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Charles I of England and his son, the future James II of England, from the House of Stuart. Charles I and James II.png
Charles I of England and his son, the future James II of England, from the House of Stuart.
The Qing dynasty was the final imperial dynasty of China. It was established in 1636 and collapsed in 1912. Qing China 1820.png
The Qing dynasty was the final imperial dynasty of China. It was established in 1636 and collapsed in 1912.

A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family, [1] usually in the context of a monarchical system, but sometimes also appearing in republics. A dynasty may also be referred to as a "house", "family" or "clan", among others.


Historians periodize the histories of many states and civilizations, such as Ancient Iran (3200 – 539 BC), Ancient Egypt (3100 – 30 BC), and Ancient and Imperial China (2070 BC – AD 1912), using a framework of successive dynasties. As such, the term "dynasty" may be used to delimit the era during which a family reigned.

Before the 18th century, most dynasties throughout the world have traditionally been reckoned patrilineally, such as those that follow the Frankish Salic law. In polities where it was permitted, succession through a daughter usually established a new dynasty in her husband's family name. This has changed in all of Europe's remaining monarchies, where succession law and conventions have maintained dynastic names de jure through a female.

Dynastic politics has declined over time, owing to a decline in monarchy as a form of government, a rise in democracy, and a reduction within democracies of elected members from dynastic families. [2]


The word "dynasty" (from the Greek : δυναστεία, dynasteía "power", "lordship", from dynástes "ruler") [3] is sometimes used informally for people who are not rulers but are, for example, members of a family with influence and power in other areas, such as a series of successive owners of a major company. It is also extended to unrelated people, such as major poets of the same school or various rosters of a single sports team. [1]

The dynastic family or lineage may be known as a "noble house", [4] which may be styled as "imperial", "royal", "princely", "ducal", "comital" or "baronial", depending upon the chief or present title borne by its members.


A ruler from a dynasty is sometimes referred to as a "dynast", but this term is also used to describe any member of a reigning family who retains a right to succeed to a throne. For example, King Edward VIII ceased to be a dynast of the House of Windsor following his abdication.

In historical and monarchist references to formerly reigning families, a "dynast" is a family member who would have had succession rights, were the monarchy's rules still in force. For example, after the 1914 assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his morganatic wife, their son Maximilian, Duke of Hohenberg, was bypassed for the Austro-Hungarian throne because he was not a Habsburg dynast. Even after the abolition of the Austrian monarchy, Duke Maximilian and his descendants have not been considered the rightful pretenders by Austrian monarchists, nor have they claimed that position.

The term "dynast" is sometimes used only to refer to agnatic descendants of a realm's monarchs, and sometimes to include those who hold succession rights through cognatic royal descent. The term can therefore describe overlapping but distinct sets of people. For example, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, a nephew of Queen Elizabeth II, is in the line of succession to the British crown, making him a British dynast. On the other hand, since he is not a patrilineal member of the British royal family, he is therefore not a dynast of the House of Windsor.

Comparatively, the German aristocrat Prince Ernst August of Hanover, a male-line descendant of King George III, possesses no legal British name, titles or styles (although he is entitled to reclaim the former royal dukedom of Cumberland). He was born in the line of succession to the British throne and was bound by Britain's Royal Marriages Act 1772 until it was repealed when the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 took effect on 26 March 2015. [5] Thus, he requested and obtained formal permission from Queen Elizabeth II to marry the Roman Catholic Princess Caroline of Monaco in 1999. Yet, a clause of the English Act of Settlement 1701 remained in effect at that time, stipulating that dynasts who marry Roman Catholics are considered "dead" for the purpose of succession to the British throne. [6] That exclusion, too, ceased to apply on 26 March 2015, with retroactive effect for those who had been dynasts before triggering it by marriage to a Roman Catholic. [5]

Dynastic marriage

A "dynastic marriage" is one that complies with monarchical house law restrictions, so that the descendants are eligible to inherit the throne or other royal privileges. [7] For example, the marriage of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands to Máxima Zorreguieta in 2002 was dynastic, making their eldest child, Princess Catharina-Amalia, the heir apparent to the Crown of the Netherlands. The marriage of his younger brother, Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau, in 2003 lacked government support and parliamentary approval. Thus, Prince Friso forfeited his place in the order of succession to the Dutch throne, and consequently lost his title as a "Prince of the Netherlands", and left his children without dynastic rights.


