List of current constituent monarchs

This is a list of currently reigning constituent monarchs, including traditional rulers and governing constitutional monarchs. Each monarch listed below reigns over a legally recognised dominion, but in most cases possess little or no sovereign governing power. Their titles, however, are recognised by the state. Entries are listed beside their respective dominions, and are grouped by country.

North American monarchs

State Polity Monarch Since House Succession Refs
Panama Panama Naso Disputed [na 1] 30 May 2004 Santana Elective and Hereditary [na 2] [1]

Oceanian monarchs

State Polity Monarch Since House Succession Refs
Marshall Islands Marshall Islands [oc 1] Ailinglaplap Iroijlaplap Anjua Loeak 20 May 1976 Loeak Elective and Hereditary [2]
Kwajalein Iroijlaplap Imata Kabua 20 December 1996 Kabua Elective and Hereditary [3]
Majuro Iroijlaplap Jurelang Zedkaia [oc 2] 19 November 2010 Zedkaia Elective and Hereditary [4]
North Ratak [oc 3] Iroijlaplap Remios Hermios 10 December 1998 Hermios Elective and Hereditary [3]
Federated States of Micronesia FSM Madolenihmw Nahnmwarki Kerpet Ehpel [oc 4] November 2008 Dipwinpahnmei [oc 5] Elective and Hereditary [5][6]
Sokehs Nahnmwarki Herculano Kohler 1997 Sounkawad Elective and Hereditary [7]
Uh Nahnmwarki Welter John [oc 6] 30 September 1991 Lasialap [oc 7] Elective and Hereditary [8]
France New Caledonia Kunié High Chief Hilarion Vendégou 26 September 1974 [oc 8] Vao [oc 9] Hereditary [9]
Maré High Chief Dokucas Naisseline 6 June 2007 Naisseline [oc 10] Hereditary [oc 11] [10]
Lifou High Chief Evanes Boula 13 June 1999 Boula [oc 9] Hereditary [oc 12] [11]
New Zealand Flag of Dame te Atairangikaahu.gif Kīngitanga [oc 13] Arikinui Tuheitia 21 August 2006 Te Wherowhero [oc 14] Elective and Hereditary [oc 15] [12]
Tūwharetoa Arikinui Te Heuheu Tūkino VIII 5 August 1997 Te Heuheu Hereditary [13]
Palau Palau [oc 16] Flag of Koror State.png Koror Ibedul Yutaka Gibbons September 1972 Ngerekldeu [oc 17] Hereditary and Elective [oc 18] [14][15][16]
Flag of Melekeok.png Melekeok Reklai Bao Ngirmang 1998 Ngetelngal [oc 17] Hereditary and Elective [oc 18]
Samoa Samoa [oc 19] Tupua Tamasese Tupuola Tufuga Efi [oc 20] 1 July 1983 Sa Tupua Elective and Hereditary [17]
Tuimaleali'ifano Va'aletoa Sualauvi II [oc 21] 1977 Taua'ana Elective and Hereditary [18]
Vacant [oc 22] December 1997 Sa Mata'afa Elective and Hereditary [19]
Vacant [oc 23] 11 May 2007 Sa Mālietoa Elective and Hereditary [oc 24] [20]
Tuvalu Tuvalu [oc 25] Funafuti Aliki Siaosi Finiki Elective and Hereditary [oc 26] [21][22]
Nanumanga Aliki Talivai Sovola Mouhala Elective and Hereditary
Nanumea Aliki Iliala Lima Elective and Hereditary [oc 27]
Niutao Aliki Iosefa Lagafaoa Elective and Hereditary
Nui Aliki Falani Mekuli Elective and Hereditary
Nukufetau Aliki Valoaga Fonotapu Elective and Hereditary
Nukulaelae Aliki Aifou Tafia Elective and Hereditary
Vaitupu Aliki Londoni Panapa Elective and Hereditary
France Wallis and Futuna Alo Tuʻi Filipo Katoa 17 June 2016 Lalolalo Elective and Hereditary [oc 28] [23]
Sigave Tuʻi Eufenio Takala 5 March 2016 Vanai Elective and Hereditary [oc 29] [24]
Uvea Tuʻi Felice Tominiko Halagahu (co-claimant) 16 April 2016 Takumasiva Elective and Hereditary [oc 30] [25]
Tuʻi Patalione Kanimoa (co-claimant) 17 April 2016

Cook Islands

Each major atoll in the Cook Islands has a number of arikis, ceremonial high chiefs who together form the Are Ariki, a parliamentary advisory body with up to 24 seats. The only domains not listed below are those of Manuae, on which current information is inadequate, and Penrhyn, whose chiefly line is extinct. Styles and names are listed in their conventional local form. In addition to the generic title of ariki, which is worn at the end of one's name, each chiefly line carries its own unique style, which is placed at the beginning. Thus, if the chief's name is "Henry" and his title is "Ngamaru", he is styled "Ngamaru Henry Ariki".

