Monarchism is the advocacy of monarchy or monarchical rule.[1] A monarchist is an individual who supports this form of government, independent of any specific monarch; one who espouses a particular monarch is a royalist. Conversely, the opposition to monarchical rule is sometimes referred to as republicanism.

Depending on the country, a monarchist may advocate for the rule of the person who sits on the throne, a pretender, or someone who would otherwise occupy the throne but has been deposed.


Monarchical rule is among the oldest political institutions.[2] Monarchy has often claimed legitimacy from a higher power (in early modern Europe the divine right of kings, and in China the Mandate of Heaven).

In England, royalty ceded power elsewhere in a gradual process. In 1215, a group of nobles forced King John to sign the Magna Carta, which guaranteed its barons certain liberties and established that the king's powers were not absolute. In 1687-88, the Glorious Revolution and the overthrow of King James II established the principles of constitutional monarchy, which would later be worked out by Locke and other thinkers. However, absolute monarchy, justified by Hobbes in Leviathan (1651), remained a prominent principle elsewhere. In the 18th century, Voltaire and others encouraged "enlightened absolutism", which was embraced by the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II and by Catherine II of Russia.

In the late 18th century, the American Revolution and the French Revolution were both additional steps in the weakening of power of European monarchies. Each in its different way exemplified the concept of popular sovereignty upheld by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. 1848 then ushered in a wave of revolutions against the continental European monarchies.

World War I and its aftermath saw the end of three major European monarchies: the Russian Romanov dynasty, the German Hohenzollern dynasty, including all other German monarchies and the Austro-Hungarian Habsburg dynasty.

The rise of the Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919 provoked an increase in support for monarchism; however, efforts by Hungarian monarchists failed to bring back a royal head of state, and the monarchists settled for a regent, Admiral Miklós Horthy, to represent the monarchy until it could be restored. Horthy was regent from 1920 to 1944. In similar wise the 1938 autocratic state of Franco in Spain claimed to have reconstituted the Spanish monarchy in absentia (and in this case ultimately yielded to a restoration, in the person of King Juan Carlos). In 1920s Germany a number of monarchists gathered around the German National People's Party which demanded the return of the Hohenzollern monarchy and an end to the Weimar Republic; the party retained a large base of support until the rise of Nazism in the 1930s.

With the arrival of socialism in Eastern Europe by the end of 1947, the remaining Eastern European monarchies, namely the Kingdom of Romania, the Kingdom of Hungary, the Kingdom of Albania, the Kingdom of Bulgaria and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, were all abolished and replaced by socialist republics.

The aftermath of World War II also saw the return of monarchist and republican rivalry in Italy, where a referendum was held on whether the state should remain a monarchy or become a republic. The republican side won the vote by a narrow margin, and the modern Republic of Italy was created.

Monarchism as a political force internationally has substantially diminished since the end of the Second World War, though it had an important role in the 1979 Iranian Revolution and also played a role in the modern political affairs of Nepal. Nepal was one of the last states to have had an absolute monarch, which continued until King Gyanendra was peacefully deposed in May 2008 and the country became a federal republic. One of the world's oldest monarchies was abolished in Ethiopia in 1974 with the fall of Emperor Haile Selassie.

Current monarchies

The majority of current monarchies are constitutional monarchies. In most of these, the monarch wields only symbolic power, although in some, the monarch does play a role in political affairs. In Thailand, for instance, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who reigned from 1946 to 2016, played a critical role in the nation's political agenda and in various military coups. Similarly, in Morocco, King Mohammed VI wields significant, but not absolute power.

Liechtenstein is a democratic principality whose citizens have voluntarily given more power to their monarch in recent years.

There remain a handful of countries in which the monarch is the true ruler. The majority of these countries are oil-producing Arab Islamic monarchies like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. Other strong monarchies include Brunei and Eswatini.

Justifications for monarchism

Absolute monarchy stands as an opposition to anarchism and, additionally from the Age of Enlightenment, liberalism, and communism.

Otto von Habsburg advocated a form of constitutional monarchy based on the primacy of the supreme judicial function, with hereditary succession, mediation by a tribunal is warranted if suitability is problematic.[3][4]

Nonpartisan head of state

A monarchy has been justified on the grounds that it provides for a nonpartisan head of state, separate from the head of government, and thus ensures that the highest representative of the country, at home and internationally, does not represent a particular political party, but all people.[5]

Safeguard for liberty

The International Monarchist League, founded in 1943, has always sought to promote monarchy on the grounds that it strengthens popular liberty, both in a democracy and in a dictatorship, because by definition the monarch is not beholden to politicians.

