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5 countries you didn’t know had monarchies

The United Kingdom has the most well-known monarchy and royal family, but did you know that there are many countries with monarchies? Here are 5 of the most curious.

One of the most well-known monarchies is the British monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II and all her family. Every year movies come out, the Netflix series about her (The Crown) is one of the most-watched series on the platform, with a lot of gossip sites following their every move.

Nevertheless, a lot of countries have monarchies that you might not know of. Here are 5 of them that we think you’ll find very interesting:

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Principality of Andorra

Andorra is a microstate bordered by France to the north and Spain to the south, it’s the sixth-smallest state in Europe. It is headed by two co-princes: the Bishop of Urgell in Catalonia, Spain (currently Joan Enric Vives) and the President of France (currently Emmanuel Macron).

The monarchy for this country is unique among all existing monarchies because it’s a diarchy (from the Latin meaning “the office of the two men”), where none of them is of Andorran descent. It also means that one of them is elected by common citizens of a foreign country (France) and not by Andorrans (they cannot vote in French Presidential Elections), while the other is appointed by the Pope, a foreign head of state.

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Principality of Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein is a microstate located between Switzerland to the west and south and Austria to the east and north. It’s Europe’s fourth-smallest country. It has been headed by the prince regnant of Liechtenstein, Hans-Adam III, since 1989.

It’s a constitutional monarchy in which the Prince retains many powers of an absolute monarch. An example of this is that the 2003 Constitution referendum gives the Prince of Liechtenstein the power to veto any law that the Landtag (parliament) proposes and vice versa. It also allows him to hire or dismiss any elective member or government employee from his or her post. Nevertheless, the people can call for a referendum to end the prince’s reign.

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The Kingdom of Thailand

Thailand, also known as Siam, is located at the center of the Indochinese Peninsula, bordered by Myanmar and Laos to the north, Laos, and Cambodia to the east, the Gulf of Thailand, and Malaysia to the south. With maritime borders with Vietnam, Indonesia, and India.

It changed from a traditional absolute monarchy into a constitutional one in 1932. It currently has a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy on paper but has experienced in its recent history multiple coups and periods of military dictatorships.

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The current king is Vajiralongkorn, also styled as Rama X for being the tenth monarch of the Chakri dynasty. His coronation took place in 2019, but his reign has been declared to have begun on October 13th, 2016, upon his father’s death.

He became the oldest Thai monarch to ascend to the throne at 64, but he’s also the wealthiest monarch in the world, with a net worth estimated to be between US$30 billion and US$70 billion.

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Japan

Japan is an island country in East Asia, being the eleventh most populous country in the world, as well as one of the most densely populated and urbanized. It has a constitutional monarchy, in the form of an Emperor and Imperial Family, being established in 660 BC it’s the oldest continuous hereditary monarchy still active in the world. It only passes to the male heirs.

Under the current Constitution of Japan, the Emperor is “the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people”. Other members of the Imperial Family perform ceremonial and social duties but have no role in the affairs of government.

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The current Emperor of Japan is Naruhito, who acceded to the Chrysanthemum Throne upon the abdication of his father Emperor Akihito on May 1st, 2019.

Kingdom of the Netherlands

Commonly known as the Netherlands, it has 98% of its territory and population in Western Europe but has several small island territories in the Caribbean. The four parts of the Kingdom (Aruba, Curaçao, the Netherlands, and Sint Maarten) are constituent countries and participate on a basis of equality as partners in the Kingdom. Nevertheless, most of the affairs are administered by the Netherlands on behalf of the entire Kingdom.

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While every country has its own Minister, they also have a constitutional monarchy, with its head being King Willem-Alexander. He acceded to the throne following his mother’s abdication in 2013.

The Monarch of the Netherlands is the head of state of the Kingdom. The Monarch is represented in Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten by a governor.

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There are more monarchies in the world, but these are 5 of the most interesting to us. We hope you also find them interesting and curious!

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