Constitutional monarchy

Constitutional monarchy

Overview
Constitutional monarchy (or limited monarchy) is a form of government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 in which a monarch
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

 acts as head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 within the parameters of a constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution. This form of government differs from absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government in which the monarch exercises ultimate governing authority as head of state and head of government, his or her power not being limited by a constitution or by the law. An absolute monarch thus wields unrestricted political power over the...

 in which an absolute monarch serves as the source of power in the state and is not legally bound by any constitution.

Most constitutional monarchies employ a parliamentary system
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

 in which the monarch may have strictly ceremonial duties or may have reserve powers, depending on the constitution.
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Encyclopedia
Constitutional monarchy (or limited monarchy) is a form of government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 in which a monarch
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

 acts as head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 within the parameters of a constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution. This form of government differs from absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government in which the monarch exercises ultimate governing authority as head of state and head of government, his or her power not being limited by a constitution or by the law. An absolute monarch thus wields unrestricted political power over the...

 in which an absolute monarch serves as the source of power in the state and is not legally bound by any constitution.

Most constitutional monarchies employ a parliamentary system
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

 in which the monarch may have strictly ceremonial duties or may have reserve powers, depending on the constitution. Under most modern constitutional monarchies there is also a prime minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 who is the head of government and exercises effective political power.

Contemporary constitutional monarchies include the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and Commonwealth realms, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Bhutan
Bhutan
Bhutan , officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked state in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China...

, Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

, Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

, Denmark
Kingdom of Denmark
The Kingdom of Denmark or the Danish Realm , is a constitutional monarchy and sovereign state consisting of Denmark proper in northern Europe and two autonomous constituent countries, the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic and Greenland in North America. Denmark is the hegemonial part, where the...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over , and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan...

, Lesotho
Lesotho
Lesotho , officially the Kingdom of Lesotho, is a landlocked country and enclave, surrounded by the Republic of South Africa. It is just over in size with a population of approximately 2,067,000. Its capital and largest city is Maseru. Lesotho is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The name...

, Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

, Malaysia, Monaco
Monaco
Monaco , officially the Principality of Monaco , is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about from Italy. Its area is with a population of 35,986 as of 2011 and is the most densely populated country in the...

, Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

, the Netherlands
Kingdom of the Netherlands
The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a sovereign state and constitutional monarchy with territory in Western Europe and in the Caribbean. The four parts of the Kingdom—Aruba, Curaçao, the Netherlands, and Sint Maarten—are referred to as "countries", and participate on a basis of equality...

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Swaziland
Swaziland
Swaziland, officially the Kingdom of Swaziland , and sometimes called Ngwane or Swatini, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, bordered to the north, south and west by South Africa, and to the east by Mozambique...

, Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 and Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

.

There also exist today several federal constitutional monarchies. In these countries, each subdivision has a distinct government and head of government, but all subdivisions share a monarch who is head of state of the federation as a united whole. The latest country that was completely transformed from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional democratic monarchy is Bhutan
Bhutan
Bhutan , officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked state in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China...

.

Constitutional monarchy in the European tradition


In Britain, the Glorious Revolution
Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, is the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau...

 of 1688 led to a constitutional monarchy restricted by laws such as the Bill of Rights 1689
Bill of Rights 1689
The Bill of Rights or the Bill of Rights 1688 is an Act of the Parliament of England.The Bill of Rights was passed by Parliament on 16 December 1689. It was a re-statement in statutory form of the Declaration of Right presented by the Convention Parliament to William and Mary in March 1689 ,...

 and the Act of Settlement 1701
Act of Settlement 1701
The Act of Settlement is an act of the Parliament of England that was passed in 1701 to settle the succession to the English throne on the Electress Sophia of Hanover and her Protestant heirs. The act was later extended to Scotland, as a result of the Treaty of Union , enacted in the Acts of Union...

, although limits on the power of the monarch ('A Limited Monarchy') are much older than that (see Magna Carta
Magna Carta
Magna Carta is an English charter, originally issued in the year 1215 and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions, which included the most direct challenges to the monarch's authority to date. The charter first passed into law in 1225...

). With the Hanoverian accession in Britain onwards, monarchs saw their powers pass further to their ministers, and Royal neutrality in politics became cemented from around the start of the reign of Queen Victoria (though she had her personal favourites) and enlargements to the franchise. Today, the role is by convention effectively ceremonial. Instead, the British Parliament
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

 and the Government
Government of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Government is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Government is led by the Prime Minister, who selects all the remaining Ministers...

 - chiefly in the office of Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 - exercise their powers under 'Royal (or Crown) Prerogative'
Royal Prerogative
The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity, recognized in common law and, sometimes, in civil law jurisdictions possessing a monarchy as belonging to the sovereign alone. It is the means by which some of the executive powers of government, possessed by and...

: on behalf of the Monarch and through powers still formally possessed by the Monarch. No person may accept significant public office without swearing an oath of allegiance to the Queen..

