List of current monarchs of sovereign states

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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.[1] Monarchs may be autocrats (as in all absolute monarchies)[2] 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).[3] In many cases, a monarch will also be linked with a state religion.[4] 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.[5] Cases in which two monarchs rule simultaneously over a single state, as is the current situation in Andorra, are known as coregencies.[6]

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,[7] 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.[6][8] 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.[9] These systems defy the model concept of a monarchy, but are commonly considered as such because they retain certain associative characteristics.[10] 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.[11][12]

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 a list of former ruling families or abolished thrones, see: former ruling families.

Monarchs by country[edit]

Legend[edit]

Monarch Since House Type Succession
Description Name of monarch, preceded by title, with link to list of predecessors. Date of assumption of throne; coronation date listed in footnotes. Name of royal family, with information on bloodline. Form of monarchy, with information on role of the monarch within government. Method or pattern of succession, with link to current line of succession.

List[edit]

Realm / Kingdom Monarch
(Birth)
Since Length House Type Heir to the throne Ref.
Principality of Andorra Emmanuel Macron in 2019.jpg Co-Prince Emmanuel Macron[fn 1]
(b. 1977)
14 May 2017 5 years, 97 days N/A Constitutional Ex officio [13][14]
Mons. Vives (30612833490).jpg Co-Prince Archbishop Joan Enric Vives i Sicília[fn 1]
(b. 1949)
12 May 2003 19 years, 99 days
Antigua and Barbuda Queen Elizabeth II in March 2015.jpg Queen Elizabeth II[fn 2]
(b. 1926)
1 November 1981[fn 3] 40 years, 291 days Windsor[fn 4] Constitutional Charles, Prince of Wales [15][16]
Commonwealth of Australia 6 February 1952 70 years, 194 days Constitutional [15][17]
Commonwealth of the Bahamas 10 July 1973[fn 3] 49 years, 40 days Constitutional [15][18]
Belize 21 September 1981[fn 3] 40 years, 332 days Constitutional [15][19]
Canada 6 February 1952 70 years, 194 days Constitutional [15][20]
Grenada 7 February 1974[fn 3] 48 years, 193 days Constitutional [15][21]
Jamaica 6 August 1962[fn 3] 60 years, 13 days Constitutional [15][22]
Realm of New Zealand 6 February 1952 70 years, 194 days Constitutional [15][23]
Independent State of Papua New Guinea 16 September 1975[fn 5] 46 years, 337 days Constitutional [15][24]
Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis 19 September 1983[fn 3] 38 years, 334 days Constitutional [15][25]
Saint Lucia 22 February 1979[fn 3] 43 years, 178 days Constitutional [15][26]
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 27 October 1979[fn 3] 42 years, 296 days Constitutional [15][27]
Solomon Islands 7 July 1978[fn 3] 44 years, 43 days Constitutional [15][28]
Tuvalu 1 October 1978[fn 3] 43 years, 322 days Constitutional [15][29]
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 6 February 1952[fn 6] 70 years, 194 days Constitutional [15]
Kingdom of Bahrain Donald Trump meets with King Hamed bin Issa of Bahrain, May 2017 (cropped).jpg King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
(b. 1950)
6 March 1999[fn 7] 23 years, 166 days Al Khalifa[fn 8] Mixed Salman, Crown Prince of Bahrain [31]
Kingdom of Belgium Sergio Mattarella and Belgian King Philippe at Quirinale in 2021 (6) (cropped).jpg King Philippe
(b. 1960)
21 July 2013 9 years, 29 days Saxe-Coburg and Gotha[fn 4] Constitutional Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant[fn 9] [36]
Kingdom of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck at the Enthronement of Naruhito.jpg King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
(b. 1980)
14 December 2006[fn 10] 15 years, 247 days Wangchuck Constitutional Jigme Namgyel [38]
