Questions tagged [monarchy]

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

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56 votes
14 answers
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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 ...
WendyG's user avatar
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52 votes
4 answers
22k 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 ...
samiles's user avatar
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41 votes
13 answers
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 ...
Neil Tarrant's user avatar
37 votes
4 answers
7k views

What is the highest 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 ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
35 votes
3 answers
13k 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 ...
fbence's user avatar
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30 votes
6 answers
142k 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 ...
canadiancreed's user avatar
30 votes
2 answers
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
Hao S's user avatar
  • 800
29 votes
10 answers
17k 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 ...
vsz's user avatar
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28 votes
2 answers
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 ...
Reversinator's user avatar
28 votes
1 answer
4k 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, ...
Spencer's user avatar
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27 votes
3 answers
8k views

Why is Lady Jane Grey called Lady instead of Queen?

Lady Jane Grey claimed the English throne 19 July 1553, nine days later she was replaced by Queen Mary. To history she is always called Lady instead of Queen. I just wonder why? Its true she had no ...
Dave's user avatar
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27 votes
5 answers
42k 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) ...
user avatar
27 votes
1 answer
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 ...
YokedSinger8062's user avatar
26 votes
4 answers
33k 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 ...
samthebrand's user avatar
25 votes
5 answers
6k views

Have any kings ever been serving admirals?

As the title says, has any person who has held or has gone on to hold the title of King (or some other similar monarchical title) ever been a serving admiral, who has exercised actual command of a ...
Monty Wild's user avatar
24 votes
8 answers
11k 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 ...
JLK's user avatar
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23 votes
5 answers
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 ...
JLK's user avatar
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23 votes
6 answers
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, ...
Noldorin's user avatar
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23 votes
2 answers
5k 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 ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 585
18 votes
8 answers
7k 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 ...
The Byzantine's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
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 ...
Andrew Thompson's user avatar
17 votes
1 answer
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 ...
José Carlos Santos's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
Voitcus's user avatar
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15 votes
3 answers
3k views

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. ...
Jerrod's user avatar
  • 253
15 votes
2 answers
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 ...
chancellorofpaphos's user avatar
14 votes
5 answers
19k 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 ...
Abramodj's user avatar
  • 329
14 votes
3 answers
9k 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 ...
user69715's user avatar
  • 7,100
14 votes
3 answers
9k 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'...
Jack's user avatar
  • 313
13 votes
6 answers
21k 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 ...
NSNoob's user avatar
  • 8,195
13 votes
4 answers
4k 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). ...
Louis Rhys's user avatar
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13 votes
4 answers
50k 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. ...
curious's user avatar
  • 4,546
13 votes
2 answers
7k 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 ...
sjy's user avatar
  • 233
13 votes
1 answer
725 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 ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
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 ...
Daniel's user avatar
  • 237
12 votes
2 answers
1k views

When was the last time that a personal union of thrones led to an effective integration of the nations?

In UK history, the union of the crowns in 1603 eventually led to the union of the nations in 1707. Similarly, the union of the crowns of Aragon and Castile eventually led to the creation of the ...
Neil Tarrant's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
435 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 ...
Drux's user avatar
  • 14.4k
12 votes
1 answer
845 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?
user2125's user avatar
  • 121
11 votes
3 answers
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. ...
none's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
1k 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....
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
919 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 ...
Psychonaut's user avatar
  • 2,810
11 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Keshav Srinivasan's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
5k 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 ...
Yosef Mordechai Coleman's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
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 ...
user69715's user avatar
  • 7,100
10 votes
1 answer
3k views

What's the reason behind the 17th century tradition of British monarchs being depicted on coins facing in the opposite direction to their predecessor?

I have just been informed that on Britain's new currency King Charles III will be depicted facing the opposite direction from Queen Elizabeth II. There are plenty of articles on google claiming to ...
John Strachan's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
496 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 ...
Daniel's user avatar
  • 237
10 votes
1 answer
248 views

Did James I link the divine right of kings to apostolic succession in his writings? If so, where?

According to a Wikipedia article, King James VI of Scotland (later King James I of England) justified the theory of the divine right of kings in his famous essay The True Law of Free Monarchies by ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
  • 2,083
10 votes
1 answer
262 views

Was Leo II of Armenia poisoned?

Leo II, also known as Leon II or Levon II, became the King of Armenian Cilicia from 1269/70 and was a vassal of the Mongols. Five of his 16 children by his highly regarded wife Keran (who later ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
1k 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,...
Nighteyes's user avatar
  • 101
9 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
uniart888's user avatar
  • 115
9 votes
4 answers
3k 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, ...
user69715's user avatar
  • 7,100