British-American libertarian writer Matthew Feeney, on the occasion of the birth of Prince George of Cambridge, the likely future king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Commonwealth Realms, in 2013, wrote:[6]

In the last hundred years many European nations have experienced fascism, communism, and military dictatorships. However, countries with constitutional monarchies have managed for the most part to avoid extreme politics in part because monarchies provide a check on the wills of populist politicians. European monarchies--such as the Danish, Belgian, Swedish, Dutch, Norwegian, and British--have ruled over countries that are among the most stable, prosperous, and free in the world. Constitutional monarchs make it difficult for dramatic political changes to occur, oftentimes by representing traditions and customs that politicians cannot replace and few citizens would like to see overthrown.

Connection to the past

Since the middle of the 19th century, some monarchists have stopped defending monarchy on the basis of abstract, universal principles applicable to all nations or even on the grounds that a monarchy would be the best or most practical government for the nation in question but prefer invoking local symbolic grounds that they would be a particular nation's link to the past.

Hence, post-19th century debates on whether to preserve a monarchy or to adopt a republican form of government have often been debates over national identity, with the monarch generally serving as a symbol for other issues.

For example, in countries like Belgium and the Netherlands anti-monarchist talk is often centered on the perceived symbolism of a monarch contrasting with those nation's political culture of egalitarianism. In Belgium, another factor are the anti-Belgian sentiments of the separatist Flemish movement. The latter see the monarchy as a predominantly francophone institution of which the historical roots lie in the French-speaking elite that ruled Belgium until circa 1950s.

In Canada and Australia, by contrast, debates over monarchy represent or represented debates whose driving force concerned each nation's relationship with the United Kingdom and the cultural heritage that this relationship represents.

Human desire for hierarchy

In a 1943 essay in The Spectator, "Equality", British author C.S. Lewis criticized egalitarianism, and its corresponding call for the abolition of monarchy, as contrary to human nature, writing, "Where men are forbidden to honour a king they honour millionaires, athletes, or film-stars instead: even famous prostitutes or gangsters. For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison."[7]

Support for the restoration of monarchy

This is a list of countries showing support for the restoration of a previously abolished monarchy.

Rank Country Supporters % of country
1 Croatia 1,696,326 41% [8]
2 Romania 4,123,980 37% [9]
3 Albania 1,389,275 33% [10]
4 Russia 31,781,959 28% [11]
5 Hawaii 355,123 25% [12]
6 Austria 1,754,600 20% [13]
7 Germany 15,646,310 19% [14]
8 France 11,053,890 17% [15]
9 Italy 12,000,000 15% [16]
10 Portugal 1,546,435 15% [17]
11 Greece 1,342,046 14% [18]
12 Brazil 31,236,957 13% [19]
13 Czech Republic 1,379,423 13% [20]
14 Mexico 6,500,000 5% [21]










Costa Rican














See also


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External links

1920 Greek referendum

A referendum on the return of King Constantine I was held in Greece on 22 November 1920. It followed the death of his son, King Alexander. The proposal was approved by 99.0% of voters. The antivenizelist parties had recently won the elections of 1920. However the referendum is considered illegitimate by modern Greek historians.

The result ensured and affirmed the dominance of the anti-Venizelist camp in the country. Constantine returned, albeit questioned by the supporters of the Liberal Party, while Liberal leader Eleftherios Venizelos maintained his silence, being in voluntary exile abroad.

Constantine I was opposed by the Entente powers (United Kingdom, France, Italy) because of his pro-German stance during World War I (see National Schism) and his enthusiastic return was short-lived as a result of the disastrous military events that followed in the Asia Minor Campaign of 1922.

1935 Greek monarchy referendum

A referendum on restoring the monarchy was held in Greece on 3 November 1935. The proposal was approved by 97.9% of voters.George II of Greece returned from exile and was restored to the throne on 30 November 1935.

1946 Greek referendum

A referendum on maintaining the monarchy was held in Greece on 1 September 1946. The proposal was approved by 68.4% of voters with a turnout of 88.6%.

1973 Greek republic referendum

A constitutional referendum was held in Greece on 29 July 1973. The amendments would abolish the monarchy and establish a republic. The proposal was approved by 78.6% of voters with a turnout of 75.0%. This initiated the first period of the Metapolitefsi.