Historians periodize the histories of many states and civilizations, such as Ancient Iran (3200 – 539 BC), Ancient Egypt (3100 – 30 BC) and Ancient and Imperial China (2070 BC – AD 1912), using a framework of successive dynasties. As such, the term "dynasty" may be used to delimit the era during which a family reigned, and also to describe events, trends and artifacts of that period (e.g., "a Ming dynasty vase"). Until the 19th century, it was taken for granted that a legitimate function of a monarch was to aggrandize his dynasty: that is, to expand the wealth and power of his family members. [8]

Before the 18th century, most dynasties throughout the world have traditionally been reckoned patrilineally, such as those that follow the Frankish Salic law. In polities where it was permitted, succession through a daughter usually established a new dynasty in her husband's family name. This has changed in all of Europe's remaining monarchies, where succession law and conventions have maintained dynastic names de jure through a female. For instance, the House of Windsor is maintained through the children of Queen Elizabeth II, as it did with the monarchy of the Netherlands, whose dynasty remained the House of Orange-Nassau through three successive queens regnant. The earliest such example among major European monarchies was in the Russian Empire in the 18th century, where the name of the House of Romanov was maintained through Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna. This also happened in the case of Queen Maria II of Portugal, who married Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha-Koháry, but whose descendants remained members of the House of Braganza, per Portuguese law; in fact, since the 1800s, the only female monarch in Europe who had children belonging to a different house was Queen Victoria and that was due to disagreements over how to choose a non German house. In Limpopo Province of South Africa, Balobedu determined descent matrilineally, while rulers have at other times adopted the name of their mother's dynasty when coming into her inheritance. Less frequently, a monarchy has alternated or been rotated, in a multi-dynastic (or polydynastic) system—that is, the most senior living members of parallel dynasties, at any point in time, constitute the line of succession.


Dynasties lasting at least 250 years include the following. Legendary lineages that cannot be historically confirmed are not included.

EraDynastyLength of rule
660 BCE present [lower-alpha 1] Yamato 2,683 years [lower-alpha 1]
400 BCE 1618 CE [12] [13] Pandya 2,018 years est.
c.300 BCE 1279 CE Chola 1,579 years est.
c.5th century 1971 CE Guhila - Sisodia 1,371 years est.
950s CE present
(title Tuʻi Tonga to 1865 CE)
Tonga 1,070 years est.
c.780 1812 CE Bagrationi 1,032 years est.
c.900 1930 CE Borjigid 1,030 years est.
c.730 – 1855 Bohkti 1,125 years est.
c.1700 722 BCE Adaside 978 years est.
c.891 1846 CE Sayfawa 955 years est.
665 1598 CE Baduspanids 933 years
57 BCE 935 CE Silla 992 years est.
1128 1971 Kachhwaha 843 years
987 1792, 1814 1848 CE Capetian 839 years
1046 256 BCE Zhou 790 years
750 1258 CE, 1261 – 1517 CE Abbasid 764