Constitutional monarchy occurred first in continental Europe, briefly in the early years of the French revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, but much more widely afterwards. Napoleon Bonaparte is considered the first monarch proclaiming himself as an embodiment of the nation, rather than as a divinely-appointed ruler; this interpretation of monarchy is germane to continental constitutional monarchies. G.W.F. Hegel, in his Philosophy of Right (1820), gave it a philosophical justification that concurred with evolving contemporary political theory and the Protestant Christian view of natural law. Hegel's forecast of a constitutional monarch with very limited powers whose function is to embody the national character and provide constitutional continuity in times of emergency was reflected in the development of constitutional monarchies in Europe and Japan. His forecast of the form of government suitable to the modern world may be seen as prophetic: the largely ceremonial offices of president in some modern parliamentary democracies in Europe and e.g. Israel can be perceived as elected or appointed versions of Hegel's constitutional monarch; the Russian and French presidents, with their stronger powers, may also be regarded in Hegelian terms as wielding powers suitable to the embodiment of the national will.

Modern constitutional monarchy


As originally conceived, a constitutional monarch was quite a powerful figure, head of the executive branch even though his or her power was limited by the constitution and the elected parliament. Some of the framers of the US Constitution may have conceived of the president as being an elected constitutional monarch, as the term was understood in their time, following Montesquieu's account of the separation of powers.

The present concept of constitutional monarchy developed in the United Kingdom, where it was the democratically elected parliaments, and their leader, the prime minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

, who had become those who exercised power, with the monarchs voluntarily ceding it and contenting themselves with the titular position. In many cases even the monarchs themselves, while still at the very top of the political and social hierarchy, were given the status of "servants of the people" to reflect the new, egalitarian view. In the course of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

's July Monarchy
July Monarchy
The July Monarchy , officially the Kingdom of France , was a period of liberal constitutional monarchy in France under King Louis-Philippe starting with the July Revolution of 1830 and ending with the Revolution of 1848...

, Louis-Philippe I was styled "King of the French" rather than "King of France".

Following the Unification of Germany
Unification of Germany
The formal unification of Germany into a politically and administratively integrated nation state officially occurred on 18 January 1871 at the Versailles Palace's Hall of Mirrors in France. Princes of the German states gathered there to proclaim Wilhelm of Prussia as Emperor Wilhelm of the German...

, Otto von Bismarck
Otto von Bismarck
Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg , simply known as Otto von Bismarck, was a Prussian-German statesman whose actions unified Germany, made it a major player in world affairs, and created a balance of power that kept Europe at peace after 1871.As Minister President of...

 rejected the British model. In the kind of constitutional monarchy established under the Constitution of the German Empire
Constitution of the German Empire
The Constitution of the German Empire was the basic law of the German Empire of 1871-1919, enacted 16 April 1871. German historians often refer to it as Bismarck's imperial constitution....

 which Bismarck inspired, the Kaiser
Kaiser
Kaiser is the German title meaning "Emperor", with Kaiserin being the female equivalent, "Empress". Like the Russian Czar it is directly derived from the Latin Emperors' title of Caesar, which in turn is derived from the personal name of a branch of the gens Julia, to which Gaius Julius Caesar,...

 retained considerable actual executive power, and the Prime Minister needed no parliamentary vote of confidence and ruled solely by the imperial mandate. However, this model of constitutional monarchy was discredited and abolished following Germany's defeat in the First World War. Later on, Fascist Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

 could also be considered as a "constitutional monarchy" of a kind, in the sense that there was a king
King of Italy
King of Italy is a title adopted by many rulers of the Italian peninsula after the fall of the Roman Empire...

 as the titular head of state while actual power was held by Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

 under a constitution. This eventually discredited the Italian monarchy and led to its abolition in 1946. After the Second World War, surviving European monarchies almost invariably adopted some variant of the constitutional monarchy model originally developed in Britain.

In present terms, the difference between a parliamentary democracy that is a constitutional monarchy and one that is a republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

 is sometimes considered more one of detail than of substance. In both cases, the titular head of state - monarch or president - serves the traditional role of embodying and representing the nation, while the actual governing is carried out by a cabinet composed predominantly of elected Members of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

. In some cases, constitutional monarchies have been dubbed "crowned republic
Crowned republic
A crowned republic is a form of constitutional monarchy where the monarch's role is ceremonial and all the royal prerogatives are prescribed by custom and law in such a way that the monarch has little or no discretion over governmental and constitutional issues.The term has been used to describe...

s".

However, there are three important factors that set aside monarchies such as the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 from systems where greater power might otherwise rest with Parliament
Parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

. These are the issue of Royal Prerogative
Royal Prerogative
The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity, recognized in common law and, sometimes, in civil law jurisdictions possessing a monarchy as belonging to the sovereign alone. It is the means by which some of the executive powers of government, possessed by and...

 where the reigning monarch may continue to exercise power under certain very limited circumstances, Sovereign Immunity
Sovereign immunity
Sovereign immunity, or crown immunity, is a legal doctrine by which the sovereign or state cannot commit a legal wrong and is immune from civil suit or criminal prosecution....

 where they are considered to have done no wrong under the law, and may avoid both taxation and planning permission for example, and considerable ceremonial power where the executive, judiciary, police and armed forces owe allegiance
Allegiance
An allegiance is a duty of fidelity said to be owed by a subject or a citizen to his/her state or sovereign.-Etymology:From Middle English ligeaunce . The al- prefix was probably added through confusion with another legal term, allegeance, an "allegation"...

 to the Crown.