Absolute monarchy

Absolute monarchy (or absolutism) is a form of monarchy in which the monarch holds supreme autocratic authority, basically not being restricted by written laws, legislature, or customs. These are often hereditary monarchies. In contrast, in constitutional monarchies, the head of state's authority derives from and is legally bounded or restricted by a constitution or legislature.The popularity of the notion of absolute monarchy declined substantially after the French Revolution, which promoted theories of government based on popular sovereignty.

Some monarchies have a weak or symbolic legislature and other governmental bodies the monarch can alter or dissolve at will. Countries where monarchs still maintain absolute power are: Brunei, Eswatini, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the individual emirates composing the United Arab Emirates, which itself is a federation of such monarchies– a federal monarchy.

Constitutional monarchy

A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the sovereign exercises authority in accordance with a written or unwritten constitution. Constitutional monarchy differs from absolute monarchy (in which a monarch holds absolute power) in that constitutional monarchs are bound to exercise their powers and authorities within the limits prescribed within an established legal framework. Constitutional monarchies range from countries such as Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain, where the constitution grants substantial discretionary powers to the sovereign, to countries such as Japan and Sweden where the monarch retains no formal authorities.

Constitutional monarchy may refer to a system in which the monarch acts as a non-party political head of state under the constitution, whether written or unwritten. While most monarchs may hold formal authority and the government may legally operate in the monarch's name, in the form typical in Europe the monarch no longer personally sets public policy or chooses political leaders. Political scientist Vernon Bogdanor, paraphrasing Thomas Macaulay, has defined a constitutional monarch as "A sovereign who reigns but does not rule".In addition to acting as a visible symbol of national unity, a constitutional monarch may hold formal powers such as dissolving parliament or giving royal assent to legislation. However, the exercise of such powers is largely strictly in accordance with either written constitutional principles or unwritten constitutional conventions, rather than any personal political preference imposed by the sovereign. In The English Constitution, British political theorist Walter Bagehot identified three main political rights which a constitutional monarch may freely exercise: the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, and the right to warn. Many constitutional monarchies still retain significant authorities or political influence however, such as through certain reserve powers, and may also play an important political role.

The United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms are all constitutional monarchies in the Westminster system of constitutional governance. Two constitutional monarchies – Malaysia and Cambodia – are elective monarchies, wherein the ruler is periodically selected by a small electoral college.

Strongly limited constitutional monarchies can be called crowned republics.

The concept of semi-constitutional monarchy identifies constitutional monarchies with less parliamentary powers. Because of this, constitutional monarchies are also called 'parliamentary monarchies' to differentiate them from semi-constitutional monarchies.

Criticism of monarchy

Criticism of monarchy can be targeted against the general form of government—monarchy—or more specifically, to particular monarchical governments as controlled by hereditary royal families. In some cases, this criticism can be curtailed by legal restrictions and be considered criminal speech, as in lèse-majesté. Monarchies in Europe and their underlying concepts, such as the Divine Right of Kings, were often criticized during the Age of Enlightenment, which notably paved the way to the French Revolution and the proclamation of the abolition of the monarchy in France. Earlier, the American Revolution had seen the Patriots suppress the Loyalists and expel all royal officials. In this century, monarchies are present in the world in many forms with different degrees of royal power and involvement in civil affairs:

Absolute monarchies in Brunei, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Swaziland, the United Arab Emirates, and the Vatican City;

Constitutional monarchies in the United Kingdom and its sovereign's Commonwealth Realms, and in Belgium, Denmark, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, and others.The twentieth century, beginning with the 1917 February Revolution in Russia and accelerated by two world wars, saw many European countries replace their monarchies by republics, while others replaced their absolute monarchy with constitutional monarchy. Reverse movements have also occurred, with brief returns of the monarchy in France under the Bourbon Restoration, the July Monarchy, and the Second French Empire, the Stuarts after the English Civil War and the Bourbons in Spain after the Franco dictatorship.


An edict is a decree or announcement of a law, often associated with monarchism, but it can be under any official authority. Synonyms include dictum and pronouncement.

Edict derives from the Latin edictum. In the late 15th century the spelling was edycte and known as meaning a "proclamation having the force of law".

Federal monarchy

A federal monarchy is a federation of states with a single monarch as over-all head of the federation, but retaining different monarchs, or a non-monarchical system of government, in the various states joined to the federation.

Kingdom of Portugal

The Kingdom of Portugal (Latin: Regnum Portugalliae, Portuguese: Reino de Portugal) was a monarchy on the Iberian Peninsula and the predecessor of modern Portugal. It was in existence from 1139 until 1910. After 1415, it was also known as the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves, and between 1815 and 1822, it was known as the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves. The name is also often applied to the Portuguese Empire, the realm's extensive overseas colonies.

