Abolition of monarchy

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The abolition of monarchy involves the ending of monarchical elements in the government of a country. Such abolition may also (but not always) eliminate aristocratic systems [note 1] and "hereditary government" [note 2] features in constitutional practice.

Monarchy system of government where the head of state position is inherited within family

A monarchy is a form of government in which a single person holds supreme authority in ruling a country, also performing ceremonial duties and embodying the country's national identity. Although some monarchs are elected, in most cases, the monarch's position is inherited and lasts until death or abdication. In these cases, the royal family or members of the dynasty usually serve in official capacities as well. The governing power of the monarch may vary from purely symbolic, to partial and restricted, to completely autocratic.


History records transitions from monarchy to other forms of government from very early times, either through revolutions, coups d'état, wars, or legislative reforms (sometimes involving abdications). Athens had abandoned the principle of hereditary rule by 753 BCE. The founding of the Roman Republic in the 6th century BCE provides a well-known example and anti-monarchism became part of Rome's traditions, being cited as justification for the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BCE. Monarchical Carthage became an aristocratic republic in 308 BCE.

Revolution fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time

In political science, a revolution is a fundamental and relatively sudden change in political power and political organization which occurs when the population revolts against the government, typically due to perceived oppression or political incompetence. In book V of the Politics, the Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle described two types of political revolution:

  1. Complete change from one constitution to another
  2. Modification of an existing constitution.
Coup détat Sudden deposition of a government

A coup d'état, also known as a putsch (German:), a golpe de Estado (Spanish), or simply as a coup, means the overthrow of an existing government; typically, this refers to an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a dictator, the military, or a political faction.

Abdication voluntary or forced renunciation of sovereign power

Abdication is the act of formally relinquishing monarchical authority. Abdications have played various roles in the succession procedures of monarchies. While some cultures have viewed abdication as an extreme abandonment of duty, in other societies, abdication was a regular event, and helped maintain stability during political succession.

The twentieth century saw the abolition of several monarchies - some constitutionally or violently overthrown by revolution or by war, some disappearing as part of the process of decolonisation. By contrast, the restoration of monarchies has occurred rarely in modern times:

Ukrainian State an anti-socialist government that existed on most of territory of Ukraine (except West Ukraine), 29 April 1918 to December 1918

The Ukrainian State, sometimes also called the Hetmanate, was an anti-socialist government that existed on most of the modern territory of Ukraine from April 29 to December 14, 1918. It was installed by German military authorities after the socialist-leaning Central Council of the Ukrainian People's Republic was dispersed on April 28, 1918. Ukraine turned into a provisional dictatorship of Hetman of Ukraine Pavlo Skoropadskyi, who outlawed all socialist-oriented political parties, creating an anti-Bolshevik front. It collapsed in December 1918, when Skoropadskyi was deposed and the Ukrainian People's Republic returned to power in the form of the Directorate.

Monarchy of Spain ruling monarchy in the Kingdom of Spain since the arrival of Felipe V

The monarchy of Spain, constitutionally referred to as The Crown, is a constitutional institution and historic office of Spain. The monarchy comprises the reigning monarch, his or her family, and the royal household organization which supports and facilitates the monarch in the exercise of his duties and prerogatives. The Spanish monarchy is currently represented by King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia, and their daughters Leonor, Princess of Asturias, and Infanta Sofía.

A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the sovereign exercises authority in accordance with a written or unwritten constitution. Constitutional monarchy differs from absolute monarchy in that constitutional monarchs are bound to exercise their powers and authorities within the limits prescribed within an established legal framework. Constitutional monarchies range from countries such as Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain, where the constitution grants substantial discretionary powers to the sovereign, to countries such as Japan and Sweden where the monarch retains no formal authorities.

17th and 18th centuries

An early example of the abolition of a monarchy in modern times occurred in 1649 with the overthrow of the English monarchy by the Parliament of England and its armed forces under leaders such as Oliver Cromwell. 1660 saw a monarchical restoration - though in a more limited form moderated by a more independent Parliament.

Parliament of England historic legislature of the Kingdom of England

The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England, existing from the early 13th century until 1707, when it united with the Parliament of Scotland to become the Parliament of Great Britain after the political union of England and Scotland created the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Oliver Cromwell 17th-century English military and political leader

Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader. He served as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland "and of the dominions thereto belonging" from 1653 until his death, acting simultaneously as head of state and head of government of the new republic.