Today constitutional monarchies are mostly associated with Western European countries such as the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

, Monaco
Monaco
Monaco , officially the Principality of Monaco , is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about from Italy. Its area is with a population of 35,986 as of 2011 and is the most densely populated country in the...

, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over , and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan...

, and Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

. However, the two most populous constitutional monarchies in the world are in Asia: Japan and Thailand. In such cases it is the prime minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 who holds the day-to-day powers of governance, while the King or Queen (or other monarch, such as a Grand Duke, in the case of Luxembourg, or Prince in the case of Monaco and Liechtenstein) retains only residual (but not always minor) powers. The powers of the monarch differ between countries. In the Netherlands, Denmark and in Belgium, for example, the Monarch formally appoints a representative to preside over the creation of a coalition government
Coalition government
A coalition government is a cabinet of a parliamentary government in which several political parties cooperate. The usual reason given for this arrangement is that no party on its own can achieve a majority in the parliament...

 following a parliamentary election, while in Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 the King chairs special meetings of the cabinet
Cabinet (government)
A Cabinet is a body of high ranking government officials, typically representing the executive branch. It can also sometimes be referred to as the Council of Ministers, an Executive Council, or an Executive Committee.- Overview :...

.

In nearly all cases, the monarch is still the nominal chief executive, but is bound by constitutional convention
Constitutional convention (political custom)
A constitutional convention is an informal and uncodified procedural agreement that is followed by the institutions of a state. In some states, notably those Commonwealth of Nations states that follow the Westminster system and whose political systems derive from British constitutional law, most...

 to act on the advice of the Cabinet. Only a few monarchies (most notably Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 and Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

) have amended their constitutions so that the monarch is no longer even the nominal chief executive.

The most significant family of constitutional monarchies in the world today are the sixteen Commonwealth realm
Commonwealth Realm
A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. The sixteen current realms have a combined land area of 18.8 million km² , and a population of 134 million, of which all, except about two million, live in the six...

s under Elizabeth II. Unlike some of their continental European counterparts, the Monarch and her Governors-General in the Commonwealth realms hold significant "reserve" or "prerogative" powers, to be wielded in times of extreme emergency or constitutional crises usually to uphold parliamentary government. An instance of a Governor General exercising his power was during the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis, when the Australian Prime Minister of the time, Gough Whitlam
Gough Whitlam
Edward Gough Whitlam, AC, QC , known as Gough Whitlam , served as the 21st Prime Minister of Australia. Whitlam led the Australian Labor Party to power at the 1972 election and retained government at the 1974 election, before being dismissed by Governor-General Sir John Kerr at the climax of the...

, was dismissed by the Governor-General. The Australian senate had threatened to block the Government's budget by refusing to pass the associated appropriation bills. On 11 November 1975, Whitlam intended to call a half-Senate election in an attempt to break the deadlock. When he went to seek the Governor-General's approval of the election, the Governor-General instead dismissed him as Prime Minister, and shortly thereafter installed leader of the opposition Malcolm Fraser
Malcolm Fraser
John Malcolm Fraser AC, CH, GCL, PC is a former Australian Liberal Party politician who was the 22nd Prime Minister of Australia. He came to power in the 1975 election following the dismissal of the Whitlam Labor government, in which he played a key role...

 in his place. Acting quickly before all parliamentarians became aware of the change of government, Fraser and his allies were able to secure passage of the appropriation bills, and the Governor-General dissolved Parliament for a double dissolution
Double dissolution
A double dissolution is a procedure permitted under the Australian Constitution to resolve deadlocks between the House of Representatives and the Senate....

 election. Fraser and his government were returned with a massive majority. This led to much speculation among Whitlam's supporters as to whether this use of the Governor-General's reserve powers was appropriate, and whether Australia should become a republic
Republicanism in Australia
Republicanism in Australia is a movement to change Australia's status as a constitutional monarchy to a republican form of government. Such sentiments have been expressed in Australia from before federation onward to the present...

. Among supporters of constitutional monarchy however, the experience confirmed the value of the monarchy as a source of checks and balances against elected politicians who might seek powers in excess of those conferred by their respective constitutions, and ultimately as a safeguard against dictatorship.

In Thailand's constitutional monarchy, the monarch is recognized as the Head of State, Head of the Armed Forces, Upholder of the Buddhist Religion, and Defender of the Faith. The current King, Bhumibol Adulyadej
Bhumibol Adulyadej
Bhumibol Adulyadej is the current King of Thailand. He is known as Rama IX...

