Republicans claim that the idea of sovereignty residing with the people is in direct conflict with the idea of sovereignty residing with the Queen.
This is to create a conflict where none should exist. These definitions of sovereignty are not opposing concepts. They exist together, united within the organising principle of "nation".
Both the concepts of kingship and "a people" are united within the organising principle of "nation". The word "nation" is derived from the Latin word nescare, meaning, to be born.
The word "king" is derived from Old Norse konungr, meaning, Offspring of The Kindred.
The combination of kinship, kingship and nation is described respectively in the Scots' term "the community of the realm of Scotland". Nations have Monarchs; Offsprings borne of the Kindred. In this regard, and contrary to some Scottish republican statements that the claim of the Hanoverian dynasty on the Scots is "slight", the late Sir Iain Moncreiffe, who was one of the world's greatest genealogists, wrote in Books and Bookmen magazine (July, 1977) that Prince Charles descends from Mary Queen of Scots 17 times over; that is, by eight separate blood lines through King George V and Queen Mary, also nine more through Prince Philip.
The doctrine of popular sovereignty, expressed commonly as "the sovereignty of the people" is a term which extends its franchise logically to the entire population of the world.
However, as soon as one specifies "the sovereignty of the people of Britain" then one ceases to talk in purely democratic terms and begins to talk also in a nationalistic manner. A people is being specified and defined as a nation; the nation of Britain and the British. It is the British nation which is to be considered the sovereign entity.
As soon as one accepts the idea of a nation then one must accept the necessity for governing institutions to express that nation, to itself and to the world. If these institutions are to function they must be endowed with sovereignty.
That is, they must be able to exercise full and exclusive political and legal authority within the territory of the nation, and in its relations with the world; and they must not be subject to a higher political authority in a higher legal order.
National sovereignty is indivisible and is vested and exercised at all levels. Individuals, groups, institutions and heads of state can all embody and exercise this national sovereignty.
Therefore, it is not helpful to imagine that there is only one location for sovereignty and only one expression of it. A hereditary Head of State, borne from a long line within the nation, is well suited to embody and express national sovereignty in a focused and tangible manner.
Thus, while it would be wrong to claim that Parliament alone is sovereign, it is proper to talk about our Sovereign Queen ruling in, and through, a Sovereign Parliament, for the Sovereign People of a Sovereign Nation. There is no conflict when considered within the organising principle of "nation".
To summarise: The sovereignty of the people and the sovereignty of the Queen are not two different and incompatible ideas.
The sovereignty of the people, both individually and collectively, is exercised at the ballot box and it is exercised nationally through the governing institutions of the nation.
The Crown is the term for the national governing authority. The Queen is the person of the Crown, and embodies and exercises sovereignty on behalf of the people of the nation.
Locating sovereignty in the Queen does not deprive the people of it, but provides a focused and tangible symbol of sovereignty.
Equipped with sufficient political power, the Monarch should be able to speak for, and defend, the sovereignty of the people.