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A monarchy, (from the Greek monos, "one," and archein, "to rule") is a form of government that has a monarch as Head of State. One of the distinguishing characteristics of monarchy is that the Head of State usually reigns for life; in a republic, the Head of State (often called the president) is normally elected for a certain amount of time. There are currently 29 extant monarchies in the world.The term monarchy is also used to refer to the people (especially the dynasty, also known as 'royalty') and institutions that make up the royal or imperial establishment, or to the realm over which the monarch reigns.In most monarchies, the monarch serves as a symbol of continuity and statehood. Many monarchies are constituted by tradition or by codified law so that the monarch has little real politcal power, but in others, the monarch holds substantial power. In some cases, the symbolism of monarchy alongside the symbolism of democracy can lead to divisions over seemingly contradictory principles of sovereignty.Monarchies are one of the oldest forms of government, with echoes in the leadership of tribal chiefs. Many monarchies began with the Monarch as the local representative and temporary embodiment of the deity: (King of Babylon). The Monarch often ruled at the pleasure of the deity and was overthrown or sacrificed when it became apparent that supernatural sanction had been withdrawn: emperor of China, Mayan kings, Achaemenid King of Kings of Persia. Other Monarchs derived their power by acclamation of the ruling or of the warrior caste of a clan or group of clans: Kings of the Franks, Roman emperors. Even where law is simply the monarch's will, the king must rule by custom.Since 1800, many of the world's monarchies have ceased to have a monarch and become republics, or become parliamentary democracies. Democratic countries which retain monarchy have by definition limited the monarch's power, with most having become constitutional monarchies. In England, this process began with the Magna Carta of 1215, although it did not reach democratic proportions until after the Glorious Revolution in 1689. Among the few states that have absolute monarchies are Swaziland, Brunei, Bhutan, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. In Jordan and Morocco, the Monarch retains considerable power. There are also recent ( 2003) developments in Liechtenstein, wherein the regnant prince was given the Constitutional power to dismiss the government at will. Nepal saw several contradictory trends related to the violent rebel movement and the killings by the suicidal crown prince.

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Contents

Types of monarchy
Succession
Destruction of monarchies
Unusual examples
Current monarchies
Sources, References and External links



Types of monarchy - Contents

In an absolute monarchy, the Monarch has power over every aspect of the state, and a constitution may be granted or withdrawn, while in a constitutional monarchy he is subject to it as well as any citizen (though it may grant him such priviliges as inviolability). Modern versions tend to survive only in societies with sufficient technology to allow the concentration and organization of power, but not to allow education and rapid communication The economic structure of such monarchies is often of concentrated wealth, with the majority of the population living either as agricultural serfs, or, as in Gulf Monarchies, a paternalistic model showering benefits on the citizens (while politically they may remain subjects) and importing cheap foreign labor.In some cases, a hereditary monarchy exists, but actual power resides in the military, as often has been the case in Thailand and Japan (see Shogun). In Fascist Italy a monarchy coexisted with a fascist party for longer than such co-existences occurred in Romania, Hungary or Greece. Spain under Francisco Franco was officially a monarchy even though there was no monarch on the throne; upon his death, Franco was succeeded as head of state by King Juan Carlos.There have also been situations in which a dictator proclaimed himself Monarch of a previous republic, thus starting a self-proclaimed monarchy with no historical ties to a previous dynasty. The most famous example of this was general Napoleon Bonaparte who created himself Emperor of France (formerly a kingdom) after legally assuming political control of the French Republic as First Consul for life; a blatant imitation of his empire was that of Bokassa I in the very poor Central African Empire.On several occasions throughout history, the same person has served as Monarch of separate independent states, in a situation known as a personal union. An empire was traditionally ruled by a monarchy whose leader may have been known by different titles in his different realms. Several former colonies of the British Empire, such as Australia, Canada, Jamaica, and New Zealand, continue to recognize the British Monarch as their own, under a separate title for each country. In other cases, such as England and Scotland, a personal union was the precursor to a merger of the states.