The nucleus of the Portuguese state was the County of Portugal, established in the 9th century as part of the Reconquista, by Vímara Peres, a vassal of the King of Asturias. The county became part of the Kingdom of León in 1097, and the Counts of Portugal established themselves as rulers of an independent kingdom in the 12th century, following the battle of São Mamede. The kingdom was ruled by the Alfonsine Dynasty until the 1383–85 Crisis, after which the monarchy passed to the House of Aviz.

During the 15th and 16th century, Portuguese exploration established a vast colonial empire. From 1580 to 1640, the Kingdom of Portugal was in personal union with Habsburg Spain.

After the Portuguese Restoration War of 1640–1668, the kingdom passed to the House of Braganza and thereafter to the House of Braganza-Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. From this time, the influence of Portugal declined, but it remained a major power due to its most valuable colony, Brazil. After the independence of Brazil, Portugal sought to establish itself in Africa, but was ultimately forced to yield to the British interests, leading to the collapse of the monarchy in the 5 October 1910 revolution and the establishment of the First Portuguese Republic.

Portugal was an absolute monarchy before 1822. It rotated between absolute and constitutional monarchy from 1822 until 1834, and was a constitutional monarchy after 1834.

Monarchies in Europe

Monarchy was the prevalent form of government in the history of Europe throughout the Middle Ages, only occasionally competing with

communalism, notably in the case of the Maritime republics and the Swiss Confederacy.

Republicanism became more prevalent in the Early Modern period, but monarchy remained predominant in Europe during the 19th century.

Since the end of World War I, however, most European monarchies have been abolished. There remain, as of 2016, twelve (12) sovereign monarchies in Europe. Of these, seven are kingdoms: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom of Great Britain, and Northern Ireland are of pre-modern origin. The kingdoms of the Netherlands and of Belgium were established in 1815 and 1830, respectively. The Kingdom of Spain, was founded in 1479, it was abolished in 1931, and restored in 1947/69, before Spain transitioned to democracy in 1978 as a constitutional monarchy.

The principalities of Andorra, Liechtenstein, and Monaco and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg were restored as sovereign states in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. The State of the Vatican City was recognized as a sovereign state administered by the Holy See in 1929.

Ten of these monarchies are hereditary, and two are elective: Vatican City (the Pope, elected at the papal conclave), and Andorra (technically a semi-elective diarchy, the joint heads of state being the elected President of France and the Bishop of Urgell, appointed by the Pope).

Most of the monarchies in Europe are constitutional monarchies, which means that the monarch does not influence the politics of the state: either the monarch is legally prohibited from doing so, or the monarch does not utilize the political powers vested in the office by convention. The exceptions are Liechtenstein and Monaco, which are usually considered semi-constitutional monarchies due to the large influence the princes still have on politics, and Vatican City, which is a theocratic absolute elective monarchy. There is currently no major campaign to abolish the monarchy (see monarchism and republicanism) in any of the twelve states, although there is a significant minority of republicans in many of them (e.g. the political organisation Republic in the United Kingdom). Currently seven of the twelve monarchies are members of the European Union: Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

At the start of the 20th century, France, Switzerland and San Marino were the only European nations to have a republican form of government. The ascent of republicanism to the political mainstream started only at the beginning of the 20th century, facilitated by the toppling of various European monarchies through war or revolution; as at the beginning of the 21st century, most of the states in Europe are republics with either a directly or indirectly elected head of state.

Monarchism in Iran

Iranian monarchism is the advocacy of restoring the constitutional monarchy in Iran, which was abolished after the 1979 Revolution.

Monarchy of Ireland

A monarchical system of government existed in Ireland from ancient times until—for what became the Republic of Ireland—the early twentieth century. Northern Ireland, as part of the United Kingdom, remains under a monarchical system of government. The Gaelic kingdoms of Ireland ended with the Norman invasion of Ireland, when the kingdom became a fief of the Holy See under the Lordship of the King of England. This lasted until the Parliament of Ireland conferred the crown of Ireland upon King Henry VIII of England during the English Reformation. The monarch of England held the crowns of England and Ireland in a personal union. The Union of the Crowns in 1603 expanded the personal union to include Scotland. The personal union between England and Scotland became a political union with the enactments of the Acts of Union 1707, which created the Kingdom of Great Britain. The crowns of Great Britain and Ireland remained in personal union until it was ended by the Acts of Union 1800, which united Ireland and Great Britain into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from January 1801 until December 1922.

