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A personal union is a combination of two or more states that have the same monarch while their boundaries, laws, and interests remain distinct.A real union, by contrast, involves the constituent states being to some extent interlinked, such as by sharing some limited governmental institutions. Unlike a personal union, in a federation or a unitary state, a central (federal) government spanning all member states exists, with the degree of self-governance distinguishing the two. The ruler in a personal union does not need to be a hereditary monarch.
The term was coined by German jurist Johann Stephan Pütter, introducing it into Elementa iuris publici germanici (Elements of German Public Law) of 1760.
Personal unions can arise for several reasons, such as:
They can also be codified (i.e., the constitutions of the states clearly express that they shall share the same person as head of state) or non-codified, in which case they can easily be broken (e.g., by the death of the monarch when the two states have different succession laws).
The concept of a personal union has only very rarely crossed over from monarchies into republics.
There are currently two personal unions in the world: the Commonwealth realms, who share Charles III as their head of state, and one of the Co-Princes of Andorra being the President of France.
King Chungseon reigned as King of Goryeo in 1298 and 1308–1313 and as King of Shenyang or King of Shen from 1307 (according to the History of Yuan ) or 1308 (according to Goryeosa ) to 1316. At that time, Goryeo had already become a vassal of Yuan dynasty and the Yuan imperial family and the Goryeo royal family had close relationship by marriages of convenience. Because he was a very powerful man during Emperor Wuzong's reign, he could become the King of Shenyang where many Korean people lived in China. However, he lost his power in the Yuan imperial court after the death of the Emperor Wuzong. Because the Yuan dynasty made Chungseon abdicate the crown of the Goryeo in 1313, the personal union was ended. King Chungsuk, Chungseon's eldest son, became the new King of Goryeo. In 1316, the Yuan dynasty made Chungseon abdicate the crown of Shen in favour of Wang Go, one of his nephews, resulting in him becoming the new King of Shen.
Due to Andorra's special government form resulting from the Paréage of 1278, it is a diarchy with co-princes. One of them is the Bishop of Urgell, the other was originally the Count of Foix. It is through this feudal co-prince that the Principality has entered partial personal union with:
In 1607 the feudal co-prince was Henry IV of France, who issued an edict that his position should be held by the French Head of State. While during the French Revolution, the new government did not take up the title, all versions of France since 1806 regardless of their government form have accepted that their head of state is an ex officio co-prince. This led to personal unions with:
1: After 1707, see Great Britain below.
Note: The point at issue in the War of the Spanish Succession was the fear that the succession to the Spanish throne dictated by Spanish law, which would devolve on Louis, le Grand Dauphin — already heir to the throne of France — would create a personal union that would upset the European balance of power; France had the most powerful military in Europe at the time, and Spain the largest empire.
Before 1707, see England and Scotland.
After 1801, see United Kingdom below.
In 1826, the newly created Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was initially a double duchy, ruled by Duke Ernest I in a personal union. In 1852, the duchies were bound in a political and real union. They were then a quasi-federal unitary state, even though later attempts to merge the duchies failed.
The duchies of Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Eisenach were in personal union from 1741, when the ruling house of Saxe-Eisenach died out, until 1809, when they were merged into the single duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.
Duchies with peculiar rules for succession. See the Schleswig-Holstein Question.
The kings of Denmark at the same time being dukes of Schleswig and Holstein 1460–1864. (Holstein being part of the Holy Roman Empire, while Schleswig was a part of Denmark). The situation was complicated by the fact that for some time, the Duchies were divided among collateral branches of the House of Oldenburg (the ruling House in Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein). Besides the "main" Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein-Glückstadt, ruled by the Kings of Denmark, there were states encompassing territory in both Duchies. Notably the Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp and the subordinate Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Beck, Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg and Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.
The duchies of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and Schwarzburg-Sondershausen were in personal union from 1909, when Prince Günther of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt succeeded also to the throne of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, until 1918, when he (and all the other German monarchs) abdicated.
1: After 1707, see Great Britain above. After 1801, see United Kingdom below.
Leon, Castile and Aragon
After 1542, see England above.
Because heads of state and government of republics are ordinarily chosen from within the citizens of the state in question, sovereign republics very rarely share common leaders. A few examples are:
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.
Christian IX was King of Denmark from 15 November 1863 until his death in 1906. From 1863 to 1864, he was concurrently Duke of Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg.
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.