Organized anti-monarchism in what since July 1776 is the United States developed out of the gradual process of revolution that began in 1765, as colonists resisted the Stamp Act through boycott and the expulsion and condemnation of royal officials.[ citation needed ] While subjects of Great Britain (a union of the Kingdom of England with the Kingdom of Scotland), the colonists of British North America enjoyed a level of autonomy which increasingly clashed with royal and Parliamentary authority which did not consult colonial needs. With the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the most violent wave of anti-monarchical protest began, with the systematic destruction of the relics and symbols of monarchy. Examples can be found in the toppling of the equestrian statue of George III on Bowling Green in New York City (9 July 1776). Monarchic loyalists were particularly affected by partisan attacks or harassment, with tens of thousands leaving for Canada, Britain, and other colonies. [1] Wealth or property which remained was typically confiscated.[ by whom? ] Thomas Paine, the famous author of the revolutionary pamphlet "Common Sense", urged the colonists to finance the revolutionary war through this means. Even today, very few artifacts depicting the British monarchy from the colonial period can be found in the United States. However, not all anti-British or anti-Loyalist sentiment equated to anti-monarchism. The normalcy of having a King at the head of a polity had strong roots in much political thought (Machiavelli, Hobbes) and in religious doctrine (see for example 1 Samuel 8:6-9. [2] Some Americans saw the presidency in monarchical terms. [3]

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Kingdom of Great Britain Constitutional monarchy in Western Europe between 1707 and 1801

The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially called simply Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 1 January 1801. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government that was based in Westminster. The former kingdoms had been in personal union since James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". After the accession of George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the kingdom was in a personal union with the Electorate of Hanover.

However, the most famous abolition of monarchy in history[ citation needed ] - apart from the Dutch Republic of 1581 to 1795 - involved the French monarchy in 1792, during the French Revolution. The French monarchy was later restored several times with differing levels of authority. Napoleon, initially a hero of the Republican revolution, crowned himself emperor in 1804 only to be replaced by the Bourbon Restoration in 1815 which in turn was replaced by the more liberal July Monarchy in 1830.

The 1848 Revolution was a more clear anti-monarchic uprising that replaced the succession of royal leaders with the short-lived Second French Republic. Louis Napoleon Bonaparte established the Second French Empire (1852 to 1870), retaining republican aspects while placing himself in the center of the state until the losses in the Franco-Prussian War precipitated his fall, resulting in the French Third Republic and the definitive end of monarchism in the governing of France.

19th century

In 1858 the Mughal Empire came to an end after losing a war against Britain, and its Emperor, Bahadur Shah II, lost his throne. Between 1859 and 1861, four monarchies in Southern Europe ceased to exist: Parma, Modena, Tuscany and the Two Sicilies, when they all became part of the new Kingdom of Italy. The Second Mexican Empire collapsed in 1867, and its Emperor, Maximilian I of Mexico, was executed. The Second French Empire came to an end in 1870 after it had lost the war against Prussia, causing Emperor Napoleon III to lose his throne. He was the last monarch of France.

In Spain monarchy was abolished from 1873 to 1874 by the First Spanish Republic, but then restored until 1931. The monarchy of Tahiti came to an end in 1880 when France made it a colony and overthrew King Pōmare V. That of Burma was abolished in 1885, when the last king, Thibaw Min, lost his throne and the country was annexed by Britain. In Brazil, the monarchy was abolished in 1889, when Emperor Pedro II was overthrown by a republican military coup (the status of the republic was confirmed by a plebiscite in 1993 that resulted in 86% of the votes to the republican government). In 1893 foreign business leaders overthrew Queen Liliʻuokalani of the Kingdom of Hawaii. They established a republic, which was annexed by the United States in 1898. The monarchy of Madagascar, known as the Merina Kingdom, came to an end in 1897 when France made it a colony and overthrew Queen Ranavalona III.

20th century

Europe 1914 monarchies versus republics.png Europe 1930 monarchies versus republics.png Europe 2015 monarchies versus republics.png
European states in 1914. [note 3]
  Monarchies (22)
  Republics (4)
European states in 1930. [note 4]
  Monarchies (20)
  Republics (15)
Present-day European states.
  Monarchies (12)
  Republics (32)

In 1910 the last emperor of Korea, Sunjong, lost his throne when the country was annexed by Japan. However, the Korean royal family was mediatised as a puppet family within the Japanese imperial family. Many of the Korean royals were forcibly re-educated in Japan and forced to marry Japanese royalty and aristocrats to meld the ruling families of the two empires. With the abolition of the Japanese aristocracy and cadet branches of the imperial family, the Korean royals officially lost their remaining status.[ citation needed ]

The monarchy of Portugal was also overthrown in 1910 (5 October), two years after the assassination of King Carlos I, ending the reign of Manuel II, who died in exile in England (1932), without issue.

The ancient monarchy of China ceased to exist in 1912 after the revolution of Sun Yat-sen overthrew Emperor Puyi. General Yuan Shikai, then provisional president, unsuccessfully tried to make himself a monarch in 1915.

