The Monarchy Portal

The Weld-Blundell Prism is inscribed with the Sumerian King List
The Weld-Blundell Prism is inscribed with the Sumerian King List
The heraldic crown for the King of Norway (1905 pattern)
The heraldic crown for the King of Norway (1905 pattern)

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.

The succession of monarchs in many cases has been hereditical, often building dynastic periods. However, elective and self-proclaimed monarchies have also happened. 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.

Monarchs can carry various titles such as emperor, empress, king, queen, raja, khan, tsar, sultan, shah, or pharaoh. Monarchies can form federations, personal unions and realms with vassals through personal association with the monarch, which is a common reason for monarchs carrying several titles.

Monarchies were the most common form of government until the 20th century, by which time republics had replaced many monarchies. Today forty-three sovereign nations in the world have a monarch, including fifteen Commonwealth realms that share King Charles III as their head of state. Other than that, there is a range of sub-national monarchical entities. Most of the 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. (Full article...)

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Featured articles are displayed here, which represent some of the best content on English Wikipedia.

  • Photograph by J. J. E. Mayall, May 1860
    Photograph by J. J. E. Mayall, May 1860
  • Effigy of Henry III on his tomb in Westminster Abbey
    Effigy of Henry III on his tomb
    in Westminster Abbey
  • Photograph of George I, c. 1900-12
    Photograph of George I, c. 1900-12
  • Image 4 Abū al-ʿAbbās Aḥmad ibn Ṭalḥa al-Muwaffaq (Arabic: أبو العباس أحمد بن طلحة الموفق), 853/4 or 860/1 – 5 April 902, better known by his regnal name al-Muʿtaḍid bi-llāh (Arabic: المعتضد بالله, "Seeking Support in God"), was the caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate from 892 until his death in 902. Al-Mu
  • Æthelberht in the early fourteenth-century Genealogical Roll of the Kings of England
    Æthelberht in the early fourteenth-century Genealogical Roll of the Kings of England
  • Statue of ÆthelberhtInterior of Rochester Cathedral
    Statue of Æthelberht
    Interior of Rochester Cathedral
  • A gold solidus bearing the image of Basiliscus and Marcus
    A gold solidus bearing the image of Basiliscus and Marcus
  • Photo, c. 1914
    Photo, c. 1914
  • Portrait from the studio of Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1714
    Portrait from the studio of Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1714
  • Princess Beatrice in 1886
    Princess Beatrice in 1886
  • Coat of arms of Sir John Hastings, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, KG
    Coat of arms of Sir John Hastings, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, KG
  • Image 12 Admiral of the Fleet Louis Alexander Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven, GCB, GCVO, KCMG, ADC, PC (24 May 1854 – 11 September 1921), formerly Prince Louis Alexander of Battenberg, was a British naval officer and German prince related to the British royal family. Although born in Austria, and brought up in Italy and Germany, he enrolled in the United Kingdom
  • Alexander II's portrait on the obverse of a tetradrachm
    Alexander II's portrait on the obverse of a tetradrachm
  • Henry in full regalia (depicted in the 11th-century Evangelion of Saint Emmeram's Abbey)
    Henry in full regalia (depicted in the 11th-century Evangelion of Saint Emmeram's Abbey)

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Albert Memorial
Credit: David Iliff

The Albert Memorial, a monument to Prince Albert found in Kensington Gardens, London, England, as seen from the south side. Directly to the north of the Royal Albert Hall. It was commissioned by Queen Victoria and designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in the Gothic revival style. Opened in 1872, the memorial is 176 feet (54 m) tall, took over ten years to complete, and cost £120,000.