Brunei Darussalam Sergio Mattarella met with Hassanal Bolkiah ahead of 2021 G20 Summit (2) (cropped).jpg Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah
(b. 1946)
5 October 1967
[dubious ][fn 11]
54 years, 318 days Bolkiah Absolute Al-Muhtadee Billah [39]
Kingdom of Cambodia King Norodom Sihamoni (2019).jpg King Norodom Sihamoni
(b. 1953)
14 October 2004[fn 12] 17 years, 309 days Norodom[fn 13] Constitutional Hereditary and elective[fn 14] [41]
Kingdom of Denmark Drottning Margrethe av Danmark crop.jpg Queen Margrethe II
(b. 1940)
14 January 1972 50 years, 217 days Glücksburg[fn 15] Constitutional Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark [45]
Kingdom of Eswatini King Mswati III 2014.jpg King Mswati III
(b. 1968)
25 April 1986 36 years, 116 days Dlamini Absolute Hereditary and elective[fn 16] [48]
Japan Emperor Naruhito at TICAD7 (cropped).jpg Emperor Naruhito[fn 17]
(b. 1960)
1 May 2019[fn 18] 3 years, 110 days Yamato[fn 19] Constitutional Fumihito, Prince Akishino (Presumptive heir) [54]
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan King Abdullah II (cropped).jpg King Abdullah II
(b. 1962)
7 February 1999[fn 20] 23 years, 193 days Hāshim Constitutional Hereditary and elective (presumably Hussein, Crown Prince of Jordan)[fn 21] [57][58]
State of Kuwait Emir Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.jpg Emir Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
(b. 1937)
29 September 2020[fn 22] 1 year, 324 days Al Sabah[fn 8] Constitutional Hereditary and elective (presumably Mishal Al-Ahmad)[fn 23] [62]
Kingdom of Lesotho King Letsie III at the Enthronement of Naruhito (1).jpg King Letsie III
(b. 1963)
7 February 1996[fn 24] 26 years, 193 days Moshesh Constitutional Lerotholi Seeiso [63][64]
Principality of Liechtenstein Ιωάννης Αδάμ Β΄ του Λίχτενσταϊν.jpg Prince Regnant Hans-Adam II
(b. 1945)
13 November 1989[fn 25] 32 years, 279 days Liechtenstein Mixed The Hereditary Prince Alois (currently Prince Regent) [65]
Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Henri of Luxembourg (2009).jpg Grand Duke Henri
(b. 1955)
7 October 2000[fn 26] 21 years, 316 days Luxembourg-Nassau[fn 27] Constitutional Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg [67]
Malaysia King Abdullah of Pahang at the Enthronement of Naruhito (1).jpg King Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah[fn 28]
(b. 1959)
31 January 2019[fn 29] 3 years, 200 days Bendahara Constitutional Elective[fn 30] [73]
Principality of Monaco Prince Albert II 2016.jpg Sovereign Prince Albert II
(b. 1958)
6 April 2005[fn 31] 17 years, 135 days Grimaldi Mixed Jacques, Hereditary Prince of Monaco [77]
Kingdom of Morocco King Mohammed VI of Morocco, Africa Forum Summit 2015 (cropped).jpg King Mohammed VI
(b. 1963)
23 July 1999[fn 32] 23 years, 27 days Alawi Constitutional Moulay Hassan, Crown Prince of Morocco [79]
Kingdom of the Netherlands King Willem-Alexander in Hamburg.jpg King Willem-Alexander
(b. 1967)
30 April 2013 9 years, 111 days Orange-Nassau[fn 33] Constitutional Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange [82]
Kingdom of Norway Janne Jõesaar-Ruusalu presented her credentials to the King Harald V of Norway (29741494632) (cropped).jpg King Harald V
(b. 1937)
17 January 1991[fn 34] 31 years, 214 days Glücksburg[fn 15] Constitutional Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway [83]
Sultanate of Oman Secretary Pompeo Meets with the Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq Al Said (49565463757) (cropped).jpg Sultan Haitham bin Tariq
(b. 1954)
11 January 2020 2 years, 220 days Al Said Absolute Hereditary (presumably Theyazin bin Haitham) [84]
State of Qatar تميم بن حمد بن خليفة آل ثاني (49759678641) (cropped).jpg Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
(b. 1980)
25 June 2013 9 years, 55 days Al Thani Mixed[85] Abdullah bin Hamad [86]
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Salman of Saudi Arabia - 2020 (49563590728) (cropped).jpg King Salman
(b. 1935)
23 January 2015 7 years, 208 days Al Saud Absolute Mohammed bin Salman[fn 35] [88]
Kingdom of Spain King Felipe VI of Spain.jpg King Felipe VI
(b. 1968)