Succession - Contents

The rules for selection of Monarchs varies from country to country. In constitutional monarchies the rule of succession is generally embodied in a law passed by a representative body, such as a parliament. Elective monarchies, distinguished by the Monarchs being appointed for life, have in most cases been succeeded by hereditary monarchies, but both secular sovereign nation cases at present are 20th century creations. In the hereditary system, the position of Monarch involves inheritance according to an order of succession, usually within one royal family tracing its origin back to a historical dynasty or bloodline. In some cases the ruling family may claim to hold authority by virtue of God's choosing, as reflected in the stle-phrase by the Grace of God, or other religion-based authority.The order of succession in most European monarchical states of the 21st century is by primogeniture, meaning the eldest son of the monarch is first in line, followed by his male, then female siblings in order of age. In earlier times, the succession was often unclear and this led to a number of wars. Currently, there is some controversy over the succession laws of some monarchies in the European Union (EU), such as that of the United Kingdom (UK) or the Scandinavian monarchies, which require their Monarch to be of a certain faith (in the UK under the Act of Settlement 1701). This has been challenged as violating EU rules that prohibit religious disqualification for positions of state authority.Some autocratic states can appear to have introduced inheritance for the head of state without declaring themselves to be monarchies, such as Syria and North Korea. See family dictatorship.


Destruction of monarchies - Contents

Monarchies can come to an end in several ways. There may be a revolution in which the monarchy is overthrown; or, as in Italy, there may be a referendum in which the electorate decides to form a republic. In some cases, as with England and Spain, the monarchy has been overthrown and then restored although it should be noted presently neither monarchy holds political power. Countries may regard themselves as monarchies even without an actual Monarch on the 'vacant' throne, as Spain did from 1947 to 1975, and Hungary from 1920 to 1944.A person who claims to be the legitimate heir to a deposed (or is in the royalist view suspended) monarchy is called a pretender.See also abolished monarchies for a list of recently abolished monarchies.


Unusual examples - Contents

Sometimes, component members of federal states are monarchies, even though the federal state as a whole is not; for example each of the emirates that form the United Arab Emirates has its own monarch (an emir).Another unique situation is Malaysia, in which the federal king, called the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or Paramount Ruler, is elected for a five year term from and by the nine sultans who are the hereditary rulers of the States of the Malay peninsula.In addition to his spiritual role as Supreme Pontiff, the Pope is the absolute Monarch of the Vatican City. He is elected by (and customarily from among) the College of Cardinals. (Since the Catholic episcopate is celibate, naturally there can be no official hereditary succession to the papal throne.) Notwithstanding this the papacy has often been under the control of powerful Italian families. Several popes have been succeeded by near relatives, in some cases by their own sons (officially described as nephews).The world's only co-principality, Andorra, has two co-princes: the Bishop of Urgell in Spain (thus a Prince-Bishop), and the President of France—a unique case where an independent country's Monarch is democratically elected by the citizens of another country, which is not even in full personal union.Samoa is often disputably described as a monarchy. The president-for-life, or "o le Ao o le Malo" is Malietoa Tanumafili II, a member of one of the three princely families. The Constitution designates him Head of State for life with a royal style, but he will be succeeded by an elected president.