862 1598 CE Rurikid 736 years
1243 1971 Rathore 728 years
37 BCE 668 CE Goguryeo 705 years
1270 1975 CE Solomon 705 years
651 1349 CE Bavand dynasty 698 years
18 BCE 660 CE Baekje 678 years
1360s present Bolkiah 656 years or 661 years
1299 1922 CE Ottoman c.623 years
543 BCE 66 CE Vijaya 608 years
1228 1826 CE Ahom 598 years
1600 – 1046 BCE or 1766–1122 BCE Shang 554 years or 644 years
1392 1910 CE Joseon and Korean Empire 518 years
1370 1857 CE Timurid 487 years
918 1392 CE Goryeo 474 years
247 BCE 224 CE Arsacid 471 years
1154 1624 CE Nabhani 470 years
202 BCE 9 CE, 25 220 CE Han and Shu Han 448 years
858 1301 CE Árpád 443 years
1586 present Mataram [lower-alpha 2] 438 years
224 651 CE Sassanian 427 years
1010 586 BCE Davidic 424 years
220 638 CE Jafnid 418 years
960 1370 CE Piast 410 years
730 330 BCE Achaemenid 400 years
1220 1597 CE Siri Sanga Bo 377 years
661 750, 756 1031 CE Umayyad 364 years
1271 1635 CE Yuan and Northern Yuan 364 years
1057 1059, 1081 1185, 1204 1461 CE Komnenos
(styled as Megas Komnenos since late 13th century)
363 years
1428 1527, 1533 1789 CE Later Lê (Primitive and Revival Lê)355 years
1047 1375, 1387 1412 CE Estridsen 353 years
c.653 BCE 309 BCE Argead 344 years
1278 1914 CE Habsburg 636 years
1371 1651, 1660 1714 CE Stuart 334 years
1154 1485 CE Plantagenet 330 years
905 1234 CE Jiménez 329 years
1699 present Bendahara 325 years
960 1279 CE Song 319 years
1613 1917 CE Romanov 304 years
300 602 CE Lakhmid 302 years
916 1218 CE Liao and Western Liao 302 years
1616 1912 CE Later Jin and Qing 296 years
1368 1662 CE Ming and Southern Ming 294 years
305 30 BCE Ptolemaic 275 years
618 690, 705 907 CE Tang 274 years
909 1171 CE Fatimid 262 years
1230 1492 CE Nasrid 262 years
1550 1292 BCE Thutmosid 258 years
1034 1286 CE Dunkeld 252 years

Extant sovereign dynasties

There are 43 sovereign states with a monarch as head of state, of which 41 are ruled by dynasties. [lower-alpha 3] There are currently 26 sovereign dynasties.

Dynasty Realm Reigning monarch Dynastic founder [lower-alpha 4] Dynastic place of origin [lower-alpha 5]
House of Windsor [lower-alpha 6] [lower-alpha 7] Flag of Antigua and Barbuda.svg  Antigua and Barbuda King Charles III King-Emperor George V [lower-alpha 8] Thuringia and Bavaria
(in modern Germany)
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Commonwealth of Australia [lower-alpha 9]
Flag of the Bahamas.svg  Commonwealth of The Bahamas
Flag of Belize.svg  Belize
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
Flag of Grenada.svg  Grenada
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica
Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand [lower-alpha 10]
Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg  Independent State of Papua New Guinea
Flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis.svg  Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis
Flag of Saint Lucia.svg  Saint Lucia
Flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.svg  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Flag of the Solomon Islands.svg  Solomon Islands
Flag of Tuvalu.svg  Tuvalu
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland [lower-alpha 11]
House of Khalifa Flag of Bahrain.svg  Kingdom of Bahrain King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa Sheikh Khalifa bin Mohammed Najd
(in modern Saudi Arabia)
House of Belgium [lower-alpha 12] Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Kingdom of Belgium King Philippe King Albert I [lower-alpha 13] Thuringia and Bavaria
(in modern Germany)
Wangchuck dynasty Flag of Bhutan.svg  Kingdom of Bhutan Druk Gyalpo Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck Druk Gyalpo Ugyen Wangchuck Trongsa,


