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The Monarchy Portal

Richard I of England being anointed during his coronation in Westminster Abbey, from a 13th-century chronicle.

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 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 emperor, king, queen, raja, khan, caliph, tsar, sultan, shah, or pharaoh.

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-four 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 monarchical 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 (see republicanism). (Full article...)

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King Alexander of Greece
Alexander (1893-1920) was King of Greece from 11 June 1917 until his death at the age of 27. He succeeded his father, King Constantine I, in 1917, after the Entente Powers of World War I and followers of Eleftherios Venizelos pushed the king and his eldest son Crown Prince George into exile. Venizelos, as prime minister, became the effective ruler with the support of the Entente. Though reduced to the status of a puppet king, Alexander supported Greek troops during their war against the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria. Under his reign, Greece expanded, following the victory of the Entente and the early stages of the Greco-Turkish War of 1919-1922. Alexander married the commoner Aspasia Manos in 1919, provoking a major scandal that forced the couple to leave Greece for several months. Soon after returning to Greece with his wife, Alexander was bitten by a domestic Barbary macaque and died of septicemia. The sudden death of the sovereign contributed to the fall of the Venizelist regime. After a general election and a referendum, Constantine I was restored.

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Neuschwanstein Castle
Credit: Thomas Wolf

Neuschwanstein Castle is a Romanesque Revival palace commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria in 1868. This castle on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau was intended to be Ludwig's personal retreat, though it was still under construction at the time of his death in 1886. It was soon thereafter opened to tourists, and remains a popular destination. Its architecture has inspired several further buildings, including Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle.

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Henry IV

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Maria Karolina Zofia Felicja Leszczy?ska

Maria Karolina Zofia Felicja Leszczy?ska was a Polish noblewoman and French Queen consort. The daughter of King Stanis?aw Leszczy?ski--Stanislaw I of Poland (later Duke of Lorraine)-and Catherine Opali?ska, she married King Louis XV of France and became queen consort of France. She served in that role for 42 years from 1725 until her death in 1768, the longest service of any queen of France, and was popular due to her generosity and piety. She was the grandmother of Louis XVI, Louis XVIII and Charles X of France.

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Titian, Pope Paul III and His Grandsons, 1545-46. Oil on canvas, 210cm × 176cm, Museo di Capodimonte, Naples. Cardinal Alessandro Farnese stands behind Pope Paul III. Ottavio Farnese at right prepares to kiss Paul's feet.
Pope Paul III and His Grandsons is an oil on canvas painting by Titian, housed in the Museo di Capodimonte, Naples. It was commissioned by the Farnese family and painted during Titian's visit to Rome between autumn 1545 and June 1546. It depicts the thorny relationship between Pope Paul III, born Alessandro Farnese, and two of his grandsons, Ottavio and Alessandro. The painting explores the effects of ageing and the manoeuvring behind succession; Paul was at the time in his late seventies and operating within an uncertain political climate as Charles V came into ascendancy. Paul was not a religious man; he viewed the papacy as a means to consolidate his family's position. He appointed Alessandro as cardinal against accusations of nepotism, fathered a number of illegitimate children and spent large sums of church money collecting art. Titian abandoned the commission before completion, and for the next 100 years the painting languished unframed in a Farnese cellar. It ranks as one of Titian's most penetrating works. The panel contains subtle indications of the contradictions in the character of the Pope, and captures the complex psychological dynamic between the three men.

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Queen Rania of Jordan
What is important is not to live in fear. The most dangerous [thing to do] is to give up and lose hope. The main enemy is not terrorism or extremism, but ignorance.

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Featured articles: Áedán mac Gabráin · · Æthelbald of Mercia · Æthelberht of Kent · Æthelred of Mercia · Aldfrith of Northumbria · Bhumibol Adulyadej · Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia · · Anne of Denmark · Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom · · · · Augustus · · · Cædwalla of Wessex · Ceawlin of Wessex · (...more)

Featured lists: List of French monarchs · List of Portuguese monarchs · List of Sultans of Zanzibar

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