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- Created 2012-02-16
, when ruled by a King or Queen) is a form of
is actually or nominally embodied in a single individual (the
Forms of monarchy differ widely based on the level of legal autonomy the monarch holds in governance, the method of selection of the monarch, and any predetermined limits on the length of their tenure. When the monarch has no or few legal restraints in state and political matters, it is called an
and is a form of
. Cases in which the monarch's discretion is formally limited (most common today) are called
, the office is passed through inheritance within a family group, whereas
use some system of voting. Each of these has variations: in some elected monarchies only those of certain pedigrees are eligible, whereas many hereditary monarchies impose requirements regarding the religion, age, gender, mental capacity, and other factors. Occasionally this might create a situations of rival claimants whose
is subject to effective election. Finally, there have been cases where the term of a monarch’s
is either fixed in years or continues until certain goals are achieved: an invasion being repulsed, for instance. Thus there are widely divergent structures and traditions defining monarchy.
Monarchy was the most common form of government until the 19th century, but it is no longer prevalent. Where it exists, it is now usually a
, in which the monarch retains a unique legal and ceremonial role, but exercises limited or no political power: under the written or unwritten constitution, others have governing authority. Currently, 44 sovereign nations in the world have
acting as heads of state, 16 of which are
s that recognise
Queen Elizabeth II
as their head of state. All
are constitutional ones, with the exception of the
, but sovereigns in the smaller states exercise greater political influence than in the larger. The monarchs of Cambodia, Japan, Jordan, Malaysia and Morocco "reign, but do not rule" although there is considerable variation in the degree of authority they wield. Although they reign under constitutions, the monarchs of
appear to continue to exercise more political influence than any other single source of authority in their nations, either by constitutional mandate or by tradition.
from Wikipedia (last updated: 01 December), licensed under
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The Constitutional Monarchy Association
King of Kings
Family as a model for the state
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