House of Bolkiah Flag of Brunei.svg  Brunei Darussalam Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Sultan Muhammad Shah Tarim in Hadhramaut [lower-alpha 14]
(in modern Yemen)
House of Norodom [lower-alpha 15] Flag of Cambodia.svg  Kingdom of Cambodia King Norodom Sihamoni King Norodom Prohmbarirak Cambodia
House of Glücksburg [lower-alpha 16] Flag of Denmark.svg  Kingdom of Denmark [lower-alpha 17] King Frederik X Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg Glücksburg
(in modern Germany)
Flag of Norway.svg  Kingdom of Norway King Harald V
House of Dlamini Flag of Eswatini.svg  Kingdom of Eswatini King Mswati III Chief Dlamini I East Africa
Imperial House of Japan [lower-alpha 18] Flag of Japan.svg  Japan Emperor Naruhito Emperor Jimmu [lower-alpha 19] Nara
(in modern Japan)
House of Hashim [lower-alpha 20] Flag of Jordan.svg  Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan King Abdullah II King Hussein ibn Ali al-Hashimi Hejaz
(in modern Saudi Arabia)
House of Sabah Flag of Kuwait.svg  State of Kuwait Emir Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah Sheikh Sabah I bin Jaber Najd
(in modern Saudi Arabia)
House of Moshesh Flag of Lesotho.svg  Kingdom of Lesotho King Letsie III Paramount Chief Moshoeshoe I Lesotho
House of Liechtenstein Flag of Liechtenstein.svg  Principality of Liechtenstein Prince Hans-Adam II Prince Karl I Lower Austria
(in modern Austria)
House of Luxembourg-Nassau [lower-alpha 21] Flag of Luxembourg.svg  Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Grand Duke Henri Grand Duke Adolphe Nassau
(in modern Germany)
Bendahara dynasty [lower-alpha 22] Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia [lower-alpha 23] Yang di-Pertuan Agong Abdullah Bendahara Tun Habib Abdul Majid Johor
(in modern Malaysia)
House of Grimaldi Flag of Monaco.svg  Principality of Monaco Prince Albert II François Grimaldi Genoa
(in modern Italy)
'Alawi dynasty Flag of Morocco.svg  Kingdom of Morocco King Mohammed VI Sultan Abul Amlak Sidi Muhammad as-Sharif ibn 'Ali Tafilalt
(in modern Morocco)
House of Orange-Nassau [lower-alpha 24] Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Kingdom of the Netherlands [lower-alpha 25] King Willem-Alexander Prince William I Nassau
(in modern Germany)
House of Busaid Flag of Oman.svg  Sultanate of Oman Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Sultan Ahmad bin Said al-Busaidi Oman
House of Thani Flag of Qatar.svg  State of Qatar Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Sheikh Thani bin Mohammed Najd
(in modern Saudi Arabia)
House of Saud Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Kingdom of Saudi Arabia King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Emir Saud I Diriyah
(in modern Saudi Arabia)
House of Bourbon-Anjou [lower-alpha 26] Flag of Spain.svg  Kingdom of Spain King Felipe VI King Philip V Bourbon-l'Archambault
(in modern France)
House of Bernadotte Flag of Sweden.svg  Kingdom of Sweden King Carl XVI Gustaf King Charles XIV John Pau
(in modern France)
Chakri dynasty Flag of Thailand.svg  Kingdom of Thailand King Vajiralongkorn King Rama I Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
(in modern Thailand)
House of Tupou Flag of Tonga.svg  Kingdom of Tonga King Tupou VI King George Tupou I Tonga
House of Nahyan [lower-alpha 27] Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates [lower-alpha 28] President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Sheikh Dhiyab bin Isa Al Nahyan Liwa Oasis
(in modern United Arab Emirates)

Political families

Though in elected governments, rule does not pass automatically by inheritance, political power often accrues to generations of related individuals in the elected positions of republics, and constitutional monarchies. Eminence, influence, tradition, genetics, and nepotism may contribute to the phenomenon.

Hereditary dictatorship

Hereditary dictatorships are nominally democratic personalist dictatorships in which political power stays within a strongman's family due to the overwhelming authority of the strongman, rather than by the democratic consent of the people. The strongman typically fills government positions with their relatives. They may groom a successor during their own lifetime, or a member of their family may maneuver to take control of the dictatorship after the strongman's death.

