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OpinionState & CeremonialThe Queen

Will Queen Elizabeth II be voting in the EU referendum?

“Will Her Majesty the Queen take part in the EU referendum elections?” many people around the globe may asking themselves.

Well, first things first, let us briefly discuss why the United Kingdom will hold a referendum election in June  23, 2016.

What is a referendum, the European union, and why is the government urges its citizens to come out in large numbers and vote?

The noun “referendum”, according to Cambridge English dictionary, is a vote in which all the people in a country or an area are asked to give their opinion about or decide an important political or social question.

The European Union is an economic and political partnership involving 28 member countries.  It begun in the 1970s with the idea that countries which trade together are more likely to avoid going to war with each other. It has since grown to become a single market allowing goods and people to move around each member state as if Europe were one country.

The referendum was spear headed by the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, after he won the 2015 general election.

The referendum question is: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”

So, can The Queen vote in this referendum?

It might surprise some of you that the monarch is actually entitled in law to cast a ballot in general elections. However, we should note that “Her Majesty The Queen doesn’t vote because of legal impediment,” according to an Electoral Spokesman.

To support this, Buckingham Palace posted on their website that The Queen doesn’t vote because she has to remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters.

Many would ask, why cant Her Majesty take part in the election exercise?

“It’s consistently been a policy of Her Majesty since her early  days as head of state to stay completely above the fray”  says Historian and Author Sarah Gristwood.

When we go back in history, any Queen would have been unable to vote anyway, because no woman was able to do so until 1918.

In present time, According to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights it states that every EU citizen has the right to vote  and to stand as a candidate  at elections to the European Parliament in the member state in which he or she resides. Therefore, to prevent The Queen from voting would be against the EU law.