State Polity Monarch Since House Succession Refs
Cook Islands Cook Islands Aitutaki Manarangi Tutai Ariki 2000 Vaipaepae o Pau Hereditary [26]
Tamatoa Purua Ariki Hereditary [27]
Vaeruarangi Teaukura Ariki Hereditary [28]
Atiu Parua Mataio Kea Ariki Nurau Hereditary [29]
Rongomatane Ada Ariki [oc 31] 1972 Paruarangi Hereditary [26]
Ngamaru Henry Ariki 1995 Te Akatuira Hereditary [30]
Mangaia Numangatini Nooroa Ariki Nga Ariki Hereditary [30]
Manihiki [oc 32] Te Fakaheo Trainee Ariki [oc 33] Hukutahu [oc 34] Hereditary [28][31]
Vacant [oc 35] Matangaro [oc 36] Hereditary
Mauke Tamuera Ariki [oc 37] Nurau Hereditary [29]
Tararo Temaeva Ariki [oc 38] Paruarangi Hereditary [28]
Te Au Marae Ariki Te Akatuira Hereditary [32]
Mitiaro Tou Travel Ariki Nurau Hereditary [27]
Tetava Poitirere Ariki Paruarangi Hereditary [28]
Temaeu Teikamata Ariki Te Akatuira Hereditary [28]
Pukapuka Tetio Kaitara Pakitonga Paulo Paulo Ariki 24 December 2008 Pukapuka Hereditary [33]
Rarotonga Makea Vakatini Joseph Ariki Te Au o Tonga Hereditary [34]
Dame Makea Karika Margaret Ariki, also known as Pauline Margaret Rakera, Mrs Taripo 14 May 1949 Hereditary [35]
Vacant [oc 39] 1994 Hereditary [36][37][38][39]
Pa Tapaeru Marie Ariki [oc 40] 27 June 1990 Takitumu Hereditary [26]
Kainuku Kapiriterangi Ariki 6 May 2006 Hereditary [40]
Tinomana Tokerau Ariki 21 Nov 2013 Puaikura [oc 41] Hereditary [26]


In Fiji, which became a colony of Great Britain in 1874, the British monarchs were historically bestowed the title Tui Viti, which translates as "King of Fiji" or "Paramount Chief of Fiji". The last holder of the title (from 6 February 1952) was Queen Elizabeth II, of the House of Windsor. The state became a republic in 1987, abolishing the title by establishing a new constitution. The former Great Council of Chiefs, however, still recognised Elizabeth II as Tui Viti, as the nation's traditional queen and its supreme tribal chief, despite no longer holding a constitutional office. Consequently, while Fiji remains a republic, a monarch or paramount chief is still recognised by traditional tribal politics. The Queen has made no official claim to the Tui Viti throne, although she has remained open to the possibility of a constitutional restoration of the monarchy.[41]

Native chiefs in Fiji are considered members of the nobility. The House of Chiefs, consisting of about 70 chiefs of various rank determined by a loosely defined order of precedence, was modeled after the British House of Lords.[42] Tongan chiefs, subordinate to a king, are also considered nobles and have therefore been excluded from the above list.[43]

In American Samoa there are 12 paramount chiefs, all traditionally subordinate to the Tu'i Manu'a, a title that is now considered purely historical; the last titleholder, Elisala, died 2 July 1909. The paramount chiefly titles are: on Tutuila, Faumuina, Lei'ato, Letuli, Fuimaono, Tuitele, Satele, Mauga, and in the Manu'a Islands, Lefiti, Sotoa, Tufele, Misa and Tuiolosega.


North America

  1. ^ The most recent (since 31 May 1998) king, Tito, was deposed by a vote of no confidence in the Leadership Council, and was replaced (on 30 May 2004) by Valentín. The former, who is no longer in office, has disputed the legality of the deposition, and still claims the title. The new king has not yet been recognised by the government of Panama.
  2. ^ Succession is determined by the vote of the general adult population. An election for a new monarch may take place upon any occasion in which an eligible member of the royal family wishes to be considered. Until recently, the traditional law of succession followed a pattern similar to the rota system.