, is the longest reigning current monarch in the world and in all of Thailand's history. Bhumibol has reigned through several political changes in the Thai government. He has played an influential role in each incident, often acting as mediator between disputing political opponents. (See Bhumibol's role in Thai Politics.) While the monarch retains some powers from the constitution, most particular is Lèse majesté
Lèse majesté
Lese-majesty is the crime of violating majesty, an offence against the dignity of a reigning sovereign or against a state.This behavior was first classified as a criminal offence against the dignity of the Roman republic in Ancient Rome...

 which protects the image and ability of the monarch to play a role in politics and carries modest criminal penalties for violators. Generally, the Thai people are reverent of Bhumibol. Much of his social influence comes from that and the fact that the royal family is often involved in socio-economic improvement efforts.

In both the United Kingdom and elsewhere, a common debate centres around when it is appropriate for a monarch to use his or her political powers. When a monarch does act, political controversy can often ensue, partially because the neutrality of the crown is seen to be compromised in favour of a partisan
Partisan (political)
In politics, a partisan is a committed member of a political party. In multi-party systems, the term is widely understood to carry a negative connotation - referring to those who wholly support their party's policies and are perhaps even reluctant to acknowledge correctness on the part of their...

 goal, while some political scientists champion the idea of an "interventionist monarch" as a check against possible illegal action by politicians. There are currently 44 monarchies, and most of them are constitutional monarchies.

List of current reigning monarchies


The following is a list of reigning monarchies. Except where noted, monarch selection is hereditary as directed by the state's constitution.
State Last constitution established Type of monarchy Monarch selection
 Antigua and Barbuda 1981 Kingdom Member of the Commonwealth of Nations, inherits the monarch of the United Kingdom
 Andorra 1993 Co-Principality
Principality
A principality is a monarchical feudatory or sovereign state, ruled or reigned over by a monarch with the title of prince or princess, or by a monarch with another title within the generic use of the term prince....

Selection of Bishop of La Seu d'Urgell
La Seu d'Urgell
La Seu d'Urgell is a town located in the Catalan Pyrenees in Spain. La Seu d'Urgell is also the capital of the comarca Alt Urgell, head of the judicial district of la Seu d'Urgell and the seat of Bishop of Urgell, one of the Andorra co-princes...

 and election of French President
President of the French Republic
The President of the French Republic colloquially referred to in English as the President of France, is France's elected Head of State....

 Australia 1901 Kingdom Member of the Commonwealth of Nations, inherits the monarch of the United Kingdom
 The Bahamas 1973 Kingdom Member of the Commonwealth of Nations, inherits the monarch of the United Kingdom
 Barbados 1966 Kingdom Member of the Commonwealth of Nations, inherits the monarch of the United Kingdom
 Bahrain 2002 Kingdom
Monarchy
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

 Belgium 1831 Kingdom; popular monarchy
Popular monarchy
Popular monarchy is a system of monarchical governance in which the monarch's title is linked with a popular mandate rather than a constitutional state. It was the norm in some places from the Middle Ages, and was occasionally used in 19th- and 20th-century Europe, often reflecting the results of...

 Belize 1981 Kingdom Member of the Commonwealth of Nations, inherits the monarch of the United Kingdom
 Bhutan 2007 Kingdom Hereditary succession
 Cambodia 1993 Kingdom Chosen by throne council
Line of succession to the Cambodian throne
Succession to the Cambodian throne is determined by the Royal Council of the Throne as the King does not have the power to appoint an heir to the throne. In order to succeed to the Cambodian throne persons must be a member of the Cambodian Royal Family, of thirty years of age and be a descendent of...

 Canada 1867 (Patriated 1982) Kingdom Member of the Commonwealth of Nations, inherits the monarch of the United Kingdom
 Denmark 1953 Kingdom
 Grenada 1974 Kingdom Member of the Commonwealth of Nations, inherits the monarch of the United Kingdom
 Iran 1906 Kingdom Contitutional Monarchy
 Jamaica 1962 Kingdom Member of the Commonwealth of Nations, inherits the monarch of the United Kingdom
 Japan 1946 Empire
Empire
The term empire derives from the Latin imperium . Politically, an empire is a geographically extensive group of states and peoples united and ruled either by a monarch or an oligarchy....

 Jordan 1952 Kingdom
 Kuwait 1962 Emirate
Emirate
An emirate is a political territory that is ruled by a dynastic Muslim monarch styled emir.-Etymology:Etymologically emirate or amirate is the quality, dignity, office or territorial competence of any emir ....

Hereditary succession, with directed approval of the House of Al-Sabah and majority of National Assembly
National Assembly of Kuwait
The National Assembly of Kuwait, known as the Majlis Al-Umma , is the legislature of Kuwait. The current speaker of the Assembly is Jassem Al-Kharafi. The Emir unconstitutionally dissolved the National Assembly in 1986 and restored it after the Gulf War in 1992...

 Lesotho 1993 Kingdom Hereditary succession directed approval of College of Chiefs
 Liechtenstein 1862 Principality
 Luxembourg 1868 Grand duchy
Grand duchy
A grand duchy, sometimes referred to as a grand dukedom, is a territory whose head of state is a monarch, either a grand duke or grand duchess.Today Luxembourg is the only remaining grand duchy...

