Even though we are told that the UK state is fully secular (i.e. completely separate from the Church), and that we have a liberal Church where belief is a matter of individual, personal choice; if you take a closer is the UK state in fact the fully secular one it is claimed to be? The head of state in the UK, the monarch, is the subject of much religious observance and custom, as all monarchs are. It is also what makes a monarch different from an emperor. An emperor can appoint anyone as his rightful successor but a monarch does not have this choice as a strict religious custom determines that the eldest should always be the rightful successor. The monarch also rules through the permission of God and there is much religious ceremony involved in his or her crowning. Having observed that the monarch can also be seen as a semi-religious figure while also being the head of state, can it truly be said that the UK state is a fully secular one? It must also be seen as ironic that the architecture of the Houses of Parliament is an almost exact copy of ecclesiastic architecture. When the Houses of Parliament were re-built in the early part of the 19th century after a fire, the architectural style used was taken directly from the nearby Westminster Abbey. Further the building the Commons previously met in, St. Stephen's Chapel, was also an ecclesiastic building. In addition it could also be pointed out that the two leading universities in the UK, Oxford and Cambridge, both display ecclesiastic architecture as well as religiously named colleges.