World War I led to perhaps the greatest spate of abolition of monarchies in history. The conditions inside Russia and the poor performance in the war gave rise to a revolution which toppled the entire institution of the monarchy, followed by a second revolution against that government in October of the same year that executed Emperor Nicholas II and implemented a Marxist-Leninist government. The defeated German, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires saw the abolition of their monarchies in the close aftermath of the war, ending the reigns of Wilhelm II, Charles I and Mehmed VI respectively. The monarchs of the constituent states within the German Empire, most importantly Ludwig III of Bavaria, Frederick Augustus III of Saxony and Wilhelm II of Württemberg, soon abdicated. During the war, monarchies were planned for Poland (Kingdom of Poland), the Grand Duchy of Finland (to have a Finnish King), and for Lithuania (Mindaugas II of Lithuania), with a protectorate-like dependency of Germany. Both intended kings renounced their thrones after Germany's defeat in November 1918. King Nicholas I of Montenegro lost his throne when the country became a part of Yugoslavia in 1918.

After the death of the last Emperor, Bogd Khan, in 1924, Mongolia became a republic. In Spain the monarchy was again abolished in 1931 by the Second Spanish Republic (1931–1939). In 1947, General Franco declared Spain a realm, and appointed Juan Carlos of Bourbon his successor in 1969. The Prince of Spain became king at Franco's death in 1975, and constitutional monarchy was restored in 1978 under him.

World War II saw another spate of abolitions. In 1939 Italy invaded Albania and removed the reigning self-proclaimed King Zog and instated their own King Victor Emmanuel III as its new monarch. Italy, along with the eastern European monarchies of Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania joined with Germany in World War II against the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the Western allies and the Soviet Union. As the Axis powers came to a defeat in the war, communist partisans in occupied Yugoslavia and occupied Albania seized power and ended the monarchies. Communists in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania removed their monarchies with strong backing by the Soviet Union, which had many troops and supporters placed there during the course of the war. Through this, Peter II of Yugoslavia, Simeon II of Bulgaria and Michael I of Romania all lost their thrones. King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy had switched sides during the war in favour of the western allies, but a referendum in 1946 ended the short reign of his son King Umberto II and the Italian monarchy ceased to exist. A unique result of the war was that Emperor Hirohito of Japan, who had held a debated but important role in Japan's warfare against the Allied powers, was reduced in stature from a divine monarch to a figurehead by the occupying United States, instead of losing his throne altogether.

Throughout Greece's eventful modern history, the monarchy was toppled and restored several times between and after the two World Wars. The last king, Constantine II, was forced into exile after a coup in 1967 and the republic was proclaimed in 1973 by the then-ruling military dictatorship. Final abolition of the monarchy was confirmed overwhelmingly after constitutional legality was restored, by free referendum in 1974.

The independence of the Indian subcontinent from direct British rule in 1947 posed a unique problem. From 1858, when the British government had assumed direct rule over the subcontinent, it had been governed as a quasi-federation, with most of the subcontinent (known as British India), under the direct rule of the British sovereign. The remainder of the subcontinent, however, was under a form of indirect rule through its division and subdivision into over 500 subnational monarchies, known as princely states; each was ruled by a prince in a subsidiary alliance with the British government. The princely states ranged from powerful and largely independent principalities such as Hyderabad or Mysore, with a high level of autonomy, to tiny fiefdoms a few dozen acres in size. The resulting imperial structure was broadly similar to that of the German Empire before the First World War.

In 1947, it was agreed the Indian subcontinent would be partitioned into the independent British dominions of India and Pakistan, with the princely states acceding to one nation or the other. The accession process proceeded smoothly, with the notable exception of four of the most influential principalities. The Muslim ruler of the Hindu-majority state of Junagadh ruler acceded to Pakistan, but his decision was overruled by the Indian government, while Hyderabad chose to be independent, but was forcibly annexed to India in 1948. The Hindu ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, among the largest and most powerful of the principalities, but with a Muslim-majority population, initially held off on a decision. In the autumn of 1947, an invading force from Pakistan frightened the ruler into acceding to India. The ruler of Kalat, in Baluchistan, declared his independence in 1947, after which the state was forcibly merged with Pakistan, resulting in an insurgency persisting to this day. With the promulgation of the Indian constitution in 1950, India abolished its monarchy under the British crown and became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations, followed by Pakistan in 1956; as a result of both developments, the majority of the princes formally lost their sovereign rights. A few remaining principalities in Pakistan retained their autonomy until 1969, when they finally acceded to Pakistan. The Indian government formally derecognised its princely families in 1971, followed by Pakistan in 1972.

Many monarchies were abolished in the middle of the 20th century or later as part of the process of decolonisation. The monarchies of India, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanganyika, Uganda, Guyana, and Malawi were abolished shortly after they became independent of the United Kingdom, while remaining within the Commonwealth. That of Ireland was not abolished when Ireland became independent of the United Kingdom in the 1920s, but by the Republic of Ireland Act of 1948, which came into force in 1949. Some Commonwealth realms waited a little longer before abolishing their monarchies: Pakistan became a republic in 1956 and South Africa in 1961. Gambia abolished its monarchy in 1970, while Sierra Leone became a republic in 1971, as did Sri Lanka in 1972, Malta in 1974, Trinidad and Tobago in 1976, and Fiji in 1987. The latest country to become a republic within the Commonwealth was Mauritius in 1992.

