The Crown

The Crown is the state in all its aspects within the jurisprudence of the Commonwealth realms and their subdivisions (such as the Crown Dependencies, overseas territories, provinces, or states).[1] Legally ill-defined, the term has different meanings depending on context. It is used to designate the monarch in either a personal capacity, as Head of the Commonwealth, or as the king or queen of their realms (whereas the monarchy of the United Kingdom and the monarchy of Canada, for example, are distinct although they are in personal union). It can also refer to the rule of law; however, in common parlance 'The Crown' refers to the functions of government and the civil service.[2] Thus, in the United Kingdom (one of the Commonwealth realms), the government of the United Kingdom can be distinguished from the Crown and the state, in precise usage, although the distinction is not always relevant in broad or casual usage.

The Crown of the
Commonwealth realms
Details
CountryCommonwealth realms

Crown Dependencies

British Overseas Territories

A corporation sole, the Crown is the legal embodiment of executive, legislative, and judicial governance in the monarchy of each commonwealth realm. These monarchies are united by the personal union of their monarch, but they are independent states. The concept of the Crown developed first in England as a separation of the literal crown and property of the kingdom from the person and personal property of the monarch. It spread through English and later British colonisation and is now rooted in the legal lexicon of the United Kingdom, its Crown dependencies, and the other 14 independent realms. It is not to be confused with any physical crown, such as those of the British regalia.[3]

The term is also found in various expressions such as "Crown land", which some countries refer to as "public land" or "state land"; as well as in some offices, such as minister of the Crown, Crown attorney, and Crown prosecutor.


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