 Malaysia 1957 Elective monarchy
Elective monarchy
An elective monarchy is a monarchy ruled by an elected rather than hereditary monarch. The manner of election, the nature of the candidacy and the electors vary from case to case...

; Federal monarchy
Selected from nine hereditary Sultans of the Malay states
 Monaco 1911 Principality
 Morocco 1666 Kingdom
 Netherlands 1815 Kingdom
 Norway 1814 Kingdom
 New Zealand 1907 Kingdom Member of the Commonwealth of Nations, inherits the monarch of the United Kingdom
 Papua New Guinea 1975 Kingdom Member of the Commonwealth of Nations, inherits the monarch of the United Kingdom
 Saint Kitts and Nevis 1983 Kingdom Member of the Commonwealth of Nations, inherits the monarch of the United Kingdom
 Saint Lucia 1979 Kingdom Member of the Commonwealth of Nations, inherits the monarch of the United Kingdom
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1979 Kingdom Member of the Commonwealth of Nations, inherits the monarch of the United Kingdom
 Solomon Islands 1978 Kingdom Member of the Commonwealth of Nations, inherits the monarch of the United Kingdom
 Spain 1978 Kingdom
 Swaziland 1968 Kingdom; Mixture of absolute and constitutional monarchy Hereditary succession
 Sweden 1974 Kingdom Switched from semi-constitutional monarchy to constitutional monarchy
 Thailand 2007 Kingdom
 Tonga 1970 Kingdom
 Tuvalu 1978 Kingdom Member of the Commonwealth of Nations, inherits the monarch of the United Kingdom
 United Arab Emirates 1971 Federal Union of Emirate
Elective monarchy
Elective monarchy
An elective monarchy is a monarchy ruled by an elected rather than hereditary monarch. The manner of election, the nature of the candidacy and the electors vary from case to case...

President
President of the United Arab Emirates
The President is the Head of State of the United Arab Emirates. Because the current ruler of Abu Dhabi customarily also holds the presidency of the UAE, the office is de facto hereditary. The President is also Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Supreme Council and...

 elected by the seven absolute monarchs constituting the Federal Supreme Council
 United Kingdom 1688 Kingdom

Former monarchies

  • The Chinese Empire - last Imperial Chinese rule was by the Qing Dynasty
    Qing Dynasty
    The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

     清朝 1644–1912 - During its reign, the Qing Dynasty became highly integrated with Chinese culture. However, its military power weakened during the 19th century, and faced with international pressure, massive rebellions and defeats in wars, the Qing Dynasty declined after the mid-19th century. The Qing Dynasty was overthrown following the Xinhai Revolution, when the Empress Dowager Longyu abdicated on behalf of the last emperor, Puyi, on February 12, 1912.
  • The Korean Empire
    Korean Empire
    The Greater Korean Empire was an empire of Korea that succeeded the Joseon Dynasty.In October 1897, Emperor Gojong proclaimed the new entity at Gyeongungung Palace and oversaw the partially successful modernization of the military, economy, land system, education system, and various industries...

     (Korean: 대한제국, Hanja: 大韓帝國) from 1897 to 1910 - was an empire of Korea
    Korea
    Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

     that succeeded the Joseon Dynasty
    Joseon Dynasty
    Joseon , was a Korean state founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Goryeo at what is today the city of Kaesong. Early on, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul...

     that ruled the nation over the past 500 years. On August 22, 1910, the Korean Empire was annexed by Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

     with the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty
    Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty
    The Japan–Korea Treaty of 1910, also known as the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty, was made by representatives of the Empire of Japan and the Korean Empire in 1910. Negotiations were concluded on August 20, 1910...

    , beginning a 35-year period of Korea under Japanese rule
    Korea under Japanese rule
    Korea was under Japanese rule as part of Japan's 35-year imperialist expansion . Japanese rule ended in 1945 shortly after the Japanese defeat in World War II....

    . Prior to the Korean Empire, several dynastic rulers of Goguryeo, Silla, Baekje, Balhae and Goryeo claimed the right to imperial status and used imperial titles at one time or another.
  • British America
    British America
    For American people of British descent, see British American.British America is the anachronistic term used to refer to the territories under the control of the Crown or Parliament in present day North America , Central America, the Caribbean, and Guyana...

     was ruled by the monarchy of the Kingdom of Great Britain
    Kingdom of Great Britain
    The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

     from 1607 until the Treaty of Paris
    Treaty of Paris (1783)
    The Treaty of Paris, signed on September 3, 1783, ended the American Revolutionary War between Great Britain on the one hand and the United States of America and its allies on the other. The other combatant nations, France, Spain and the Dutch Republic had separate agreements; for details of...

     in 1783, when the secession of the thirteen original British colonies on the continent was accepted. The other British North American colonies retained the British Crown as their head of state, and subsequently achieved self-rule as Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

    .
  • The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
    Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
    The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was a dualistic state of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch. It was the largest and one of the most populous countries of 16th- and 17th‑century Europe with some and a multi-ethnic population of 11 million at its peak in the early 17th century...