That of Egypt was abolished in 1953, after the revolution of 1952, which caused King Farouk I to abdicate in favour of his infant son Fuad II. The monarchy of Tunisia ended in 1957 when Muhammad VIII al-Amin lost his throne and that of Iraq in 1958 when King Faisal II was killed and a republic proclaimed. The monarchy of Yemen was abolished in 1962 when King Muhammad al-Shami was overthrown in a coup, although he continued to resist his opponents until 1970. King Idris of Libya was overthrown by a military coup led by Muammar Gaddafi in 1969. The monarchy of Afghanistan was abolished in 1973 after a coup d'état overthrew King Mohammed Zahir Shah. That of Iran was abolished by the Islamic revolution of 1979 overthrowing Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. In Ethiopia, Emperor Haile Selassie I was overthrown in 1974 as a result of a leftist coup. King Palden Thondup Namgyal of Sikkim lost his throne in 1975 when the country became a state of India following a referendum. Political upheaval and Communist insurrection put an end to the monarchies of Indochina after World War II: a short-lived attempt to leave a monarchical form of government in post-colonial South Vietnam came to naught in 1955, a military coup overthrew the kingless monarchy in Cambodia in 1970 and a Communist takeover ended the monarchy in Laos in 1975. Cambodia's monarchy later saw an unexpected rebirth under an internationally mediated peace settlement with former king Norodom Sihanouk being restored as a figurehead in 1993.

In a referendum in Brazil in 1993, voters rejected an attempt to restore the country's monarchy. Unsuccessful efforts to restore the monarchies of some of the Balkan states in the former Eastern Bloc continue. Former King Michael of Romania and Prince Alexander of Serbia have been allowed to return, gained some popularity, played largely apolitical public roles, but never came close to being restored to their ancestral thrones. However, in Bulgaria, Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, who was deposed from the Bulgarian throne in 1946, was elected and recently served as the Prime Minister of his country from 2001 to 2005. The only formerly socialist country to have held a referendum on the monarchy was Albania where the claimant to his father's throne, the self-styled Leka I, lost by a huge margin.

In a 1999 referendum, the voters of Australia rejected a proposal to abolish their monarchy in favour of a specific republican model. The proposal was rejected in all states, with only the Australian Capital Territory voting in favour.