19 June 2014 8 years, 61 days Borbón-Anjou Constitutional Leonor, Princess of Asturias (Presumptive heir)[fn 36] [90]
Kingdom of Sweden Crafoord Prize D81 9141 (42282165922) (cropped).jpg King Carl XVI Gustaf
(b. 1946)
15 September 1973[fn 37] 48 years, 338 days Bernadotte Constitutional Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden [92]
Kingdom of Thailand สมเด็จพระเจ้าอยู่หัว 29-5-18 (9) ครอบตัด.jpg King Vajiralongkorn[fn 38]
(b. 1952)
13 October 2016[fn 39] 5 years, 310 days Chakri Constitutional Dipangkorn Rasmijoti (Presumptive heir) [97]
Kingdom of Tonga Dinner for His Majesty King Tupou VI of the Kingdom of Tonga and Her Majesty Queen Nanasipau’u 04.jpg King Tupou VI
(b. 1959)
18 March 2012 10 years, 154 days Tupou[fn 40] Constitutional Tupoutoʻa ʻUlukalala [99]
United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, May 15, 2017.jpg President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
(b. 1961)
14 May 2022 97 days Al Nahyan[fn 41] Mixed[fn 42] Hereditary and elective (presumably Khaled bin Mohamed Al Nahyan)[fn 43] [103]
Vatican City State Portrait of Pope Francis (2021).jpg Pope Francis[fn 44]
(b. 1936)
13 March 2013 9 years, 159 days N/A Absolute theocracy Elective [104]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b The president of France and the bishop of Urgell each hold the position of co-prince of Andorra, but there is no personal title attached to the role.
  2. ^ Elizabeth II is currently queen regnant of fifteen separate Commonwealth realms (see separate entries), and has previously reigned as queen of seventeen other countries, which have since abolished the monarchy.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Elizabeth II previously reigned over this country as Queen of the United Kingdom, from 6 February 1952 until the nation's independence and the creation of a separate crown.
  4. ^ a b The royal family of Belgium and the House of Windsor are both lines of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha,[33][34] which is a branch of the House of Wettin.[35]
  5. ^ Elizabeth II previously reigned over Papua New Guinea as Queen of Australia, from 6 February 1952 until the nation's independence and the creation of a separate crown.
  6. ^ Coronation took place 2 June 1953.[30]
  7. ^ Hamad bin Isa reigned as Amir of the State of Bahrain until 14 February 2002, when he assumed the new title of King of Bahrain under a new Constitution.[31]
  8. ^ a b A clan of the Utub tribe.[32]
  9. ^ The Belgian monarch does not automatically assume the throne at the death or abdication of their predecessor; they only become monarch upon taking a constitutional oath.
  10. ^ Coronation took place 6 November 2008.[37]
  11. ^ Coronation took place 1 August 1968.[39]
  12. ^ Coronation took place 29 October 2004.[40]
  13. ^ A branch of the Varman dynasty. The surname "Norodom" is used by the descendants of Norodom I.[41][42]
  14. ^ The king is selected for life by the Royal Council of the Throne from amongst the male descendants of kings Ang Duong, Norodom, and Sisowath.[43]
  15. ^ a b Officially the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, which is a branch of the House of Oldenburg.[44]
  16. ^ Succession is subject to customary law, and does not follow primogeniture. A council of elders selects who among the reigning king's wives will be mother of the next king. This woman will succeed as Ndlovukati upon her son's ascension to throne, and will rule alongside him for the duration of his reign. The king's first two wives are considered ineligible.[46][47]
  17. ^ "Naruhito" is the current emperor's given name, but it is not his regnal name, and he is never referred to as this in Japanese. The era of Naruhito's reign bears the name "Reiwa", and according to custom he will be renamed "Emperor Reiwa" following his death.[citation needed][49]
  18. ^ The formal enthronement ceremony was held on 22 October 2019.[50]
  19. ^ The Japanese emperor does not have a family name.[51][52] The use of the name "Yamato" for the household derives from the ancient Yamato Court.[53] It is used often as a name for the imperial dynasty, but has no official basis.
