Personally, I like monarchy. Monarchs are symbols of national unity and rich heritage. Just look at the British monarchy. It is a matter of their pride. And, I also think that countries like France, Italy, Turkey and so on are very unlucky not to have monarchies.

We see in some countries that, when they changed from kingdoms to republics, monarchs were exiled even though they could not do any harm to the republic, when the whole situation was under control and they didn't even commit any crimes.

For example, Mehmed VI of Turkey, Farouk I of Egypt and Umberto II of Italy were exiled.

Why didn't these countries adopt constitutional monarchies so that the monarchs could be granted an honored life?

  • 7
    Maybe they didn't like them much. Not all monarchs were/are as benign as the modern British rulers have been. Jul 27 '12 at 5:05
  • 10
    Before overturn monarchy is a suppressing power for revolution forces. After overturn monarch automatically becomes the symbol/leader of monarchical opposition and, thus, a danger to brand-new political forces. Jul 27 '12 at 5:13
  • Also, there are examples of constitutional monarchy in, for example, Britain, Spain and Sweden. The direct causes of monarch's exile (Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany) or killing (Nicholas II of Russia) seem to depend on a specific situation. Jul 27 '12 at 5:20
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    If anything, I'd say staying on as a figurehead in a "Constutional Monarchy" is the weird scenario. It might be more enlightening to look at what conditions seem to cause that to happen.
    – T.E.D.
    Jul 27 '12 at 11:38
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    ?Politics.se? If you are serious about the question, you might want to substantiate the assertion "they could not do any harm to the rebublic"
    – MCW
    Oct 31 '14 at 11:20

This is because the forces that overthrew them used to consider the monarchy as an alternative source of power that commanded loyalty of thousands of people. In case of any crisis, the monarch could have the power to overthrow the democratic forces, especially since many in the administration and army (not all of whom can be removed) are expected to remain loyal to the monarch even after constitutional monarchy is declared. Something similar to this was observed in Nepal. In England the parliament gained power only gradually, and so the monarch was generally not a direct threat to the power of the elected representatives.

  • I think your comments on Britain are too soft; they (effectively) exiled James II, killed Charles I and neutralized the power of Queen Anne. I don't disagree with your answer; I just think that if we analyze British constitutional history through the (flawed) framework that @BROY posits, it isn't as different as it appears.
    – MCW
    Oct 31 '14 at 12:28
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    English history also repeatedly shows how pretenders and alternate kings (for example, the exiled Stuarts) can remain a focus for dissent and possible invasion. It was as late as just before WWII that England forced a king to abdicate because his beliefs about Germany might cause problems to the government.
    – Oldcat
    Oct 31 '14 at 17:49
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    @Oldcat: If that was the actual reason then Churchill would have been a staunch supporter of the abdication - while he in fact was a staunch opponent of it. Jun 25 '16 at 8:58

The examples you gave were either deposed through a revolution, or lost power because the former monarch chose the wrong side and was seen as complicit in leading the nation to ruin. If the populace was upset enough to end royal rule, why would they tolerate a reminder of their unhappy past living lavishly in their midst?

The British monarchy, which you mentioned, is a case where the king gradually lost power through ceding it to Parliament. There was a somewhat amicable transfer of power without lasting bitter feelings among the public and political classes. This facilitated the idea of a 'constitutional monarchy' in which the nation has a sanctioned figurehead who also serves as a reminder of their glorious past, while the actual decisions are made by a democratic caucus.

Some of the reasons to exile ex-rulers (kings, dictators, even PMs out of political favor) are:

  • Prevents them from rebuilding a network of loyalists for a possible counter coup.
  • Prevents discussion on the legitimacy of the incumbents especially when the transfer of power was disputed.
  • Removes an unnecessary drain on the state exchequer.
  • Security considerations, especially if the ruler was greatly disliked in public.
  • They may simply exile themselves out of shame at losing their position or to avoid conflict.

Most absolute rulers, be they Monarchs or dictators, will accept no diminution of their power, so that when the populous approach them with such a suggestion they, the absolute ruler, relinquish some or all of their power,they tend to reject the demands of the populous.

If the feelings of the populous are strong enough then the populous will persist with their demands, and typically, the ruler persists in their rejection, and thus tension in the country builds. That tension often reaches a point where it explodes into outright confrontation, (something of the sort can be seen in countries around the world today), and when this happens the fight then becomes all-or-nothing. That is 1 side becomes the outright winner and the other the loser. If the ruler loses then either the ruler gets executed, as was the case in Romania in the latter half of the last century, or perhaps the ruler is given the chance to flee into exile.

The point is, that by the time conflict erupts within a country the opportunities for a peaceful and negotiated transfer of all or part of the rulers power is generally lost and so monarchies tend not to evolve into parliamentary or democratic monarchies. Of course, this is a generalisation and over simplified, but for the purpose of your question I hope it provides something of a an answer.

PS, as a British national I cannot agree with your statement that Monarchs are symbols of national unity and pride. Even a cursory examination of the history of the 'british' royal family (many of whom throughout history could not even speak english) shows them to have been ruthless in their determination to retain power, and careless towards the sufferings and plaints of the people they governed.


Your question is flawed.

You start saying that you like monarchy, and then you wonder why countries which rejected it exiled the former monarchs.

Quite the opposite: if a country abandoned monarchy, it is most likely because it wasn't very popular, so it is perfectly natural to treat harshly the former rules.

Actually very often exile can be considered a soft punishment, considering the amount of damage they might have done towards their former country.


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