Questions tagged [monarchy]

A form of government where sovereignty is contained in a single individual.

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56
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14answers
21k views

Were any Kings/Queens who were monarchs as children good rulers?

I am listening to a history of England podcast, and so far (only up to 1405) All the monarchs who started as children have been pitiful leaders. Are there any (worldwide) that have turned out to be ...
52
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4answers
19k views

Why was it “acceptable” for Prince Charles to marry a divorced woman, when Edward VIII had to abdicate for marrying divorcee Wallis Simpson?

Heir to the British throne Prince Charles has married divorcee Camilla Parker Bowles without a constitutional crisis. When Edward VIII wanted to marry Wallis Simpson he had to abdicate. Of course ...
43
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13answers
8k views

Which monarch had the longest break in their reign?

During periods of political instability it is not rare for monarchs to be deposed, new monarchs declared, and the original monarch to reclaim their throne a few months later. During this time the ...
37
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4answers
6k views

What is the most number of brothers who became ruler of the same country?

While researching the Danish monarchy for another question on this site (the life expectancy of a Medieval European monarch), I came across the five sons of King Sweyn II who all became kings of ...
35
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3answers
12k views

Why does the King of Spain still claim defunct titles like the King of Hungary?

I am reading the Wikipedia articles on the titles of the King of Spain (this and this) and I am confused why they list countless places that are not under Spanish rule and or are totally defunct as a ...
31
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6answers
133k views

Is there a reason for a Queen's husband not to be referred to as King?

While watching the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II events going on recently, I noticed that the Queen's husband is referred to as 'Prince'-- not 'King'. Upon researching further, I found that ...
30
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2answers
8k views

Were Egyptian Pharaohs literate?

This video says scribes read letters to the king as the king was not literate. Can anyone comment on this
30
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1answer
2k views

Could George I (of Great Britain) speak English?

Web based sources differ wildly in stating how well King George I could speak English. Brittanica says: Since he could not speak English, he communicated with his ministers in French. Wikipedia, ...
28
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2answers
3k views

Was there a King of England, or an heir to the throne, in 1831 who idolized Michael Faraday?

I know this question seems a bit absurd, so let me preface this by saying that it stems from a 1994 history-based edutainment game titled Mario's Time Machine in which the main character travels back ...
27
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10answers
15k views

When was the last time a reigning monarch personally participated in battle?

A similar question was asked about only British monarchs. The conditions in this question are the same, but for monarchs world-wide. For the sake of this question, tribal chiefs are not considered ...
27
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1answer
3k views

Was Richard I's imprisonment by Leopold of Austria justified?

I read in Wikipedia and Britannica about Richard I of England regarding his imprisonment and I was perplexed by the fact that a sovereign monarch, and a crusader at that, could be imprisoned by a ...
25
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4answers
31k views

Can the Queen of England fire the prime minister of Australia?

My Australian friend says yes. I'm not so sure, considering the monarchy collects no taxes from England, much less a country in the commonwealth. What's the verdict? Can she say "you're fired" and ...
25
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5answers
37k views

Did Louis XIV actually say “The State? I am the State.”? Could he have said it?

In "The French Revolution, A History" Chapter 1.1.II, Thomas Carlyle reports that Louis XIV once proclaimed: "L'État, c'est moi" - The State? I am the State (Carlyle's rendering into English) ...
24
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7answers
9k views

Who was the longest lived European monarch of the middle ages?

After a lot of googling, I'm still not sure about this. Finding the longest reigning monarchs is easy enough, but I'm less sure about the one who lived the longest. A good candidate would appear to ...
23
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5answers
4k views

Which European monarch of the middle ages died furthest from home?

After a lot of googling on this - and thinking the crusades might provide an answer - the best I've come up with is Louis IX of France who died in Tunis on the 8th crusade. That's 920 miles 'as the ...
23
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2answers
4k views

Was the title “Prince of Wales” originally claimed for the English crown prince via a trick?

As the son of a proud Welsh woman, as a child I was told the origin story of the title "Prince of Wales" was that after Edward I beat Llywelyn ap Gruffudd at the Battle of Orewin Bridge, as ...
22
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6answers
5k views

Who was the last European king to actively engage in combat?