  1. ^ The government of the Marshall Islands recognises 12 chiefly domains, called mojen, each headed by one or several paramount chiefs. Each domain is represented in the Council of Iroij, a legislative body of traditional chiefs guaranteed by the Constitution.
  2. ^ Jurelang is also (since 2 November 2009) the current head of state of the Marshall Islands.
  3. ^ This domain covers the islands of Ailuk, Aur, Maloelap, Taongi, Utirik and Wotje in the Ratak Chain. Its ruling clan has also laid claim to nearby Wake Island, under the name Eneen-Kio.
  4. ^ This chief is normally referred to as the Isipahu.
  5. ^ The ruling line belongs specifically to the Inenkatau (or Upwutenmai) sept of the Dipwinpahnmei clan.
  6. ^ This chief is normally referred to as the Sangiro.
  7. ^ The ruling line belongs specifically to the Sounpasedo sept of the Lasialap clan.
  8. ^ Hilarion was recognised as grand chef in 1974, but, due to a violent succession dispute with his relative Jean-Marie Vendégou, was not formally enthroned until 7 July 1979. He is also the mayor of the island commune until 2014.
  9. ^ a b A Kanak dynasty.
  10. ^ The Naisseline family is a branch of the Netché, a tribe of Kanaks.
  11. ^ The throne of the grand chef on Maré Island is traditionally held by the chief of Guahma district, an hereditary position.
  12. ^ The throne of the grand chef on Lifou Island, which also rules Ouvéa, is traditionally held by the chief of Lössi district, an hereditary position.
  13. ^ Commonly referred to as the "Māori King Movement". Its elected ariki nui is often called the "Māori King" due to his nationalistic influence over all Māori tribes as a symbol of unity. This title is not officially recognised by the government of New Zealand.
  14. ^ Te Wherowhero is the lineage of the first king. It belongs to the Waikato iwi, which is part of the Tainui confederation.
  15. ^ The monarch is appointed for life by the chiefs of the tribes involved in the Kīngitanga movement. Traditionally, selection is limited to direct descendants of the first king: Pōtatau I, of the Waikato tribe. However, in principle inheritance is open to any lineage should the electing chiefs be in agreement.
  16. ^ Palau is divided into 16 traditional polities. The 16-seat Council of Chiefs, made up of the traditional chiefs from each constituent state, is an advisory body to the President. The chiefs of Koror and Melekeok, the highest chiefs from Eoueldaob and Babeldaob respectively, are recognised as the two paramount chiefs of the nation.
  17. ^ a b This is not the name of the ruling house or clan: it is the ritual name used by the successive chiefs from this lineage.
  18. ^ a b Chiefs are selected by the most senior women of the ruling clan.
  19. ^ There are four paramount chiefs in Samoa, each presiding over a royal lineage (Tama a ‘Āiga) of past kings. Chiefs are afforded considerable power. The national parliament, the Fono, is composed exclusively of chiefly titleholders (matai). The office of head of state (the O le Ao o le Malo) is traditionally reserved for the paramount chiefs, although this is not required by the Constitution.
  20. ^ Tufuga Efi has held the chiefly title of Tui Atua Fa'asavali since 1 July 1983.
  21. ^ Va'aletoa Sualauvi has been the head of state since 21 July 2017.
  22. ^ The throne of the Mata'afa has been vacant since 1997; little other information is available.
  23. ^ The throne of the Mālietoa has been vacant since 2007. The current claimant, Papali'i Fa'amausili Moli, succeeded to the throne as "Moli II" in a bestowal ceremony on 29 June 2007, but an interim order in the High Court dated 27 September 2007 prevents his use of the title. The interim order was demanded by senior representatives from the Talavou and Natuitasina branches of the clan, who were allegedly not consulted about nomination of the new titleholder. The holder of this title also wears the chiefly title of Susuga.
  24. ^ The lineage associated with this title consists of three branches: Sa Moli, Sa Talavou and Sa Natuitasina (also spelled Gatuitasina). As the succession law dictates, heirs of all three branches are equally entitled to hold the title, and accession of an heir to the title is subject to nomination and consensus from all three branches. The most recent titleholders have been from the Moli sept.
  25. ^ Each island or atoll has a traditional high chief, the ulu-aliki, who is recognised by and plays an active ceremonial role in the national government. Thrones are primarily elective, but candidates are limited to members of a number of chiefly clans.
  26. ^ Funafuti's traditional chieftaincy is limited to senior members of two chiefly clans: Te Aliki a Mua, and Te Aliki a Muli. By custom, succession rotates between the two lineages.
  27. ^ The high chief, or Pulefenua, is elected by a council of chiefs (the Fale Kaupule) from senior members of Nanumea's seven chiefly clans, all of which claim descent from the first settlers.
  28. ^ The king is elected by a council of chiefs from the senior members of the kingdom's four chiefly clans.
  29. ^ The king is elected by a council of chiefs from the senior members of the kingdom's three chiefly clans: the Tamole, the Keletaona, and the Safoka.
  30. ^ The king is elected, traditionally for ten years, by a council of ministers from the senior members of the kingdom's royal clans. These clans correspond to the three districts of the island: Hahake, Hihifo, and Muʻa. The present king is of the Hihifo clan.
  31. ^ Her full name is "Ada Teaupurepure Tetupu".
  32. ^ The two high chiefs on Manihiki also traditionally reign over neighbouring Rakahanga. They represent the populace of both islands in the area Ariki.
  33. ^ The title is also often written as Whakaheo Ariki.
  34. ^ Arikis of this line belong to either the Numatua or Tiangarotonga tribes.
  35. ^ The throne of Te Faingaitu Ariki (alternatively Whaingaitu) is vacant. It is apparently disputed between members of the eligible tribes, but no information is available on the claimants.
  36. ^ Arikis of this line belong to either the Heahiro or Mokopuwai tribes.
  37. ^ Sources are unclear on the name of the current Tamuera Ariki (often written Samuela Ariki).
  38. ^ His name is sometimes written "Te Maeva" or simply "Maeva".
  39. ^ The Makea Nui Ariki is one of three high chiefs in the Te Au o Tonga tribe on Rarotonga. The previous ariki died in 1994, and her successor has yet to be agreed upon. Several members of the tribe claim rightful inheritance of the title. Succession is traditionally limited to the Rangi Makea clan; the three other clans of the tribe (Sadaraka, Mere and Upokotokoa) are considered junior branches. Mere Maraea MacQuarrie, the youngest daughter of the last ariki, is the only known claimant from the Rangi Makea clan, and is apparently the contender most likely to be granted the title. Other contenders include Stanley Adam Hunt, Yolande Browne, and Matapo Oti Oti, all of whom claim descent from the earlier arikis. The first of these, Hunt, was "invested" with the Makea Nui title under the regnal name "Takaia Tutavake"; the ceremony, which took place 16 May 2009, was not recognised by the government.
  40. ^ Her full regnal name is "Tapaeru Teariki Upokotini Marie", most commonly known as "Pa Marie".
  41. ^ There are three separate lineages eligible for the Puaikura Royalty, all of which descend from Tinomana Enuarurutini (ca. 1820–1854) the King of Puaikura and one of his three wives. They are (in order of seniority): Te Pori a Pa, Oakirangi, and Akaiti a Rua. The current Tinomana Ariki revert to the first and only married wive "Te Pori a Pa line".