Current monarchies - Contents

There are currently 44 active monarchies in the world, 16 of which are dominions and other Commonwealth Realms that formally recognize the British Sovereign as Head of state, legally in chief of each nation as a monarchy in its own right. (see also List of countries by system of government)
State Title Extent Currently Notes
Andorra Co-princes Constitutional principality Jacques Chirac and Joan Enric Vives Sicília only double monarchy- Under joint suzerainty of the Bishop of Urgell and the French Head of State as successor to the countship of Foix.
Antigua and Barbuda King/ Queen Constitutional monarchy Elizabeth II Commonwealth Realm. The King or Queen is represented by a Governor-General, presently Sir James Carlisle
Australia King/ Queen Constitutional Monarchy Elizabeth II Commonwealth Realm. The Monarch is represented by a Governor-General, presently Michael Jeffery
The Bahamas King/ Queen Constitutional Monarchy Elizabeth II Commonwealth Realm. The Monarch is represented by a Governor-General, presently Dame Ivy Dumont
Bahrain King, styled Malik Semi-constitutional monarchy Hamad ibn Isa al-Khalifah Known as " emir" until 2002.
Barbados King/ Queen Constitutional Monarchy Elizabeth II Commonwealth Realm. The Monarch is represented by a Governor-General, presently Sir Clifford Husbands
Belgium King/Queen of the Belgians Constitutional monarchy Albert II
Belize King/ Queen Constitutional Monarchy Elizabeth II Commonwealth Realm. The Monarch is represented by a Governor-General, presently Sir Colville Young
Bhutan Druk Gyalpo 'Dragon King' Absolute monarchy Jigme Singye Wangchuck
Brunei Sultan Constitutional sultanate Hassanal Bolkiah
Cambodia King; individual throne styles, but most Kings include the titles of Brhat Pada, Samdach Brhat, Varman, Rajadhiraja, Parama, and Adipati Constitutional monarchy Norodom Sihamoni Reinstituted in 1993.
Canada King Queen Constitutional Monarchy Elizabeth II Commonwealth Realm. The Monarch is represented by a Governor-General, presently Michaëlle Jean.
Denmark King/Queen Constitutional monarchy Margrethe II of Denmark Also queen of Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Act of Succession revised in 1953 to allow for female monarchs.
Grenada King/ Queen Constitutional Monarchy Elizabeth II Commonwealth Realm. The Monarch is represented by a Governor General, presently Sir Daniel Williams
Jamaica King/ Queen Constitutional Monarchy Elizabeth II Commonwealth Realm. The Monarch is represented by a Governor-General, presently Sir Howard Cooke
Japan Heavenly Emperor, styled Tennō Constitutional Akihito last empire; Figurehead since Japanese defeat in World War II.
Jordan Hashemite King, styled Malik Semi-constitutional Hashemite monarchy Abdullah II Monarchy established by United Kingdom in 1921.
Kuwait Emir, styled Amir ad-Dawlat al-Kuwayt "Emir of the State of Kuwait" Semi-constitutional emirate Saad Al-Sabah was Hakim al-Kuwayt "Ruler of Kuwait" (incorectly known as " sheikh" as every member of a Gulf dynasty) until 1961.
Lesotho King Constitutional monarchy Letsie III Known as "Paramount Chief" until 1965.
Liechtenstein Prince, styled Fürst Semi-constitutional principality Hans-Adam II Some powers delegated to Prince Alois.
Luxembourg Grand Duke/Duchess Constitutional grand duchy Henri Only remaining Grand Duchy.Ruled by the king of the Netherlands until 1890.
Malaysia Yang di-Pertuan Agong or "Paramount Ruler" Constitutional federation Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Position electoral amongst -de facto tends to rotate between- the nine hereditary rulers of the pensinsular Malay states, only for 5 years.
Monaco Sovereign Prince Semi-constitutional principality Albert II
Morocco King, styled Malik Semi-constitutional monarchy Mohammed VI Morocco currently occupies Western Sahara.
Nepal King, styled Maharajadhiraja Constitutional monarchy Gyanendra Dissolved the parliament in 2005 due to Nepalese civil war, vowing to return democratic rule within three years.
Kingdom of the Netherlands King/Queen, styled Koning(in) Constitutional monarchy Beatrix Also Koning(in) of both colonies: Aruba and Netherlands Antilles.
New Zealand, Cook Islands, Niue King/ Queen Constitutional Monarchy Elizabeth II Commonwealth Realm. The Monarch is represented by a Governor-General, presently Dame Silvia Cartwright
Norway King, styled Norges Konge Constitutional monarchy Harald V Also king of Bouvet Island, Jan Mayen, and Svalbard.
Oman Sultan Absolute sultanate Qaboos
Papua New Guinea King/ Queen Constitutional Monarchy Elizabeth II Commonwealth Realm. The Monarch is represented by a Governor-General, presently Sir Paulias Matane
Qatar Emir Absolute emirate Hamad bin Khalifa formerly Hakim Qatar "Ruler of Qatar", from 3-9-1971: Amir Dawlat Qatar "Emir of the State of Qatar"
Saint Kitts and Nevis King/ Queen Constitutional Monarchy Elizabeth II Commonwealth Realm. The Monarch is represented by a Governor-General, presently Sir Cuthbert Sebastian
