An absolute monarch, the Sovereign carried all executive, legislative, and judicial powers of the government. In practice, Rin delegated a good deal of executive authority to the various ministers and officers of her Grand Council, and her involvement in judicial affairs was minimal unless a court in the Empire's fully-functioning court system interpreted one of her edicts in a way she had not intended. Further, government of individual systems or groups of systems was given to the Consular Assembly, though Consuls were appointed and recalled by Rin at her pleasure or at the decision of their supervising Procurators. Rin did retain sole power to legislate, though she occasionally took suggestions for laws from the Consular Assembly, the Grand Council, and even individual system legislatures.
Though Rin Sakaros's extended longevity rendered the question of succession moot for many generations of most of her people, she empowered the Consular Assembly to approve or disapprove of her nomination of her successor.
In theory, the Sovereign personally embodied all political power of the Golden Empire, executive, legislative, and judicial. While much of this was delegated to Consuls and the Grand Council, Rin retained many specific powers, such as:
- Enacting laws binding on the entire Empire
- Sentencing a citizen to death without trial (rarely exercised)
- Supreme command of the military
- Final ruling on any appeals from Advocates
- Arbitrating disputes between Procurators
- Allowing any citizen to know safe hyperspace routes into the known galaxy
- Raising other sentients to the level of royalty or nobility
- Creating, disbanding, or altering existing government posts or departments
- Collectively punishing entire systems
The Sovereign was solely empowered to amend the Charter of the Golden Empire, though it was written so as to require rare amendment, since every member world was bound by it.
Other than her Massassi protectors and Royal Guards, most visitors granted an audience with the Sovereign were not permitted to carry weapons into her presence; being given this permission was considered an honor.
In an attempt to dissociate her government from the Galactic Empire, Rin adopted the title "Queen" instead of "Empress". A theoretical male ruler would have been "King". While retaining the style "Her Glorious Imperial Majesty" for formal occasions, Rin normally allowed simply "Your Majesty" or even "My Lady" among her closest advisors.
The Sovereign was titled in full "Sovereign and Protector of the Golden Empire", as Rin wished to emphasize not only the Sovereign's power to govern, but also her responsibility to care for her citizens.
The Royal Emblem of the Empire was also the Sovereign's personal standard.
On formal occasions, the Sovereign wore an elaborate, winged gold crown with a diamond representing every member system. Day-to-day, Rin Sakaros preferred a simple gold circlet. She also wore a veil at all times in public as means of inspiring a sense of awe and unreality about herself. The Sovereign was the only government officer entitled to wear all gold; this practice was not illegal for private citizens, but was generally viewed as both disrespectful and very tacky.
It was customary for all officers of the Empire to end a public speech with "Kava sei ta Rejialith" (or rejial for a male monarch), which meant, "Long live the Queen".