The World’s Monarchs

Many think of monarchy as a dying, outdated, mediaeval institution. And yet, at the same time, one of the two most well-known state leaders in the world (alongside the American President) – and THE most popular (sorry, America) – is the Queen of the United Kingdom, Elizabeth II, who is also the Queen of 15 other countries, and the former Queen of 17 more.

While certainly not the norm it was at the beginning of last century, monarchy is not as rare as many think – 44 countries, or about a quarter of the world’s nations, have a monarch. There are 30 reigning monarchs (before you ask about the discrepancy, two words: Queen Elizabeth. Also, Andorra has two monarchs.).

(Although it’s become increasingly common to view Eswatini as having two monarchs, in which case there are 31 reigning monarchs.)

(And North Korea is a de facto absolute monarchy, making 45 monarchies and 32 monarchs around the world.)

(The Principality of Sealand is for all intents and purposes a de facto and de jure independent sovereign state, so make that 46 monarchies and 33 monarchs.)

Additionally, there are several living former monarchs – whether because their country abolished its monarchy, or because they abdicated.

Here are the monarchs in the world today – and their heirs, the next generations of monarchs.

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ʻAhoʻeitu Tupou VI

Born on 12 July 1959, he has reigned as King of Tonga since 18 March 2012, succeeding his brother George Tupou V. Like his brother – and his father, King Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV – he is head of the House of Topou, which has been the Tongan Royal House for 176 years, since the ascension of ancestor George Tupou I in 1845. His heir apparent is his eldest son and second child Crown Prince Tupouto’a ‘Ulukalala.

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Abdullah

Born on 30 July 1959, he has reigned as King of Malaysia since 31 January 2019, and as Sultan of Pahang since 11 January 2019. He inherited the throne of Pahang after the abdication of his father Ahmad Shah, and he was elected to the Malaysian throne after the abdication of Muhammad V. Like his father, he is head of the House of Bendahara, which has governed Pahang for 322 years, since his ancestor Abdul Jalil Shah IV took the throne in 1699. His heir apparent in Pahang is his son Crown Prince Tengku Hassanal Ibrahi Alam Shah, who is Regent. Malaysia’s national throne has no line of succession; the monarch serves a 5 year term, and it is rotated between the 9 state monarchs.

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Abdullah II

Born on 30 January 1962, he has reigned as King of Jordan since 7 February 1999, succeeding his father Hussein. Like his father, he is head of the Hashemite dynasty, which has been the Jordanian (formerly Transjordanian) Royal House for 100 years, since the country was founded by his great-grandfather Abdullah I in 1921. His heir apparent is his eldest son Crown Prince Hussein.

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Abdullah bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Deputy Emir of Qatar

Born on 9 February 1988, he is a son of former Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and his third wife Sheikha Noora bint Khalid Al-Thani, and is a younger half-brother of Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and is unofficial heir presumptive to the throne of Qatar. Like his father, mother and half-brother, he is a member of the House of Thani, which has governed Qatar for centuries.

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Prince Abdul Muntaqim

Born on 17 March 2007, he is the grandson of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and his wife Queen Saleha, and is second in the line of succession to the throne of Brunei, after his father Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah.

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Akihito

Born on 23 December 1933, he reigned as Emperor of Japan from 7 January 1989 until his abdication on 30 April 2019. He inherited the throne after the death of his father Hirohito (Emperor Showa), and was succeeded by his son Naruhito. Like his father and son, he is a member (and former head) of the Imperial House of Japan, which has governed Japan since the country’s founding in 660 BC.

Albert II

Born on 6 June 1934, he reigned as King of the Belgians from 9 August 1993 until his abdication on 21 July 2013. He inherited the throne after the death of his brother Baudouin, and was succeeded by his son Philippe. Like his brother, and his father Leopold III, he is a member (and former head) of the House of Belgium, which has been the Belgian Royal House since 1920.

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Albert II

Born on 14 March 1958, he has reigned as Prince of Monaco since 6 April 2005, succeeding his father Rainier III. He had previously served as Regent from 31 March to 6 April 2005. Like his father, he is head of the House of Grimaldi, which has been the Monegasque Princely House (formerly Lordly House) for 207 years, since independence and the monarchy was restored under his ancestor Honoré IV in 1814. His heir apparent is his only legitimate son and youngest child Hereditary Prince Jacques.

