There are still 43 countries that have a monarchy, but there is no certainty that monarchies will still exist in the 21st century as six more Caribbean countries have voiced a desire to do the same since Barbados removed Queen Elizabeth II as head of state in 2021.
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Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the issue of monarchy is brought into stark focus.
Despite what is described below, a surprising number of nations still have monarchs in power. This image illustrates the various types of royal rule in the 43 nations that do.
Types of Monarchies
In the most basic sense, a monarch is a nation’s king, queen, emir, sultan, etc. But before getting started, it’s crucial to clarify the differences between the various monarchs that exist in the world today. There are typically four types:
- Constitutional Monarchy
With a government that was established under a constitution, the king divides power. While the king in this scenario has some ceremonial obligations and responsibilities, he or she has no political influence. For instance, the monarch of the UK must sign all laws to make them official; nevertheless, she does not have the authority to amend existing laws or veto new ones.
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Here are a few instances of nations that are constitutional monarchies:
- United Kingdom
- Absolute Monarchy
The monarch enjoys complete and unrestricted political authority. They have the authority to enact, alter, or reject legislation, represent the nation’s interests abroad, choose political leaders, and more.
Examples of nations with absolute monarchs include as follows:
- Saudi Arabia
- Vatican City
- Federal Monarchy
The monarch acts as the general representative of the confederation of states, each of which is governed by a separate government or even a monarchy.
Here are a few instances of nations that have federal monarchies:
Federal monarchy is unique in Malaysia. The royal leaders of each state elect among one another the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or monarch, of Malaysia and their separate states every five years. The monarchy is also constitutional, which enables a government that was chosen democratically to rule.
- Mixed Monarchy
In this scenario, an absolute monarch may distribute power according to unique national laws.
Following are some instances of nations with mixed monarchies:
It’s interesting to note that Liechtenstein is the only monarchy in Europe that continues to adhere to rigorous agnatic primogeniture. According to agnatic primogeniture, the degree of kinship is calculated by following the male ancestors down the line from the closest common ancestor.
Kings, Queens, Emperors, and Sultans Around the Globe
Let’s now examine the various monarchy country by country:
With about 70% of all monarchs being constitutional monarchy, they are without a doubt the most prevalent type of royal leadership in the contemporary age. The king serves only in a ceremonial capacity, allowing democratically elected administrations to rule the nation.
In contrast to the majority of monarchs, who get their position through birth luck, it’s interesting to note that Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, also has the title of Co-Prince of Andorra.
Pope Francis, who holds full authority in the small autonomous city of the Vatican, is another exceptional occurrence. He was elected to his position through a procedure known as a papal conclave.
The Role of Monarchies
The House of Mountbatten, usually referred to as Queen Elizabeth II’s family, is one of the most notable and well-known ruling kingdoms in the world. Now that King Charles III has assumed the throne, he is the head of state in 15 different countries, including Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Many people see the advantage of having a reliable and regular tradition and level of decorum at the head of state.
“The Crown is an integral part of the institution of Parliament. The Queen [now King] plays a constitutional role in opening and dissolving Parliament and approving Bills before they become law.”
– BRITISH PARLIAMENT
Japan’s royal family has ruled the nation for more than 2,600 years under the same hereditary line, making them a shining example of stability.
Critiques and the Future of Monarchy
However, some contend that monarchies serve no purpose in contemporary society, and widespread criticism of monarchies’ enormous wealth and power is present.
For instance, the Dutch government claims that King Willem-2022 Alexander’s budget, which is paid for by the state and thus, taxpayers, totals more than €48 million.
Beyond tax revenue, absolute monarchies frequently lack key rights and political liberties. For instance, there are no national elections in Saudi Arabia. Instead, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the country’s king, holds onto his position of authority for life, appoints the cabinet, and issues royal decrees to establish laws.
However, many of the royally ruled nations of the world may experience change as a result of the passing of Queen Elizabeth. Six more Caribbean countries have voiced a desire to do the same since Barbados removed her as head of state in 2021, namely:
- The Bahamas
- Antigua and Barbuda
- St. Kitts and Nevis
There is no certainty that monarchies will still exist in the 21st century.