A Monarchist's Guide to the World

Section I: Current Monarchies

A. Hereditary, Resident Sovereign
CountryDate of Independence; HistoryCurrent Sovereign
Bahrain 1971 King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, born January 28, 1950, acceded March 6, 1999 (as Emir); title changed to King, February 14, 2002.
Belgium 1830 King Philippe I, born April 15, 1960, acceded July 21, 2013.
Bhutan 1907 King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk, born February 21, 1980, acceded December 15, 2006.
Brunei 1984 Sultan Sir Muda Hassanal Bolkiah Muizzadin Waddaulah, born July 15, 1946, acceded October 5, 1967.
Cambodia 1953; monarchy overthrown 1970, restored 1993. King Norodom Sihamoni, born May 14, 1953, acceded October 14, 2004.
Denmark Monarchy dates from ninth century, possibly earlier; only European country which has continuously maintained both independence and monarchy since medieval times. Queen Margrethe II, born April 16, 1940, acceded January 14, 1972.
Japan The world's oldest monarchy, officially founded in 660 B.C. Emperor Akihito, born December 23, 1933, acceded January 7, 1989.
Jordan 1946 King Abdullah II, born January 30, 1962, acceded February 7, 1999. (Official sites are also maintained for Queen Rania, Prince Hamzah, and for the previous royal couple, the late King Hussein and Queen Noor.)
Kuwait 1961 Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, acceded January 24, 2006.
Lesotho 1966 King Letsie III, born July 17, 1963, reigned previously 1990-93, acceded February 7, 1996.
Liechtenstein 1806 Prince Hans Adam II, born February 14, 1945, acceded November 13, 1989; transferred powers to son Hereditary Prince Alois (b. June 11, 1968) August 15, 2004.
Luxembourg 1866; crown united with that of the Netherlands until 1890. Grand Duke Henri, born April 16, 1955, acceded October 7, 2000.
Monaco Semi-independent since medieval times; Grimaldi dynasty has ruled since 1297, interrupted by French Revolution. Prince Albert II, born March 14, 1958, acceded April 6, 2005.
Morocco 1956 King Mohammed VI, born August 21, 1963, acceded July 23, 1999.
Netherlands 1581; French control 1795-1813, constitutional monarchy 1815. King Willem-Alexander, born April 27, 1967, acceded April 30, 2013.
Norway Monarchy dates from ninth century; crown united with that of Denmark 1397-1814, Sweden 1814-1905. King Harald V, born February 21, 1937, acceded January 17, 1991.
Oman 1744 Sultan Qabus bin Said, born November 18, 1942, acceded July 23, 1970.
Qatar 1971 Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, born June 3, 1980, acceded June 25, 2013.
Saudi Arabia 1932 King Abdullah, born 1924, acceded August 1, 2005.
Spain Unified 1492; Monarchy overthrown 1931, restored 1975. King Felipe VI, born January 30, 1938, acceded June 19, 2014.
Swaziland 1968 King Mswati III, born 1968, acceded April 25, 1986.
Sweden Monarchy dates from ninth century; crown usually united with that of Denmark and Norway from 1397 until 1523. King Carl XVI Gustaf, born April 30, 1946, acceded September 15, 1973.
Thailand Unified 1350; known as Siam until 1939. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, born December 5, 1927, acceded June 9, 1946; longest serving head of state in the world.
Tonga 1970 King Tupou VI (Tupouto'a Lavaka), born July 12, 1959, acceded March 18, 2012.
United Kingdom England united 829; conquered Wales and Ireland in Middle Ages. English and Scottish crowns united 1603. Monarchy overthrown 1649; restored 1660. Act of Union 1707, United Kingdom established 1801. Queen Elizabeth II, born April 21, 1926, acceded February 6, 1952.

B. Semi-Hereditary, Resident Sovereign
CountryDate of Independence; DescriptionCurrent sovereign
Malaysia 1963; monarch elected by council of hereditary rulers of the Malayan states every five years. Yang di-Pertuan Agong Abdul Halim, born November 28, 1927, acceded December 13, 2011. [Sultan of Kedah since 1958; previously served as Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Paramount Ruler) 1970-75.]
United Arab Emirates1971; federation of emirates. President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Emir of Abu Dhabi, born 1948, in office November 3, 2004.

C. Hereditary, Sovereign shared with United Kingdom
CountryDate of independenceComments
Antigua and Barbuda 1981
Australia 1901 Monarchy sustained by referendum, November 6, 1999
Bahamas 1973
Barbados 1966
Belize 1981
Canada 1867
Grenada 1974
Jamaica 1962
New Zealand 1907King of the Maori: Tuheitia Paki (born April 21, 1955; acceded August 21, 2006)
Papua New Guinea 1975
Saint Kitts and Nevis 1983
Saint Lucia 1979
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1979
Solomon Islands 1978
Tuvalu 1978Monarchy sustained by referendum, April 2008

D. Non-Hereditary
CountryHistoryCurrent sovereign(s)
Andorra Co-principality since 1278. Parliamentary government adopted 1993 but nominal sovereignty is still held by President of France (as successor to the Counts of Foix and Kings of France) and the Bishop of Urgell. François Hollande, President of France and (Co) Prince of Andorra, born August 12, 1954, in office May 15, 2012; Joan Enric Vives Sicilia, Bishop of Urgell and (Co) Prince-Bishop of Andorra, born July 24, 1949, in office May 12, 2003.
Samoa1962; formerly known as Western Samoa. Independent Samoa's first head of state, Malietoa Tanumafili II, who died in May 2007, was generally regarded as a monarch; his successors are to be elected to five year terms and there is some debate as to whether the country should now be considered a monarchy or a republic. The fact that the current head of state was selected from among Samoa's "Paramount Families of State" suggests a continuing royal aspect to the constitution.Tupua Tamasese Tupuola Tufuga Efi, O le Ao o le Mao, born March 1, 1938, in office June 16, 2007.
Vatican City Independent 1929, but papacy dates from first century AD. Pope Francis (Jorge Mario Bergoglio), born December 17, 1936, in office March 13, 2013.


Section II: Countries whose Monarchies have been Abolished


Section III: Countries Republican since Independence or Lacking Claimants


Sources:
Almanach de Gotha (1999)
The World Almanac and Book of Facts (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003)
Almanach de Bruxelles
The Royal Ark
Dag Hoelseth: current monarchs ranked by seniority
Wikipedia: List of current monarchs

Monarchist's Guide, 100 Years Ago
Monarchy Facts
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