The Monarchy Portal
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 purely symbolic (crowned republic), to restricted (constitutional monarchy), to fully autocratic (absolute monarchy), and can expand across the domains of the executive, legislative and judicial. A monarchy can be a polity through unity, personal union, vassalage or federation, and monarchs can carry various titles such as king, queen, emperor, Raja, khan, caliph, tsar, sultan, or shah.
In most cases, the succession of monarchies is hereditary, often building dynastic periods, however elective and self-proclaimed monarchies are possible. Aristocrats, though not inherent to monarchies, often serve as the pool of persons to draw the monarch from and fill the constituting institutions (e.g. diet and court), giving many monarchies oligarchic elements.
Monarchies were the most common form of government until the 20th century. Today forty-five sovereign nations in the world have a monarch, including sixteen Commonwealth realms that have Elizabeth II as the head of state. Other than that there are a range of sub-national monarchic entities. Modern monarchies tend to be 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.
The opposing and alternative form of government to monarchy has become the republic.
Princess Alice of Battenberg
(1885-1969) was the mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
(consort of Queen Elizabeth II
). Congenitally deaf
, she grew up in Germany
and the Mediterranean
. After marrying Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark
in 1903, she lived in Greece
until the exile of most of the Greek Royal Family
in 1917. On returning to Greece a few years later, her husband was blamed in part for the defeat of Greece in the Greco-Turkish War of 1919-1922
, and the family were once again forced into exile until the restoration of the Greek monarchy in 1935
. In 1930, she was diagnosed with schizophrenia
and committed to a sanatorium; thereafter, she lived separately from her husband. After her recovery, she devoted most of her remaining years to charity work in Greece. She stayed in Athens
during the Second World War
, sheltering Jewish refugees, for which she is recognised as "Righteous Among the Nations
" at Yad Vashem
. After the war, she stayed in Greece and founded an Orthodox
nursing order of nuns known as the Christian Sisterhood of Martha and Mary. After the fall of King Constantine II of Greece
and the imposition of military rule in Greece
in 1967, she was invited by her son and daughter-in-law to live at Buckingham Palace
, where she died two years later
The Qianlong Emperor was the sixth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, and the fourth Qing emperor to rule over China. The fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor, his reign officially began 1735, lasting for . Named Hongli, he chose the era name Qianlong, meaning "heavenly prosperity". Although his early years saw the continuation of an era of prosperity and great military success in China, his final years saw troubles at home and abroad converge on the Qing Empire. Qianlong abdicated the throne at the age of 85, to his son, the Jiaqing Emperor, fulfilling his promise not to reign longer than his grandfather, the Kangxi Emperor.
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The Prince's Palace of Monaco
is the official residence of the Prince of Monaco
. Originally founded in 1191 as a Genoese fortress
, during its long and often dramatic history it has been bombarded and besieged by many foreign powers. Since the end of the 13th century, it has been the stronghold and home of the Grimaldi
family who first captured it in 1297. The Grimaldis' power was often derived from fragile agreements with their larger and stronger neighbours. Thus while the sovereigns of Europe were building luxurious, modern Renaissance
palaces, politics and common sense demanded that the palace of the Monaco rulers be fortified. The Grimaldis' occupation of their palace is also unusual because, unlike other European ruling families, the absence of alternative palaces and land shortages have resulted in their use of the same residence for more than seven centuries. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the palace and its owners became symbols of the slightly risqué glamour and decadence
that was associated with Monte Carlo
and the French Riviera
. Glamour and theatricality became reality when the American film star Grace Kelly
to the palace in 1956. In the 21st century, the palace remains the residence of the current
Prince of Monaco.
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