List of current monarchs of sovereign states
A monarch is the head of a monarchy, a form of government in which a state is ruled by an individual who normally rules for life or until abdication, and typically inherits the throne by birth. Monarchs may be autocrats (as in all absolute monarchies) or may be ceremonial figureheads, exercising only limited or no reserve powers at all, with actual authority vested in a legislature and/or executive cabinet (as in many constitutional monarchies). In many cases, a monarch will also be linked with a state religion. Most states only have a single monarch at any given time, although a regent may rule when the monarch is a minor, not present, or otherwise incapable of ruling. Cases in which two monarchs rule simultaneously over a single state, as is the current situation in Andorra, are known as coregencies.
A variety of titles are applied in English; for example, "king" and "queen", "prince" and "princess", "emperor" and "empress". Although they will be addressed differently in their local languages, the names and titles in the list below have been styled using the common English equivalent. Roman numerals, used to distinguish related rulers with the same name, have been applied where typical.
In political and sociocultural studies, monarchies are normally associated with hereditary rule; most monarchs, in both historical and contemporary contexts, have been born and raised within a royal family. Succession has been defined using a variety of distinct formulae, such as proximity of blood, primogeniture, and agnatic seniority. Some monarchies, however, are not hereditary, and the ruler is instead determined through an elective process; a modern example is the throne of Malaysia. These systems defy the model concept of a monarchy, but are commonly considered as such because they retain certain associative characteristics. Many systems use a combination of hereditary and elective elements, where the election or nomination of a successor is restricted to members of a royal bloodline.
Entries below are listed beside their respective dominions, which are organised alphabetically. These monarchs reign as head of state in their respective sovereign states. Monarchs reigning over a constituent division, cultural or traditional polity are listed under constituent monarchs. For current claimants to abolished thrones, see pretenders.
Monarchs by country
|Monarch||Name of monarch, preceded by title, with link to list of predecessors.|
|Since||Date of assumption of throne; coronation date listed in footnotes.|
|House||Name of royal family, with information on bloodline.|
|Type||Form of monarchy, with information on role of the monarch within government.|
|Succession||Method or pattern of succession, with link to current line of succession.|
|Standard||Heraldry attributed to the relevant monarch or monarchy.|
|N/A||Denotes where specific field is not applicable.|
|—||Denotes where data is not available.|
|Realm / Kingdom||Image||Monarch |
|Since||Length||House||Type||Heir to the throne||Standard||Ref(s)|
|Principality of Andorra||Co-Prince Emmanuel Macron|
|14 May 2017||4 years, 79 days||N/A||Constitutional||Ex officio||—|
|Co-Prince Archbishop Joan Enric Vives i Sicília|
|12 May 2003||18 years, 81 days|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Queen Elizabeth II|
|1 November 1981||39 years, 273 days||Windsor||Constitutional||Charles, Prince of Wales|
|Commonwealth of Australia||6 February 1952||69 years, 176 days||Constitutional|
|Commonwealth of the Bahamas||10 July 1973||48 years, 22 days||Constitutional|
|Barbados||30 November 1966||54 years, 244 days||Constitutional|
|Belize||21 September 1981||39 years, 314 days||Constitutional|
|Canada||6 February 1952||69 years, 176 days||Constitutional|
|Grenada||7 February 1974||47 years, 175 days||Constitutional|
|Jamaica||6 August 1962||58 years, 360 days||Constitutional|
|New Zealand||6 February 1952||69 years, 176 days||Constitutional|
|Independent State of Papua New Guinea||16 September 1975||45 years, 319 days||Constitutional|
|Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis||19 September 1983||37 years, 316 days||Constitutional|
|Saint Lucia||22 February 1979||42 years, 160 days||Constitutional|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||27 October 1979||41 years, 278 days||Constitutional|
|Solomon Islands||7 July 1978||43 years, 25 days||Constitutional|
|Tuvalu||1 October 1978||42 years, 304 days||Constitutional|
|United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||6 February 1952||69 years, 176 days||Constitutional|
|Kingdom of Bahrain||King Hamad bin Isa|
|6 March 1999||22 years, 148 days||Al Khalifa||Mixed||Salman, Crown Prince of Bahrain|
|Kingdom of Belgium||King Philippe|