    , formed after the Union of Lublin
    Union of Lublin
    The Union of Lublin replaced the personal union of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania with a real union and an elective monarchy, since Sigismund II Augustus, the last of the Jagiellons, remained childless after three marriages. In addition, the autonomy of Royal Prussia was...

     in 1569 and lasting until the final partition of the state in 1795, operated much like many modern European constitutional monarchies (into which it was officially changed by the establishment of the Constitution of May 3, 1791
    Constitution of May 3, 1791
    The Constitution of May 3, 1791 was adopted as a "Government Act" on that date by the Sejm of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Historian Norman Davies calls it "the first constitution of its type in Europe"; other scholars also refer to it as the world's second oldest constitution...

    , which historian Norman Davies
    Norman Davies
    Professor Ivor Norman Richard Davies FBA, FRHistS is a leading English historian of Welsh descent, noted for his publications on the history of Europe, Poland, and the United Kingdom.- Academic career :...

     calls "the first constitution of its kind in Europe"). The legislators of the unified state truly did not see it as a monarchy at all, but as a republic under the presidency of the King. Poland-Lithuania also followed the principle of "Rex regnat et non gubernat", had a bicameral parliament, and a collection of entrenched legal documents amounting to a constitution along the lines of the modern United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

    . The King was elected, and had the duty of maintaining the people's rights.
  • The Anglo-Corsican Kingdom
    Anglo-Corsican Kingdom
    The Anglo-Corsican Kingdom was a short-lived self-declared independent state on the island of Corsica during the mid-1790s.-Background and history of the kingdom:During the time of the French Revolution, Corsica had been a part of France for just two decades...

     was a brief period in the history of Corsica
    History of Corsica
    That the history of Corsica has been influenced by its strategic position at the heart of the western Mediterranean and its maritime routes, only from Sardinia, from the Isle of Elba, from the coast of Tuscany and from the French port of Nice, was first proposed by the 19th-century German...

     (1794–1796) when the island broke with Revolutionary France and sought military protection from Great Britain
    Kingdom of Great Britain
    The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

    . Corsica became an independent kingdom under George III of England, but with its own elected parliament and a written constitution guaranteeing local autonomy and democratic rights.
  • France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

    , several times during the 19th century. Napoléon Bonaparte
    Napoleon I of France
    Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

     proclaimed himself Emperor of the French in what was ostensibly a constitutional monarchy, though modern historians often class his reign as a military dictatorship. The Bourbon Restoration
    Bourbon Restoration
    The Bourbon Restoration is the name given to the period following the successive events of the French Revolution , the end of the First Republic , and then the forcible end of the First French Empire under Napoleon  – when a coalition of European powers restored by arms the monarchy to the...

     (under Louis XVIII
    Louis XVIII of France
    Louis XVIII , known as "the Unavoidable", was King of France and of Navarre from 1814 to 1824, omitting the Hundred Days in 1815...

     and Charles X
    Charles X of France
    Charles X was known for most of his life as the Comte d'Artois before he reigned as King of France and of Navarre from 16 September 1824 until 2 August 1830. A younger brother to Kings Louis XVI and Louis XVIII, he supported the latter in exile and eventually succeeded him...

    ), the July Monarchy
    July Monarchy
    The July Monarchy , officially the Kingdom of France , was a period of liberal constitutional monarchy in France under King Louis-Philippe starting with the July Revolution of 1830 and ending with the Revolution of 1848...

     (under Louis-Philippe), and the Second Empire
    Second French Empire
    The Second French Empire or French Empire was the Imperial Bonapartist regime of Napoleon III from 1852 to 1870, between the Second Republic and the Third Republic, in France.-Rule of Napoleon III:...

     (under Napoleon III) were also constitutional monarchies, although the power of the monarch varied considerably between them.
  • The German Empire
    German Empire
    The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

     from 1871 to 1918, (as well as earlier confederations, and the monarchies it consisted of) was also a constitutional monarchy—see Constitution of the German Empire
    Constitution of the German Empire
    The Constitution of the German Empire was the basic law of the German Empire of 1871-1919, enacted 16 April 1871. German historians often refer to it as Bismarck's imperial constitution....

    .
  • Prior to the Iranian Revolution
    Iranian Revolution
    The Iranian Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the...

     in 1979, Iran
    Iran
    Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

     was a constitutional monarchy under Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi
    Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
    Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, Shah of Persia , ruled Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow by the Iranian Revolution on 11 February 1979...

    , which had been originally established during the Persian Constitutional Revolution in 1906.
  • Portugal
    Portugal
    Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

     until 1910 when Manuel II
    Manuel II of Portugal
    Manuel II , named Manuel Maria Filipe Carlos Amélio Luís Miguel Rafael Gabriel Gonzaga Francisco de Assis Eugénio de Bragança Orleães Sabóia e Saxe-Coburgo-Gotha — , was the last King of Portugal from 1908 to 1910, ascending the throne after the assassination of his father and elder brother Manuel...

     was overthrown by a military coup.
  • Kingdom of Serbia
    Kingdom of Serbia
    The Kingdom of Serbia was created when Prince Milan Obrenović, ruler of the Principality of Serbia, was crowned King in 1882. The Principality of Serbia was ruled by the Karađorđevic dynasty from 1817 onwards . The Principality, suzerain to the Porte, had expelled all Ottoman troops by 1867, de...