Current hereditary dictatorships
DynastyRegimeCurrent leaderDynastic founderYear founded [lower-alpha 29]
Kim dynasty Flag of North Korea.svg  Democratic People's Republic of Korea Kim Jong Un Kim Il Sung 1948
Gnassingbé dynasty [14] Flag of Togo.svg  Togo Faure Gnassingbé Gnassingbé Eyadéma 1967
Assad dynasty Flag of Syria.svg  Syrian Arab Republic Bashar al-Assad Hafez al-Assad 1970
Gouled-Guelleh dynasty [15] Flag of Djibouti.svg  Djibouti Ismaïl Omar Guelleh Hassan Gouled Aptidon 1977
Aliyev dynasty [16] Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev Heydar Aliyev 1993
Hun dynasty [17] [18] [19] Flag of Cambodia.svg  Kingdom of Cambodia Hun Manet Hun Sen 1997
Berdimuhamedow dynasty [20] Flag of Turkmenistan.svg  Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedow Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow 2006

Influential wealthy families

See also


  1. 1 2 Traditional date (see National Foundation Day). It is impossible to determine the exact date of the Yamato dynasty's foundation, as written language in Japan did not appear until the 6th century. [9] [10] The first Japanese emperor to be considered "historical" is Emperor Kinmei (r. 539–571), [11] meaning that the Yamato line is at least 1484 years old.
  2. Territory split into the Surakarta Sunanate and Yogyakarta Sultanate in 1755 by the Treaty of Giyanti
  3. Existing sovereign entities ruled by non-dynastic monarchs include:
  4. The founder of a dynasty need not necessarily equate to the first monarch of a particular realm. For example, while William I was the dynastic founder of the House of Orange-Nassau which currently rules over the Kingdom of the Netherlands, he was never a monarch of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
  5. Not to be confused with dynastic seat.
  6. The House of Windsor is descended from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, which is a branch of the House of Wettin. The dynastic name was changed from "Saxe-Coburg and Gotha" to "Windsor" in AD 1917.
  7. A sovereign state with Charles III as its monarch and head of state is known as a Commonwealth realm.
  8. George V was formerly a member of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha before AD 1917.
  9. Including:
  10. The Realm of New Zealand consists of:
  11. Including: The crown dependencies of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the Bailiwick of Jersey, and the Isle of Man are neither part of the United Kingdom nor British overseas territories.
  12. The House of Belgium is descended from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, which is a branch of the House of Wettin. The dynastic name was changed from "Saxe-Coburg and Gotha" to "Belgium" in AD 1920.
  13. Albert I was formerly a member of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha before AD 1920.
  14. Claimed by the royal house, but the historicity is questionable.
  15. The House of Norodom is a branch of the Varman dynasty.
  16. The House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg is a branch of the House of Oldenburg.
  17. Including:
  18. The Imperial House of Japan, or the Yamato dynasty, is the world's oldest continuous dynasty. The dynasty has produced an unbroken succession of Japanese monarchs since the legendary founding year of 660 BC.
  19. Most historians regard Emperor Jimmu to have been a mythical ruler. Emperor Ōjin, traditionally considered the 15th emperor, is the first who is generally thought to have existed, while Emperor Kinmei, the 29th emperor according to traditional historiography, is the first monarch for whom verifiable regnal dates can be assigned.
  20. The House of Hashim is descended from Banu Qatada, which was a branch of the House of Ali.
  21. The House of Luxembourg-Nassau is descended from the House of Nassau-Weilburg, which is a branch of the House of Nassau and the House of Bourbon-Parma.
  22. The Bendahara dynasty is the ruling dynasty of Pahang Darul Makmur and Terengganu. The Sultan of Pahang is the reigning Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.
  23. The throne of Malaysia rotates among the nine constituent monarchies of Malaysia, each ruled by a dynasty. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is elected by the Conference of Rulers.
  24. The House of Orange-Nassau is a branch of the House of Nassau. Additionally, Willem-Alexander is also linked to the House of Lippe through Beatrix of the Netherlands.
  25. The Kingdom of the Netherlands consists of:
  26. The House of Bourbon-Anjou is a branch of the House of Bourbon.
  27. The House of Nahyan is the ruling dynasty of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The Emir of Abu Dhabi is the incumbent President of the United Arab Emirates.
  28. The President of the United Arab Emirates is elected by the Federal Supreme Council. The office has been held by the Emir of Abu Dhabi since the formation of the United Arab Emirates in AD 1971.
  29. Year authoritarian system began

