Which countries are still ruled by monarchs: 43 Monarchies

43 Monarchies of the Modern world: They are not as few as we used to think

Classical feudal relations over the past couple of centuries have virtually disappeared from the political horizon, or at least have undergone a strong transformation.

Today, most monarchies, especially Western ones, are parliamentary states with a cabinet of ministers, where royal power extends only to a narrow circle of not high priority subjects, or even bears a ceremonial character.
But still, there are still places in the world where the monarch holds in his hands almost unlimited powers.

Map of Existing Monarchies
Map of Existing Monarchies

Map of Existing Monarchies

red – the monarch is the head of state
 – the monarch has partial powers
yellow – nominal position
blue – British Commonwealth (monarch – nominal position)

The most “powerful” monarch here is Queen Elizabeth II – under the British crown there are 16 countries and territories.

It is worth noting that even if the monarch is not in the state at a nominal position, this does not mean that he has the breadth of power. For example, Bhutan, until the abdication of the previous king, which was an absolute monarchy, since 2008 has embarked on a course of democratization, changing the form of government to a constitutional monarchy and the current king does not have many opportunities here.

Monarchies in terms of terminology

green – Commonwealth kingdom
 – kingdom, principality, duchy of
 emirate – sultanate

The absolute monarchies of our time

This form of government also has not completely outlived itself. With some reservations, it can be argued that absolute monarchs sit on thrones in the following states: Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Esvatini, Brunei. Also the absolute monarchy is the Vatican.

But here there is its own gradation. For example, the level of intra-state powers of the King of Saudi Arabia is much higher than that of the Emir of Qatar or the ruler of the United Arab Emirates.

In the UAE, meanwhile, a rather interesting form of government has developed, which allows us to consider the monarchy as a transition from absolute. There is a constitutional separation of powers, and the UAE itself is a federation consisting of 7 emirates, with its own ruler in each. 

Every five years, the Supreme Council of 7 members elects a president, a prime minister and forms a cabinet. But, as a rule, the rulers of the richest emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai become the president and prime minister.