Monarchies abolished in the 20th–21st centuries


Last monarch



Dendi Askia Malla1901Ousted by the French, the country became a part of French West Africa.
Flag of Ashanti.svg Ashanti Prempeh I 1902Ousted by the British, the country became a part of Gold Coast (British colony).
Oyo Adeyemi I Alowolodu1905Last monarch died, the country became a part of British Southern Nigeria Protectorate.
Flag of the Mwali Sultanate.svg Mwali 1909The country was incorporated into French Third Republic.
Flag Portugal (1830).svg Portugal Manuel II 1910 Republican Coup d'État.
Flag of Korea 1882.svg Korea Sunjong Native monarchy abolished; replaced by rule by Japan, a monarchy, through 1945.
Angoche Ousted by the Portuguese, the country was incorporated into Portugal.
Nri Eze Nri Òbalíke 1911Ousted by the British, the country became a part of Southern Nigeria Protectorate.
Kasanje The country was incorporated into Portuguese West Africa.
Flag of the Qing Dynasty (1889-1912).svg China Xuantong 1912 Xinhai Revolution – Emperor ousted by warlords and republicans.
Ndzuwani Saidi Mohamed bin Saidi OmarThe country was incorporated into French Third Republic.
Flag of the Kingdom of Kongo.svg Kongo Manuel III1914Position abolished by Portuguese after an unsuccessful revolt.
Late 19th Century Flag of Sulu.svg Sultanate of Sulu Sultan Jamalul-Kiram II1915Split into American Insular Government over the Philippine islands, British North Borneo and the Dutch East Indies.
Darfur Ali Dinar 1916Darfur formally re-incorporated into Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.
YuanFlag1.svg China Hongxian Monarchy dropped, shortly after the outbreak of the National Protection War.
Flag of Russia.svg Russia Nicholas II 1917 Russian Revolution of 1917.
Flag of Russia.svg Finland Finnish Declaration of Independence.
Flag of the Kingdom of Montenegro.svg Montenegro Nicholas I 1918 Referendum deposed King and united Montenegro with Serbia.
Flag of the German Empire.svg Germany William II All on account of German defeat in World War I and the following German Revolution.
Flag of Prussia 1892-1918.svg Prussia
Flag of Bavaria (striped).svg Bavaria Ludwig III
Flagge Konigreich Wurttemberg.svg Württemberg William II
Flagge Konigreich Sachsen (1815-1918).svg Saxony Frederick Augustus III
Flagge Grossherzogtum Hessen ohne Wappen.svg Hesse Ernest Louis
Flagge Grossherzogtum Baden (1891-1918).svg Baden Frederick II
Flagge Grossherzogtum Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (1897-1920).svg Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach William Ernest
Flagge Grossherzogtumer Mecklenburg.svg Mecklenburg-Schwerin Frederick Francis IV
Flagge Grossherzogtumer Mecklenburg.svg Mecklenburg-Strelitz Adolphus Frederick VI
Civil flag of Oldenburg.svg Oldenburg Frederick Augustus II
Flagge Herzogtum Braunschweig.svg Brunswick Ernst Augustus
Flagge Herzogtum Anhalt.svg Anhalt Joachim Ernst
Flagge Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha (1911-1920).svg Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Charles Edward
Flagge Herzogtum Sachsen-Meiningen.svg Saxe-Meiningen Bernhard III
Flagge Herzogtum Sachsen-Meiningen.svg Saxe-Altenburg Ernst II
Flag of Germany (3-2 aspect ratio).svg Waldeck-Pyrmont Friedrich
Flagge Furstentum Lippe.svg Lippe Leopold IV
Flagge Furstentum Schaumburg-Lippe.svg Schaumburg-Lippe Adolf II
Flagge Furstentumer Schwarzburg.svg Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt Günther Victor
Flagge Furstentum Reuss altere Linie.svg Reuss Elder Line Heinrich XXIV
Flagge Furstentum Reuss jungere Linie.svg Reuss Younger Line Heinrich XXVII
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Austria Charles I Charles I "renounced participation" in state affairs, but did not abdicate. Monarchy officially abolished by the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, on 10 September 1919.
Flag of Finland 1918 (state).svg Finland Frederick Charles I Monarchy never in effect.
Flag of Lithuania 1918-1940.svg Lithuania Mindaugas II
Flag of Poland.svg Poland Ruled by Regency Council
Flag of Hungary (1867-1918).svg Hungary Charles IV Monarchy restored in 1920, although the throne remained vacant with a Regent.
State Flag of Serbia (1882-1918).svg Serbia Peter I Country transformed to Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.
Flag of Ukraine.svg Ukraine Pavlo Skoropadskyi Removed from power, following an uprising led by Symon Petliura and the withdrawal of German forces from Kiev.
Flag of the Emirate of Bukhara.svg Bukhara (Uzbekistan) Mohammed Alim Khan 1920Monarchy deposed by an invasion by the Red Army (Bukhara operation (1920)).
Bandera de Khiva 1917-1920.svg Khiva (Uzbekistan) Abdallah KhanMonarchy deposed by a communist uprising aided by the Red Army (Khivan Revolution).
Flag of Kingdom of Syria (1920-03-08 to 1920-07-24).svg Syria Faisal I Monarchy deposed, following the Siege of Damascus.
Ottoman Flag.svg Ottoman Empire Mehmed VI 1922 Sultanate abolished in 1922.
Wituland Fumo `Umar ibn Ahmad1923Sultanate abolished by British, the country was incorporated into Kenya Colony.
Hellenic Kingdom Flag 1935.svg Greece George II 1924Restored 1935 and later abolished again in 1973 (see below).
Flag of Mongolia (1911).svg Mongolia Bogd Khan Communist People's Republic proclaimed after Khan's death.
Albania 1914 Flag.svg Albania William I 1925Monarchy restored in 1928 (Albanian Kingdom).
Mohammerah Khaz'al al-Ka'bi 1925Sheikhdom abolished by Persia
Orungu Rogombé-Nwèntchandi1927Position abolished by French.
Flag of Spain (1785-1873 and 1875-1931).svg Spain Alfonso XIII 1931Later restored (see below).
Jimma Abba Jofir 1932Ousted by Ethiopians, Jimma incorporated into Ethiopia.
Flag Kingdom Of Albania.svg Albania Zog I 1939Throne usurped by Victor Emmanuel III, after Italian invasion.
Flag of Albania (1939).svg Albania Victor Emmanuel III 1943Relinquished throne after Italian armistice.
Flag of Croatia Ustasa.svg Croatia Tomislav II Abdicated after withdrawal of Italian support.
Light Blue Flag of Iceland.svg Iceland Christian X 1944Union with Denmark terminated.
Flag of Montenegro (1905-1918 & 1941-1944).svg Montenegro Ruled by Governor Monarchy abolished after takeover by Yugoslav Partisans
Flag of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.svg Yugoslavia Peter II 1945Communist reconstruction.
Flag of Manchukuo.svg Manchukuo Kāngdé Merged into the Republic of China after abolition of the Empire.
Old Flag Of Vietnam.svg Vietnam Bảo Đại Monarchy abolished after the Surrender of Japan.
