Portal:Monarchy
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Portal:Monarchy

The Monarchy Portal

Richard I of England being anointed during his coronation in Westminster Abbey, from a 13th-century chronicle.

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. Monarchies form polities by being ruled by the monarch in unity, personal union, federation or vassalage, and as such monarchs can carry various titles such as emperor, king, queen, raja, khan, caliph, tsar, sultan, shah, chhatrapati, or pharaoh.

The succession of monarchs is in most cases hereditary, often building dynastic periods, however elective and self-proclaimed monarchies are possible. 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.

Monarchies were the most common form of government until the 20th century. Today forty-four sovereign nations in the world have a monarch, including sixteen Commonwealth realms that have Elizabeth II as their shared head of state. Other than that there are a range of sub-national monarchical entities. 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.

The opposing and alternative form of government to monarchy has become the republic (see republicanism). (Full article...)

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Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia
Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia (18 June 1901 - 17 July 1918) was the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, the last sovereign of Imperial Russia, and his wife, Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna. She was murdered with her family by members of the Cheka, the Bolshevik secret police. The location of her burial was unknown during the decades of Communist rule, and rumors that she had escaped circulated after her death. A mass grave near Yekaterinburg which held the remains of the Tsar, his wife, and three of their daughters was revealed in 1991, and the bodies of the remaining daughter and the Tsarevitch Alexei were discovered in 2007. Forensic analysis and DNA testing have confirmed that the remains are those of the imperial family, showing that Anastasia and the other grand duchesses were killed in 1918. Several women have claimed to be Anastasia, including Anna Anderson, who died in 1984, but DNA testing in 1994 showed that she was not related to the Romanov family.


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Great coat of arms of the Russian Empire (1800)
Credit: Unknown

The Great Coat of Arms of the Russian Empire, as presented to Emperor Paul I in October 1800. The use of the double-headed eagle in the coat of arms (seen in multiple locations here) goes back to the 15th century. With the fall of Constantinople and the end of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, the Grand Dukes of Muscovy came to see themselves as the successors of the Byzantine heritage, a notion reinforced by the marriage of Ivan III to Sophia Paleologue. Ivan adopted the golden Byzantine double-headed eagle in his seal, first documented in 1472, marking his direct claim to the Roman imperial heritage and his assertion as sovereign equal and rival to the Holy Roman Empire.

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Jane Loftus, Marchioness of Ely

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George IV of the United Kingdom

An oil on canvas portrait of George IV of the United Kingdom as the Prince Regent, by Sir Thomas Lawrence. In 1814, Lord Stewart, who had been appointed ambassador in Vienna and was a previous client of Thomas Lawrence, wanted to commission a portrait by him of the Prince Regent. He arranged that Lawrence should be presented to the Prince Regent at a levée. Soon after, the Prince visited Lawrence at his studio in Russell Square. Lawrence wrote to his brother that: To crown this honour, [he] engag'd to sit to me at one today and after a successful sitting of two hours, has just left me and comes again tomorrow and the next day.

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King Kal?kaua
The 1881 world tour of King Kal?kaua of the Kingdom of Hawaii was his attempt to save the Hawaiian culture and population from extinction by importing a labor force from Asia-Pacific nations. His efforts brought the small island nation to the attention of world leaders, but sparked rumors that the kingdom was for sale. Critics in Hawaii believed the labor negotiations were just an excuse to see the world. The 281-day trip gave Kal?kaua the distinction of being the first monarch to circumnavigate the globe; his 1874 travels had made him the first reigning monarch to visit America and the first honoree of a state dinner at the White House.Kal?kaua met with heads of state in Asia, the Mideast and Europe, to encourage an influx of sugar plantation labor in family groups, as well as unmarried women as potential brides for Hawaii's existing contract laborers. While in Asia, he tried to forestall American ambitions by offering a plan to Emperor Meiji for putting Hawaii under the protection of the Empire of Japan with an arranged marriage between his niece Ka?iulani and a Japanese prince. On his visit to Portugal, he negotiated a treaty of friendship and commerce with Hawaii that would provide a legal framework for the emigration of Portuguese laborers to Hawaii. The King had an audience in Rome with Pope Leo XIII and met with many of the crowned heads of Europe. Britain's Queen Victoria and the splendor of her royal life impressed him more than any other monarchy; having been greatly affected by the ornate trappings of European sovereigns, he would soon have Hawaii's monarchy mirror that grandeur.


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Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother
Is that wise, darling? Remember you have to reign all afternoon.
-- Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, to her daughter Queen Elizabeth II, who was contemplating having a second glass of wine at lunch.

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Featured articles: Áedán mac Gabráin · · Æthelbald of Mercia · Æthelberht of Kent · Æthelred of Mercia · Aldfrith of Northumbria · Bhumibol Adulyadej · Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia · · Anne of Denmark · Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom · · · · Augustus · · · Cædwalla of Wessex · Ceawlin of Wessex · (...more)

Featured lists: List of French monarchs · List of Portuguese monarchs · List of Sultans of Zanzibar

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