Although most countries maintain democratic regimes, there are several monarchies that are still in force in the world. In many of these countries, the monarchy plays a more social than political role. That is to say, they do not have the power in the decisions of the nation, but they are only protocol figures.

Up to 27 states are governed by the monarchical system. The case of the United Kingdom deserves special mention since, like 54 other countries, it is part of the ‘Commonwealth’ or Commonwealth of Nations. Among them are countries from all over the planet, but Africa and the Caribbean are the regions that contribute the most States to the association: 21 and 12, respectively, in addition to the Pacific.

Of course, the most recognized in the world is Queen Elizabeth II, who this year celebrates 66 years in power and who has had to overcome various complex situations and scandals throughout her reign.

Over the years, there have been various conflicts to maintain the legitimacy and power of the kings in the nations, a recent case was that of Barbados, which broke away from the British crown and declared itself an independent republic. However, in other nations they still continue with this form of government.

De facto governments

There are 10 countries that have a monarch who exercises the government and they are mainly in the Middle East. In Saudi Arabia, the sixth son of the kingdom’s founder, Salman bin Abdul Aziz, is king.

In Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates there are also monarchs in power.

In Brunei, in Asia, a sultan rules and in Swaziland, in Africa, King Mswati III rules.

In concrete terms, there is a monarch that many people may not be thinking of, but who acts as head of state in the Vatican city-state and that is Pope Francis.

Some power

In some territories, monarchs still hold some power but have shared rule. This is the case, for example, of King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand.

The same happens with King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan. Something similar is happening in the principalities of Monaco and Liechtenstein, in Europe, and in the nation of Tonga, in the Pacific. In all of these territories there are monarchs who still maintain some executive authority.

No actual power

In this case we are talking about most of the European monarchs and the emperor of Japan. They appear occasionally, but their role is merely ceremonial.

The kingdoms of Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, the Queen of Denmark, the co-princes of Andorra and the Grand Duke of Luxembourg enter this category.

In South Africa there is Lesotho, a small nation where there is King Letsie III. The same happens with King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia and Sultan Abdullah of Pahang of Malaysia.

The case of Great Britain has a particularity: Charles III is head of state not only of the United Kingdom, but of 14 other kingdoms of the Commonwealth of Nations, including Australia and Canada. In addition, he is the head of the block of 56 countries, but in this case it is not a hereditary position, but an agreement of the countries that chose him as Elizabeth II’s successor when she died.

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