|21 July 2013||8 years, 11 days||Saxe-Coburg and Gotha||Constitutional||Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant|
|Kingdom of Bhutan||King Jigme Khesar Namgyel|
|14 December 2006||14 years, 229 days||Wangchuck||Constitutional||Jigme Namgyel||—|
|Brunei Darussalam||Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah|
|5 October 1967||53 years, 300 days||Bolkiah||Absolute||Al-Muhtadee Billah|
|Kingdom of Cambodia||King Norodom Sihamoni|
|14 October 2004||16 years, 291 days||Norodom||Constitutional||Hereditary and elective|
|Kingdom of Denmark||Queen Margrethe II|
|14 January 1972||49 years, 199 days||Glücksburg||Constitutional||Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark|
|Kingdom of Eswatini||King Mswati III|
|25 April 1986||35 years, 98 days||Dlamini||Absolute||Hereditary and elective|
|1 May 2019||2 years, 92 days||Yamato||Constitutional||Fumihito, Prince Akishino|
|Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan||King Abdullah II|
|7 February 1999||22 years, 175 days||Hāshim||Constitutional||Hereditary and elective (presumably Hussein, Crown Prince of Jordan)|
|State of Kuwait||Emir Nawaf Al-Ahmad|
|29 September 2020||306 days||Al Sabah||Constitutional||Hereditary and elective (presumably Mishal Al-Ahmad)||—|
|Kingdom of Lesotho||King Letsie III|
|7 February 1996||25 years, 175 days||Moshesh||Constitutional||Lerotholi Seeiso|
|Principality of Liechtenstein||Prince Regnant Hans-Adam II
(Regent: The Hereditary Prince Alois)
|13 November 1989||31 years, 261 days||Liechtenstein||Constitutional||The Hereditary Prince Alois (currently Prince Regent)|
|Grand Duchy of Luxembourg||Grand Duke Henri|
|7 October 2000||20 years, 298 days||Luxembourg-Nassau||Constitutional||Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg||—|
|Malaysia||King Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah|
|31 January 2019||2 years, 182 days||Pahang||Constitutional||Elective (presumably the Deputy King, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah)|
|Principality of Monaco||Sovereign Prince Albert II|
|6 April 2005||16 years, 117 days||Grimaldi||Constitutional||Jacques, Hereditary Prince of Monaco|
|Kingdom of Morocco||King Mohammed VI|
|23 July 1999||22 years, 9 days||Alawi||Constitutional||Moulay Hassan, Crown Prince of Morocco|
|Kingdom of the Netherlands||King Willem-Alexander|
|30 April 2013||8 years, 93 days||Orange-Nassau||Constitutional||Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange|
|Kingdom of Norway||King Harald V
|17 January 1991||30 years, 196 days||Glücksburg||Constitutional||Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway|
|Sultanate of Oman||Sultan Haitham bin Tariq|
|11 January 2020||1 year, 202 days||Al Said||Absolute||Hereditary (presumably Theyazin bin Haitham)|
|State of Qatar||Emir Tamim bin Hamad|
|25 June 2013||8 years, 37 days||Al Thani||Mixed||Abdullah bin Hamad||—|
|Kingdom of Saudi Arabia||King Salman bin Abdulaziz|
|23 January 2015||6 years, 190 days||Al Saud||Absolute||Mohammad bin Salman|
|Kingdom of Spain||King Felipe VI|
|19 June 2014||7 years, 43 days||Borbón-Anjou||Constitutional||Leonor, Princess of Asturias|
|Kingdom of Sweden||King Carl XVI Gustaf|
|15 September 1973||47 years, 320 days||Bernadotte||Constitutional||Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden|
|Kingdom of Thailand||King Vajiralongkorn|
|13 October 2016||4 years, 292 days||Chakri||Constitutional||Dipangkorn Rasmijoti|
|Kingdom of Tonga||King Tupou VI|
|18 March 2012||9 years, 136 days||Tupou||Constitutional||Tupoutoʻa ʻUlukalala|
|United Arab Emirates||President Khalifa bin Zayed|
(De facto President: Mohammed bin Zayed)
|3 November 2004||16 years, 271 days||Al Nahyan||Mixed||Elective and hereditary|
|Vatican City State||Pope Francis|
|13 March 2013||8 years, 141 days||N/A||Absolute theocracy||Elective|
- The president of France and the bishop of Urgell each hold the position of co-prince of Andorra, but there is no personal title attached to the role.
- Elizabeth II is currently queen regnant of sixteen separate Commonwealth realms (see separate entries), and has previously reigned as queen of sixteen other countries, which have since abolished the monarchy.
- Elizabeth II previously reigned over this country as Queen of the United Kingdom, from 6 February 1952 until the nation's independence and the creation of a separate crown.
- The royal family of Belgium and the House of Windsor are both lines of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, which is a branch of the House of Wettin.
- Elizabeth II previously reigned over Papua New Guinea as Queen of Australia, from 6 February 1952 until the nation's independence and the creation of a separate crown.
- Coronation took place 2 June 1953.
