Formally known as the Commonwealth of Australia, Australia is an island continent divided into 6 states and two territories.

The 6 states are: New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania. The two territories are Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.

Australia is considered to be a constitutional monarchy – ‘constitutional’ because the powers and procedures of the Australian Government are defined by a written constitution, and ‘monarchy’ because Australia’s head of state is Queen Elizabeth II.

This form of monarchy is modelled on the Westminster style of parliamentary government, incorporating features unique to the Constitution of Australia.

The present Monarch is Elizabeth II, styled Queen of Australia, who has reigned since 6 February 1952. She is represented in Australia by the Governor-General, in accordance with the Australian Constitution and Letters Patent from the Queen. In each of the states, the Monarch is represented by a governor, appointed directly by the Queen on the advice of each of her respective state governments.

On all matters of the Australian state, the Monarch is advised by Australian federal Ministers of the Crown yet, effective with the Australia Act 1986, the Monarch’s role has been reduced to a largely symbolic one. Since the implementation of the Australia Act, the British government may not advise the Monarch on any matters pertinent to Australia and is therefore considered a foreign power with regard to Australia’s domestic and foreign affairs. Likewise, Australians pay no income to the support of the Queen or her residences.