List of current monarchies

This is a list of current monarchies. As of 2019, there are 44 sovereign states in the world with a monarch as Head of state. There are 13 in Asia, 12 in Europe, 10 in North America, 6 in Oceania and 3 in Africa.

  Semi-constitutional monarchy
  Commonwealth realms (constitutional monarchies in personal union)
  Subnational monarchies (traditional)

Types of monarchyEdit

These are the approximate categories which present monarchies fall into:

Absolute monarchs remain in the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace; the Sultanate of Oman; the State of Qatar; and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom of Bahrain, and the State of Kuwait are classified as mixed, meaning there are representative bodies of some kind, but the monarch retains most of his powers. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Malaysia, the Kingdom of Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates are constitutional monarchies, but their monarchs still retain more substantial powers than in European equivalents.

  • East and Southeast Asian constitutional monarchies. The Kingdom of Bhutan; the Kingdom of Cambodia; Japan; and the Kingdom of Thailand have constitutional monarchies where the monarch has a limited or ceremonial role. Thailand changed from traditional absolute monarchy into a constitutional one in 1932, while the Kingdom of Bhutan changed in 2008. The Kingdom of Cambodia had its own monarchy after independence from the French Colonial Empire, which was deposed after the Khmer Rouge came into power. The monarchy was subsequently restored in the peace agreement of 1993.
  • Other monarchies. Five monarchies do not fit into one of the above groups by virtue of geography or class of monarchy: the Kingdom of Tonga in Polynesia; the Kingdom of Eswatini and the Kingdom of Lesotho in Southern Africa; and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (S.M.O.M.), and the Vatican City State in Europe. Of these, the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Kingdom of Tonga are constitutional monarchies, while the Kingdom of Eswatini and the Vatican City State are absolute monarchies. The Kingdom of Eswatini is increasingly being considered a diarchy. The King, or Ngwenyama, rules alongside his mother, the Ndlovukati, as dual heads of state originally designed to be checks on political power. The Ngwenyama, however, is considered the administrative head of state, while the Ndlovukati is considered the spiritual and national head of state, a position which has become largely symbolic in recent years. S.M.O.M. is governed by an elected Prince and Grand Master. The Pope is the absolute monarch of the Vatican by virtue of his position as head of the Roman Catholic Church and Bishop of Rome; he is an elected rather than hereditary ruler. The Pope need not be a citizen of the territory prior to his election by the cardinals.

Lines of successionEdit

Some of the extant sovereign monarchies have lines of succession that go back to the medieval period or antiquity:

  • The kings of Cambodia claim descent from Queen Soma (1st century), although the historiographical record is interrupted in the "Post-Angkor Period" (15th/16th centuries). A real unified kingdom of Cambodia first came to existence in 802. The monarchy in Cambodia was abolished between 1970 and 1993.
  • There exist several suggestions on a possible line of succession in the Danish monarchy from the late 7th century and until Gorm the Old, but none of these suggestions have so far won universal acceptance. Most monarchs in Denmark since the 940s have been descendants of Gorm the Old's father Harthacnut and all monarchs in Denmark since 1047 have been descendants of titular Queen Estrid Svendsdatter. A formal law of succession was not adopted in Denmark until 1665.
  • Japan, considered a constitutional monarchy under the Imperial House of Japan, is said to be the world's oldest extant continuous hereditary monarchy,[1] with a traditional origin in 660 BC; there is commonly accepted archaeological and cultural evidence from the 3rd century and reliable historiographical evidence from at least the 6th century.
  • The monarchs of the kingdom of Norway by virtue of descent from Harald I Fairhair, who united the realm in 872. Harald as a member of the House of Yngling is given a partly legendary line of succession from earlier petty kings in historiographical tradition. Far from all monarchs of Norway since the 930s have been descendants of Harald Fairhair: at least seven or eight Norwegian kings from the period c. 970 – 1859 were not descendants of Harald Fairhair.
  • The kings of Spain by descent from the Catholic Monarchs (via the House of Habsburg), ultimately combining the lines of succession of Castile and León and Aragon, realms established in the 10th to 11th centuries in the course of the Reconquista, via the Kingdom of Asturias claiming descent from the Visigothic Kingdom (which, originally ruled by the Thervingi kings, had become elective in the 6th century). The monarchy of Spain was abolished twice in the 19th and 20th centuries (1873-1874 and 1931–1947) and replaced by republics.
  • The monarchs of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth realms inherit the throne by virtue of the line of descent from the House of Stuart (Union of the Crowns 1603), combining the lines of succession of the kingdoms of England and Scotland going back to the 9th century. The succession to the English throne can be argued to originate with the House of Wessex, established in the 6th century; that to the Scottish throne with descent from Pictish kings who likewise enter the historical record around the 6th century. The line of succession and descent of the Scottish throne is unbroken, whereas the English throne shifted between several unrelated dynasties/families between 1013 and 1066. The monarchy of England was abolished in 1649 and that of Scotland in 1652 and replaced by various types of republican governments between the years 1649 to 1660.