Related Research Articles

A monarch is a head of state for life or until abdication, and therefore the head of state of a monarchy. A monarch may exercise the highest authority and power in the state, or others may wield that power on behalf of the monarch. Usually a monarch either personally inherits the lawful right to exercise the state's sovereign rights or is selected by an established process from a family or cohort eligible to provide the nation's monarch. Alternatively, an individual may proclaim oneself monarch, which may be backed and legitimated through acclamation, right of conquest or a combination of means.

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, to fully autocratic, and can span across executive, legislative, and judicial domains.

A prince is a male ruler or a male member of a monarch's or former monarch's family. Prince is also a title of nobility, often hereditary, in some European states. The female equivalent is a princess. The English word derives, via the French word prince, from the Latin noun prīnceps, from primus (first) and caput (head), meaning "the first, foremost, the chief, most distinguished, noble ruler, prince".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Duke</span> Noble or royal title in some European countries and their colonies

Duke is a male title either of a monarch ruling over a duchy, or of a member of royalty, or nobility. As rulers, dukes are ranked below emperors, kings, grand princes, grand dukes, and sovereign princes. As royalty or nobility, they are ranked below princes and grand dukes. The title comes from French duc, itself from the Latin dux, 'leader', a term used in republican Rome to refer to a military commander without an official rank, and later coming to mean the leading military commander of a province. In most countries, the word duchess is the female equivalent.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Monarchy of Belgium</span> Constitutional, hereditary and popular monarchy of Belgium

Belgium is a constitutional, hereditary and popular monarchy. The monarch is titled King of the Belgians and serves as the country's head of state and commander-in-chief of the Belgian Armed Forces. There have been seven Belgian monarchs since independence in 1830.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ferdinand I of Bulgaria</span> Monarch of Bulgaria from 1887 to 1918

Ferdinand I was Prince of Bulgaria from 1887 to 1908 and Tsar of Bulgaria from 1908 until his abdication in 1918. Under his rule Bulgaria entered the First World War on the side of the Central Powers in 1915.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Grand duchy</span> State with a grand duke or duchess as head of state

A grand duchy is a country or territory whose official head of state or ruler is a monarch bearing the title of grand duke or grand duchess.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">House of Windsor</span> British royal house

The House of Windsor is a British royal house, and currently the reigning house of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. The royal house's name was inspired by the historic Windsor Castle estate. Since it was founded in 1917, there have been five British monarchs of the House of Windsor: George V, Edward VIII, George VI, Elizabeth II, and Charles III. The children and male-line descendants of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip also genealogically belong to the House of Oldenburg since Philip was by birth a member of the Glücksburg branch of that house.

A royal family is the immediate family of kings/queens, emirs/emiras, sultans/sultanas, or raja/rani and sometimes their extended family.

An elective monarchy is a monarchy ruled by a monarch who is elected, in contrast to a hereditary monarchy in which the office is automatically passed down as a family inheritance. The manner of election, the nature of candidate qualifications, and the electors vary from case to case. Historically, it was common for elective monarchies to transform into hereditary ones over time or for hereditary ones to acquire at least occasional elective aspects.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">House of Wettin</span> German noble and royal family

The House of Wettin was a dynasty of German kings, prince-electors, dukes, and counts that once ruled territories in the present-day German states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. The dynasty is one of the oldest in Europe, and its origins can be traced back to the town of Wettin, Saxony-Anhalt. The Wettins gradually rose to power within the Holy Roman Empire. Members of the family became the rulers of several medieval states, starting with the Saxon Eastern March in 1030. Other states they gained were Meissen in 1089, Thuringia in 1263, and Saxony in 1423. These areas cover large parts of Central Germany as a cultural area of Germany.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Queen regnant</span> Female monarch who rules a country in her own right