- Lower flag is for use in Scotland only, upper flag is used in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
- Hamad bin Isa reigned as Amir of the State of Bahrain until 14 February 2002, when he assumed the new title of King of Bahrain under a new Constitution.
- A clan of the Utub tribe.
- The Belgian monarch does not automatically assume the throne at the death or abdication of their predecessor; they only become monarch upon taking a constitutional oath.
- Coronation took place 6 November 2008.
- Coronation took place 1 August 1968.
- Coronation took place 29 October 2004.
- A branch of the Varman dynasty. The surname "Norodom" is used by the descendants of Norodom I.
- The king is selected for life by the Royal Council of the Throne from amongst the male descendants of kings Ang Duong, Norodom, and Sisowath.
- Officially the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, which is a branch of the House of Oldenburg.
- Succession is subject to customary law, and does not follow primogeniture. A council of elders selects who among the reigning king's wives will be mother of the next king. This woman will succeed as Ndlovukati upon her son's ascension to throne, and will rule alongside him for the duration of his reign. The king's first two wives are considered ineligible.
- "Naruhito" is the current emperor's given name, but it is not his regnal name, and he is never referred to as this in Japanese. The era of Naruhito's reign bears the name "Reiwa", and according to custom he will be renamed "Emperor Reiwa" following his death.
- The formal coronation ceremony was held on 22 October 2019.
- The Japanese emperor does not have a family name. The use of the name "Yamato" for the household derives from the ancient Yamato Court. It is used often as a name for the imperial dynasty, but has no official basis.
- Formally enthroned on 9 June 1999.
- Succession is based upon primogeniture. However, the reigning king may also select his successor from among eligible princes.
- Formally enthroned on 30 September 2020 upon the invitation of Parliament.
- The heir is appointed by the reigning emir, and the nomination must also be approved by a majority of members in the National Assembly. The throne was traditionally alternated between the two main branches of the Al Sabah family – the Al Salem and Al Jaber – until 2006. The current emir is of the Al Jaber branch.
- Coronation took place 31 October 1997. Has previously reigned as king from 12 November 1990 until 25 January 1995.
- Formally enthroned on 15 August 1990. Prior to his accession, Hans-Adam had served as prince regent since 26 August 1984. On 15 August 2004, the prince formally appointed his son Alois, Hereditary Prince of Liechtenstein as regent, in preparation for his succession to the throne, but remained head of state in accordance with the constitution.
- Prior to formal enthronement, Henri had served as prince regent since 4 March 1998.
- The royal family of Luxembourg are members of the House of Nassau-Weilburg, descended from the House of Nassau and the Parma branch of the House of Bourbon.
- Official title: Yang di-Pertuan Agong. It roughly translates as "Supreme Head of State", and is commonly rendered in English as "King".
- Elected on 24 January 2019. Term of office started on 31 January 2019.
- The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is elected to a five-year term by and from amongst the nine hereditary rulers of the Malay states, who form the Council of Rulers. The position has to date been, by informal agreement, systematically rotated between the nine; the order was originally based on seniority.
- Albert II was formally enthroned as prince in a two-part ceremony, in accordance with tradition, on 12 July and 19 November 2005. He had previously served as regent from 31 March 2005 until his accession to the throne.
- Coronation took place 30 July 1999.
- The Dutch royal family is descended from the Houses of Nassau and Lippe.
- Formally enthroned on 21 January 1991, and consecrated on 23 June 1991. Prior to his accession, Harald had served as prince regent since 1 June 1990.
- Monarchy is constitutional by law, but remains absolute in practice.
- Succession is determined by consensus within the House of Saud as to who will be Crown Prince. This consensus may change depending on the Crown Prince's actions:
- Formally enthroned on 19 September 1973.
- Name is also written as Mahawachiralongkon. He is also styled Rama X.
- Vajiralongkorn was proclaimed King on 1 December 2016 with retroactive effect to the date of his father's death. The coronation took place from 4 – 6 May 2019.
- A line of the Tuʻi Kanokupolu dynasty.
- The Al Nahyan are a branch of the Al Falahi, a clan of the Yas tribe.
- The Prime Minister is the head of the government. However, with the consent of the Supreme Council, the office is appointed by the President, who retains considerable power.
- According to the Constitution, the President of the United Arab Emirates is elected by the Federal Supreme Council from among the individual rulers of the seven emirates. However, by informal agreement the Presidency is always passed to the head of the Al Nahyan clan, the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi (see constituent monarchs), which makes it a de facto hereditary position. In addition, the appointed Prime Minister has always been the head of the Al Maktoum clan and Sheikh of Dubai.
- As Sovereign of the Vatican City State, by virtue of being Bishop of Rome.
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