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A monarchy, from the Greek μονος, "one", and ἀρχειν, "to rule", is a form of government in which a monarch, usually a single person, is the head of State. Monarchies were formed through conquest, popular sovereignty, greed, tradition, political necessity and an opportunity to exploit certain situations.

In most monarchies, the monarch holds their position for life and passes the responsibilities and power of the position to their children or family when they die. In a few republics the head of State, often styled president, might remain in office for life, but most are elected for a term of office, after which he or she must step down, and any successors must then also be elected. There are currently 30 monarchs reigning over 44 extant sovereign monarchies in the world; the disconnect in numbers between monarchs and countries is explained by the fact that the sixteen Commonwealth realms—vast geographic areas including the transcontinental realms of Canada and Australia—are separate realms of one sovereign; and one other monarchy, Andorra, has two non-resident foreign (French and Spanish) co-monarchs.

Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government where the monarch has the power to rule his or her land or State and its citizens freely, with some laws or legally-organized direct opposition in force. Although some religious authority may be able to discourage the monarch from some acts and the sovereign is expected to act according to custom, in an absolute monarchy there is no constitution or body of law above what is decreed by the sovereign (king or queen). As a theory of civics, absolute monarchy puts total trust in well-bred and well-trained monarchs raised for the role from birth.

A constitutional monarchy or limited monarchy is a form of government established under a constitutional system which acknowledges an elected or hereditary monarch as head of State, as opposed to an absolute monarchy, where the monarch is not bound by a constitution and is the sole source of political power. (The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy even though it does not have an actual written constitution.) The process of government and law within a constitutional monarchy is usually very different from that in an absolute monarchy.

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Chola's influence at the height of its power (c. 1050)

The Chola Dynasty (Tamil: சோழர் குலம், [ˈʧoːɻə]) was a Tamil dynasty that ruled primarily in southern India until the 13th century. The dynasty originated in the fertile valley of the Kaveri River. Karikala Chola was the most famous among the early Chola kings, while Rajaraja Chola, Rajendra Chola and Kulothunga Chola I were notable emperors of the medieval Cholas.The Cholas were at the height of their power during the tenth, eleventh and twelfth centuries. Under Rajaraja Chola I (Rajaraja the Great) and his son Rajendra Chola, the dynasty became a military, economic and cultural power in Asia. The Chola territories stretched from the islands of the Maldives in the South to as far North as the banks of the Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh. Rajaraja Chola conquered peninsular South India, annexed parts of Sri Lanka and occupied the islands of the Maldives. Rajendra Chola sent a victorious expedition to North India that touched the river Ganga and defeated the Pala ruler of Pataliputra, Mahipala. He also successfully raided kingdoms of the Malay Archipelago. The power of the Cholas declined around the 12th century with the rise of the Pandyas and the Hoysala, eventually coming to an end towards the end of the 13th century.The Cholas left behind a lasting legacy. Their patronage of Tamil literature and their zeal in building temples have resulted in some great works of Tamil literature and architecture. The Chola kings were avid builders and envisioned the temples in their kingdoms not only as places of worship but also as centres of economic activity. They pioneered a centralised form of government and established a disciplined bureaucracy.

Selected king

Imaginary depiction of Ælle from John Speed's 1611 "Saxon Heptarchy".

Ælle of Sussex (also Aelle or Ella) (pronounced /'ælə/) is recorded in early sources as the first king of the South Saxons, reigning in what is now called Sussex, England, from 477 to perhaps as late as 514. The information about him is so limited that it cannot be said with certainty that Ælle existed.Ælle and three of his sons are reported to have arrived from the continent near what is now Selsey Bill—the exact location is under the sea, and is probably a sandbank currently known as the Owers—and fought with the Britons. A victory in 491 at present day Pevensey is said to have ended with the Saxons slaughtering their opponents to the last man. Although the details of these traditions cannot be verified, evidence from the place names of Sussex does make it clear that it was an area with extensive and early settlement by the Saxons, supporting the idea that this was one of their early conquests.Ælle was the first king recorded by the eighth century chronicler Bede to have held "imperium", or overlordship, over other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. In the late ninth-century Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (around four hundred years after his time) Ælle is recorded as being the first bretwalda, or "Britain-ruler", though there is no evidence that this was a contemporary title. Ælle's death is not recorded, and it is not known who succeeded him as king of the South Saxons.

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George IV

Credit:Sir Thomas Lawrence

An oil on canvas portrait of George IV of the United Kingdom as the Prince Regent, by Sir Thomas Lawrence. In 1814, Lord Stewart, who had been appointed ambassador in Vienna and was a previous client of Thomas Lawrence, wanted to commission a portrait by him of the Prince Regent. He arranged that Lawrence should be presented to the Prince Regent at a levée. Soon after, the Prince visited Lawrence at his studio in Russell Square. Lawrence wrote to his brother that: To crown this honour, [he] engag'd to sit to me at one today and after a successful sitting of two hours, has just left me and comes again tomorrow and the next day.

Selected queen

Queen Consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, Empress of India

Mary of Teck (Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes; 26 May 1867 – 24 March 1953) was the Queen Consort of George V, and Empress of India. Before her husband's accession, she was successively Duchess of York, Duchess of Cornwall and Princess of Wales. By birth, she was a princess of Teck, in the Kingdom of Württemberg, with the style Her Serene Highness. To her family, she was informally known as May, after her birth month. Her father, who was of German extraction, married into the British Royal Family, and "May" was born and brought up in the United Kingdom. At the age of 24 she was betrothed to Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence, the heir to the British throne, but six weeks after the engagement was announced he unexpectedly died of pneumonia. The following year she became engaged to the new heir, Albert Victor's brother, George. As his Queen Consort from 1910, she supported her husband through World War I, his ill-health, and major political changes arising from the aftermath of the war and the rise of socialism and nationalism. After George's death in 1936, her eldest son Edward became King-Emperor, but to her dismay he abdicated the same year in order to marry twice-divorced American socialite Mrs. Wallis Simpson.



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