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Al-Muhtadee Billah, Crown Prince of Brunei

Born on 17 February 1974, he is the eldest son of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and his wife Queen Saleha bint Mohammad Alam, and is the heir apparent to the throne of Brunei. The next in the line of succession is his eldest son, Prince Abdul Muntaqim.

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Alois, Hereditary Prince of Liechtenstein

Born on 11 June 1968, he is the eldest son of Prince Hans-Adam II and his wife Princess Marie, and is heir apparent to the throne of Liechtenstein. He has served as the country’s Regent since 15 August 2004. Like his father, he is a member of the House of Liechtenstein, which has governed the country since 1608. The next in line is his eldest son Prince Joseph Wenzel.

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Beatrix

Born on 31 January 1938, she reigned as Queen of the Netherlands from 30 April 1980 until her abdication on 30 April 2013, succeeding her mother Juliana (who also abdicated) and preceding her son Willem-Alexander. Like her mother and son, she is a member (and former head) of the House of Orange-Nassau, which has been the Dutch Royal House since 1813. Through her father Prince Bernhard, she is also a member of the House of Lippe.

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Benedict XVI

Born on 16 April 1927, he reigned as Sovereign of Vatican City from 19 April 2005 until his resignation on 28 February 2013, at the same time he served as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and Bishop of Rome. He was elected following the death of John Paul II, and was succeeded by Francis.

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Carl XVI Gustaf

Born on 30 April 1946, he has reigned as King of Sweden since 15 September 1973, succeeding his grandfather Gustaf VI Adolf, making him the longest-reigning monarch in Swedish history. Like his grandfather – and his father, Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten – he is head of the House of Bernadotte, which has been the Swedish Royal House for 203 years, since the ascension of his ancestor Charles XIV John in 1818. His heir apparent is his eldest daughter Crown Princess Victoria. (Carl Gustaf’s only son and middle child Prince Carl Philip was briefly Crown Prince and heir apparent for a few months as an infant before the Swedish parliament enacted absolute primogeniture.)

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Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange

Born on 7 December 2003, she is the eldest daughter of King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Máxima, and is heir apparent to the throne of the Netherlands. Like her father – and her grandmother, the former Queen Beatrix – she is a member of the House of Orange-Nassau, which has been the Dutch Royal House since 1813. Like her father, she is additionally a member of the House of Amsberg.

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Prince Charles of Luxembourg

Born on 10 May 2020, he is a grandson of Grand Duke Henri and his wife Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, and is second in the line of succession to the throne of Luxembourg, after his father Prince Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg. Like his father and grandfather, he is a member of both the House of Nassau-Weilburg, which has been the Luxembourg Grand Ducal House since 1890, and the House of Bourbon-Parma, which has been the unofficial second Luxembourg Grand Ducal House since 1964.

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Charles, Prince of Wales

Born on 14 November 1948, he is the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and is the heir apparent to the thrones of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis – more than any other person in the world, apart from his son and grandson. He is by birth a member of the House of Mountbatten, his father’s adopted name, but since 1952 has been a member of the House of Windsor, which has been the British and Commonwealth Royal House since 1917. It is speculated that he may change the Royal Family’s name to the House of Mountbatten-Windsor when he becomes King, although this has neither been confirmed or denied. The next in the line of succession – who will become heir apparent when Charles succeeds to the thrones, and King after his reign ends – is his eldest son Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.

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Prince Christian of Denmark

Born on 15 October 2005, he is a grandson of Queen Margrethe II and her late husband Prince Henrik, and is second in the line of succession to the throne of Denmark, after his father Crown Prince Frederik. Like his father, he does not belong to any royal dynasty; it will be decided by his father, when he becomes King, what the Danish Royal House will be named.

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Constantine II

Born on 2 June 1940, he reigned as King of the Hellenes from 6 March 1964 until the abolishment of the monarchy on 1 June 1973. He succeeded his father Paul. Like his father, he is a member of the House of Glücksburg, which had been the Greek Royal House since 1863.

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Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti

Born on 29 April 2005, he is the youngest child of King Vajiralongkorn and his 3rd wife Srirasmi Suwadee, and is heir presumptive to the throne of Thailand. Like his father, he is a member of the Chakri dynasty, which has governed Thailand since 1782.

Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant

Born on 25 October 2001, she is the eldest daughter of King Philippe and his wife Queen Mathilde, and is the heir apparent to the throne of Belgium. Like her father – and her grandfather, the former King Albert II – she is a member of the House of Belgium, which has been the Belgian Royal House since 1920.

