Monarchism is the advocacy of the system of monarchy or monarchical rule. A monarchist is an individual who supports this form of government independent of any specific monarch, whereas one who supports a particular monarch is a royalist. One opposing form of government to a monarchy is a Republic; conversely, the opposition to monarchical rule is referred to as republicanism.
Depending on the country, a royalist may advocate for the rule of the person who sits on the throne, a regent, a pretender, or someone who would otherwise occupy the throne but has been deposed.
Monarchical rule is among the oldest political institutions. Monarchies have existed in some form since ancient Sumeria. Monarchy has often claimed legitimacy from a higher power (in early modern Europe the divine right of kings, and in China the Mandate of Heaven).
World War I and its aftermath saw the end of three major European monarchies: the Russian Romanov dynasty, the German Hohenzollern dynasty, including all other German monarchies and the Austro-Hungarian Habsburg dynasty.
The rise of the Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919 provoked an increase in support for monarchism; however, efforts by Hungarian monarchists failed to bring back a royal head of state, and the monarchists settled for a regent, Admiral Miklós Horthy, to represent the monarchy until it could be restored. Horthy was regent from 1920 to 1944.
In similar wise the 1938 autocratic state of Franco in Spain claimed to have reconstituted the Spanish monarchy in absentia (and in this case ultimately yielded to a restoration, in the person of King Juan Carlos).
The aftermath of World War II also saw the return of monarchist and republican rivalry in Italy, where a referendum was held on whether the state should remain a monarchy or become a republic. The republican side won the vote by a narrow margin, and the modern Republic of Italy was created.
Monarchism as a political force internationally has substantially diminished since the end of the Second World War, though it had an important role in the 1979 Iranian Revolution and also played a role in the modern political affairs of Nepal. Nepal was one of the last states to have had an absolute monarch, which continued until King Gyanendra was peacefully deposed in May 2008 and the country became a federal republic. One of the world's oldest monarchies was abolished in Ethiopia in 1974 with the fall of Emperor Haile Selassie.
The majority of current monarchies are constitutional monarchies. In most of these, the monarch wields only symbolic power, although in some, the monarch does play a role in political affairs. In Thailand, for instance, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who reigned from 1946 to 2016, played a critical role in the nation's political agenda and in various military coups. Similarly, in Morocco, King Mohammed VI wields significant, but not absolute power.
Liechtenstein is a democratic principality whose citizens have voluntarily given more power to their monarch in recent years.
British political scientist Vernon Bogdanor justifies monarchy on the grounds that it provides for a nonpartisan head of state, separate from the head of government, and thus ensures that the highest representative of the country, at home and internationally, does not represent a particular political party, but all people. Bogdanor also notes that monarchies can play a helpful unifying role in a multinational state, noting that "In Belgium, it is sometimes said that the king is the only Belgian, everyone else being either Fleming or Walloon" and that the British sovereign can belong to all of the United Kingdom's constituent countries (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland), without belonging to any particular one of them.
Safeguard for liberty
The International Monarchist League, founded in 1943, has always sought to promote monarchy on the grounds that it strengthens popular liberty, both in a democracy and in a dictatorship, because by definition the monarch is not beholden to politicians.
British-American libertarian writer Matthew Feeney argues that European constitutional monarchies "have managed for the most part to avoid extreme politics"—specifically fascism, communism, and military dictatorship—"in part because monarchies provide a check on the wills of populist politicians" by representing entrenched customs and traditions. Feeny notes that
European monarchies - such as the Danish, Belgian, Swedish, Dutch, Norwegian, and British - have ruled over countries that are among the most stable, prosperous, and free in the world.
Human desire for hierarchy
In a 1943 essay in The Spectator, "Equality", British author C.S. Lewis criticized egalitarianism, and its corresponding call for the abolition of monarchy, as contrary to human nature, writing,
Where men are forbidden to honour a king they honour millionaires, athletes, or film-stars instead: even famous prostitutes or gangsters. For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison.
Support for the restoration of monarchy
The following is a list of countries and opinion polls for the restoration of abolished monarchies in those countries.
^"Definition of Republic". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved . a government having a chief of state who is not a monarch ... a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law
^"The definition of republic". Dictionary.com. Retrieved . a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them. ... a state in which the head of government is not a monarch or other hereditary head of state.
^Gray, Charlotte (2016). The Promise of Canada: 150 Years--People and Ideas That Have Shaped Our Country. Simon and Schuster. ISBN978-1-4767-8469-4. Back home, Cartier impressed Upper Canadians with his unabashed anglophilia: he was a passionate monarchist who named his third daughter Reine-Victoria and believed that the Conquest in 1763 had saved Lower Canada from the misery and shame of the French Revolution.
^ abcdBrouillet, Eugénie; Gagnon, Alain-G.; Laforest, Guy (2018). The Quebec Conference of 1864: Understanding the Emergence of the Canadian Federation. McGill-Queen's Press. p. 121. ISBN978-0-7735-5605-8.
^Little, John (2013). Patrician Liberal: The Public and Private Life of Sir Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière, 1829-1908. University of Toronto Press. ISBN978-1-4426-6699-3. As a Canadian nationalist and constitutional monarchist, he firmly believed that the lieutenant governor was considerably more than a figurehead...
^"Nancy Bell, 65 independent voice in Senate", Toronto Star, December 1, 1989
^ abJackson, D. Michael (2013). The Crown and Canadian Federalism. Dundurn. ISBN978-1-4597-0990-4. [s]ome people think the NDP may want to get rid of the monarchy but I can assure you that's absolutely not the case. My Dad was a big time monarchist and so am I.
^Wise, Leonard (2017). Charles Pachter: Canada's Artist. Dundurn. ISBN978-1-4597-3876-8. Paradox defines him... He's a monarchist who loves royalty, yet he delights in satirizing them.
^ abJohnson, David (2018). Battle Royal: Monarchists vs. Republicans and the Crown of Canada. Dundurn. p. 160. ISBN978-1-4597-4014-3.
^Shore, Cris; Williams, David V. (2019). The Shapeshifting Crown: Locating the State in Postcolonial New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the UK. Cambridge University Press. p. 156. ISBN978-1-1084-9646-9.