After that date, most of Ireland left the United Kingdom to become the largely independent Irish Free State, a dominion within the British Empire; the remaining part, Northern Ireland, elected to remain in the United Kingdom. Both the Free State and the United Kingdom, which changed its name to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1927, had the same person as monarch: George V. In 1937, the year after George V's death, the Free State adopted a new constitution which changed the state's name to Ireland (or Éire) and removed all mention of the monarch. In April 1949, Ireland was declared a republic, with the description of the Republic of Ireland, and it left the Commonwealth of Nations. Since April 1949, the only part of the island of Ireland that has retained a monarchical system is Northern Ireland (as part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland).

Possible monorchism of Adolf Hitler

The possibility that Adolf Hitler had only one testicle has been a fringe subject among historians and academics researching the German leader. The rumour may be an urban myth, possibly originating from the contemporary British military song "Hitler Has Only Got One Ball". Nevertheless, research, eyewitness testimony and historical study have not been able to prove or disprove the suggestion.

Hitler's doctor Erwin Giesing and his personal physician Theodor Morell disregarded the idea of Hitler's monorchism and said there was nothing wrong with Hitler's testicles. In December 2015, it was reported that doctor's notes from Landsberg Prison recorded that Hitler had "right-sided cryptorchidism".


Republican can refer to:

An advocate of a republic, a form of government that is not a monarchy or dictatorship, and is usually associated with the rule of law

Republicanism, the ideology in support of republics or against monarchy; the opposite of monarchism

Republicanism in Australia

Republicanism in Barbados

Republicanism in Canada

Republicanism in Ireland

Republicanism in Morocco

Republicanism in the Netherlands

Republicanism in New Zealand

Republicanism in Spain

Republicanism in Sweden

Republicanism in Turkey

Republicanism in the United Kingdom

Republicanism in the United States

Classical republicanism, republicanism as formulated in the Renaissance

A member of a Republican Party:

List of Republican Parties

Republican Party (United States), one of the two main parties in the U.S.

Fianna Fáil, a conservative political party in Ireland

The Republicans (France), the main centre-right political party in France

List of Republican People's Parties

Institutions or supporters of particular governments that called themselves republics, including:

List of republics

Roman Republic, as well as supporters of the Republic during the Roman Empire

Second Spanish Republic, during the Spanish Civil War, as well as its supporters

Various French Republics, most notably the First Republic established during the French Revolution and the Second Republic, the first post-Revolution republic in France

Republican faction (Spanish Civil War)

Republicanism in the United Kingdom

Republicanism in the United Kingdom is the political movement that seeks to replace the United Kingdom's monarchy with a republic. For those who want a non-hereditary head of state, the method by which one should be chosen is not agreed upon, with some favouring an elected president, some an appointed head of state with little power. Others support something akin to the Swiss model, with a directorate functioning as a collective head of state.

Monarchy has been the form of government used in the countries that now make up the United Kingdom since the Middle Ages. However, a republican government existed in England and Wales, later along with Ireland and Scotland, in the mid-17th century as a result of the Parliamentarian victory in the English Civil War. The Commonwealth of England, as the period was called, lasted from the execution of Charles I in 1649 until the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660.

The main lobby group that campaigns for the abolition of the monarchy is Republic.


A royalist supports a particular monarch as head of state for a particular kingdom, or of a particular dynastic claim. In the abstract, this position is royalism. It is distinct from monarchism, which advocates a monarchical system of government, but not necessarily a particular monarch. Most often, the term royalist is applied to a supporter of a current regime or one that has been recently overthrown to form a republic.

In the United Kingdom, today the term is almost indistinguishable from "monarchist" because there are no significant rival claimants to the throne. Conversely, in 19th-century France, a royalist might be either a Legitimist, Bonapartist, or an Orléanist, all being monarchists.

Totalitarian democracy

Totalitarian democracy is a term popularized by Israeli historian J. L. Talmon to refer to a system of government in which lawfully elected representatives maintain the integrity of a nation state whose citizens, while granted the right to vote, have little or no participation in the decision-making process of the government. The phrase had previously been used by Bertrand de Jouvenel and E. H. Carr, and subsequently by F. William Engdahl and Sheldon S. Wolin.

Unionist Party (South Africa)

The Unionist Party (Afrikaans: Unionisteparty, UP) was a pre-apartheid South African political party, which contested elections to the Union of South Africa parliament from the 1910 South African general election until its merger into the South African Party just before the 1921 South African general election.

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