June 2, 2014

Monarchies Of The World

I used World Facts Inc. as my foundation for this piece, than updated and added more information using wikipedia.

Monarchies Of The World

The word monarch comes from the Latin word monarcha, which pertained to any single, absolute ruler, although the term today has come to mean the sovereign of any nation who heads a traditional system of hereditary rule by order of succession, by virtue of bloodline or lineage within a royal house or dynasty.

There are forty four countries ruled by monarchies around the world, which are also known as kingdoms, principalities, sultanates or emirates.

Monarchies come under five different categories - Absolute Monarchies, Commonwealth Realms, Constitutional Monarchies, Elective Monarchies and Federal Monarchies.

Below is a list of the forty four countries ruled by monarchies around the world, listed under their appropriate categories.


An absolute monarchy has a head of state who rules as an autocrat with absolute power over both state and government. There are seven absolute monarchies around the world, they are;

Brunei - Asia - Sultanate: Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah since 1967; Succession: Hereditary.

Monaco - Europe - Principality: Prince Albert II since 2005; Succession: Hereditary.

Oman - Arabia - Emirate: Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said since 1970; Succession: Hereditary.

Qatar - Arabia - Emirate: Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani since 2013; Succession: Hereditary.

Saudi Arabia - Arabia - Kingdom: King Abdullah bin Abdul‘aziz since 2005. Succession: Hereditary and Elective.
Succession is determined by consensus within the House of Saud as to who will be Crown Prince. This consensus may change depending on the Crown Prince's actions.
Swaziland - Africa - Kingdom: King Mswati III since 1986; Succession: Hereditary and Elective.
Succession is subject to customary law, and does not follow primogeniture. A council of elders selects who among the reigning king's wives will be mother of the next king. This woman will succeed as Ndlovukati upon her son's ascension to throne, and will rule alongside him for the duration of his reign. The king's first two wives are considered ineligible.
Vatican City State - Europe - Ex Officio: Holy See Pope Francis since 2013; Succession: Ex officio.
The monarch or ex officio of the VATICAN CITY STATE, is The Pope, who is the elected head of state of both the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican City State, who after election, will remain absolute monarch until death.

A constitutional monarchy has a head of state who has limited political power within the running of the country, due to their being subject to a constitution, and is therefore monarch in a ceremonial and or traditional role only.

There are twenty two constitutional monarchies around the world, they are;

Andorra - Europe - Diarchy / Co - Principality: Co-Princes Joan Enric Vives Sicรญlia since 2003 and Nicolas Sarkozy since 2012; Succession: Ex-Officio.
ANDORRA is the only country in the world which has two diarchs who act as the country's monarch. Known as the co - princes, they are traditionally the President of France and the Bishop of Urgell in Spain, making Andorra the only country in the world to have their monarch elected by the democratic vote of another country, or countries in Andorra's case.
Bahrain - Arabia - Emirate: King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifah since 1999; Succession: Hereditary.

Belgium - Europe - Kingdom: King Philippe since 2013; Succession: Hereditary.

Bhutan - Asia - Kingdom: King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck since 2006; Succession: Hereditary.

Cambodia - Asia - Kingdom: King Norodom Sihamoni since 2004; Succession: Hereditary and Elective.
The king is selected for life by the Royal Council of the Throne from amongst the male descendants of kings Ang Duong, Norodom, and Sisowath.
Denmark - Europe - Kingdom: Queen Margrethe II since 1972; Succession: Hereditary.

Japan - Asia - Monarch known as Emperor or Imperial Majesty: Emperor Akihito since 1989; Succession: Hereditary.

Jordan - Middle East - Kingdom: King Abdullah II since 1999; Succession: Hereditary.
JORDAN uses a form of elective monarchy with the future monarch always being chosen by the current monarch from any suitable member of the Jordanian Royal Family.
Kuwait - Arabia - Emirate: Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah since 2006; Succession: Hereditary and Elective.
The heir is appointed by the reigning emir, and the nomination must also be approved by a majority of members in the National Assembly. The throne is also traditionally alternated between the two main branches of the Al Sabah family: the Al Salem and Al Jaber. The current emir is of the Al Jaber branch.
Lesotho - Africa - Kingdom: King Letsie III since 1996; Succession: Hereditary.

Liechtenstein - Europe - Principality: Prince Hans Adam II since 1989; Succession: Hereditary.

Luxembourg - Europe - Grand Duchy: Grand Duke Henri since 2000; Succession: Hereditary.

Malaysia - Asia - Monarch known as Supreme Head of State: King Abdul Halim since 2011; Sucession: Hereditary and Elective.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is elected to a five-year term by and from amongst the nine hereditary rulers of the Malay states, who form the Council of Rulers. The position has to date been, by informal agreement, systematically rotated between the nine; the order was originally based on seniority.
Morocco - North Africa - Kingdom: King Mohammed VI since 1999; Succession: Hereditary.

Netherlands - Europe - Kingdom: King Willem-Alexander since 2013; Succession: Hereditary.

Norway - Europe - Kingdom: King Harald V since 1991; Succession: Hereditary.

Spain - Europe - Kingdom. King Felipe since 2014; Succession: Hereditary.

Sweden - Europe - Kingdom: King Carl XVI Gustaf since 1973; Succession: Hereditary.

Thailand - Asia - Kingdom: King Bhumibol Adulyadej since 1946; Succession: Hereditary.

Tonga - South Pacific - Kingdom: King Tupou VI since 2012; Succession: Hereditary.

United Arab Emirates - Arabia - Monarch known as Emir: President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan since 2004; Succession: Hereditary and Elective.
According to the Constitution, the President of the United Arab Emirates is elected by the Federal Supreme Council from among the individual rulers of the seven emirates. However, by informal agreement the Presidency is always passed to the head of the Al Nahyan clan, the Emir of Abu Dhabi (see constituent monarchs), which makes it a de facto hereditary position. In addition, the appointed Prime Minister has always been the head of the Al Maktoum clan and Emir of Dubai.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - Europe - Kingdom: Queen Elizabeth II since 1952; Succession: Hereditary.


The Commonwealth Realms are countries with a personal union arrangement with the United Kingdom, which has been in effect since the days of the British Empire. Their monarch is Queen Elisabeth II, who has limited powers in these countries and is monarch in a ceremonial and or traditional capacity only.

  1. Antigua & Barbuda - Caribbean
  2. Australia - Oceania
  3. Bahamas - Caribbean
  4. Barbados - Caribbean
  5. Belize - Central America
  6. Canada - North America
  7. Grenada - Caribbean
  8. Jamaica - Caribbean
  9. New Zealand - Oceania
  10. Papua / New Guinea - Pacific
  11. Saint Kitts and Nevis - Caribbean
  12. Saint Lucia - Caribbean
  13. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - Caribbean
  14. Solomon Islands - South Pacific
  15. Tuvalu - South Pacific.

An elective monarchy has a head of state who has been elected or appointed, for a defined period of time, by a particular governing body within the country.

There are four elective monarchies around the world, they are;

Andorra - Europe

Malaysia - Asia.

Vatican City State - Europe.

United Arab Emirates - Arabia.


A federal monarchy has a head of state who presides over a federation or group of smaller monarchies.

There are two federal monarchies around the world, they are ;

Malaysia - Asia.

The United Arab Emirates - Arabian Peninsula.

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