Her Majesty's Government

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Her Majesty's Government, or when the sovereign is male, His Majesty's Government, abbreviated HMG or HM Government, is the formal title used by the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the governments of some other kingdoms where executive authority is theoretically vested in the monarch and exercised through his or her ministers. In British usage, the Parliament of the United Kingdom and the Courts of the United Kingdom are not considered to be part of the 'Government'. As such the term government refers to the executive branch alone.

In the British Empire, the term "His Majesty's Government" was originally only used by the Imperial Government in London. With the development of the Commonwealth, the self-governing Dominions came to be seen as realms of the British Sovereign equal in status to the United Kingdom, and from the 1920s and '30s the form "His Majesty's Government in ..." began to be used by United Kingdom and Dominion governments. Colonial, state and provincial governments, on the other hand, continued to use the lesser title "Government of ...". There was also His Majesty's Government in the Irish Free State.

Today, however, most Commonwealth Realm governments have now reverted to the form "Government of ...", and it is today mainly in the United Kingdom that the titles "Her Majesty's Government", "Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom" or "Her Britannic Majesty's Government," the last in dealings with foreign states and on British passports, can be found in official use. Although very uncommon today in other Commonwealth Realms, this usage is not incorrect; in a 1989 Canadian Supreme Court decision, one of the Justices referred to "Her Majesty's Government for the Province of Nova Scotia" [1].

The acronym "HMG" is often used by members of the government and their advisers as a convenient short label to describe British Ministers and the senior civil servants or mandarins in Departments of the United Kingdom Government. The term comes from the formal constitutional position that British ministers govern the country by advising the Crown through the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.

Individual British governments (also known historically as ministries) may also be identified by reference to the Prime Minister who leads them (e.g. the Attlee government, or the Gladstone's second ministry).

Her Majesty's Government

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