See also


  1. ^ Jackson, Eric (6 December 2009). "Naso land claims talks appear to be designed to fail". The Panama News. Panamá City, Panama. Archived from the original on 3 January 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  2. ^ Loeak, Anono Lieom; Kiluwe, Veronica C.; Crowl, Linda (2004). Life in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Suva, Fiji: IPS Publications, University of the South Pacific. p. 20. ISBN 978-982-02-0364-8.
  3. ^ a b Cahoon, Ben. "Marshall Islands Traditional Polities". World Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  4. ^ Johnson, Giff (25 November 2010). "Huge funeral recognizes late Majuro chief". Marianas Variety. Majuro: Younis Art Studio Inc. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2010.
  5. ^ Jaynes, Bill (17 February 2010). "PRC Ambassador Zhang Weidong turns over Pohnpei State Government building to the FSM". Kaselehlie Press. Peilapalap, Pohnpei. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  6. ^ Riesenberg, Saul H. (1968). "The Native Polity of Ponape" (PDF). Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. 10. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  7. ^ "President Nena Was Bestowed Traditional Title" (Press release). Government of the Federated States of Micronesia. 20 November 1997. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  8. ^ Congressional Journal: First Regular Session (PDF), Palikir, Pohnpei: Fifteenth Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia, 11 May 2007, retrieved 14 June 2010
  9. ^ Godard, Philippe (1980). Le mémorial Calédonien, Volume 8: 1970-1981 (in French). Nouméa: Art Calédoniennes. pp. 43, 60, 101.
  10. ^ Staff (7 June 2007). "Grand chef à 33 ans". Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes (in French). Maré, New Caledonia. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  11. ^ "Lifou". Genealogical Gleanings. Henry Soszynski, University of Queensland. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
  12. ^ Staff (21 August 2006). "New Zealand Maori choose new king". BBC News. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
  13. ^ "Ngati Tuwharetoa". Genealogical Gleanings. Henry Soszynski, University of Queensland. Archived from the original on 10 March 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
  14. ^ Cahoon, Ben. "Traditional chiefs of Palau". World Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  15. ^ "Koror, Palau". Almanach de Bruxelles. 2003. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  16. ^ "Melekeiok, Palau". Almanach de Bruxelles. 2008. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  17. ^ "Tupua Tamasese". Genealogical Gleanings. Henry Soszynski, University of Queensland. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  18. ^ "Tuimaleali'ifano". Genealogical Gleanings. Henry Soszynski, University of Queensland. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  19. ^ "Mata'afa". Genealogical Gleanings. Henry Soszynski, University of Queensland. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  20. ^ "Malietoa". Genealogical Gleanings. Henry Soszynski, University of Queensland. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  21. ^ Government of Tuvalu; Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Industries; Economic Research and Policy Division (November 2005), "Malefatuga Declarartion", Te Kakeega II: National Strategies for Sustainable Development: 2005–2015 (PDF), Funafuti: United Nations, p. 27, retrieved 14 June 2010CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link).
  22. ^ Faaniu, Simati (1983). Laracy, Hugh (ed.). Tuvalu: A History. Suva, Fiji: IPS Publications, University of the South Pacific.
  23. ^ Cahoon, Ben. "Wallis and Futuna Islands". World Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  24. ^ "Sigave, Wallis & Futuna". Almanach de Bruxelles. 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  25. ^ Soszynski, Henry. "Wallis". Genealogical Gleanings. University of Queensland. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  26. ^ a b c d "Female Head of State of the Cook Islands". Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership. Christensen, Martin. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  27. ^ a b "Mitiaro ariki re-elected House president" (Press release). Government of the Cook Islands. 7 August 2003. Archived from the original on 1 October 2010. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  28. ^ a b c d e Staff (16 June 2008). "Proclamation by the Ui Ariki". The Cook Islands Herald. Rarotonga: Cook Islands Herald Online. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  29. ^ a b Kautai, Ngatupuna (1991). Atiu: an island community. Suva, Fiji: IPS Publications, University of the South Pacific. pp. 30–32. ISBN 978-982-02-0163-7.
  30. ^ a b Hunt, Errol; Keller, Nancy (2003). Rarotonga & the Cook Islands. Melbourne: Lonely Planet. pp. 118, 137. ISBN 978-1-74059-083-9.
  31. ^ Buck, Sir Peter Henry (1932). Ethnology of Manihiki and Rakahanga. Honolulu, Hawaii: Bernice P. Bishop Museum. pp. 28–65.
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  38. ^ Moekaʻa, Moana (14 January 2009). "Tahiti claimant seeks title". Cook Islands News. Rarotonga: Cook Islands News Online. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
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  41. ^ Staff (20 November 2002). "Queen still chief of Fiji". The Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney: Sydney Morning Herald Online. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  42. ^ "Fijian Chiefly Titles". Genealogical Gleanings. Henry Soszynski, University of Queensland. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  43. ^ "Tongan Titles". Genealogical Gleanings. Henry Soszynski, University of Queensland. Retrieved 18 June 2010.