A queen regnant is a female monarch, equivalent in rank, title and position to a king. She reigns suo jure over a realm known as a kingdom; as opposed to a queen consort, who is married to a reigning king; or a queen regent, who is the guardian of a child monarch and rules pro tempore in the child's stead or instead of her husband who is absent from the realm, be it de jure in sharing power or de facto in ruling alone. A queen regnant is sometimes called a woman king. A princess regnant is a female monarch who reigns suo jure over a principality; an empress regnant is a female monarch who reigns suo jure over an empire.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Duarte Nuno, Duke of Braganza</span> Duke of Braganza

DomDuarte Nuno, Duke of Braganza was the claimant to the defunct Portuguese throne, as both the Miguelist successor of his father, Miguel Januário, Duke of Braganza, and later as the head of the only Brigantine house, after the death of the last ruling Braganza, King Manuel II of Portugal. In 1952, when the Portuguese Laws of Banishment were repealed, the Duke moved his family to Portugal, thus returning the Miguelist Braganzas to their homeland and becoming the first of the former Portuguese royal dynasty to live in Portugal since the abolition of the monarchy in 1910.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Brazilian imperial family</span> Branch of the House of Braganza that ruled the Empire of Brazil

The Imperial House of Brazil is a Brazilian dynasty of Portuguese origin that ruled the Brazilian Empire from 1822 to 1889, from the time when the then Prince Royal Dom Pedro of Braganza declared Brazil's independence, until Dom Pedro II was deposed during the military coup that led to the Proclamation of the Republic in 1889.

Highness is a formal style used to address or refer to certain members of a reigning or formerly reigning dynasty. It is typically used with a possessive adjective: "His Highness", "Her Highness" (HH), "Their Highnesses", etc. Although often combined with other adjectives of honour indicating rank, such as "Imperial", "Royal" or "Serene", it may be used alone.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha</span> European royal house of German origin

The House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha is a European royal house. It takes its name from its oldest domain, the Ernestine duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and its members later sat on the thrones of Belgium, Bulgaria, Portugal, and the United Kingdom and its dominions.

A substantive title is a title of nobility or royalty acquired either by individual grant or by inheritance. It is to be distinguished from a title shared among cadets, borne as a courtesy title by a peer's relatives, or acquired through marriage.

An order, line or right of succession is the line of individuals necessitated to hold a high office when it becomes vacated, such as head of state or an honour such as a title of nobility. This sequence may be regulated through descent or by statute.


  1. 1 2 Oxford English Dictionary, 1st ed. "dynasty, n." Oxford University Press (Oxford), 1897.
  2. Van Coppennolle, Brenda; Smith, Daniel (2023). "Dynasties in Historical Political Economy" (PDF). The Oxford Handbook of Historical Political Economy. Archived (PDF) from the original on 20 September 2023. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  3. Harper, Douglas. "dynasty". Online Etymology Dictionary .
  4. Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed. "house, n.1 and int, 10. b." Oxford University Press (Oxford), 2011.
  5. 1 2 Statement by Nick Clegg MP, UK parliament website Archived 5 July 2016 at the Wayback Machine , 26 March 2015 (retrieved on same date).
  6. "Monaco royal taken seriously ill". BBC News . London. 8 April 2005. Archived from the original on 12 March 2010. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  7. "The Dynastic Marriage". ieg-ego.eu (in German). Archived from the original on 28 February 2023. Retrieved 28 February 2023.
  8. Thomson, David (1961). "The Institutions of Monarchy". Europe Since Napoleon . New York: Knopf. pp.  79–80. The basic idea of monarchy was the idea that hereditary right gave the best title to political power...The dangers of disputed succession were best avoided by hereditary succession: ruling families had a natural interest in passing on to their descendants enhanced power and prestige...Frederick the Great of Prussia, Catherine the Great of Russia, Maria Theresa of Austria, were alike infatuated with the idea of strengthening their power, centralizing government in their own hands as against local and feudal privileges, and so acquiring more absolute authority in the state. Moreover, the very dynastic rivalries and conflicts between these eighteenth-century monarchs drove them to look for ever more efficient methods of government
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