|Part of a series on|
|Imperial, royal, noble,|
gentry and chivalric ranks in Europe
King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant ("reigning/ruling queen", as opposed to queen consort), although in some cases, the title of "King" is given to females such as Mary, Queen of Hungary, and Jadwiga of Poland in the 1380s.
The term king may also refer to a king consort, a title that is sometimes given to the husband of a queen regnant, but the title of prince consort is more common.
The English term king is derived from the Anglo-Saxon cyning, which in turn is derived from the Common Germanic *kuningaz. The Common Germanic term was borrowed into Estonian and Finnish at an early time, surviving in these languages as kuningas. It is a derivation from the term *kunjom "kin" (Old English cynn) by the -inga- suffix. The literal meaning is that of a "scion of the [noble] kin", or perhaps "son or descendant of one of noble birth" (OED).
The English term translates, and is considered equivalent to, Latin rēx and its equivalents in the various European languages. The Germanic term is notably different from the word for "King" in other Indo-European languages (*rēks "ruler"; Latin rēx, Sanskrit rājan and Irish ríg; however, see Gothic reiks and, e.g., modern German Reich and modern Dutch rijk).
The English word is of Germanic origin, and historically refers to Germanic kingship, in the pre-Christian period a type of tribal kingship. The monarchies of Europe in the Christian Middle Ages derived their claim from Christianisation and the divine right of kings, partly influenced by the notion of sacral kingship inherited from Germanic antiquity.
The Early Middle Ages begin with a fragmentation of the former Western Roman Empire into barbarian kingdoms. In Western Europe, the kingdom of the Franks developed into the Carolingian Empire by the 8th century, and the kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England were unified into the kingdom of England by the 10th century.
With the breakup of the Carolingian Empire in the 9th century, the system of feudalism places kings at the head of a pyramid of relationships between liege lords and vassals, dependent on the regional rule of barons, and the intermediate positions of counts (or earls) and dukes. The core of European feudal manorialism in the High Middle Ages were the territories of the former Carolingian Empire, i.e. the kingdom of France and the Holy Roman Empire (centered on the nominal kingdoms of Germany and Italy).
In the course of the European Middle Ages, the European kingdoms underwent a general trend of centralisation of power, so that by the Late Middle Ages there were a number of large and powerful kingdoms in Europe, which would develop into the great powers of Europe in the Early Modern period.
|Part of the Politics series|
Currently (as of 2022[update]), fifteen kings are recognized as the heads of state of sovereign states (i.e. English king is used as official translation of the respective native titles held by the monarchs).
Most of these are heads of state of constitutional monarchies; kings ruling over absolute monarchies are the King of Saudi Arabia, the King of Bahrain and the King of Eswatini.
|Monarch||House||Title||Kingdom||Reign begin||Age||Monarchy est.|
|Harald V, King of Norway||Glücksburg||konge||Kingdom of Norway||January 17, 1991||86||11th c.|
|Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden||Bernadotte||konung||Kingdom of Sweden||September 15, 1973||77||12th c.|
|Felipe VI, King of Spain||Bourbon||rey||Kingdom of Spain||June 19, 2014||55||1978 / 1479|
|Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands||Orange-Nassau||koning||Kingdom of the Netherlands||April 30, 2013||56||1815|
|Philippe , King of the Belgians||Saxe-Coburg and Gotha||koning / roi / König||Kingdom of Belgium||July 21, 2013||63||1830|
|Salman, King of Saudi Arabia||Saud||ملك malik||Kingdom of Saudi Arabia||January 23, 2015||87||1932|
|Abdullah II, King of Jordan||Hashim||ملك malik||Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan||February 7, 1999||61||1946|
|Mohammed VI, King of Morocco||Alaoui||ملك malik||Kingdom of Morocco||July 23, 1999||60||1956|
|Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain||Khalifa||ملك malik||Kingdom of Bahrain||February 14, 2002||73||1971|
|Vajiralongkorn, King of Thailand||Chakri||กษัตริย์ kasat||Kingdom of Thailand||October 13, 2016||71||1782|
|Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, King of Bhutan||Wangchuck||འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་པོ་ druk gyalpo||Kingdom of Bhutan||December 9, 2006||43||1907|
|Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia||Norodom||ស្ដេច sdac||Kingdom of Cambodia||October 14, 2004||70||1993 / 1953|
|Tupou VI, King of Tonga||Tupou||king / tu'i||Kingdom of Tonga||March 18, 2012||64||1970|
|Letsie III, King of Lesotho||Moshesh||king / morena||Kingdom of Lesotho||February 7, 1996||60||1966|
|Mswati III, King of Eswatini||Dlamini||ngwenyama||Kingdom of Eswatini||April 25, 1986||55||1968|
|Charles III, King of the United Kingdom||Windsor||King||United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Commonwealth realms||September 8, 2022||74||927 / 843|