Flag of Hungary (1920-1946).svg Hungary Miklós Horthy as Regent 1946Decision of the parliament without a referendum.
Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg Italy Umberto II Referendum; official result: 54.3% in favour of republic.
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgaria Simeon II Referendum held to decide whether the monarchy would be retained; 95% in favour of republic. Simeon later served as Prime Minister of Bulgaria 2001-2005.
Flag of the Kingdom of Sarawak (1870).svg Sarawak Charles Vyner Brooke White Rajahs hand over power to British crown.
Flag of Romania.svg Romania Michael I 1947Forced out by the communists.
Flag of Ireland.svg Ireland George VI1949Abolished the last "Monarchy of Ireland", the King of the United Kingdom.
Flag of India.svg India George VI1950Abolished Commonwealth monarchy.
Flag of Mysore.svg Mysore HH Maharaja Sir Jayachamaraja Wodeyar 1950The Kingdom of Mysore merged with the Republic of India in 1950
Flag of Tibet.svg Tibet Tenzin Gyatso 1951 Incorporated into the People's Republic of China.
Flag of Egypt 1922.svg Egypt Fuad II 1953Republic proclaimed one year after the 1952 Revolution.
Flag of Vietnam.svg Vietnam Bảo Đại 1954Vietnam partitioned through the Geneva Accords.
Flag of South Vietnam.svg Vietnam Bảo Đại 1955Referendum in South Vietnam.
Flag of Pakistan.svg Pakistan Elizabeth II 1956Abolished Commonwealth monarchy.
Flag of Tunisia.svg Tunisia Muhammad VIII al-Amin 1957coup d'état
Flag of Iraq (1921-1959).svg Iraq Faisal II 1958
Flag of Ghana.svg Ghana Elizabeth II1960Abolished Commonwealth monarchy, following a referendum; official result: 88% in favour of republic.
Flag of South Africa 1928-1994.svg South Africa 1961Abolished Commonwealth monarchy pursuant to 1960 referendum; official result: 53% in favor of republic.
Flag Rwanda 1959.svg Rwanda Kigeli V coup d'état, followed by referendum; official result: 80% in favor of abolishing monarchy.
Flag of Tanganyika (1961-1964).svg Tanganyika Elizabeth II1962Abolished Commonwealth monarchy.
Flag of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen.svg Yemen Muhammad al-Badr coup d'état
Flag of Nigeria.svg Nigeria Elizabeth II1963Abolished Commonwealth monarchy.
Flag of Uganda.svg Uganda
Flag of Kenya.svg Kenya 1964
Flag of the Sultanate of Zanzibar (1963).svg Zanzibar Jamshid bin Abdullah Zanzibar Revolution
Flag of Burundi (1962-1966).svg Burundi Ntare V 1966coup d'état
Flag of Malawi 1964-2010.svg Malawi Elizabeth IIAbolished Commonwealth monarchy.
Flag of the Sultanate of Fadhli.svg Fadhli Sultanate Nasser bin Abdullah bin Hussein bin Ahmed Alfadhli1967The countries were incorporated into newly created People's Republic of South Yemen.
Flag of Quaiti Hadramaut.svg Qu'aiti Sultanate in Hadhramaut Ghalib II bin Awadh bin Saleh Al Qu'aiti
Flag of the State of Upper Yafa.svg Sultanate of Upper Yafa Muhammad ibn Salih Harharah
Flag of Lower Yafa.svg Sultanate of Lower Yafa Mahmud ibn Aidrus Al Afifi
Muflahi Sheikhdom al Qasim ibn Abd ar Rahman
Audhali Sultanate Salih ibn al Husayn ibn Jabil Al Audhali
Flag of Beihan.svg Emirate of Beihan Saleh al Hussein Al Habieli
Dathina Sheikhdom
Flag of Dhala.svg Emirate of Dhala Shafaul ibn Ali Shaif Al Amiri
Flag of Wahidi Balhaf.svg Wahidi Sultanate of Balhaf in Hadhramaut
Sheikhdom of Shaib Yahya ibn Mutahhar al-Saqladi
Alawi Sheikhdom Salih ibn Sayil Al Alawi
Aqrabi Sheikhdom Mahmud ibn Muhammad Al Aqrabi
Flag of Wahidi Haban.svg Wahidi Sultanate of Haban in Hadhramaut Husayn ibn Abd Allah Al Wahidi
Qutaibi Sheikhdom
Hadrami Sheikhdom
Mausatta Sheikhdom
Busi Sheikhdom
Dhabi Sheikhdom
Haushabi Sultanate Faisal bin Surur Al Haushabi
Kathiri flag.svg Kathiri Sultanate in Hadhramaut Al Husayn ibn Ali
Mahraflag.svg Mahra Sultanate
Flag of the Sultanate of Lahej.svg Sultanate of Lahej Ali bin Abd al Karim al Abdali
Sheikhdom of al-Hawra
Lower Aulaqi Sultanate Nasir ibn Aidrus Al Awlaqi
Upper Aulaqi Sultanate Awad ibn Salih Al Awlaqi
Upper Aulaqi Sheikhdom Amir Abd Allah ibn Muhsin al Yaslami Al Aulaqi
Flag of Maldives.svg Maldives Muhammad Fareed Didi 1968Independence referendum.
Flag of Libya (1951).svg Libya Idris I 1969coup d'état
Flag of Rhodesia (1968-1979).svg Rhodesia Elizabeth II 1970Abolished Commonwealth monarchy. An unrecognised government of the British colony of Southern Rhodesia had unilaterally declared independence as Rhodesia in 1965, proclaiming Elizabeth II as Queen, but she did not accept the title, nor was it recognised by any other state. Following a referendum in 1969, in which 81% voted to abolish the monarchy, a republic was declared in 1970.
Flag of Cambodia.svg Cambodia Norodom Sihanouk Later restored (see below).
Flag of The Gambia.svg The Gambia Elizabeth II1971Abolished Commonwealth monarchy.
Flag of Guyana.svg Guyana
Flag of Sierra Leone.svg Sierra Leone
Flag of Sri Lanka.svg Ceylon 1972Abolished Commonwealth monarchy, state name changed into "Sri Lanka".
Flag of Afghanistan 1930.svg Afghanistan Mohammed Zahir Shah 1973coup d'état.
Flag of Ethiopia (1897-1936; 1941-1974).svg Ethiopia Haile Selassie I 1974
Flag of Greece (1970-1975).svg Greece Constantine II referendum; official result: 69% against monarchy
Flag of Malta.svg Malta Elizabeth IIAbolished Commonwealth monarchy.
Flag of Laos (1952-1975).svg Laos Savang Vatthana 1975Communist takeover
Flag of Sikkim (1967-1975).svg Sikkim Palden Thondup Namgyal Referendum; official result: 97% to become a state of India.
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg Trinidad and Tobago Elizabeth II1976Abolished Commonwealth monarchy.
State Flag of Iran (1964).svg Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi 1979 Iranian Revolution
Flag of the Central African Republic.svg Central Africa Bokassa I coup d'état
Rwenzururu flag.png Rwenzururu Charles Mumbere 1982Forced to abdicate by the government of Uganda; declaration of independence of Rwenzururu was annulled.
Flag of Fiji.svg Fiji Elizabeth II1987Abolished Commonwealth monarchy. Elizabeth II remained recognized as Paramount Chief by the Great Council of Chiefs until the council's de-establishment on 14 March 2012.
Flag of Kuwait.svg Kuwait Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah 1990Later restored (see below)
Flag of Mauritius.svg Mauritius Elizabeth II1992Abolished Commonwealth monarchy.
Flag of Nepal.svg Nepal King Gyanendra 2008Monarchy abolished on 28 May 2008, replaced with a secular federal republic. [4]

