What is a Governor-General? 

The Governor-General is a person who is appointed on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, to serve as a representative of Queen Elizabeth II, the Head of State. Sometimes they are referred to as the de facto Head of State, which means that they fulfil some of the role of the Queen as Head of State.

A general term as Governor General lasts for at least five years, but the Queen can end or extend their term (acting on the advice of the Prime Minister).

What does the Governor-General do?

As the de facto Head of State, the Governor-General fills in for the Queen in her absence. Some of the duties of a Governor General are

  • appointing ministers and judges
  • summoning and ending Parliament for the year
  • making State visits
  • bestowing honours
  • receiving ambassadors