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Jane Loftus, Marchioness of Ely

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  • Burial site of Kaʻiminaʻauao, Kalakaua Crypt, Mauna ʻAla Royal Mausoleum
    Burial site of Kaʻiminaʻauao, Kalakaua Crypt, Mauna ʻAla Royal Mausoleum
  • Gold dinar minted at Baghdad in the names of Nasir al-Dawla and Sayf al-Dawla, 943/44 CE
    Gold dinar minted at Baghdad in the names of Nasir al-Dawla and Sayf al-Dawla, 943/44 CE
  • Photograph by Ernest Brooks, 1913
    Photograph by Ernest Brooks, 1913
  • Image 4Manuel Komnenos (Greek: Μανουήλ Κομνηνός, romanized: Manouēl Komnēnos; 1145–1185?) was the eldest son of Byzantine emperor Andronikos I Komnenos, and the progenitor of the Grand Komnenos dynasty of the Empire of Trebizond. He served his uncle, Manuel I Komnenos, as a diplomatic envoy to the Russian principalities and the Kingdom of Jerusalem, but also helped his father escape imprisonment in Constantinople. His opposition against the regency of Empress-dowager Maria of Antioch and the protosebastos Alexios Komnenos landed him in prison, but he was released in April 1182, when his father stood poised to take power in the Byzantine capital. Nevertheless, Manuel opposed his father's policy of persecuting the aristocracy, and refused to sanction or supervise the execution of Maria of Antioch. As a result, when Andronikos crowned himself emperor in 1183, Manuel was bypassed in the succession, and his younger brother John Komnenos was made co-emperor instead; Manuel received the title of sebastokrator. Despite his well-known opposition to Andronikos' more tyrannical policies, Manuel was blinded by Isaac II Angelos when the latter overthrew Andronikos in 1185. His subsequent fate is unknown, but his two sons, Alexios and David, went on to found the Empire of Trebizond in 1204, which was ruled by Manuel's descendants until its fall in 1461. (Full article...)
    Manuel Komnenos (Greek: Μανουήλ Κομνηνός, romanizedManouēl Komnēnos; 1145–1185?) was the eldest son of Byzantine emperor Andronikos I Komnenos, and the progenitor of the Grand Komnenos dynasty of the Empire of Trebizond. He served his uncle, Manuel I Komnenos, as a diplomatic envoy to the Russian principalities and the Kingdom of Jerusalem, but also helped his father escape imprisonment in Constantinople. His opposition against the regency of Empress-dowager Maria of Antioch and the protosebastos Alexios Komnenos landed him in prison, but he was released in April 1182, when his father stood poised to take power in the Byzantine capital.