Specifically, I would like to know who the most recent European monarch (or monarchs, if they lived roughly at the same time) is that actively engaged in combat whilst reigning: that is, used a sword, ...
18
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2answers
2k views

English monarchs on the battlefield

It seems that in English 'older times' it was expected for the King or monarch to lead the armies in battle. My research suggests that this was the case in the 12th century in the civil war between ...
17
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8answers
5k views

Have there been any efforts by the countries of Europe to restore their monarchies?

Have there been any effort, polls, referendum in Europe (especially Eastern ex-communist countries) to restore deposed monarchies, like in Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, etc.? Most Monarchies were deposed ...
16
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1answer
5k views

Was the insanity of kings used as an argument against monarchy?

History has seen its share of mentally impaired monarchs. Some examples from the last centuries include King George III of the United Kingdom, Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria, and Emperor Taishō of ...
16
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2answers
2k views

What was the reaction to English monarchs using the title “King of France”?

After the Hundred Years War (or "wars") the English had been wiped off France, but English monarchs kept using their official title "King of France". As I understand, this was to ...
15
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3answers
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Why did the kingdoms of Scotland and England merge?

I'm from the states, so I'm not so sharp on the history of various European monarchs. Having been told as a child that my ancestors emigrated from Scotland, I've always had an interest in the country. ...
14
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5answers
16k views

Lion in European monarchies' coats of arms

I recently found out that most European monarchies have the same kind of lion in their coats of arms. As you can see, it is a lion with a strange long tongue: Netherlands United Kingdom Prince of ...
14
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3answers
5k views

What was the life expectancy of a Medieval European monarch?

Inspired by Who is the longest lived European monarch of the middle ages?. What was the life expectancy of monarchs during the middle ages in Europe? Preliminary research showed According to ...
14
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2answers
2k views

Did the later Byzantine Emperors use regnal numbers?

Regnal numbers are an essentially medieval European invention, and although we today might talk about Ramesses II and Khosrow II, this is not how those rulers referred to themselves. For most of its ...
13
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6answers
14k views

Why are most monarchies in Europe of German descent?

When we look at existing monarchies in Europe, following are of German descent: Royal Family of Belgium Royal Family of United Kingdom Royal Family of Denmark Royal Family of Liechtenstein Royal ...
13
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4answers
7k views

Why has there only been one dynasty in the history of Japan?

I'm kinda surprised that there's been only one dynasty (Yamato) in Japan up until now, unlike China with one group wiping out another group and starting a new dynasty constantly. Looking at Wikipedia'...
13
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1answer
577 views

Queen Anne of England died without surviving issue despite 17 pregnancies. Did any other monarch try so hard to produce an heir without success?

Queen Anne (reigned 1702 – 14) had seventeen known pregnancies during her marriage to Prince George of Denmark (b.1653, d.1708) but she died without surviving issue. Only five of her pregnancies led ...
13
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1answer
538 views

Language of early French (West-Frankish) kings

When did Old French displace Frankish as the language spoken in the West-Frankish court, and who was the first natively "French" king?
12
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4answers
3k views

The practice of translating foreign monarch's or noble's name

In history texts, past foreign monarchs are normally referred to by the English version of their name, e.g. Francis I (not François), Charles V (not Carlos, Karel, or Karl), Phillip II (not Felipe). ...
12
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3answers
3k views

Did the Russian Empire have a claim to Sweden? Was there ever a time where they could have pursued it?

Consider that Charles Frederick, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp and the one that all Russian emperors after Catherine were descended from, would have been king of Sweden had his aunt not stolen the throne ...
12
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2answers
375 views

Monarchies with built-in rotation

I have read that rotation among nine hereditary rulers of provinces determines who is King of Malaysia during a given 5-year term. This seems to stand out from related practices e.g. over the history ...
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3answers
3k views

Who should be the king/queen of England? [closed]

If you start from 1066, the last direct line legitimate monarch was Richard III. Then you have the Tudors with a fairly weak claim, then they handed it on to the Stuarts with an even weaker claim. ...
11
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4answers
44k views

How did the Catholic Pope manage to become more powerful than Kings in old Europe?

