What jobs does the Queen do? Her Majesty’s royal duties and role explained ahead of Platinum Jubilee weekend

Queen Elizabeth II has a number of duties which she carries out on a daily, weekly and monthly basis

The Queen, who is known for her sense of duty and her devotion to a life of service, has been a figurehead for the UK and the Commonwealth since she first ascended to the throne in 1952.

Her roles are both important and wide-ranging and she is supported in her work by members of the royal family, including son Prince Charles and grandson Prince William.

The Queen is a constitutional monarch, which means that her powers are symbolic and ceremonial, and she is politically neutral.

It also means that while Queen Elizabeth II is the Sovereign Head of State, it is an elected Parliament that can make and pass legislation, rather than the monarch.

So, what exactly does Her Majesty do?

Here’s what you need to know.

What is the Queen’s job?

The Queen has a very important part to play in the life of the nation.

She undertakes constitutional and representational duties and carries out a busy programme of engagements throughout the year.

She is the Head of State, Head of Nation, Head of Commonwealth, Head of the Church of England, Head of the Armed Forces and Patron of Charities.

Her calendar includes events such as visiting charities, hosting visiting Heads of State and meeting foreign ambassadors and high commissioners based in the UK.

The Queen is royal patron or president of more than 600 charities, military associations, professional bodies and public service organisations.

Her Majesty also takes part in annual programmes of investitures, garden parties, receptions and other ceremonies, for example she normally leads the annual Remembrance event at the Cenotaph in London in November.

As Head of Nation, she attends special events and gives national messages such as the annual Christmas broadcast.

Queen's Platinum Jubilee factfile.

What does the Queen do every day?

The Queen does have daily duties.

Although she cannot pass legislation, her input into government matters is still valuable.

Her Majesty receives daily dispatches from the government in a red leather box, such as briefings ahead of important meetings or documents, which all need her formal signature.

When a piece of legislation is passed through Parliament, it must be formally approved by the Queen in order to become law.

The last time royal assent was refused, however, was in 1708. This was for the Scottish Militia Bill. The then Queen, Queen Anne, withheld royal assent on the advice of her ministers for fear that the proposed militia would be disloyal.

What does the Queen do every week?

Each week, the Queen meets the Prime Minister as they are required to keep her informed on all government matters.

These meetings take place every Wednesday at Buckingham Palace.

There have been 14 UK Prime Ministers during Queen Elizabeth’s reign, including Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and the current Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

This meeting is completely private. No special advisers attend and there is no official record of what is said.

What does the Queen do every month?

The Queen usually holds important meetings called the Privy Council every month

The Privy Council, officially called Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers for Her Majesty.

Its membership is mainly made up of senior politicians who are current or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.

The Council is the mechanism through which interdepartmental agreement is reached on those items of Government business which, for historical or other reasons, fall to Ministers as Privy Counsellors rather than as Departmental Ministers.

What other important duties does the Queen have?

The Queen also performs a number of Parliamentary functions:

  • Appointing and dissolving a government: The leader of the party which wins a general election is invited to Buckingham Palace. There, they are formally invited to form a new government. The Queen also formally dissolves a government before a general election.
  • State opening and the Queen’s Speech: The Queen begins the Parliamentary year with the State Opening ceremony. She delivers a speech from the throne in the House of Lords in which she sets out the government’s policy plans. Prince Charles delivered the 2022 Queen’s Speech on her behalf.