A Look at the Remaining Monarchies Around the World: Types of Monarchies That Still Exist Today

Types of Monarchies that Still Exist Today

Monarchy is a form of government in which a single individual, typically referred to as a monarch, holds supreme authority and reigns for life or until abdication. While many countries have transitioned to different forms of government, there are still several monarchies that exist today. Here are some of the main types of monarchies:

1. Absolute Monarchy

In an absolute monarchy, the monarch has unrestricted and absolute power over the government and the people. The monarch holds supreme authority and is not bound by a constitution or limited by other branches of government. Absolute monarchies are rare today, with few remaining examples such as Brunei and Eswatini.

2. Constitutional Monarchy

A constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which the monarch’s powers are limited by a constitution or other governing documents. The monarch serves as a ceremonial or symbolic head of state, while the actual governing power rests with an elected parliament or other representative body. Examples of constitutional monarchies include the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Sweden.

3. Elective Monarchy

In an elective monarchy, the monarch is chosen through a process of election or appointment rather than inheriting the position. The selection may involve a council, assembly, or other governing body. Elective monarchies have been historically practiced in some countries, such as the Holy Roman Empire in the past. However, today there are no widely recognized elective monarchies.

4. Hereditary Monarchy

Hereditary monarchy is the most common form of monarchy, where the position of monarch is passed down through family lineage. The monarch’s successor is typically a direct descendant, such as a child or a close relative. Most existing monarchies today, including the United Kingdom, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, and Belgium, follow a hereditary system of succession.

5. Dual Monarchy

A dual monarchy refers to a situation where two separate monarchies are united under a single monarch. This typically occurs when two independent countries or regions decide to form a union, sharing a common monarch. The most notable example of a dual monarchy was the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which existed from 1867 to 1918.

These are some of the main types of monarchies that still exist today. Each type of monarchy may have its own unique characteristics and variations depending on the specific country and its political structure.