Other real-life monarchies around the world. These ones are not as famous as The House Of Windsor
, mostly turning up in their own countries.
Current monarchs and royals:
- Letsie III, King of Lesotho—Dynasty: House of Moshesh—His kingdom is a constitutional monarchy. Was originally made king in 1990, but abdicated in 1995 to return power to his deposed father. However, tragedy struck in 1996 when his father was killed in a car accident, and Letsie was once again crowned.
- Mohammed VI, King of Morocco—Dynasty: Alaouite—Became king in 1999, and has spent his time trying to modernize his nation. Attempts to reform the law to give women more freedom have ignited the anger of Islamic Fundamentalists.
- Mswati III, King of Swaziland —House of Diamini—Though an absolute monarch with the power to appoint the government, he cannot appoint his own heir. Is something of an odd duck due to his indulging in polygamy (with currently fourteen wives) and also attempted to curb the AIDS epidemic by enacting a five year ban on all sex in the Kingdom amongst women under eighteen years of age... which he then violated by marrying a 17-year-old.
Note: You'll see that these mostly have "Al Something" in their name. That is the name of the house: Āl
is Arabic for "House" or "Clan
", and is different from Al-
(an affix, not an independent word, that means "the").
- Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain—Dynasty: House of Khalifa—Previously a Sheikdom, Hamad proclaimed Bahrain as a kingdom in 2002. Since he is a Sunni Muslim he gives them more power and benefits, to the detriment of the majority Shia of the country; this in turn has contributed to the unrest of the country during the protests in the Arab World. Curiously, most don’t have a problem with him being in the power; the problem is with the rest of his government.
- Abdullah II, King of Jordan—Dynasty: House of Hashim—Son of King Hussein and his English second wife. Retains significant power in his native country, but the monarchy is constitutional and he shares some power with Parliament. An avowed nerd, he once guest-starred in Star Trek: Voyager.
- Sabah IV Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah, Emir of Kuwait— Dynasty: House of Sabah—Proof of the fact that, smaller the country, bigger the power the monarch has. Sabah IV has full power to appoint and dismiss anyone on his government and is immune and inviolable regarding the law. He enjoys frequent trips to Oman, where he owns an island. He also is an advocate for women’s rights, an oddity in the Middle East.
- Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Sultan of Oman—Dynasty: House of Said—He assumed power when he headed a coup d’etat against his father, who had him under house arrest. A classical music fan.
- Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar—Dynasty: House of Thani—He too took the crown after he deposed his father in a coup. Owner of a Badass Mustache, he’s considered very progressive and tries to keep good relations with Israel, unlike most of the neighborhood. Another sports fan, he even managed to make his country the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
- Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia—Dynasty: House of Saud—Son of Abdul Aziz, who created the modern Arabian state in 1902, King Abdullah is the fifth of his 65 children to rule the largest Arab monarchy in the world today. Unlike most other examples on this list, most of which are constitutional monarchies where the monarch has limited effective power, Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, and Abdullah has tremendous rein over the government.
- In addition, the crown of Saudi Arabia is an elective monarchy that follows agnatic seniority as a general guideline. As a result, the heir-presumptive is the eldest surviving brother of the King, and is usually made heir-apparent (Crown Prince) by a vote of the Allegiance Council—a group of the 30 or so most senior princes of the House. At present, the heir is Salman bin Abdul Aziz, aged 76; he is the third Crown Prince during the reign of King Abdullah (previous Crown Princes Sultan and Nayef, died in 2011 and 2012).
- Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates — A very atypical monarchy. The UAE are a union of emirates, each ruled by a different emir, joined in a federation recognized worldwide as one state. The job of President of UAE goes to the Emir of Abu Dhabi (Khalifa) and the job of Prime Minister goes to the Emir of Dubai (Mohammed). Khalifa is known for his philanthropy while Mohammed is a fanatic of thoroughbred horse racing.
- Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, King of Bhutan—Dynasty: House of Wangchuck—Known in his country as the Druk Gyalpo (Dragon King) of Bhutan, he assumed the throne in 2006 when his father Jigme Singye Wangchuck abdicated in his favour as part of a managed transition to democracy. He has dedicated mainly to promote Buddhism outside his country. He also seems to be Mr. Fanservice, which became apparent when he assisted the crowning of Rama IX and ended up attracting hordes of female fans (he was nicknamed “Prince Charming” by the media).
- Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan of Brunei—Dynasty: House of Bolkiah—Currently the 29th Sultan of Brunei who has been ruling for over 45 years. Is well love by his subjects for sharing the country's wealth from Oil and Gas to help the people's welfare. The Sultan is Sandhurst graduate and has a large car collection. Also his late father and Queen Elizabeth II were good friends.
- Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia—Dynasty: House of Norodom—An accomplished dance instructor and embassador to UNESCO, owner of a Bald of Awesome, he actually has no power more than being a symbolic figurehead. Became king in 2004 when his father abdicated. He has no children, but that’s not a problem because the King is chosen by a council, even if an heir existed. Cambodia is a really odd country in that it's a constitutional monarchy in the complete sense—i.e. the king does nothing—but the Prime Minister (the ex-communist Hun Sen) runs a fairly repressive regime. The only other places in modern history where this arrangement lasted any significant amount of time are Fascist Italy, Imperial Japan, and a few stints of dictatorship in Thailand. (Other constitutional monarchies have been authoritarian regimes, of course, but the king tends to have power and not be a mere figurehead.)
- Mizan Zainal Abidin, King of Malaysia — Actually, his title is Yang di-Pertuan Agong, meaning “He who is made Lord”. Full name Al-Wathiqu Billah Tuanku Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah. The Malaysian monarchy is unique because the ruler is elected from the Rulers of the Malay states by a council and is rotated on a five-year period basis. Mostly ceremonial. An avid sports fan.
- Rama IX (Bhumibol Adulyadej), King of Thailand—Dynasty: House of Chakri—Longest-reigning head of state in the world today, much beloved anyway but also subject of a cult of personality that all but deifies him. His great-great-great-grandfather, Rama IV (Mongkut), was the subject of the musical and film The King and I. Hilarity ensued in 2007 when a flap broke out between the Thai government and Youtube over the latter's hosting a video mocking the king, an act which is illegal in Thailand. After Youtube removed the video, international visitors cried censorship, and published hundreds of similar videos. Rama himself is a Cool Old Guy who plays jazz saxophone, competes in yacht races, and is the world's only monarch to hold a patent (on a waste water aerator and a variety of rainmaking techniques, in case you were wondering). The Thais are normally calm people, but just don't insult the royal family in front of a Thai, unless you wanna receive an Ong Bak worthy hit to your vital regions all and sundry. Even in the recent and numerous coups d'etat in Thailand, the first act of the new ruling bloc has been to swear its loyalty to the king.
- Akihito, Emperor of Japan — Emperor of Japan since 1989, 125th in a line that according to tradition dates back to 660 BC. A marine biologist.
- Joan Enric Vives Sicília and Francois Hollande, Co-Princes of Andorra — A very atypical monarchy. Thanks to Andorra's strange ancient constitution, the country is co-ruled by two monarchs referred to as Princes. Each of the Princes are actually from the foreign nations of France and Spain: one is the Bishop of Urgell in Spain, and the other is the President of France (originally the Count of Foix, a title which later became contiguous with the French monarchy and later the presidency). Both Princes have very few powers constitutionally.
- Albert II, King of Belgium–-Dynasty: House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Or perhaps House of Belgium.—The proper title is King of the Belgians, making him the only popular monarch left in the world. He took the crown almost a month after his predecessor died (Belgium’s monarchy being the only European one where the new king doesn’t ascend automatically but rather when he takes oath). There's a lack of clarity about the name of the royal house, since they changed it in World War I for more or less the same reasons as their British cousins the Windsors, but they haven't objected terribly about using the old name since then. The current King is also a first cousin of King Harald V of Norway.
- Margrethe II, Queen of Denmark—Dynasty: House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (usually shortened to "House of Glücksburg")— Queen regnant since 1972. She is an accomplished artist who actually illustrated the Danish edition of The Lord of the Rings. As she is also a competent translator, some people claim she helped translate it as well. Also a chain smoker, which formed part of a scene in Borgen.
- Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein—Dynasty: House of Liechtensteinnote —One of the wealthiest heads of state with a personal worth of over £2 billion. Recently threatened to leave with the Royal Family to Austria if a Constitutional shake-up was not agreed upon. Arguably one of the most powerful monarchs in Europe, in terms of practical political power; unlike most European monarchs, he actually does have an effect over the government.
- Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg—Dynasty: House of Bourbon-Parma—Has been Grand Duke of his microstate since 2000. Being a constitutional monarch, he has very little power, but he does have a (rarely-used) veto power that he tried to use to stop a euthanasia/assisted suicide bill passed in 2008.
- Albert II, Prince of Monaco—Dynasty: House of Grimaldi—New (since 2005) Prince of Monaco. A longtime bachelor with at least two confirmed children (by different women) born out of wedlock, he finally got engaged to a former South African Olympic swimmer 30 years his junior. Another noted marine conservationist. Also son of Grace Kelly.
- Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands—Dynasty: House of Orange—Ascended the throne upon the abdication of his mother on April 30, 2013. The first reigning King of the Netherlands since 1890, his predecessors (Queens Wilhelmina, Juliana, and Beatrix) all having been queens regnant. A sports fan and water conservationist.
- Harald V, King of Norway—Dynasty: House of House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg—The first Norwegian king in recent times to actually be born in Norway. Norway also adopted an Absolute Primogeniture at about the same time as Sweden, but let the then-crown prince keep his role rather than switching it to his older sister.
- Juan Carlos I, King of Spain—Dynasty: House of Bourbon—Full name Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilias, King of Spain since 1975. Restored Spanish democracy (after decades of Francoist rule). Recently told Hugo Chávez to 'shut up' after the former lambasted ex-Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar at a summit, creating an automatic Memetic Mutation on the Hispanic world. Once competed in the Olympics. He also had an official picture of him appropriated for a promotional image of Magneto for the House of M miniseries.
- Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden—Dynasty: House of Bernadotte—The only references to the monarchy of Sweden in English that troper are aware of are the song "Minnie the Moocher", and Casey And Andy, in which the man himself was a freeloader who did nothing but sit on the couch all day. The Swedish monarchy was the first to adopt "Equal" or "Absolute Primogeniture" in 1980, meaning that the eldest child inherits the throne regardless of their gender. This meant that the, at the time 7 months old, then Crown Prince Carl Philip was stripped of his status in favour of his older sister Victoria. Crown Princess Victoria was the only direct female heir apparent of a throne in the world for 33 years.
- Francis, The Pope of the Vatican City — While the Roman Catholic papacy is not a monarchy in the typical sense of the term, the Pope is nonetheless a major player in world politics and a spiritual leader for the over 1 billion Roman Catholics worldwide. Pope Francis is the 266th Pope and the first from the Americas. See The Pope.
- Tupou VI, King of Tonga—Dynasty: House of Tupou— King of Tonga, an island chain in Polynesia. Recently ascended the throne on the death of his elder brother, George Tupou V.
Additionally, HM The Queen
serves as Paramount Chief of the Republic of Fiji. Whether this title will remain tied to the British crown is unclear.
Historical (dead) monarchs and royals:
- Kaiser Wilhelm II (House of Hohenzollern): Last Kaiser of Germany. His role in the First World War naturally made him a hate figure among the Allies. He had a withered left arm, and wasn't a Nazi. Seriously. Every time people make that mistake, one of us history nerds gets boils from the raw stupid. Also, he had an awesome hat. Also, he was the oldest grandchild of Queen Vicky.
- His full title was (brace yourself): His Imperial and Royal Majesty William the Second, by the Grace of God, German Emperor and King of Prussia, Margrave of Brandenburg, Burgrave of Nuremberg, Count of Hohenzollern, Duke of Silesia and of the County of Glatz, Grand Duke of the Lower Rhine and of Posen, Duke in Saxony, of Angria, of Westphalia, of Pomerania and of Lunenburg, Duke of Schleswig, of Holstein and of Crossen, Duke of Magdeburg, of Bremen, of Guelderland and of Jülich, Cleves and Berg, Duke of the Wends and the Kashubians, of Lauenburg and of Mecklenburg, Landgrave of Hesse and in Thuringia, Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia, Prince of Orange, of Rugen, of East Friesland, of Paderborn and of Pyrmont, Prince of Halberstadt, of Münster, of Minden, of Osnabrück, of Hildesheim, of Verden, of Kammin, of Fulda, of Nassau and of Moers, Princely Count of Henneberg, Count of the Mark, of Ravensberg, of Hohenstein, of Tecklenburg and of Lingen, Count of Mansfeld, of Sigmaringen and of Veringen, Lord of Frankfurt.