Current monarchiesEdit

Monarchy Official local name(s) Title of Head of State Title of Head of Government Type of monarchy Succession
  Principality of Andorra [2] In Catalan: Principat d'Andorra Co-Princes Prime Minister Constitutional Ex officio 1993
  Antigua and Barbuda[3] In English: Antigua and Barbuda Queen Hereditary 1981
  Commonwealth of Australia[4] In English: Commonwealth of Australia Queen 1901
  Commonwealth of the Bahamas[5] In English: Commonwealth of the Bahamas Queen 1973
  Kingdom of Bahrain[6] In Arabic: Mamlakat al- Baḥrayn King Mixed 2002
  Barbados[7] In English: Barbados Queen Constitutional 1966
  Kingdom of Belgium[8] In Dutch: Koninkrijk België
In French: Royaume de Belgique
In German: Königreich Belgien
King 1 Hereditary 1 1831
  Belize[9] In English: Belize Queen Hereditary 1981
  Kingdom of Bhutan[10] In Dzongkha: Druk Gyal Khap King 2007
  Brunei Darussalam[11] In Malay: Negara Brunei Darussalam Absolute 1959
  Kingdom of Cambodia In Khmer: Preăh Réachéanachâk Kâmpŭchéa King Prime Minister Constitutional Hereditary and elective 1993
  Canada In English and French: Canada Queen Hereditary 1867
  Kingdom of Denmark[12] In Danish: Kongeriget Danmark Queen 1953
  Kingdom of Eswatini[13] In Swazi: Umbuso weSwatini
In English: Kingdom of Eswatini
King Absolute Hereditary and elective 1968
  Grenada[14] In English: Grenada Queen Constitutional Hereditary 1974
  Jamaica[15] In English: Jamaica Queen 1962
  Japan[16] In Japanese: 日本国 (Nippon-koku/Nihon-koku) Emperor 1947
  State of Kuwait[17] In Arabic: Dawlat al-Kuwait Emir Mixed Hereditary and elective 1962
  Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan[18] In Arabic: al-Mamlakah al-Urdunīyah al-Hāshimīyah King 1952
  Kingdom of Lesotho[19] In Sotho: Muso oa Lesotho
In English: Kingdom of Lesotho
King Constitutional 1993
  Principality of Liechtenstein[20] In German: Fürstentum Liechtenstein Sovereign Prince Mixed Hereditary 1862
  Grand Duchy of Luxembourg[21] In French: Grand-Duché de Luxembourg
In German: Großherzogtum Luxemburg
In Luxembourgish: Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg
Grand Duke Constitutional 1868
  Malaysia[22] In Malay: Malaysia Yang di-Pertuan Agong Elective 1957
  Principality of Monaco[23] In French: Principauté de Monaco
In Monégasque: Principatu de Múnegu
Sovereign Prince Minister of State Mixed Hereditary 1911
  Kingdom of Morocco[24] In Arabic: al-Mamlaka al-Maghribiyya
In Berber: Tageldit n Lmaɣrib
King Prime Minister 1631
  Kingdom of the Netherlands[25] In Dutch: Koninkrijk der Nederlanden
In West Frisian: Keninkryk fan de Nederlannen
King Constitutional 1815
  New Zealand [26] In English: New Zealand
In Māori: Aotearoa
Queen 1907
  Kingdom of Norway[27] In Bokmål: Kongeriket Norge
In Nynorsk: Kongeriket Noreg
King 1814
  Sultanate of Oman[28] In Arabic: Salṭanat ‘Umān Absolute 1996
  Independent State of Papua New Guinea[29] In English: Independent State of Papua New Guinea
In Tok Pisin: Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini
In Hiri Motu: Papua Niu Gini
Queen Prime Minister Constitutional 1975
  State of Qatar[30] In Arabic: Dawlat Qaṭar Emir Absolute 2004
  Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis[31] In English: Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis Queen Constitutional 1983
  Saint Lucia[32] In English: Saint Lucia Queen 1979
  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines[33] In English: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Queen 1979
  Kingdom of Saudi Arabia[34] In Arabic: Al-Mamlakah al-Arabiyah as-Sa'ūdiyah Absolute Hereditary and elective 19922
  Solomon Islands In English: Solomon Islands Queen Prime Minister Constitutional Hereditary 1978
  Kingdom of Spain In Spanish: Reino de España King President of the Government 1978
  Kingdom of Sweden[35] In Swedish: Konungariket Sverige King Prime Minister 1974
  Kingdom of Thailand[36] In Thai: Ratcha Anachak Thai King 2017
  Kingdom of Tonga[37] In Tonga: Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga
In English: Kingdom of Tonga
King 1970
  Tuvalu[38] In English: Tuvalu Queen 1986
  United Arab Emirates[39] In Arabic: Dawlat al-ʾImārāt al-ʿArabiyyah al-Muttaḥidah President Federal Hereditary and elective 1971
  United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland[40] In English: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In Welsh: Teyrnas Unedig Prydain Fawr a Gogledd Iwerddon
In Irish: Ríocht Aontaithe na Breataine Móire agus Thuaisceart Éireann
In Scots Gaelic: Rìoghachd Aonaichte Bhreatainn agus Èirinn a Tuath
Queen Constitutional Hereditary 1701
   Vatican City State[41] In Latin: Status Civitatis Vaticanae
In Italian: Stato della Città del Vaticano
Pope President of the Pontifical Commission Absolute Elective 2001