    Nevertheless, Manuel opposed his father's policy of persecuting the aristocracy, and refused to sanction or supervise the execution of Maria of Antioch. As a result, when Andronikos crowned himself emperor in 1183, Manuel was bypassed in the succession, and his younger brother John Komnenos was made co-emperor instead; Manuel received the title of sebastokrator. Despite his well-known opposition to Andronikos' more tyrannical policies, Manuel was blinded by Isaac II Angelos when the latter overthrew Andronikos in 1185. His subsequent fate is unknown, but his two sons, Alexios and David, went on to found the Empire of Trebizond in 1204, which was ruled by Manuel's descendants until its fall in 1461. (Full article...)
  • Image 5Aaron (Church Slavonic: А҆арѡ́нъ; Bulgarian: Аарон; Ancient Greek: Ἀαρών) was a younger son of the last Tsar of the First Bulgarian Empire, Ivan Vladislav (r. 1015–1018). After the Byzantine conquest of Bulgaria he entered Byzantine service along with his brothers, and held a series of higher military commands in the eastern provinces of the Byzantine Empire during the 1040s and 1050s, rising from patrikios to protoproedros in the process. In this capacity, he fought in the first battles against the invading Seljuq Turks, as well as, unsuccessfully, against the uprising in 1057 of his brother-in-law Isaac I Komnenos. The Aaronios noble family was named after him, and included his descendants, as well as the descendants of his siblings. (Full article...)
    Aaron (Church Slavonic: А҆арѡ́нъ; Bulgarian: Аарон; Ancient Greek: Ἀαρών) was a younger son of the last Tsar of the First Bulgarian Empire, Ivan Vladislav (r. 1015–1018). After the Byzantine conquest of Bulgaria he entered Byzantine service along with his brothers, and held a series of higher military commands in the eastern provinces of the Byzantine Empire during the 1040s and 1050s, rising from patrikios to protoproedros in the process. In this capacity, he fought in the first battles against the invading Seljuq Turks, as well as, unsuccessfully, against the uprising in 1057 of his brother-in-law Isaac I Komnenos. The Aaronios noble family was named after him, and included his descendants, as well as the descendants of his siblings. (Full article...)
  • Solidus of Justin I
    Solidus of Justin I
  • Portrait by Andrea Mantegna
    Portrait by Andrea Mantegna
  • Early 12th century marble bust of Eystein.
    Early 12th century marble bust of Eystein.
  • Orodes II's portrait on the obverse of a tetradrachm, showing him wearing a beard and a diadem on his head, Mithradatkert mint
    Orodes II's portrait on the obverse of a tetradrachm, showing him wearing a beard and a diadem on his head, Mithradatkert mint
  • Leontius in imperial regalia, as depicted on a solidus coin. Legend: .mw-parser-output span.smallcaps{font-variant:small-caps}.mw-parser-output span.smallcaps-smaller{font-size:85%}dn leon pe av.
    Leontius in imperial regalia, as depicted on a solidus coin. Legend: dn leon pe av.
  • Detail of Britannicus from a c. 45 AD statue with him and his mother
    Detail of Britannicus from a c. 45 AD statue with him and his mother
  • Portrait of Theodore I (from a 15th-century codex containing a copy of the Extracts of History by Joannes Zonaras)
    Portrait of Theodore I (from a 15th-century codex containing a copy of the Extracts of History by Joannes Zonaras)
  • Ascall's name as it appears on folio 46v of British Library Royal 13 B VIII (Expugnatio Hibernica): "Hasculphus".
    Ascall's name as it appears on folio 46v of British Library Royal 13 B VIII (Expugnatio Hibernica): "Hasculphus".
  • Przemysł's effigy on a 1296 seal
    Przemysł's effigy on a 1296 seal
  • Image 15Sigeberht of East Anglia (also known as Saint Sigebert), (Old English: Sigebryht) was a saint and a king of East Anglia, the Anglo-Saxon kingdom which today includes the English counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. He was the first English king to receive a Christian baptism and education before his succession and the first to abdicate in order to enter the monastic life. The principal source for Sigeberht is Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, which was completed in the 730s.Sigeberht was probably either a younger son of Rædwald of East Anglia, or his step-son from Rædwald's marriage to a pagan princess from the kingdom of Essex. Nothing is known of his life before he was exiled to Gaul, which was possibly done in order to ensure that Rædwald's own descendants ruled the kingdom. After his step-brother Eorpwald's assassination in about 627, Sigeberht returned to East Anglia and (perhaps in the aftermath of a military campaign) became king, ruling jointly with Ecgric, who may have been either a son of Rædwald's, or his nephew. (Full article...)
    Sigeberht of East Anglia (also known as Saint Sigebert), (Old English: Sigebryht) was a saint and a king of East Anglia, the Anglo-Saxon kingdom which today includes the English counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. He was the first English king to receive a Christian baptism and education before his succession and the first to abdicate in order to enter the monastic life. The principal source for Sigeberht is Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, which was completed in the 730s.

    Sigeberht was probably either a younger son of Rædwald of East Anglia, or his step-son from Rædwald's marriage to a pagan princess from the kingdom of Essex. Nothing is known of his life before he was exiled to Gaul, which was possibly done in order to ensure that Rædwald's own descendants ruled the kingdom. After his step-brother Eorpwald's assassination in about 627, Sigeberht returned to East Anglia and (perhaps in the aftermath of a military campaign) became king, ruling jointly with Ecgric, who may have been either a son of Rædwald's, or his nephew. (Full article...)

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Charles III of Spain

Charles III (1716–1788) was king of Spain from 1759 to 1788. As king, he implemented far-reaching reforms, such as weakening the Catholic Church and its monasteries, promoting science and university research, facilitating trade and commerce, modernizing agriculture and avoiding wars. However, he never achieved satisfactory control over finances, and his reforms proved short-lived.

Selected quote

All in the world I have is yours; Next to God, you are the one I love best, and if I did not know that your love for me is the same, I could not be so happy as I am: May God give us both the grace to live always in this affection without any guile. — William the Silent, to his first wife while she was dying in 1558

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