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Monarchy of Canada facts for kids

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King of Canada
Roi du Canada
Coat of arms of Canada.svg
Prince Charles Ireland-4.jpg
Charles III
since 8 September 2022
Style His Majesty
Heir apparent Prince William, Duke of Cornwall
Residences Rideau Hall, Ottawa
La Citadelle, Quebec City
Website Monarchy and the Crown

The monarchy of Canada is Canada's form of government embodied by the Canadian sovereign and head of state. It is at the core of Canada's constitutional federal structure and Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. The monarchy is the foundation of the executive (King-in-Council), legislative (King-in-Parliament), and judicial (King-on-the-Bench) branches of both federal and provincial jurisdictions. The current king of Canada is Charles III, who has reigned since 8 September 2022.

Although the person of the sovereign is shared with 14 other independent countries within the Commonwealth of Nations, each country's monarchy is separate and legally distinct. As a result, the current monarch is officially titled King of Canada and, in this capacity, he and other members of the royal family undertake public and private functions domestically and abroad as representatives of Canada. However, the monarch is the only member of the royal family with any constitutional role. The monarch lives predominantly in the United Kingdom and, while several powers are the sovereign's alone, most of the royal governmental and ceremonial duties in Canada are carried out by the monarch's representative, the governor general of Canada. In Canada's provinces, the monarch in right of each is represented by a lieutenant governor. As territories fall under the federal jurisdiction, they each have a commissioner, rather than a lieutenant governor, who represents the federal Crown-in-Council directly.

As all executive authority is vested in the sovereign, royal assent is required to allow for bills to become law and for letters patent and orders-in-council to have legal effect. While the power for these acts stems from the Canadian people through the constitutional conventions of democracy, executive authority remains vested in the Crown and is only entrusted by the sovereign to the government on behalf of the people. This underlines the Crown's role in safeguarding the rights, freedoms, and democratic system of government of Canadians, reinforcing the fact that "governments are the servants of the people and not the reverse". Thus, within Canada's constitutional monarchy the sovereign's direct participation in any of these areas of governance is normally limited, with the sovereign typically exercising executive authority only with the advice and consent of the Cabinet of Canada, and the sovereign's legislative and judicial responsibilities largely carried out through the Parliament of Canada as well as judges and justices of the peace. There are, though, cases where the sovereign or their representative would have a duty to act directly and independently under the doctrine of necessity to prevent genuinely unconstitutional acts. In these respects, the sovereign and his viceroys are custodians of the Crown's reserve powers and represent the "power of the people above government and political parties". Put another way, the Crown functions as the guarantor of Canada's continuous and stable governance and as a nonpartisan safeguard against the abuse of power. Despite its pivotal constitutional functions, the monarchy remains widely misunderstood by not only the Canadian public, but also many politicians.

Canada is one of the oldest extant monarchies in the world. Established in the 16th century, the monarchy has evolved through a continuous succession of initially French and later British sovereigns into the independent Canadian sovereigns of today. No part of Canada has been a republic or part of a republic; though, there have been isolated calls for the country to become one. The Crown, however, is considered to be "entrenched" into the governmental framework. The institution that is Canada's system of constitutional monarchy is sometimes colloquially referred to as the Maple Crown, Canada having developed a "recognizably Canadian brand of monarchy".

Though not part of the Canadian monarchy, either past or present, Canada has an even older tradition of hereditary chieftainship in some First Nations, which has been likened to non-sovereign monarchy and today exists in parallel with the Canadian Crown and individual band governments. All three entities are components of the nation-to-nation relationship between the Crown and First Nations in upholding treaty rights and obligations developed over the centuries.

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