Current monarchies that were abolished and then restored


Year abolished


Year restored

Flag of England.svg St Patrick's saltire.svg England, and Ireland 1649 Commonwealth of England established1660
Flag of Spain.svg Spain1873 First Spanish Republic established1874
1931 Second Spanish Republic established, then restored in 1947 (de jure), initially under the regency of Francisco Franco 1975
(de facto)
Flag of Ankole.svg Ankole 1967Four traditional Ugandan monarchies abolished by government under new constitution of Milton Obote 1993
Flag of Buganda.svg Buganda
Flag of Bunyoro, Uganda.svg Bunyoro
Flag of Toro, Uganda.svg Toro
Flag of Cambodia.svg Cambodia 1970 Khmer Republic established, in 1975 it was overthrown by the Khmer Rouge and Democratic Kampuchea was established. In 1979, the People's Republic of Kampuchea was established, whose name was changed to the State of Cambodia.1993
Rwenzururu flag.png Rwenzururu, a part of Uganda1982Abolished by the government.2009
(de facto)
Flag of Kuwait.svg Kuwait 1990 Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah was ousted from power when the Republic of Kuwait was proclaimed during the Gulf War before its subsequent annexation by Iraq. Monarchy restored after Iraq's expulsion from Kuwait.1991

See also


  1. Aristotle in his Politics distinguished monarchy and aristocracy as systems of government. Note that Russia after 1917, for example, abandoned traditional nobility; German nobility (but not Austrian nobility) after 1919 retained certain features of aristocratic nomenclature and social influence.
  2. Not all monarchies depend on the inheritance of political power: see elective monarchy.
  3. The Ottoman Empire and Russian Empire are counted amongst Europe, the German Empire is counted as a single monarchy.
  4. The Republic of Turkey is counted amongst Europe, the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics as a single republic, the Irish Free State as an independent monarchy (see also Irish head of state from 1936 to 1949), Vatican City as an elective monarchy, the Kingdom of Hungary as a nominal monarchy.