Frederick VII was King of Denmark from 1848 to 1863. He was the last Danish monarch of the older Royal branch of the House of Oldenburg and the last king of Denmark to rule as an absolute monarch. During his reign, he signed a constitution that established a Danish parliament and made the country a constitutional monarchy. Frederick's motto was Folkets Kærlighed, min Styrke.
Holstein is the region between the rivers Elbe and Eider. It is the southern half of Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost state of Germany.
The history of Schleswig-Holstein consists of the corpus of facts since the pre-history times until the modern establishing of the Schleswig-Holstein state.
The House of Welf is a European dynasty that has included many German and British monarchs from the 11th to 20th century and Emperor Ivan VI of Russia in the 18th century. The originally Franconian family from the Meuse-Moselle area was closely related to the imperial family of the Carolingians.
The House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, better known as the House of Glücksburg, is a collateral branch of the German House of Oldenburg. Its members have reigned at various times in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Greece, and several northern German states.
Holstein-Gottorp is the historiographical name, as well as contemporary shorthand name, for the parts of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, also known as Ducal Holstein, that were ruled by the dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp, a side branch of the elder Danish line of the German House of Oldenburg. Other parts of the duchies were ruled by the kings of Denmark.
The House of Oldenburg is a German dynasty. Branches of the house rule or have ruled in Denmark, Iceland, Greece, Norway, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Schleswig, Holstein, and Oldenburg. The current kings of Norway and the United Kingdom are patrilineal descendants of the Glücksburg branch of this house.
The First Schleswig War, also known as the Schleswig-Holstein Uprising and the Three Years' War, was a military conflict in southern Denmark and northern Germany rooted in the Schleswig-Holstein Question: who should control the Duchies of Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg, which at the time were ruled by the king of Denmark in a personal union. Ultimately, the Danish side proved victorious with the diplomatic support of the great powers, especially Britain and Russia, since the duchies were close to an important Baltic seaway connecting both powers.
Dual monarchy occurs when two separate kingdoms are ruled by the same monarch, follow the same foreign policy, exist in a customs union with each other, and have a combined military but are otherwise self-governing. The term is typically used to refer to Austria-Hungary, a dual monarchy that existed from 1867 to 1918 that spanned across parts of Central and Eastern Europe, but applies to other dual monarchies such as the Kingdom of Nejd and Hejaz. Dual monarchy is an uncommon form of government, and has been practiced few times in history, although many of the world's most powerful countries have been or are dual monarchies.
The Habsburg monarchy, also known as Habsburg Empire, was the collection of empires, kingdoms, duchies, counties and other polities that were ruled by the House of Habsburg. From the 18th century it is also referred to as the Danubian monarchy or the Austrian monarchy.
The Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg, was a reichsfrei duchy that existed from 1296 to 1803 and again from 1814 to 1876 in the extreme southeast region of what is now Schleswig-Holstein. Its territorial center was in the modern district of Herzogtum Lauenburg and originally its eponymous capital was Lauenburg upon Elbe, though the capital moved to Ratzeburg in 1619.
In the European history, Monarchy was the prevalent form of government throughout the Middle Ages, only occasionally competing with communalism, notably in the case of the maritime republics and the Swiss Confederacy.
This list contains all European emperors, kings and regent princes and their consorts as well as well-known crown princes since the Middle Ages, whereas the lists are starting with either the beginning of the monarchy or with a change of the dynasty. In addition, it contains the still-existing principalities of Monaco and Liechtenstein and the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg.
The monarchy of Denmark is a constitutional institution and a historic office of the Kingdom of Denmark. The Kingdom includes Denmark proper and the autonomous territories of the Faroe Islands and Greenland. The Kingdom of Denmark was already consolidated in the 8th century, whose rulers are consistently referred to in Frankish sources as "kings". Under the rule of King Gudfred in 804 the Kingdom may have included all the major provinces of medieval Denmark.
The Treaty of Tsarskoye Selo was a territorial and dynastic treaty between the Russian Empire and Denmark–Norway. Signed on 1 June 1773, it transferred control of ducal Schleswig-Holstein to the Danish crown in return for Russian control of the County of Oldenburg and adjacent lands within the Holy Roman Empire. The treaty reduced the fragmentation of Danish territory and led to an alliance between Denmark–Norway and Russia that lasted into the Napoleonic Wars. It also made possible the construction of the Eider Canal, parts of which were later incorporated into the Kiel Canal.