Further reading


Bahrain ( (listen); Arabic: البحرين‎ al-Baḥrayn Arabic pronunciation: [aɫ baħrajn] (listen)), officially the Kingdom of Bahrain (Arabic: مملكة البحرين‎ Mamlakat al-Baḥrayn), is an island country in the Persian Gulf. The sovereign state comprises a small archipelago centered around Bahrain Island, situated between the Qatar peninsula and the north eastern coast of Saudi Arabia, to which it is connected by the 25-kilometre (16 mi) King Fahd Causeway. Bahrain's population is 1,234,571 (c. 2010), including 666,172 non-nationals. It is 765.3 square kilometres (295.5 sq mi) in size, making it the third-smallest nation in Asia after the Maldives and Singapore.Bahrain is the site of the ancient Dilmun civilisation. It has been famed since antiquity for its pearl fisheries, which were considered the best in the world into the 19th century. Bahrain was one of the earliest areas to convert to Islam, in 628 CE. Following a period of Arab rule, Bahrain was occupied by the Portuguese in 1521, who in turn were expelled in 1602 by Shah Abbas I of the Safavid dynasty under the Persian Empire. In 1783, the Bani Utbah clan captured Bahrain from Nasr Al-Madhkur and it has since been ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family, with Ahmed al Fateh as Bahrain's first hakim.

In the late 1800s, following successive treaties with the British, Bahrain became a protectorate of the United Kingdom. In 1971, Bahrain declared independence. Formerly an emirate, the Arab constitutional monarchy of Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002. In 2011, the country experienced protests inspired by the regional Arab Spring. Bahrain's ruling al-Khalifa royal family has been accused and criticized for human rights abuses, including imprisonment, torture and execution of dissidents, political opposition figures and its Shia Muslim population.Bahrain had the first post-oil economy in the Persian Gulf. Since the late 20th century, Bahrain has invested in the banking and tourism sectors. Many large financial institutions have a presence in Manama, the country's capital. It has a high Human Development Index and is recognised by the World Bank as a high-income economy. Bahrain is a member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Gulf Cooperation Council.


Cambodia ( (listen); also Kampuchea ; Khmer: កម្ពុជា Khmer: [kam.pu.ciə]; French: Cambodge), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia (Khmer: ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា, prĕəh riəciənaacak kampuciə, IPA: [prĕəh riə.ciə.naː.caʔ kam.pu.ciə]; French: Royaume du Cambodge), is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is 181,035 square kilometres (69,898 square miles) in area, bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest.

The sovereign state of Cambodia has a population of over 16 million. The official religion is Theravada Buddhism, practised by approximately 95 percent of the population. The country's minority groups include Vietnamese, Chinese, Chams and 30 hill tribes. The capital and largest city is Phnom Penh, the political, economic and cultural centre of Cambodia. The kingdom is an elective constitutional monarchy with a monarch, currently Norodom Sihamoni, chosen by the Royal Throne Council as head of state. The head of government is the Prime Minister, currently Hun Sen, the longest serving non-royal leader in Southeast Asia, ruling Cambodia since 1985.

In 802 AD, Jayavarman II declared himself king, uniting the warring Khmer princes of Chenla under the name "Kambuja". This marked the beginning of the Khmer Empire, which flourished for over 600 years, allowing successive kings to control and exert influence over much of Southeast Asia and accumulate immense power and wealth. The Indianised kingdom facilitated the spread of first Hinduism and then Buddhism to much of Southeast Asia and undertook many religious infrastructural projects throughout the region, including the construction of more than 1,000 temples and monuments in Angkor alone. Angkor Wat is the most famous of these structures and is designated as a World Heritage Site.

After the fall of Angkor to Ayutthaya in the 15th century, a reduced and weakened Cambodia was then ruled as a vassal state by its neighbours. In 1863, Cambodia became a protectorate of France, which doubled the size of the country by reclaiming the north and west from Thailand.

Cambodia gained independence in 1953. The Vietnam War extended into the country with the US bombing of Cambodia from 1969 until 1973. Following the Cambodian coup of 1970 which installed the right-wing pro-US Khmer Republic, the deposed king gave his support to his former enemies, the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge emerged as a major power, taking Phnom Penh in 1975 and later carrying out the Cambodian genocide from 1975 until 1979, when they were ousted by Vietnam and the Vietnamese-backed People's Republic of Kampuchea, supported by the Soviet Union in the Cambodian–Vietnamese War (1979–91).

Following the 1991 Paris Peace Accords, Cambodia was governed briefly by a United Nations mission (1992–93). The UN withdrew after holding elections in which around 90 percent of the registered voters cast ballots. The 1997 factional fighting resulted in the ousting of the government by Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Cambodian People's Party, who remain in power as of 2018.

Cambodia is a member of the United Nations since 1955, ASEAN, the East Asia Summit, the WTO, the Non-Aligned Movement and La Francophonie. According to several foreign organisations, the country has widespread poverty, pervasive corruption, lack of political freedoms, low human development and a high rate of hunger. Cambodia has been described by Human Rights Watch's Southeast Asian Director, David Roberts, as a "vaguely communist free-market state with a relatively authoritarian coalition ruling over a superficial democracy".While per capita income remains low compared to most neighboring countries, Cambodia has one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, with growth averaging 7.6 percent over the last decade. Agriculture remains the dominant economic sector, with strong growth in textiles, construction, garments and tourism leading to increased foreign investment and international trade. The US World Justice Project's 2015 Rule of Law Index ranked Cambodia 76 out of 102 countries, similar to other countries in the region.


A dynasty (UK: , US: ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family, usually in the context of a feudal or monarchical system, but sometimes also appearing in elective republics. Alternative terms for "dynasty" may include "house", "family" and "clan", among others. The longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, otherwise known as the Yamato dynasty, whose reign is traditionally dated to 660 BC.

