Types of Monarchies Around the World

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The age when powerful kings and queens used to rule the world is long over. Today, most of the nations have abandoned monarchies and chosen other forms of governments. However, there are still a couple of monarchies present in the world. Even among these monarchies there are variants. With the passage of time, many absolute monarchies changed into constitutional monarchies, mixed monarchies etc. But that does not mean that absolute monarchy is dead. A minuscule number of countries still have kings or even queens who are all powerful.

The British monarchy is one of the most famous monarchies in the world. The United Kingdom is a Constitutional Monarchy and a Commonwealth realm with a parliamentary system of government. At one point of time, the British Empire was one of the largest in the world. But, in the 20th century most of the countries became free and chose other forms of government. Still there are some nations that accept the queen of England as their head, though they are fully independent nations. The Queen of England is currently the monarch of 16 Commonwealth realms. Some of the nations that are included in the Commonwealth realms are Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Barbados, Grenada, and some others. These sixteen realms are sovereign countries and constitutional monarchies. Here the queen has either limited powers or her role is largely a ceremonial one.

A Constitutional monarchy is a monarchy in which the king or queen exercise their authorities in accordance with a written or an unwritten constitution. Here the monarch may have some powers such as dissolving parliament or giving their approval to legislation but this has to be done within the limits set in the written or unwritten constitution and not according to their own personal choices and preferences. In a constitutional monarchy, the political power is vested in the head of the government, who is elected by the people of that country. Countries which have a Constitutional form of monarchy are Andorra, Belgium, Bhutan, Cambodia, Denmark, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Morocco, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and a few other nations.

Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates are mixed monarchies. In a mixed monarchy though the monarch still retains most of his or her powers but there also exist other representative bodies of some sort. 

Meanwhile, a few countries in the world which have absolute monarchies. An absolute monarchy is a form of government where absolute power is in the hands of a single person. In countries which have an absolute monarchy, the king is the head of both the state and the government. In ancient and medieval times, absolute monarchy was the form of government in almost every country in the world. But in the modern era, some nations transformed from absolute monarchies into Constitutional monarchies. However, many nations around the world completely abandoned monarchy and chose other forms of government. Currently there are five nations that have an absolute monarchy. These nations are Brunei, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Swaziland, and the Vatican City.

The table below provides information on the form of monarchy prevalent in each nation.

Country Type of Monarchy
 Brunei Darussalam Absolute Monarchy
 Sultanate of Oman Absolute Monarchy
 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Absolute Monarchy
 Kingdom of Swaziland Absolute Monarchy
 Vatican City State Absolute Monarchy
 Antigua and Barbuda Commonwealth realms
 Commonwealth of Australia Commonwealth realms
 Commonwealth of the Bahamas Commonwealth realms
 Barbados Commonwealth realms
 Belize Commonwealth realms
 Canada Commonwealth realms
 Grenada Commonwealth realms
 Jamaica Commonwealth realms
 New Zealand Commonwealth realms
 Independent State of Papua New Guinea Commonwealth realms
 Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis Commonwealth realms
 Saint Lucia Commonwealth realms
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Commonwealth realms
 Solomon Islands Commonwealth realms
 Tuvalu Commonwealth realms
 United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Commonwealth realms
 Principality of Andorra Constitutional Monarchy
 Kingdom of Belgium Constitutional Monarchy
 Kingdom of Bhutan Constitutional Monarchy
 Kingdom of Cambodia Constitutional Monarchy
 Kingdom of Denmark Constitutional Monarchy
 Japan Constitutional Monarchy
 State of Kuwait Constitutional Monarchy
 Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Constitutional Monarchy
 Kingdom of Lesotho Constitutional Monarchy
 Principality of Liechtenstein Constitutional Monarchy
 Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Constitutional Monarchy
 Malaysia Constitutional Monarchy
 Principality of Monaco Constitutional Monarchy
 Kingdom of Morocco Constitutional Monarchy
 Kingdom of the Netherlands Constitutional Monarchy
 Kingdom of Norway Constitutional Monarchy
 Kingdom of Spain Constitutional Monarchy
 Kingdom of Sweden Constitutional Monarchy
 Kingdom of Thailand Constitutional Monarchy
 Kingdom of Tonga Constitutional Monarchy
 Kingdom of Bahrain Mixed Monarchy
 State of Qatar Mixed Monarchy
 United Arab Emirates Mixed Monarchy

(Data sourced from Wikipedia and CIA World Factbook)

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