- constitutional monarchy
government by a king or queen within laws which limit his or her power. Britain is governed in this way, with the Queen (or King) as head of state and with Parliament and the elected government holding almost all real power. This system began to develop slowly in the 17th century, when the Bill of Rights became law, and then developed more quickly after the Reform Act of 1832.
* * *System of government in which a monarch (see monarchy) shares power with a constitutionally organized government.The monarch may be the de facto head of state or a purely ceremonial leader. The constitution allocates the rest of the government's power to the legislature and judiciary. Britain became a constitutional monarchy under the Whigs; other constitutional monarchies include Belgium, Cambodia, Jordan, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Thailand.
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