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Constitutional monarchy facts for kids

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World Monarchies
     Absolute monarchies      Semi-constitutional monarchies      Parliamentary constitutional monarchies      Commonwealth realms (parliamentary monarchies in personal union)      Subnational monarchies

A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy. In a constitutional monarchy, a king or queen is the official head of state. However, their powers are limited by a constitution and they usually do not have much real power, as the legislative branch is the primary governing body. A constitutional monarchy is different than an absolute monarchy because in absolute monarchies, the monarch is able to rule with full power, and is able to change the laws freely.


Constitutional monarchy first emerged in England. At first, the British monarchy was absolute. However, the nobility under King John felt that the king had abused his power, and forced him to sign a document called the Magna Carta. This document limited the powers of the king and made him somewhat responsible for the wellbeing of his subjects. The document, however was more focused on maintaining the ability of the nobles to have a say in what the king did.

Contemporary constitutional monarchies include the United Kingdom and Commonwealth realms, Belgium, Bhutan, Bahrain, Cambodia, Denmark, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Lesotho, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Eswatini, Sweden, and Thailand.

List of current reigning monarchies

The following is a list of reigning monarchies. Except where noted, monarch selection is hereditary as directed by the state's constitution.

State Last constitution established Type of monarchy Monarch selection
 Antigua and Barbuda 1981 Kingdom Hereditary succession.
 Andorra 1993 Co-Principality Selection of Bishop of La Seu d'Urgell and election of French President
 Australia 1901 Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy. Hereditary succession.
 The Bahamas 1973 Kingdom Hereditary succession.
 Barbados 1966 Kingdom Hereditary succession.
 Bahrain 2002 Kingdom Hereditary succession
 Belgium 1831 Kingdom; popular monarchy Hereditary succession
 Vatican City 1929 Elective absolute monarchy The Pope is elected by the cardinals of the Catholic Church
 Belize 1981 Kingdom Hereditary succession.
 Bhutan 2007 Kingdom Hereditary succession.
 Cambodia 1993 Elective monarchy; Kingdom Chosen by throne council
 Canada 1867 (last updated 1982) Constitutional Monarchy and Federal Parliamentary Democracy. Hereditary succession.
 Denmark 1953 Kingdom Hereditary succession
 Greenland 2009 Parliamentary Democracy and Constitutional Monarchy. Hereditary succession.
 Grenada 1974 Kingdom Hereditary succession.
 Jamaica 1962 Kingdom Hereditary succession.
 Japan 1946 Empire Hereditary succession
 Jordan 1952 Kingdom
 Qatar 1971 Kingdom; mixture of Constitutional and Absolute monarchy
 Kuwait 1962 Emirate Hereditary succession, with directed approval of the House of Al-Sabah and majority of National Assembly
 Lesotho 1993 Kingdom Hereditary succession directed approval of College of Chiefs
 Liechtenstein 1862 Principality
 Luxembourg 1868 Grand duchy
 Malaysia 1957 Elective monarchy; Federal monarchy Selected from nine hereditary Sultans of the Malay states
 Monaco 1911 Kingdom
 Morocco 1666 Kingdom
 Netherlands 1815 Kingdom
 Norway 1814 Kingdom
 New Zealand 1907 Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy. Hereditary succession.
 Papua New Guinea 1975 Kingdom Hereditary succession.
 Saint Kitts and Nevis 1983 Kingdom Hereditary succession.
 Saint Lucia 1979 Kingdom Hereditary succession.
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1979 Kingdom Hereditary succession.
 Solomon Islands 1978 Kingdom Hereditary succession.
 Spain 1978 Kingdom
 Eswatini (Swaziland) 1968 Kingdom; Mixture of absolute and constitutional monarchy Hereditary succession
 Sweden 1974 Kingdom Switched from semi-constitutional monarchy to constitutional monarchy
 Thailand 2007 Kingdom
 Tonga 1970 Kingdom
 Tuvalu 1978 Kingdom Hereditary succession.
 United Arab Emirates 1971 Federal Union of Emirates
Elective monarchy
President elected by the seven absolute monarchs of the Federal Supreme Council
 United Kingdom 1688 Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy. Hereditary succession.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Monarquía constitucional para niños

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