Related Research Articles

A royalist supports a particular monarch as head of state for a particular kingdom, or of a particular dynastic claim. In the abstract, this position is royalism. It is distinct from monarchism, which advocates a monarchical system of government, but not necessarily a particular monarch. Most often, the term royalist is applied to a supporter of a current regime or one that has been recently overthrown to form a republic.

A reign is the period of a person's or dynasty's occupation of the office of monarch of a nation, of a people or of a spiritual community. In most hereditary monarchies and some elective monarchies there have been no limits on the duration of a sovereign's reign or incumbency, nor is there a term of office. Thus, a reign usually lasts until the monarch dies, unless the monarchy itself is abolished or the monarch abdicates or is deposed.

Republicanism in the United Kingdom is the political movement that seeks to replace the United Kingdom's monarchy with a republic. For those who want a non-hereditary head of state, the method by which one should be chosen is not agreed upon, with some favouring an elected president, some an appointed head of state with little power. Others support something akin to the Swiss model, with a directorate functioning as a collective head of state.

Monarchies in Europe Wikimedia list article

Monarchy was the prevalent form of government in the history of Europe throughout the Middle Ages, only occasionally competing with communalism, notably in the case of the Maritime republics and the Swiss Confederacy.

Greek royal family

The Greek royal family is a branch of the House of Glücksburg that reigned in Greece from 1863 to 1924 and again from 1935 to 1973. Its first monarch was George I, the second son of King Christian IX of Denmark. He and his successors styled themselves "Kings of the Hellenes".

Monarchies in Africa Wikimedia list article

There are several monarchies in Africa, defined as either actually or nominally self-governing states, territories, or nations on the continent of Africa where supreme power resides with an individual who is recognized as the head of state. All are similar in that the sovereign inherits their office and typically keeps it until their death or until their abdication. However, only three are currently sovereign, while the remaining are sub-national monarchies. Two of these are constitutional monarchies, in which the sovereign is bound by laws and customs in the exercise of his or her powers, and one is an absolute monarchy (Eswatini), in which the sovereign rules without bounds. The sub-national monarchies are not sovereign, and exist within larger political associations. In addition to these, there are also three dependencies of two European monarchies.

Monarchism in Iran

Iranian monarchism is the advocacy of restoring the constitutional monarchy in Iran, which was abolished after the 1979 Revolution.

Monarchies in the Americas

There are 13 monarchies in the Americas. Each is a constitutional monarchy, where in the sovereign inherits his or her office, usually keeping it until death or abdication, and is bound by laws and customs in the exercise of their powers. Ten of these monarchies are independent states, and equally share Queen Elizabeth II, who resides primarily in the United Kingdom, as their respective sovereign, making them part of a global grouping known as the Commonwealth realms, while the remaining three are dependencies of European monarchies. As such, none of the monarchies in the Americas have a permanently-residing monarch. In the case of South America, it has no monarchies at all, the only continent in the world not to have any.

There are six monarchies in Oceania; that is: self-governing sovereign states in Oceania where supreme power resides with an individual hereditary head, who is recognised as the head of state. Each is a constitutional monarchy, wherein the sovereign inherits his or her office, usually keeps it until death or abdication, and is bound by laws and customs in the exercise of their powers. Five of these independent states share Queen Elizabeth II as their respective head of state, making them part of a global grouping known as the Commonwealth realms; in addition, all monarchies of Oceania are members of the Commonwealth of Nations. The only sovereign monarchy in Oceania that does not share a monarch with another state is Tonga. Australia and New Zealand have dependencies within the region and outside it, although five non-sovereign constituent monarchs are recognized by New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and France.

A non-sovereign monarchy is one in which the head of the monarchical polity, and the polity itself, are subject to a temporal authority higher than their own. The constituent states of the German Empire provide a historical example; a contemporary one is the Zulu King, whose power derives from the Constitution of South Africa.

Monarchy of Greece

The Monarchy of Greece or Greek Monarchy was the government in which a hereditary monarch was the sovereign of the Kingdom of Greece from 1832 to 1924 and 1935 to 1973.


  1. Maya Jasanoff (2012). Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World. Random House. p. 357.
  2. "But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee [...]. Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them."
  3. Note for example: Breen, Timothy H. (2017). "4: Voices of the People". George Washington's Journey: The President Forges a New Nation. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 120. ISBN   9781451675436 . Retrieved 24 February 2017. If most Americans saw the danger of addressing Washington as their American Caesar - he had absolutely no interest in becoming emperor - they nevertheless found it surprisingly appealing to depict him as a king, as in King George I of the United States. Their extremely unrepublican behavior when they encountered him on the road probably drew on their recent colonial past. While Americans had just ratified a republican form of government, which among other things abolished monarchs and aristocrats, many of them almost reflexively imagined Washington as a kind of elected monarch.
  4. "World | South Asia | Nepal votes to abolish monarchy". BBC News. 28 May 2008. Retrieved 21 July 2011.