  20. ^ Formally enthroned on 9 June 1999.[55]
  21. ^ Succession is based upon primogeniture. However, the reigning king may also select his successor from among eligible princes.[56]
  22. ^ Formally enthroned on 30 September 2020 upon the invitation of Parliament.
  23. ^ The heir is appointed by the reigning emir, and the nomination must also be approved by a majority of members in the National Assembly.[59] The throne was traditionally alternated between the two main branches of the Al Sabah family – the Al Salem and Al Jaber – until 2006.[60][61] The current emir is of the Al Jaber branch.
  24. ^ Coronation took place 31 October 1997. Has previously reigned as king from 12 November 1990 until 25 January 1995.[63]
  25. ^ Formally enthroned on 15 August 1990.[citation needed] Prior to his accession, Hans-Adam had served as prince regent since 26 August 1984.[65] On 15 August 2004, the prince formally appointed his son Alois, Hereditary Prince of Liechtenstein as regent, in preparation for his succession to the throne, but remained head of state in accordance with the constitution.[66]
  26. ^ Prior to formal enthronement, Henri had served as prince regent since 4 March 1998.[67]
  27. ^ The royal family of Luxembourg are members of the House of Nassau-Weilburg,[68] descended from the House of Nassau and the Parma branch of the House of Bourbon.
  28. ^ Official title: Yang di-Pertuan Agong. It roughly translates as "Supreme Head of State", and is commonly rendered in English as "King".[69]
  29. ^ Elected on 24 January 2019.[70] Term of office started on 31 January 2019.[71]
  30. ^ The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is elected to a five-year term by and from amongst the nine hereditary rulers of the Malay states, who form the Council of Rulers. The position has to date been, by informal agreement, systematically rotated between the nine; the order was originally based on seniority.[72]
  31. ^ Albert II was formally enthroned as prince in a two-part ceremony, in accordance with tradition, on 12 July and 19 November 2005.[74][75] He had previously served as regent from 31 March 2005 until his accession to the throne.[76]
  32. ^ Coronation took place 30 July 1999.[78]
  33. ^ The Dutch royal family is descended from the Houses of Nassau and Lippe. [80][81]
  34. ^ Formally enthroned on 21 January 1991, and consecrated on 23 June 1991. Prior to his accession, Harald had served as prince regent since 1 June 1990.[83]
  35. ^ Succession is determined by consensus within the House of Saud as to who will be Crown Prince. This consensus may change depending on the Crown Prince's actions:[87]
  36. ^ Succession is based upon male primogeniture. However, Felipe VI currently has no male children.[89]
  37. ^ Formally enthroned on 19 September 1973.[91]
  38. ^ Name is also written as Mahawachiralongkon.[93] He is also styled Rama X.[94]
  39. ^ Vajiralongkorn was proclaimed King on 1 December 2016 with retroactive effect to the date of his father's death.[94] The coronation took place from 4 – 6 May 2019.[95][96]
  40. ^ A line of the Tuʻi Kanokupolu dynasty.[98][99]
  41. ^ The Al Nahyan are a branch of the Al Falahi, a clan of the Yas tribe.[100]
  42. ^ The Prime Minister is the head of the government. However, with the consent of the Supreme Council, the office is appointed by the President, who retains considerable power.[101]
  43. ^ According to the Constitution, the President of the United Arab Emirates is elected by the Federal Supreme Council from among the individual rulers of the seven emirates.[101] However, by informal agreement the Presidency is always passed to the head of the Al Nahyan clan, the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi (see constituent monarchs), which makes it a de facto hereditary position. In addition, the appointed Prime Minister has always been the head of the Al Maktoum clan and Sheikh of Dubai.[102]
  44. ^ As Sovereign of the Vatican City State, by virtue of being Bishop of Rome.

References[edit]

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