About British Kings and Queens

What is a King or Queen?

A king is a man who rules a country. He is given his power through inheritance, that means that someone he is/was related to has either died or given up their power, this power is then inherited to him, the new king.

A queen is much the same, only with a woman ruling, and not a man. Traditionally men come before women (and thus kings before queens) in the line to the throne. Because of this reason there have been more men than women who have ruled most monarchies.

What if there is noone to inherit?

If there is noone left in the line to the throne then it is often passed on to the nearest family member, perhaps a distant cousin or such like.

Absolute and Constitutional

Previously the British monarchy was absolute. This means that the current king or queen ruled over the entire country, and had the over all say on all decisions.

Now, however, Britain has a constitutional monarchy. This means that the king or queen has no real power, and instead the country is run by the government. The king or queen are still named heads of state, but their roles are purely tradition.