail
any political ability over member countries.
All positions of State constitutionally lay in the
Sovereign, who in New Zealand is represented by the
The Monarch appoints the Governor-General upon the proposal
of the New Zealand Prime Minister, generally for a 5-year
In the Act of Settlement, it is stated that a Sovereign
cannot be Roman Catholic, nor can he/she be married to one,
and must be in sacramental manduction with the Church of
England upon assuming the throne. The statute law also
expresses that male heirs are to ascend the throne before
female heirs, as rules of succession in New Zealand are the
same as those of the United Kingdom (by the 1947 Statute of
Westminster Adoption Act).