Modern monarchies exist outside the U.K – here’s where they are

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Prince Charles is now King Charles. Here’s a look at the types of modern kingdoms that exist around the world.

Queen Elizabeth II, the constitutional monarch of the United Kingdom since 1952, passed away Thursday at the age of 96. But that’s not the end of the monarch government in the U.K. or elsewhere in the world. And the constitutional monarchy isn’t the only type of modern day monarchy there is.

Here’s a snapshot of the different types of modern kingdoms and where they are located.

Most modern kingdoms are constitutional monarchies — monarchs are considered the ceremonial heads of state with public responsibilities. Meaningful political authority in a constitutional monarchy is granted to a president or prime minister by a constitution.

Fifteen sovereign nations are “commonwealth realms” — all of which are considered constitutional monarchies — in the Commonwealth of Nations, where King Charles III is the reigning monarch and head of state in Britain.

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Absolute monarchies, where the monarch is the final authority, are few and far between these days. There are currently five, excluding subnational monarchies: Brunei, Eswatini, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Vatican City. Though an absolute monarch can have a partial constitution, who becomes the next head of state is hereditary. But that is not always the case; the pope, for instance, is elected.

In a mixed monarchy, found in Liechtenstein, Monaco, Qatar and Kuwait, there is a legislative body, but the monarch retains much of their powers.

Federal monarchs, such as those in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates, represent a federation of states from which the head of state is selected. Malaysia is considered a federal constitutional monarchy.

In the last 100 years, waves of revolution and decolonization and a rise in global democracy brought about a decline in monarchies.

Since the turn of the century, Samoa and Nepal have abolished their monarchies. Most recently, Barbados became a republic within the Commonwealth, getting rid of its monarchy last year and electing Sandra Mason as president and head of state.

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The bottom line is that while there are still a number of monarchies in existence, it’s a system of government that has been falling out of favor. Even in places like the U.K., where the royal family brings in huge amounts of tourism and has many loyal fans, followers and subjects, many critics claim it is an antiquated form of government, and the funds spent on keeping the family clothed and housed could be used elsewhere.

Thanks to Alicia Benjamin for copy editing this article.

  • Anna Deen
    Anna Deen

    Data Visualization Reporter

    Anna Deen is a data visualization reporter at Grid.

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