The dynastic family or lineage may be known as a "noble house", which may be styled as "royal", "princely", "ducal", "comital" etc., depending upon the chief or present title borne by its members.

Historians periodize the histories of numerous nations and civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt (3100–30 BC) and Imperial China (221 BC–AD 1912), using a framework of successive dynasties. As such, the term "dynasty" may be used to delimit the era during which a family reigned, and also to describe events, trends and artifacts of that period (for example, "a Ming-dynasty vase"). The word "dynasty" itself is often dropped from such adjectival references (i.e., "a Ming vase").

Until the 19th century, it was taken for granted that a legitimate function of a monarch was to aggrandize his dynasty: that is, to expand the wealth and power of his family members.Prior to the 20th century, dynasties throughout the world have traditionally been reckoned patrilineally, such as under the Frankish Salic law. In nations where it was permitted, succession through a daughter usually established a new dynasty in her husband's ruling house. This has changed in some places in Europe, where succession law and convention have maintained dynasties de jure through a female. For instance, the House of Windsor will be maintained through the children of Queen Elizabeth II, as it did with the monarchy of the Netherlands, whose dynasty remained the House of Orange-Nassau through three successive queens regnant. The earliest such example among major European monarchies was in the Russian Empire in the 18th century, where the name of the House of Romanov was maintained through Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna. In Limpopo Province of South Africa, Balobedu determined descent matrilineally, while rulers have at other times adopted the name of their mother's dynasty when coming into her inheritance. Less frequently, a monarchy has alternated or been rotated, in a multi-dynastic (or polydynastic) system – that is, the most senior living members of parallel dynasties, at any point in time, constitute the line of succession.

Not all feudal states or monarchies were/are ruled by dynasties; modern examples are the Vatican City State, the Principality of Andorra, and the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta. Throughout history, there were monarchs that did not belong to any dynasty; non-dynastic rulers include King Arioald of the Lombards and Emperor Phocas of the Byzantine Empire. Dynasties ruling subnational monarchies do not possess sovereign rights; two modern examples are the monarchies of Malaysia and the royal families of the United Arab Emirates.

The word "dynasty" is sometimes used informally for people who are not rulers but are, for example, members of a family with influence and power in other areas, such as a series of successive owners of a major company. It is also extended to unrelated people, such as major poets of the same school or various rosters of a single sports team.


Japan (Japanese: 日本; Nippon [ɲippoɴ] or Nihon [ɲihoɴ]; formally 日本国 Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku, lit. "State of Japan") is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

The kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", and it is often called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands. The four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and often are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one. The population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest, of which 98.5% are ethnic Japanese. 90.7% of people live in cities, while 9.3% live in the countryside. About 13.8 million people live in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people.Archaeological research indicates that Japan was inhabited as early as the Upper Paleolithic period. The first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD. Influence from other regions, mainly China, followed by periods of isolation, particularly from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history.

From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, which was ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism. The Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.

Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, and the G20, and is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity. It is also the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer.

Japan benefits from a highly skilled and educated workforce; it has among the world's largest proportion of citizens holding a tertiary education degree. Although it has officially renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles; it ranked as the world's fourth most-powerful military in 2015. Japan is a highly developed country with a very high standard of living and Human Development Index. Its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, anime, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology.


Lesotho ( (listen), Sotho pronunciation: [lɪ’sʊːtʰʊ]), officially the Kingdom of Lesotho (Sotho: 'Muso oa Lesotho), is an enclaved country–the only one in the world outside of the Italian peninsula–within the border of South Africa. It is just over 30,000 km2 (11,583 sq mi) in size and has a population of around 2 million. Its capital and largest city is Maseru.

Lesotho was previously the British Crown Colony of Basutoland, but it declared independence from the United Kingdom on 4 October 1966. It is now a fully sovereign state that is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The name Lesotho roughly translates to "the land of the people who speak Sesotho".

List of current monarchs of sovereign states

A monarch is the head of a monarchy, a form of government in which a state is ruled by an individual who normally rules for life or until abdication, and typically inherits the throne by birth. Monarchs may be autocrats (as in all absolute monarchies) or may be ceremonial figureheads, exercising only limited or no reserve powers at all, with actual authority vested in a legislature and/or executive cabinet (as in many constitutional monarchies). In many cases, a monarch will also be linked with a state religion. Most states only have a single monarch at any given time, although a regent may rule when the monarch is a minor, not present, or otherwise incapable of ruling. Cases in which two monarchs rule simultaneously over a single state, as is the current situation in Andorra, are known as coregencies.Monarchs are distinguished by their titles and styles, which in most cases are defined by tradition, and guaranteed under the state's constitution. A variety of titles are applied in English; for example, "king" and "queen", "prince" and "princess", "emperor" and "empress". Although they will be addressed differently in their local languages, the names and titles in the list below have been styled using the common English equivalent. Roman numerals, used to distinguish related rulers with the same name, have been applied where typical.

In political and sociocultural studies, monarchies are normally associated with hereditary rule; most monarchs, in both historical and contemporary contexts, have been born and raised within a royal family. Succession has been defined using a variety of distinct formulae, such as proximity of blood, primogeniture, and agnatic seniority. Some monarchies, however, are not hereditary, and the ruler is instead determined through an elective process; a modern example is the throne of Malaysia. These systems defy the model concept of a monarchy, but are commonly considered as such because they retain certain associative characteristics. Many systems use a combination of hereditary and elective elements, where the election or nomination of a successor is restricted to members of a royal bloodline.Entries below are listed beside their respective dominions, which are organised alphabetically. These monarchs reign as head of state in their respective sovereign states. Monarchs reigning over a constituent division, cultural or traditional polity are listed under constituent monarchs. For current claimants to abolished thrones, see pretenders.

