In the increasingly questioning world of the 1990s, the role of the monarchy in a democracy is again coming under scrutiny. Its critics argue that the monarchy is a profoundly conservative institution which serves to inhibit social change; that it has outlived its usefulness; that itsymbolizes and reinforces deference and hierachy; and that its radical reform is therefore long overdue. Rejecting these arguments Vernon Bogdanor makes a powerful case for the positive role that monarchy plays in modern democratic politics. Ranging across law, politics, and history he argues that far from undermining democracy, the monarchy sustains and strengthens democratic institutions; that constitutional monarchy is a form of government that ensures not conservatism but legitimacy. The first serious examination of the political role of the monarchy to appear in many years, this book will make fascinating reading for all those interested in the monarchy and the future of British politics.