Saint Lucia King/ Queen Constitutional Monarchy Elizabeth II Commonwealth Realm. The Monarch is represented by a Governor-General, presently Dame Pearlette Louisy
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines King/ Queen Constitutional Monarchy Elizabeth II Commonwealth Realm. The Monarch is represented by a Governor-General, presently Ralph Gonsalves
Saudi Arabia King, styled Malik but also Protector of the Holy Cities Absolute monarchy Abdullah Saudi Arabia was unified in 1932.
Solomon Islands King/ Queen Commonwealth Realm Elizabeth II Commonwealth Realm. The Monarch is represented by a Governor-General, presently Sir Nathaniel Waena
Spain King/Queen Constitutional monarchy Juan Carlos I Also King of the Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla, and holds the title King of Jerusalem. Monarchy was restored in 1975.
Swaziland King (also Indovuzaki (lit. She-Elephant) or Queen Mother) Absolute monarchy Mswati III (and Ntombi) Currently democratizing.
Sweden King/Queen, styled Konung/Drottning Constitutional monarchy Carl XVI Gustaf Act of Succession revised in 1979 to allow for female monarchs.
Thailand King Constitutional monarchy Bhumibol Adulyadej incorrectly known as Rama
Tonga King/Queen Constitutional monarchy Taufa'ahau Tupou IV the traditional Polynesian style of Tu'i Tongo, still the dynasty's birthright, was superseded by he western royal style in 1865, i.e. before the British protectorate
Tuvalu King/ Queen Constitutional Monarchy Elizabeth II Commonwealth Realm. The Monarch is represented by a Governor-General, presently Filoimea Telito
United Arab Emirates President Constitutional federation Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan Position formally elected amongst the seven rulers of the Trucial states, de facto always from premier state Abu Dhabi.
United Kingdom King/Queen Constitutional monarchy Elizabeth II Also Sovereign of Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man, and the non-sovereign states Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, British Indian Ocean Territory, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension Island, Tristan da Cunha, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Vatican City ( Holy See) Supreme Pontiff, more commonly "Pope" Absolute theocracy Benedict XVI electoral (by Cardinals in conclave), sovereign Prince of the church
Not only are the Monarchs of constitutive monarchies part of the federal establishment of both present elective monarchies (Malaysia, mainly sultanates, and the UAE, so named after its emirates), in many other modern states -often republics- tribal and other traditional states persist, with a dynasty that retains a court and often local prestige and influence; some are officially installed with the consent of the official government (as some of the many in Indonesia- waiting for the go-ahead can mean years of vacancy on the throne), other merely condoned, or even in exile.
Other regions
Territory Title Currently Notes
Ankole (Uganda) Omugabe Ntare VI Due to constitutional reform in 1993, the government of Uganda restored several traditional monarchies.
Buganda (Uganda) Kabaka and Nnabagereka Muwenda Mutebi II and Sylvia Nagginda Due to constitutional reform in 1993, the government of Uganda restored several traditional monarchies.
Bunyoro (Uganda) Omukama Iguru Due to constitutional reform in 1993, the government of Uganda restored several traditional monarchies.
Busago (Uganda) Kyabazinga Henry Wako Muloki Due to constitutional reform in 1993, the government of Uganda restored several traditional monarchies.
Sigave ( Wallis and Futuna) King Visesio Moeliku The Council of the Territory of Wallis and Futuna consists of three kings and three members appointed by the high administrator on the advice of the Territorial Assembly.
Tibet ( occupied by the People's Republic of China) Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso The current Dalai Lama leads a theocratic government in exile, located in Dharamsala, India. He is attempting a process of democratization.
Toro (Uganda) Omukama Rukidi IV Due to constitutional reform in 1993, the government of Uganda restored several traditional monarchies.
Tu'a (Alo) ( Wallis and Futuna) King Soane Patita Maituku The Council of the Territory of Wallis and Futuna consists of three kings and three members appointed by the high administrator on the advice of the Territorial Assembly.
Uvea ( Wallis and Futuna) King Tomasi Kulimoetoke II The Council of the Territory of Wallis and Futuna consists of three kings and three members appointed by the high administrator on the advice of the Territorial Assembly.
Zululand (South Africa) King Goodwill Zwelethini kaBhekuzulu Although the king does not hold any direct political power, he is provided a stipend by the government of South Africa, and holds considerable sway over more traditionalist Zulu people in the KwaZulu-Natal Province.
In many countries that are legally republics, an heir to the throne is recognized by the ryalist part of the nation. A list of such countries is available in the pretender article.