List of current pretenders

A pretender is an aspirant or claimant to a monarchy that either has been abolished or suspended, or is occupied by another. It should not be confused with the term impostor, which instead refers to a person who exercises deception under an assumed name or identity. A pretender may assert a claim and the term is also applied to those persons on whose behalf a claim is advanced, regardless of whether that person makes the claim.Entries in this list are governed with respect to their relevant succession laws, whether hereditary or elective. Prominent and reliably sourced claims made on a person's behalf are included regardless of whether that person stakes an active claim, provided that the person possesses a legitimate link to the line of succession. Claimants with no kinship to the dynasty, often distinguished as "false pretenders", are not listed. Former monarchies with serious support for restoration include those of Germany, Nepal and Libya.

Lists of monarchs

List of monarchs may refer to:

List of current sovereign monarchs

List of current constituent monarchs

List of living former sovereign monarchs

A king list, used as an early form of periodisation

Makea Takau Ariki

Makea Takau Ariki (1839–1911) was a sovereign of the Cook Islands. She was the ariki (queen) of the dynasty Makea Nui (Great Makea), one of the three chiefdoms of the tribe Te Au O Tonga (The mist of the south) on the island of Rarotonga.

She succeeded her uncle Makea Abera Ariki in 1871. Her reign lasted forty years during a crucial time in the history of Rarotonga and the Cook Islands. It was under her reign that the Cook Islands became a British protectorate in 1888 before being annexed to New Zealand in 1900.

Martha Nelumbu

Martha Mwadinomho Kristian Nelumbu (born 1930) is the Queen of the Kwanyama, a dynasty of the Ovambo people in northern Namibia. She was appointed in November 2005, succeeding her cousin Kornelius Mwetupunga Shelungu. She is the first woman leader to head this traditional authority.Mwadinomho Combined School in Ondeihaluka is named after her.


A monarchy is a form of government in which a single person holds supreme authority in ruling a country, also performing ceremonial duties and embodying the country's national identity. Although some monarchs are elected, in most cases, the monarch's position is inherited and lasts until death or abdication. In these cases, the royal family or members of the dynasty usually serve in official capacities as well. The governing power of the monarch may vary from purely symbolic (crowned republic), to partial and restricted (constitutional monarchy), to completely autocratic (absolute monarchy).

Monarchy was the most common form of government until the 20th century. Forty-five sovereign nations in the world have monarchs acting as heads of state, sixteen of which are Commonwealth realms that recognise Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state. Most modern monarchs are constitutional monarchs, who retain a unique legal and ceremonial role, but exercise limited or no political power under the nation's constitution. In some nations, however, such as Brunei, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Eswatini, the hereditary monarch has more political influence than any other single source of authority in the nation, either by tradition or by a constitutional mandate.

Non-sovereign monarchy

A non-sovereign monarchy is one in which the head of the monarchical polity (whether a geographic territory or an ethnic group), and the polity itself, are subject to a temporal authority higher than their own. The constituent states of the German Empire provide a historical example; a contemporary one is the Zulu King, whose power derives from the Constitution of South Africa.

Numangatini Tione Ariki

Numangatini Tione Ariki (b?–d?) was a sovereign of the Cook Islands. He was ariki (king) of the Numangatini dynasty, a chiefdom on the island of Mangaia.


Thailand (Thai: ประเทศไทย) ( TY-land, TY-lənd), officially the Kingdom of Thailand and formerly known as Siam (Thai: สยาม), is a country at the centre of the Southeast Asian Indochinese peninsula composed of 76 provinces. At 513,120 km2 (198,120 sq mi) and over 68 million people, Thailand is the world's 50th largest country by total area and the 21st-most-populous country. The capital and largest city is Bangkok, a special administrative area. Thailand is bordered to the north by Myanmar and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Myanmar. Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, and Indonesia and India on the Andaman Sea to the southwest. Although nominally a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, the most recent coup in 2014 established a de facto military dictatorship.

Tai peoples migrated from southwestern China to mainland Southeast Asia from the 11th century; the oldest known mention of their presence in the region by the exonym Siamese dates to the 12th century. Various Indianised kingdoms such as the Mon, the Khmer Empire and Malay states ruled the region, competing with Thai states such as Ngoenyang, the Sukhothai Kingdom, Lan Na and the Ayutthaya Kingdom, which rivaled each other. European contact began in 1511 with a Portuguese diplomatic mission to Ayutthaya, one of the great powers in the region. Ayutthaya reached its peak during cosmopolitan Narai's reign (1656–88), gradually declining thereafter until being ultimately destroyed in 1767 in a war with Burma. Taksin (r. 1767–82) quickly reunified the fragmented territory and established the short-lived Thonburi Kingdom. He was succeeded in 1782 by Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (r. 1782–1809), the first monarch of the Chakri dynasty and founder of the Rattanakosin Kingdom, which lasted into the early 20th century.