    , until 1918, when it merged with the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs into the unitary Yugoslav Kingdom, that was led by the Serbian dynasty of Karadjordjevic
  • Mexico
    Mexico
    The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

     was twice an Empire
    Mexican Empire
    The Mexican Empire or rarely Gran Mexico was the name of modern Mexico on two brief occasions in the 19th century when it was ruled by an emperor. With the Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire from Spain in 1821, Mexico became an independent monarchy, but was soon replaced with the...

    . First from July 21, 1822, to March 19, 1823, with Agustín de Iturbide
    Agustín de Iturbide
    Agustín Cosme Damián de Iturbide y Aramburu , also known as Augustine I of Mexico, was a Mexican army general who built a successful political and military coalition that was able to march into Mexico City on 27 September 1821, decisively ending the Mexican War of Independence...

     serving as emperor. Then, with the help of the Austrian and Spanish crowns, Napoleon III of France
    Napoleon III of France
    Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte was the President of the French Second Republic and as Napoleon III, the ruler of the Second French Empire. He was the nephew and heir of Napoleon I, christened as Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte...

     installed Maximilian of Habsburg as Emperor of Mexico. This attempt to create a European-style monarchy lasted three years, from 1864 to 1867.
  • Brazil
    Brazil
    Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

     from 1815 (United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves) until 1822, with the proclamation of independence and rise of the Empire of Brazil by Pedro I of Brazil. The empire ended in 1889, when Pedro II
    Pedro II of Brazil
    Dom Pedro II , nicknamed "the Magnanimous", was the second and last ruler of the Empire of Brazil, reigning for over 58 years. Born in Rio de Janeiro, he was the seventh child of Emperor Dom Pedro I of Brazil and Empress Dona Maria Leopoldina and thus a member of the Brazilian branch of...

     was deposed by a military coup.
  • Hawaii
    Kingdom of Hawaii
    The Kingdom of Hawaii was established during the years 1795 to 1810 with the subjugation of the smaller independent chiefdoms of Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lānai, Kauai and Niihau by the chiefdom of Hawaii into one unified government...

     was a constitutional monarchy from the unification of the smaller independent chiefdoms of Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lānai, and the Hawaii (or the "Big Island") in 1810 until the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani in 1893 by conspirators from United States.
  • The Grand Principality of Finland was a constitutional monarchy though its ruler, Alexander I
    Alexander I of Russia
    Alexander I of Russia , served as Emperor of Russia from 23 March 1801 to 1 December 1825 and the first Russian King of Poland from 1815 to 1825. He was also the first Russian Grand Duke of Finland and Lithuania....

    , was simultaneously an autocrat
    Autocracy
    An autocracy is a form of government in which one person is the supreme power within the state. It is derived from the Greek : and , and may be translated as "one who rules by himself". It is distinct from oligarchy and democracy...

     and absolute ruler
    Absolute monarchy
    Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government in which the monarch exercises ultimate governing authority as head of state and head of government, his or her power not being limited by a constitution or by the law. An absolute monarch thus wields unrestricted political power over the...

     in Russia
    Russia
    Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

    .
  • The Kingdom of Laos
    Kingdom of Laos
    The Kingdom of Laos was a sovereign state from 1953 until December 1975, when Pathet Lao overthrew the government and created the Lao People's Democratic Republic. Given self-rule in 1949 as part of a federation with the rest of French Indochina, the 1953 Franco-Lao Treaty finally established a...

     was a constitutional monarchy until 1975, when Sisavang Vatthana
    Savang Vatthana
    Savang or Sisavang Vatthana was the last king of the Kingdom of Laos. He ruled from 1959 after his father's death, until his forced abdication in 1975...

     was forced to abdicate by the communist, the Pathet Lao
    Pathet Lao
    The Pathet Lao was a communist political movement and organization in Laos, formed in the mid-20th century. The group was ultimately successful in assuming political power after the Laotian Civil War. The Pathet Lao were always closely associated with Vietnamese communists...