Sources, References and External links - Contents

  • The Monarchist
  • The Monarchist League
  • Theodore's Royalty and Monarchy Page
  • RoyalArk
  • WorldStatesmen- by present country


Sovereign Monarchies in the present World
Commonwealth realms: Antigua and Barbuda | Australia | Bahamas | Barbados | Belize | Canada | Grenada | Jamaica | Lesotho | New Zealand | Papua New Guinea | Saint Kitts and Nevis | Saint Lucia | Saint Vincent and the Grenadines | Samoa | Solomon Islands | Swaziland | Tonga | Tuvalu | United Kingdom
Other European (Christian traditions): Andorra | Belgium | Denmark | Liechtenstein | Luxembourg | Monaco | Netherlands | Norway | Spain | Sweden | Vatican City (electoral Pope)
Oriental traditions: Bahrain | Bhutan | Brunei | Cambodia | Japan | Jordan | Kuwait | Malaysia (electoral King) | Morocco | Nepal | Oman | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Thailand | United Arab Emirates (electoral 'President')

Crowns Imperial Crown of Austria
European & World Crowns Crown of Bavaria | Royal Crown of Denmark | Crown of Charlemagne (France) | Royal Crown of Serbia | Crown of Empress Eugenie (France) | Crown of Frederick I (Prussia) | Crown of Louis XV (France) | Crown of Napoleon (France) | Crown of Wilhelm II (Prussia) | Crown of St. Stephen (Hungary) | Crown of Wenceslas (Czech lands) | Crown of the Polish Kingdom (Poland) | Kiani Crown (Persia) | Imperial Crown of Austria | Imperial Crown of Brazil | Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire | Imperial Crown of Russia | Iron Crown of Lombardy | Monomakh's Cap (Muscovy) | Pahlavi Crown (Iran) | Papal Tiara

English, Scottish & British Crowns (by chronology)
Crown of Scotland | St. Edward's Crown | Crown of Mary of Modena | State Crown of George I | Crown of Frederick, Prince of Wales | Coronation Crown of George IV | Crown of Queen Adelaide | Imperial State Crown | Small diamond crown of Queen Victoria | Crown of Queen Alexandra | Crown of George, Prince of Wales | Crown of Queen Mary | Imperial Crown of India | Crown of Queen Elizabeth | Crown of Charles, Prince of Wales

See also: Coronation | Crown Jewels | Heir Apparent | Heir Presumptive | King | Monarchy | Queen | Regalia | Royal Family
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