Criticism of monarchy can be targeted against the general form of governmentmonarchy—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:

The twentieth century, beginning with the 1917 February Revolution in Russia and accelerated by two world wars, saw many European countries replace their monarchies with republics, while others replaced their absolute monarchies with constitutional monarchies. 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.

Criticism of existing monarchies

The selection of sovereigns generally does not involve democratic principles, such as in elective monarchy in states they head. For hereditary monarchies, royal power transmission is carried from generation to generation, with the title and associated power passing down to an heir. Several royal families are criticized in the world and their legitimacy challenged for example:


Main article: Bahraini uprising of 2011

The Bahraini protests were initially aimed at achieving greater political freedom and equality for the majority Shia population,[1] and expanded to a call to end the monarchy of Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa following a deadly night raid on 17 February 2011 against protesters at the Pearl Roundabout in Manama,[2] known locally as Bloody Thursday.[3]


A Belgian association, the Republican Circle, launched the petition "Abolition of Monarchy in Europe" to the attention of the European Parliament in March 2008, highlighting what they perceive as the incompatibility of the monarchy with several international declarations: Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.


Main articles: Republicanism in Canada and Debate on the monarchy in Canada

Debate between monarchists and republicans in Canada has been taking place since before the country's Confederation in 1867. Republican action has taken the form of protests on Victoria Day, the former Canadian sovereign's official birthday, lobbying of the federal and provincial governments to eliminate Canadian royal symbols,[4] and legal action against the Crown, specifically in relation to the Oath of Citizenship and the Act of Settlement 1701.[5][6] The debate has historically been stronger in the French-speaking province of Québec, in which a substantial sovereignty movement exists against both the federation of Canada and its Crown.


Main articles: Republicanism in Morocco and 2011–2012 Moroccan protests

The legitimacy of King Mohammed VI was contested by some in the February 20 Movement of 2011 that attempted to challenge the monarchic system for the first time in the modern history of this country.


Main article: Republicanism in the Netherlands


Main article: Republicanism in Norway

Saudi Arabia

Main article: 2011–12 Saudi Arabian protests

In August 2012, the Swedish Defense Minister Karin Enström said that Saudi Arabia could be called a dictatorship.[7][8] There have been protests against the royal dictatorship of the Al Saud family and calls for prisoners held without charge or trial to be released. In early 2012, protestors chanted slogans against the House of Saud and Minister of Interior Nayef, calling Nayef a "terrorist", "criminal" and "butcher”.


Main article: Republicanism in Spain


Main article: Republicanism in Sweden


Main article: 2020 Thai protests

United Kingdom

Main article: Republicanism in the United Kingdom

The issue of the monarchy of the United Kingdom has been a contentious issue within the United Kingdom and the countries that make up the union for hundreds of years. Arguments against the UK monarchy include the institution’s unaccountability, that appointing a head of state using the hereditary principle is undemocratic, unfair and elitist and should instead be decided by democratic elections, the monarchy's expense, the fact that the UK monarchy still holds royal prerogative which grants the Prime Minister powers such as the ability to declare war or sign treaties without a vote in Parliament, the Privy Council (a body of advisors to the monarch) being able to enact legislation without a vote in Parliament etc.

See also


  1. ^ "Bahrain Shia Leaders Visit Iraq". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
  2. ^ "Bahrain Protests: Police Break Up Pearl Square Crowd". BBC News. 17 February 2011. Archived from the original on 5 April 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  3. ^ "Bahrain Activists in 'Day of Rage". Al Jazeera. 14 February 2011. Archived from the original on 10 April 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
  4. ^ "Time to Promote Canada not Queen on Holiday" (Press release). Citizens for a Canadian Republic. 20 May 2004. Retrieved 18 September 2009.
  5. ^ "Canada's Republican Movement Presents Legal Case Against the Monarchy" (Press release). Citizens for a Canadian Republic. 24 September 2002. Retrieved 18 September 2009.
  6. ^ "Oath to Queen Costs Canada Citizens, Says Republican Movement" (Press release). Citizens for a Canadian Republic. 5 November 2002. Retrieved 18 September 2009.
  7. ^ Swedish defence Minister backs off and call the Saudi regime a Dictatorship, 13 August 2012
  8. ^ the Swedish Defense Minister Karin Enström said that Saudi Arabia could be called dictatorship. Le 13 August 2012