In medieval Europe, the Roman Catholic Pope seemed to hold more power than the European kings. This is strange because monarchs can raise armies. Pope and their bishops are not exactly military men. ...
11
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1answer
689 views

When was King John of England given the name 'Dollheart', and who first used it?

As if being called 'Lackland' (by his father, Henry II) and 'Softsword' (by "some English chroniclers") was not bad enough, King John also acquired the very unflattering-sounding nickname of Dollheart....
11
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1answer
648 views

Why did Francisco Franco never reestablish the Spanish monarchy?

Fransisco Franco, the dictator of Spain from 1939 to 1975, was a monarchist. Yet for the entirety of his time in office, there was no king of Spain. Only in 1969 did he appoint Juan Carlos I to be ...
10
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5answers
3k views

Was Nicholas II Romanov the last king of Poland?

Nicholas II Romanov, the last Emperor of All-Russia, used also (among many others) titles: Grand Prince of Lithuania, and King of Poland. The Wikipedia states he was "a titular" King of Poland. In ...
10
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1answer
828 views

What other courts were similar to Louis XIV of France's court in Versailles?

After reading about feudalism in the Middle Ages it became apparent that lords lived on their lands far away from the king and provided military services themselves in exchange for said lands. However,...
9
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4answers
4k views

Why couldn't bastards inherit titles?

Why were bastards historically not able to inherit nobility or monarchy from their parents? What about being a bastard made one unfit to rule? For example William IV of the UK was succeeded by his ...
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4answers
2k views

Was there a case where a king died while the heir to the throne was unborn?

I read this interesting passage in Wikipedia: when Queen Victoria succeeded her uncle King William IV, the wording of the proclamation even gave as a caveat: "...saving the rights of any ...
9
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2answers
3k views

How much power and influence could a child monarch have?

As I understand, if a monarch died before his heir reached adulthood, the heir would still become a king or queen regardless of age, but the country would be temporarily governed by a regent. I want ...
9
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4answers
986 views

Does (or did) any monarchy have a limited length of tenure?

Wikipedia's page about monarchies states that they might have "predetermined limits on the length of their tenure". However reading the page there is no mention about any current monarchy who does ...
9
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2answers
844 views

What is the meaning of the hand gesture performed by King James II in the portrait by Peter Lely?

This portrait by Peter Lely is one of the most well-known images of James II of England (aka James VII of Scotland). It is used to illustrate his Wikipedia article. Is there some meaning behind the ...
9
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1answer
693 views

Which Kings of France visited England?

Every English King from Edward the Confessor (d. 1066) to Edward IV (d. 1483) was in France at some point during their lives, almost all during their reigns, and some were born there. These 'visits' ...
9
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2answers
543 views

Aside from Henry VIII, did a king ever take part in a joust as an unknown knight (incognito)?

The unknown knight would seem to belong in the realm of fiction - witness Gareth in Le Morte d'Arthur and Wilfred in Ivanhoe, among others - but incognito knights fighting in jousts or melees were not ...
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4answers
2k views

Why does the monarchy of Belgium still exist after Leopold 2?

I was browsing the internet and came across the post Which Dictator Killed the Most People. It seems that Leopold 2 had a lot of people killed. This got me thinking, I don't see for example heirs of ...
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4answers
2k views

How did marrying off one's daughter help secure an alliance, in early medieval Europe?

Marriage between royal family was often a way to secure / strengthen an alliance between two monarchs. For example, according to Wikipedia Marriage between dynasties could serve to initiate, ...
8
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1answer
379 views

Was Queen Elizabeth II ever the head of state of Namibia?

Let's set the scene, WW1 is over and part of the negotiations, and the only thing we're really focusing on here, is that Deutsch-Südwestafrika becomes administered by the Union of South Africa, the ...
8
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4answers
691 views

Has there ever been a war between members of a personal union?

A personal union occurs when two otherwise independent states (each with their own territories, governments, etc.) come to share the same monarch. Has it ever come to pass that two member states of a ...
8
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2answers
650 views

Did Edward VIII's abdication follow constitutional procedures?

Edward VIII abdicated the English throne after discussion with his Prime Minister. Edward informed Baldwin that he would abdicate if he could not marry Simpson. Baldwin then presented Edward with ...