The Monarchy Portal

The Weld-Blundell Prism is inscribed with the Sumerian King List
The heraldic crown for the King of Norway (1905 pattern)

A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch, is head of state for life or until abdication. The political legitimacy and authority of the monarch may vary from restricted and largely symbolic (constitutional monarchy), to fully autocratic (absolute monarchy), and can span across executive, legislative, and judicial domains.

The succession of monarchs has mostly been hereditary, often building dynasties. However, elective and self-proclaimed monarchies have also often occurred throughout history. Aristocrats, though not inherent to monarchies, often serve as the pool of persons from which the monarch is chosen, and to fill the constituting institutions (e.g. diet and court), giving many monarchies oligarchic elements.

Monarchs can carry various titles such as emperor, empress, king, and queen. Monarchies can form federations, personal unions and realms with vassals through personal association with the monarch, which is a common reason for monarchs carrying several titles.

Monarchies were the most common form of government until the 20th century, by which time republics had replaced many monarchies. Today forty-three sovereign nations in the world have a monarch, including fifteen Commonwealth realms that share King Charles III as their head of state. Other than that, there is a range of sub-national monarchical entities. Most of the modern monarchies are constitutional monarchies, retaining under a constitution unique legal and ceremonial roles for the monarch, exercising limited or no political power, similar to heads of state in a parliamentary republic. (Full article...)

Featured articles are displayed here, which represent some of the best content on English Wikipedia.

Featured picture

Nagoya Castle
Nagoya Castle
Credit: Samuel Louie

The main donjon of Nagoya Castle, a Japanese castle found in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture. It was destroyed in World War II, but the donjon was reconstructed in 1959 with the use of modern materials such as steel beams and concrete.

Did you know (auto-generated)

No recent additions

More Did you know...

Andreas Frederik Krieger

Good articles - load new batch

These are Good articles, which meet a core set of high editorial standards.

Featured portrait

Maria Amalia of Saxony
Maria Amalia of Saxony
Credit: Louis de Silvestre

Maria Amalia of Saxony (1724–60) was a German princess who married the future Charles III of Spain in 1738, the year of this painting. She was Queen of Naples and Sicily from 1738 until 1759, then Queen of Spain from 1759 until her death.

Selected quote

Charlemagne, King of the Franks
Right action is better than knowledge; but in order to do what is right, we must know what is right.
Charlemagne, quoted in T. H. Huxley's Science and Education, 1893

Related portals

General images - load new batch

The following are images from various monarchy-related articles on Wikipedia.

Featured content

Extended content

Featured articles

Featured lists

Featured pictures

Featured topics

Topics

Categories

Category puzzle
Category puzzle
Select [►] to view subcategories
Select [►] to view subcategories

Things you can do


Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
– When a task is completed, please remove it from the list.

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Discover Wikipedia using portals