Portal:Monarchy

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The Monarchy Portal

Richard I of England being anointed during his coronation in Westminster Abbey, from a 13th-century chronicle.

A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch, is head of state for life or until abdication. The political legitimacy and authority of the monarch may vary from restricted and largely symbolic ( constitutional monarchy), to fully autocratic ( absolute monarchy), and can expand across the domains of the executive, legislative, and judicial. A monarchy can be a polity through unity, personal union, vassalage or federation, and monarchs can carry various titles such as emperor, king, queen, raja, khan, caliph, tsar, sultan, shah, or pharaoh.

In most cases, the succession of monarchies is hereditary, often building dynastic periods, however elective and self-proclaimed monarchies are possible. Aristocrats, though not inherent to monarchies, often serve as the pool of persons to draw the monarch from and fill the constituting institutions (e.g. diet and court), giving many monarchies oligarchic elements.

Monarchies were the most common form of government until the 20th century. Today forty-four sovereign nations in the world have a monarch, including sixteen Commonwealth realms that have Elizabeth II as the head of state. Other than that there are a range of sub-national monarchical entities. Modern monarchies tend to be constitutional monarchies, retaining under a constitution unique legal and ceremonial roles for the monarch, exercising limited or no political power, similar to heads of state in a parliamentary republic.

The opposing and alternative form of government to monarchy has become the republic (see republicanism). ( Full article...)

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King Alexander of Greece
Alexander (1893–1920) was King of Greece from 11 June 1917 until his death at the age of 27. He succeeded his father, King Constantine I, in 1917, after the Entente Powers of World War I and followers of Eleftherios Venizelos pushed the king and his eldest son Crown Prince George into exile. Venizelos, as prime minister, became the effective ruler with the support of the Entente. Though reduced to the status of a puppet king, Alexander supported Greek troops during their war against the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria. Under his reign, Greece expanded, following the victory of the Entente and the early stages of the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922. Alexander married the commoner Aspasia Manos in 1919, provoking a major scandal that forced the couple to leave Greece for several months. Soon after returning to Greece with his wife, Alexander was bitten by a domestic Barbary macaque and died of septicemia. The sudden death of the sovereign contributed to the fall of the Venizelist regime. After a general election and a referendum, Constantine I was restored.


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Nagoya Castle
Credit: Samuel Louie

The main donjon of Nagoya Castle, a Japanese castle found in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture. It was destroyed in World War II, but the donjon was reconstructed in 1959 with the use of modern materials such as steel beams and concrete.

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Sālote Tupou III
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Sālote Tupou III was the first Queen regnant and third Monarch of the Kingdom of Tonga from 1918 to her death in 1965. She reigned for nearly 48 years, longer than any other Tongan Monarch.

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Elizabeth II
The monarchy of the United Kingdom is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom, its dependencies and its overseas territories. The current monarch and head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, ascended the throne on the death of her father, King George VI, on 6 February 1952. The monarch and his or her immediate family undertake various official, ceremonial, diplomatic and representational duties. As the monarchy is constitutional, the monarch is limited to non-partisan functions such as bestowing honours and appointing the Prime Minister. The monarch is commander-in-chief of the British Armed Forces. Though the ultimate formal executive authority over the government of the United Kingdom is still by and through the monarch's royal prerogative, these powers may only be used according to laws enacted in Parliament and, in practice, within the constraints of convention and precedent.The British monarchy traces its origins from the petty kingdoms of early medieval Scotland and Anglo-Saxon England, which consolidated into the kingdoms of England and Scotland by the 10th century AD. In 1066, the last crowned Anglo-Saxon monarch, Harold Godwinson, was defeated and killed during the Norman conquest of England and the English monarchy passed to the Normans' victorious leader, William the Conqueror, and his descendants.


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Marie Antoinette, Queen of France
Courage! I have shown it for years; think you I shall lose it at the moment when my sufferings are to end?
Marie Antoinette, Responding to the priest who had accompanied her to the foot of the guillotine, who had whispered, "This is the moment, Madame, to arm yourself with courage."

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Featured lists: List of French monarchs · List of Portuguese monarchs · List of Sultans of Zanzibar

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