Queen Elizabeth II has been the British head of state since 1952. But in contrast to her ancestors, the Queen has little to no political power. England has been a constitutional monarchy since 1689, which means the rights of the monarch are authorized and protected by a constitution.
Queen Elizabeth is therefore a head of state with mainly ceremonial tasks. The prime minister, who emerges from the democratically-elected parliament, is the head of the government. Boris Johnson has been the Prime Minister of the UK since July 2019.
Does Queen Elizabeth II have political power?
In the history of England there have been repeated conflicts between the UK Parliament and the Crown. Among others, King Charles I dismissed parliament in 1629 and ruled alone for 11 years.
Several civil wars and revolutions eventually brought changes to the power of the monarchy. In 1689, the opponents of monarchical absolutism prevailed in the "Glorious Revolution." As a result, the Bill of Rights was created, which regulates parliament's primacy over the monarchy.
The monarch remains influential but is beneath the control of parliament—just one reason why Queen Elizabeth doesn't pick sides politically. In addition, the Queen is supposed to represent all of Britain, not just certain political views.
Queen Elizabeth II: No politics, but these are her duties
The main task of Queen Elizabeth II is to represent. The Queen and the Royal Family are patrons of countless organizations and frequently visit hospitals and open schools and other institutions.
In addition, the Queen opens parliament and appoints the prime minister, meeting with them regularly for an audience—if she's not traveling. State visits abroad and receiving state guests in London are also among the tasks of the Queen. She is also in command of the Navy, Army, and Air Forces in the UK.
Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate the 70th anniversary of her reign in February 2022. She's already the longest-reigning British monarch, so she would also be the first to have been on the UK throne for 70 years.