Through the 18th and 19th centuries, Siam faced pressure from France and the United Kingdom, including forced concessions of territory, but nevertheless it remained the only Southeast Asian country to avoid direct Western rule. Following a bloodless revolution in 1932, Siam became a constitutional monarchy and changed its official name to "Thailand". While it joined the Allies in World War I, Thailand was an Axis satellite in World War II. In the late 1950s, a military coup revived the monarchy's historically influential role in politics. Thailand became a major ally of the United States and played a key anti-communist role in the region. Apart from a brief period of parliamentary democracy in the mid-1970s, Thailand has periodically alternated between democracy and military rule. In the 21st century, Thailand endured a political crisis that culminated in two coups and the establishment of its current and 20th constitution by the military junta.

Thailand is a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy under a military junta. Thailand is a founding member of Association of Southeast Asian Nations and remains a major ally of the US. Despite its comparatively sporadic changes in leadership, it is considered a regional power in Southeast Asia and a middle power in global affairs. With a high level of human development, the second largest economy in Southeast Asia, and the 20th largest by PPP, Thailand is classified as a newly industrialized economy; manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism are leading sectors of the economy.

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE; Arabic: دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة‎ Dawlat al-ʾImārāt al-ʿArabīyyah al-Muttaḥidah), sometimes simply called the Emirates (Arabic: الإمارات‎ al-ʾImārāt), is a country in Western Asia at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south, as well as sharing maritime borders with Qatar to the west and Iran to the north. The sovereign constitutional monarchy is a federation of seven emirates consisting of Abu Dhabi (which serves as the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain. Their boundaries are complex, with numerous enclaves within the various emirates. Each emirate is governed by a ruler; together, they jointly form the Federal Supreme Council. One of the rulers serves as the President of the United Arab Emirates. In 2013, the UAE's population was 9.2 million, of which 1.4 million are Emirati citizens and 7.8 million are expatriates.Human occupation of the present UAE has been traced back to the emergence of anatomically modern humans from Africa some 125,000 BCE through finds at the Faya-1 site in Mleiha, Sharjah. Burial sites dating back to the Neolithic Age and the Bronze Age include the oldest known such inland site at Jebel Buhais. Known as Magan to the Sumerians, the area was home to a prosperous Bronze Age trading culture during the Umm Al Nar period, which traded between the Indus Valley, Bahrain and Mesopotamia as well as Iran, Bactria and the Levant. The ensuing Wadi Suq period and three Iron Ages saw the emergence of nomadism as well as the development of water management and irrigation systems supporting human settlement in both the coast and interior. The Islamic age of the UAE dates back to the expulsion of the Sasanians and the subsequent Battle of Dibba. The UAE's long history of trade led to the emergence of Julfar, in the present day emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, as a major regional trading and maritime hub in the area. The maritime dominance of the Persian Gulf by Emirati traders led to conflicts with European powers, including the Portuguese and British.

Following decades of maritime conflict, the coastal emirates became known as the Trucial States with the signing of a Perpetual Treaty of Maritime Peace with the British in 1819 (ratified in 1853 and again in 1892), which established the Trucial States as a British Protectorate. This arrangement ended with independence and the establishment of the United Arab Emirates on 2 December 1971, immediately following the British withdrawal from its treaty obligations. Six emirates joined the UAE in 1971, the seventh, Ras Al Khaimah, joined the federation on 10 February 1972.Islam is the official religion and Arabic is the official language of the UAE. The UAE's oil reserves are the seventh-largest in the world while its natural gas reserves are the world's seventeenth-largest. Sheikh Zayed, ruler of Abu Dhabi and the first President of the UAE, oversaw the development of the Emirates and steered oil revenues into healthcare, education and infrastructure. The UAE's economy is the most diversified in the Gulf Cooperation Council, while its most populous city of Dubai is an important global city and an international aviation and maritime trade hub. Nevertheless, the country is much less reliant on oil and gas than in previous years and is economically focusing on tourism and business. The UAE government does not levy income tax although there is a system of corporate tax in place and value added tax was established in 2018 at 5%.The UAE's rising international profile has led to it being recognised as a regional and a middle power. It is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, OPEC, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Vatican City

Vatican City ( (listen)), officially Vatican City State (Italian: Stato della Città del Vaticano; Latin: Status Civitatis Vaticanae), is an independent city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. Established with the Lateran Treaty (1929), it is distinct from yet under "full ownership, exclusive dominion, and sovereign authority and jurisdiction" of the Holy See (Latin: Sancta Sedes). With an area of 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of about 1,000, it is the smallest state in the world by both area and population.The Vatican City is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state (a type of theocracy) ruled by the pope who is, religiously speaking, the bishop of Rome and head of the Catholic Church. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergy of various national origins. Since the return of the popes from Avignon in 1377, they have generally resided at the Apostolic Palace within what is now Vatican City, although at times residing instead in the Quirinal Palace in Rome or elsewhere.

The Holy See dates back to early Christianity, and is the primate episcopal see of the Catholic Church, with 1.3 billion Catholics around the world distributed in the Latin Church and 23 Eastern Catholic Churches. The independent Vatican City-state, on the other hand, came into existence in 11 February 1929 by the Lateran Treaty between the Holy See and Italy, which spoke of it as a new creation, not as a vestige of the much larger Papal States (756–1870), which had previously encompassed much of central Italy.

Within the Vatican City are religious and cultural sites such as St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. They feature some of the world's most famous paintings and sculptures. The unique economy of Vatican City is supported financially by the sale of postage stamps and souvenirs, fees for admission to museums, and sales of publications.

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