In Wallis and Futuna, an overseas territory of France in the South Pacific, there are three kingdoms, Uvea, Alo and Sigave, whose monarchs are chosen by local noble families.[42]

On 15 September 2020, Barbados declared that it would be transitioning to a republic by 30 November 2021.[43]


^1 Belgium is the only existing popular monarchy – a system in which the monarch's title is linked to the people rather than a state. The title of Belgian kings is not King of Belgium, but instead King of the Belgians. Another unique feature of the Belgian system is that the new monarch does not automatically assume the throne at the death or abdication of his predecessor; he only becomes monarch upon taking a constitutional oath.

^2 Basic Law of Saudi Arabia[44][45][46]

See alsoEdit


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  2. ^ "Europe :: Andorra". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  3. ^ "Central America and Caribbean :: Antigua and Barbuda". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  4. ^ "Australia-Oceania :: Australia". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  5. ^ "Central America and Caribbean :: The Bahamas". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  6. ^ "Central America and Caribbean :: Bahrain". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  7. ^ "Central America and Caribbean :: Barbados". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  8. ^ "Europe :: Belgium". CIA The World Factbook.
  9. ^ "Central America and Caribbean :: Belize". CIA The World Factbook.
  10. ^ "Asia ::Bhutan". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  11. ^ "Asia ::Brunei Darussalam". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  12. ^ "Europe::Denmark". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  13. ^ "Africa:: Eswatini". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  14. ^ "Central America and Caribbean :: Grenada". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
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  16. ^ "Asia :: Japan". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  17. ^ "Asia :: Kuwait". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  18. ^ "Asia :: Jordan". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  19. ^ "Africa :: Lesotho". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  20. ^ "Europe:: Liechtenstein". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  21. ^ "Europe:: Luxembourg". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  22. ^ "Asia:: Malaysia". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  23. ^ "Europe:: Monaco". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  24. ^ "Africa:: Morocco". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  25. ^ "Europe:: Netherlands". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
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  27. ^ "Europe :: Norway". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  28. ^ "Asia:: Oman". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  29. ^ "Asia :: Papua New Guinea". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  30. ^ "Asia:: Qatar". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  31. ^ "Central America and Caribbean :: Saint Kitts and Nevis". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  32. ^ "Central America and Caribbean :: Saint Lucia". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  33. ^ "Central America and Caribbean :: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  34. ^ "Asia :: Saudi Arabia". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  35. ^ "Europe:: Sweden". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  36. ^ "Europe:: Thailand". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  37. ^ "Australia-Oceania :: Tonga". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  38. ^ "Australia-Oceania :: Tuvalu". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  39. ^ "Asia:: United Arab Emirates". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  40. ^ "Europe:: United Kingdom". CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  41. ^ "Europe :: Holy See". CIA The World Factbook. Archived from the original on 2010-07-11. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  42. ^,the%20new%20Lavelua%2C%20or%20king.
  43. ^ The Guardian, 16 September 2020: "Barbados revives plan to remove Queen as head of state and become a republic". Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  44. ^ Saudi Arabia - ConstitutionArchived 2007-02-06 at the Wayback Machine
  45. ^ "Empty Reforms: Saudi Arabia's New Basic Laws May 1992". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  46. ^ Archived 2000-10-04 at the Wayback Machine The Basic Law - Saudi Arabia Information