    .
  • The Kingdom of Hungary
    Kingdom of Hungary
    The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

    . In 1848–1849 and 1867–1918 as part of Austria-Hungary
    Austria-Hungary
    Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

    . In the interwar period (1920–1944) Hungary
    Hungary
    Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

     remained a constitutional monarchy without a reigning monarch.
  • Montenegro
    Montenegro
    Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

     until 1918 when it merged with Serbia
    Serbia
    Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

     and other areas to form Yugoslavia
    Yugoslavia
    Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

    .
  • Yugoslavia
    Yugoslavia
    Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

     until 1945 when Peter II
    Peter II of Yugoslavia
    Peter II, also known as Peter II Karađorđević , was the third and last King of Yugoslavia...

     was deposed by the communist government.
  • Kingdom of Romania
    Kingdom of Romania
    The Kingdom of Romania was the Romanian state based on a form of parliamentary monarchy between 13 March 1881 and 30 December 1947, specified by the first three Constitutions of Romania...

     until 1947 when Michael I
    Michael I of Romania
    Michael was the last King of Romania. He reigned from 20 July 1927 to 8 June 1930, and again from 6 September 1940 until 30 December 1947 when he was forced, by the Communist Party of Romania , to abdicate to the Soviet armies of occupation...

     was forced to abdicate at gunpoint by the communists.
  • Kingdom of Bulgaria
    Kingdom of Bulgaria
    The Kingdom of Bulgaria was established as an independent state when the Principality of Bulgaria, an Ottoman vassal, officially proclaimed itself independent on October 5, 1908 . This move also formalised the annexation of the Ottoman province of Eastern Rumelia, which had been under the control...

     until 1946 when Tsar Simeon
    Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
    Simeon Borisov of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Tsar Simeon II or Simeon II of Bulgaria is an important political and royal figure in Bulgaria...

     was deposed by the communist assembly.
  • Greece
    Greece
    Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

     until 1967 when Constantine II
    Constantine II of Greece
    |align=right|Constantine II was King of Greece from 1964 until the abolition of the monarchy in 1973, the sixth and last monarch of the Greek Royal Family....

     was deposed by the military government
    Greek military junta of 1967-1974
    The Greek military junta of 1967–1974, alternatively "The Regime of the Colonels" , or in Greece "The Junta", and "The Seven Years" are terms used to refer to a series of right-wing military governments that ruled Greece from 1967 to 1974...

    . The decision was formalised by a plebiscite
    Greek plebiscite, 1974
    The Greek plebiscite of December 8, 1974, resulted in the final abolition of the monarchy in Greece and the establishment of the current Third Hellenic Republic....

     in 05/04/1974.
  • Italy
    Italy
    Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

     until June 2, 1946, when a referendum proclaimed the end of the Kingdom and the begin of the Republic.
  • Many Commonwealth republic
    Commonwealth republic
    A republic in the Commonwealth of Nations is any one of the 33 sovereign states of the Commonwealth of Nations with a republican form of government...

    s were constitutional monarchies for some period after their independence.
  • Nepal
    Nepal
    Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

     until May 28, 2008, when King Gyanendra
    Gyanendra of Nepal
    Gyanendra Shah was the last King of Nepal. During his life, he has held the title of the King twice: first between 1950 and 1951 as a child when his grandfather Tribhuvan was forced into exile in India with the rest of his family; and from 2001 to 2008, following the Nepalese royal massacre.King...

     was deposed, and the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal was declared.
  • Iceland
    Iceland
    Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

     The Act of Union, a 1 December 1918 agreement with Denmark, established Iceland as a sovereign kingdom united with Denmark under a common king. Iceland abolished the monarchy and became a republic on 17 June 1944 after the Icelandic constitutional referendum, 24 May 1944.
  • Kingdom of Mysore
    Kingdom of Mysore
    The Kingdom of Mysore was a kingdom of southern India, traditionally believed to have been founded in 1399 in the vicinity of the modern city of Mysore. The kingdom, which was ruled by the Wodeyar family, initially served as a vassal state of the Vijayanagara Empire...


Other situations

  • Andorra
    Andorra
    Andorra , officially the Principality of Andorra , also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra, , is a small landlocked country in southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. It is the sixth smallest nation in Europe having an area of...

     and San Marino
    San Marino
    San Marino, officially the Republic of San Marino , is a state situated on the Italian Peninsula on the eastern side of the Apennine Mountains. It is an enclave surrounded by Italy. Its size is just over with an estimated population of over 30,000. Its capital is the City of San Marino...

     are the only countries where the head of state is vested jointly in two individuals: co-princes (Bishop of Urgell, President of France) and the Captains Regent, respectively.
  • Andorra
    Andorra
    Andorra , officially the Principality of Andorra , also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra, , is a small landlocked country in southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. It is the sixth smallest nation in Europe having an area of...

    , Monaco
    Monaco
    Monaco , officially the Principality of Monaco , is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about from Italy. Its area is with a population of 35,986 as of 2011 and is the most densely populated country in the...

     and Liechtenstein
    Liechtenstein
    The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over , and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan...

     are the only countries with a reigning Prince
    Prince
    Prince is a general term for a ruler, monarch or member of a monarch's or former monarch's family, and is a hereditary title in the nobility of some European states. The feminine equivalent is a princess...

    .
  • Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

     is the only country with a reigning Emperor
    Emperor
    An emperor is a monarch, usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife or a woman who rules in her own right...

    .
  • Luxembourg
    Luxembourg
    Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

     is the only country with a reigning Grand Duke
    Grand Duke
    The title grand duke is used in Western Europe and particularly in Germanic countries for provincial sovereigns. Grand duke is of a protocolary rank below a king but higher than a sovereign duke. Grand duke is also the usual and established translation of grand prince in languages which do not...

    .