- Let's be thankful for this one. There are at least three places he was ruler of which are not mentioned there, and there were probably more, so it could have been even worse. Still cant help but wonder if he remembered it himself.
- Nicholas II of Russia (House of Romanov): Last Tsar of Russia before the February Revolution, and generally portrayed as a nice but hopeless chap who was caught up in events too big for him to handle. Currently an Orthodox Saint.
- Whose own full title happened to be: Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias, of Moscow, Kiev, Vladimir, Novgorod, Tsar of Kazan, Tsar of Astrakhan, King of Poland, Tsar of Siberia, Tsar of Tauric Chersonesos, Tsar of Georgia, Lord of Pskov, and Grand Duke of Smolensk, Lithuania, Volhynia, Podolia, and Finland, Prince of Estonia, Livonia, Courland and Semigalia, Samogitia, Belostok, Karelia, of Tver, Yugra, Perm, Vyatka, Bulgaria, and other territories; Lord and Grand Duke of Nizhny Novgorod, Chernigov; Sovereign of Ryazan, Polotsk, Rostov, Yaroslavl, Beloozero, Udoria, Obdoria, Kondia, Vitebsk, Mstislav, and all the northern territories; and Sovereign of Iveria, Kartalinia, and the Kabardinian lands and Armenian territories; Hereditary Lord and Ruler of the Cherkass and Mountain Princes and others; Lord of Turkestan, Heir of Norway, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, Stormarn, Dithmarschen, Oldenburg, and so forth, and so forth, and so forth.
- Also happened to be the wealthiest saint in record, the estimated third wealthiest calculable historical figure ever (behind two great early American capitalists), and the wealthiest Russian Tsar. In a country where the majority of the population was illiterate and existed in effective serfdom, these may have been some of the grievances that ultimately got him removed and executed.
- Grand Duchess Anastasia (Romanov): When she wasn't found among the executed Romanovs, many thought she was alive and a number of movies have been made about her. As it turns out, she was among the executed Romanovs. Ah well.
- People thought she was alive decades before the Romanov's burial site was found. The first whispers were as early as 1919. If anything, the "Anastasia lives" trope was far stronger and far more widely believed in the West before the tomb was found than afterwards. (If it matters, it's now thought that Anastasia actually was one of those recovered from the tomb; the remains found later on were probably her sister Marie's.)
- Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary (House of Habsburg-Lorraine): Aka the other Kaiser, he was among Europe's longest reigning monarchs, outliving his contemporary, Queen Victoria. Also known for having endured a horrific stream of personal (and ultimately nationwide) disasters with nigh impregnable stride.
- Emperor Karl (or Karl IV in Hungary): Franz Joseph's successor and the last Habsburg monarch. Made attempts at brokering peace while trying to keep his crumbling empire together. Made two (failed) efforts at restoring the throne in Hungary in the 1920s. He would die exiled in Madeira, although his son/heir Otto would live on until 2011.
- Leopold II of Belgium: Pretty nasty king, mainly remembered for the whole Congo Free State scandal, where he ran the place like his own personal fiefdom*, forcing the inhabitants to produce high volumes of rubber or face mutilation. Eventually a propaganda war forced him to pass the territory to the monarchy.
- Dom Pedro II of Brazil (House of Braganza): Second and last Emperor of Brazil. Highly loved and respected, not only by his own people, but also internationally, as a humble and hard-working man completely dedicated to the growth of his country (including the abolition of slavery, a controversial move at the time in Brazil). Under that public façade, however, there was a very sad man who never wanted the crown and resented the fact that he couldn’t have a simple life. He was deposed by a handful of hardline military leaders with no popular support; Pedro was so tired of the crown that refused to offer resistance and went to exile on his own volition.
- Ferdinand VII of Spain: A very polarizing king in his home* (though not the worse of the lot, arguably). He not only disputed the crown with Napoleon’s brother during almost all his reign, but also lost almost all its colonies in America.