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A royal household or imperial household is the residence and administrative headquarters in ancient and post-classical monarchies, and papal household for popes, and formed the basis for the general government of the country as well as providing for the needs of the sovereign and their relations. It was the core of the royal court, though this included many courtiers who were not directly employed by the monarch as part of the household.

There were often large numbers of employees in the household, strictly differentiated by rank, from nobles with highly sought-after positions that gave close access to the monarch, to all the usual of servants such as cooks, footmen, and maids. The households typically included military forces providing security. Specialists such as artists, clock-makers and poets might be given a place in the household, often by appointing them as valet de chambre or the local equivalent.

Among many of these households there are certain great offices which have become, in course of time, merely hereditary. In most cases, as the name of the office would suggest, they were held by those who discharged personal functions about the sovereign. Gradually, in ways or for reasons which might vary in each individual case, the office alone survived, the duties either ceasing to be necessary or being transferred to officers of less exalted station.[1]

In the modern period, royal households have evolved into entities which are variously differentiated from national governments. Most modern households have become merely titular.

Europe

The royal households of such of European monarchies have a continuous history since medieval times.

Francia

Main article: Royal household under the Merovingians and Carolingians

France

Main article: Maison du Roi

Germany

Mannheim (Electors Palatinate)

Russia

Main article: Ministry of the Imperial Court

Spain

Main articles: Royal Household of Spain and Royal Household and Heritage of the Crown of Spain

Sweden

Main article: Royal Court of Sweden

United Kingdom

Main article: Royal Households of the United Kingdom

Vatican

Main articles: Papal household and Prefecture of the Pontifical Household

Asia

China

Main article: Imperial Household Department

Japan

Main articles: Imperial Household Agency and Ministry of the Imperial Household

Thailand

Main article: Bureau of the Royal Household

See also

References

  1. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Household, Royal". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 13 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 813–814.