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Elizabeth II

Born on 21 April 1926, she has reigned as Queen of the United Kingdom, Queen of Canada, Queen of Australia and Queen of New Zealand since 6 February 1952, succeeding her father, George VI. She has also reigned as Queen of Pakistan from 6 February 1952 until 23 March 1956, Queen of South Africa from 6 February 1952 until 31 May 1961, Queen of Ceylon from 6 February 1952 until 22 May 1972, Queen of Ghana from 6 March 1957 until 1 July 1960, Queen of Nigeria from 1 October 1960 until 1 October 1963, Queen of Sierra Leone from 27 April 1961 until 19 April 1971, Queen of Tanganyika from 9 December 1961 until 9 December 1962, Queen of Jamaica since 10 August 1962, Queen of Trinidad and Tobago from 31 August 1962 until 1 August 1976, Queen of Uganda from 9 October 1962 until 9 October 1963, Queen of Kenya from 12 December 1963 until 12 December 1964, Queen of Malawi from 6 July 1964 until 6 July 1966, Queen of Malta from 21 September 1964 until 13 December 1974, Queen of the Gambia from 18 February 1965 until 24 April 1970, Queen of Rhodesia from 11 November 1965 until 2 March 1970, Queen of Guyana from 26 May 1966 until 23 February 1970, Queen of Barbados since 30 November 1966, Queen of Mauritius from 12 March 1968 until 12 March 1992, Queen of Fiji from 10 October 1970 until 6 October 1987, Queen of the Bahamas since 10 July 1973, Queen of Grenada since 7 February 1974, Queen of Papua New Guinea since 16 September 1975, Queen of Solomon Islands since 7 July 1978, Queen of Tuvalu since 1 October 1978, Queen of Saint Lucia since 22 February 1979, Queen of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines since 27 October 1979, Queen of Belize since 21 September 1981, Queen of Antigua and Barbua since 1 November 1981, and Queen of Saint Kitts and Nevis since 19 September 1983. She is and has been sovereign of more independent nations than any other monarch or ruler in history, and is the oldest and longest-reigning living monarch. Like her father, she is head of the House of Windsor, which has been the British and Commonwealth Royal House for 104 years, since 1917, when her grandfather George V renamed the Royal House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Her heir apparent is her eldest son, Charles, Prince of Wales.

Emmanuel Macron

Born on 21 December 1977, he has reigned as Co-Prince of Andorra since 14 May 2017, when he took office as President of France, succeeding François Hollande. By convention, the President of France and the Bishop of Urgell jointly share Andorra’s monarchy, and Macron has thus served as Prince jointly with Joan Enric Vives i Sicília. He is the only person in the world who is both a President and a Monarch. He is the founder of the La République En Marche! political party, and was previously a member of the Socialist Party from 2006 until 2009.

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Princess Estelle, Duchess of Östergötland

Born on 23 February 2012, she is a granddaughter of King Carl XVI Gustaf and his wife Queen Silvia, and is second in the line of succession to the throne of Sweden, after her mother Crown Princess Victoria. Like her mother and grandmother, she is a member of the House of Bernadotte, which has been the Swedish Royal House since 1818.

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Felipe VI

Born on 30 January 1968, he has reigned as King of Spain since 19 June 2014, succeeding his father Juan Carlos I, who abdicated. Like his father, he is a member of the House of Bourbon, which has been the Spanish Royal House for 46 years, since the throne was restored to his father in 1975. His heir presumptive is his eldest daughter Leonor, Princess of Asturias.

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Francis

Born on 17 December 1936, he has reigned as Sovereign of Vatican City since 13 March 2013, when he was elected Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and Bishop of Rome, succeeding Benedict XVI, who resigned.

François Hollande

Born on 12 August 1954, he reigned as Co-Prince of Andorra from 15 May 2012 until 14 May 2017 during his term as President of France, succeeding Nicolas Sarkozy and preceding Emmanuel Macron. He was Prince jointly with Joan Enric Vives i Sicília and is a member of the Socialist Party.

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Prince Freddy

Born on 1 July 2014, he is a grandson of Prince Michael and his ex-wife Princess Lorraine, and is second in the line of succession to the throne of Sealand, after his father Prince Royal James. Like his father and grandfather, he is a member of the House of Bates, which has governed the country since 1967..

Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark

Born on 26 May 1968, he is the eldest son of Queen Margrethe II and her late husband Prince Henrik, and is the heir apparent to the throne of Denmark. Unlike his parents and every other European prince and princess, he does not belong to any royal house or dynasty; it will be up to him, when he becomes King, to decide whether to join the House of Glücksburg, his mother’s family, which has been the Danish Royal House since 1863, the House of Monpezat, his father’s family, combine the two (Monpezat-Glücksburg or Glücksburg-Monpezat, perhaps?), or create a new dynasty. The next in the line of succession is his eldest son Prince Christian.

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Fuad II

Born on 16 January 1952, he reigned as King of Egypt and the Sudan from 26 July 1952 until the abolishment of the monarchy on 18 June 1953. He succeeded his father Farouk I, who was deposed. Like his father, he is a member of the Muhammad Ali dynasty, which had ruled Egypt from 1805.

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Fumihito, Prince Akishino, Crown Prince of Japan

Born on 30 November 1965, he is the youngest son of Emperor Akihito and his wife Empress Michiko, and younger brother of Emperor Naruhito, and is heir presumptive to the throne of Japan. Like his father and brother, he is a member of the Imperial House of Japan, which has governed the country since its founding in 660 BC. The next in line is his only son and youngest child Prince Hisahito of Akishino.

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Prince George of Cambridge

Born on 22 July 2013, he is a great-grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and is 3rd in the line of succession to the thrones of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis, after his grandfather Charles, Prince of Wales, and his father Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. Like his father, grandfather and great-grandmother, he is a member of the House of Windsor, which has been the British and Commonwealth Royal House since 1917.

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Graeme I

Born in 1957, he reigned as Prince of Hutt from 11 February 2017 until the abolishment of the monarchy on 3 August 2020, upon which the principality was absorbed by Australia. He succeeded his father Leonard I, who abdicated. Like his father, he is a member of the House of Casley, which had governed the country from its founding in 1970 by his father.

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Prince Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg

Born on 11 November 1981, he is the eldest son of Grand Duke Henri and his wife Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, and is the heir apparent to the throne of Luxembourg. Like his father, he is a member of both the House of Nassau-Weilburg and the House of Bourbon-Parma, the former of which has been Luxembourg’s ruling family since 1890, and the latter has been an unofficial second family name since 1964. The next in line is his only son Prince Charles.

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Gyanedra

Born on 7 July 1947, he reigned as King of Nepal from 7 November 1950 until 7 January 1951, and again from 4 June 2001 until the abolishment of the monarchy on 28 May 2008. In his first reign, he succeeded his grandfather Tribhuvan, who succeeded him. In his second reign, he succeeded his nephew Dipendra, whom he may have had a hand in killing. He is head of the Shah dynasty, which had governed Nepal from 1768.

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Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway

Born on 20 July 1973, he is the only son and youngest child of King Harald V and his wife Queen Sonja, and is heir apparent to the throne of Norway. Like his father, he is a member of the House of Glücksburg, which has been the Norwegian Royal House since 1905. The next in line is his only daughter and eldest child Princess Ingrid Alexandra.

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Haitham bin Tariq

Born on 13 October 1955, he has reigned as Sultan of Oman since 11 January 2020, succeeding his first cousin Qaboos bin Said. He has also served as Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Political Affairs from 1986 until 1994, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1994 until 2002, Minister of Heritage and Culture from March 2002 until 1 March 2020, and Minister of Defence, Minister of Finance and Minister of Foreign Affairs since 11 January 2020. Like his cousin, he is head of the House of Al Said, which has been Oman’s ruling family for 277 years, since the ascension of his ancestor Ahmad bin Said in 1744. Oman has no line of succession, with the royal family choosing a new Sultan when the office becomes vacant.

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Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa

Born on 28 January 1950, he has reigned as King of Bahrain since 14 February 2002, having previously reigned as Emir of Bahrain from 6 March 1999 until 14 February 2002, succeeding his father, Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa. He is the country’s last Emir and first King. Like his father, he is the head of the House of Khalifa, which has been the reigning Bahrainian Royal House for 238 years, since his ancestor Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Khalifa became Hakim of Bahrain in 1783. His heir apparent is his eldest son Crown Prince Salman, who is the country’s Prime Minister.

Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa

Born in 2014, he is the great-grandson of King Hamad and his first wife Princess Sabika, and is 3rd in the line of succession to the throne of Bahrain, after his grandfather Crown Prince Salman and his father Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa. Like his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, he is a member of the House of Khalifa, which has been the Bahraini Royal Family since 1783.

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Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani

Born on 1 January 1952, he reigned as Emir of Qatar from 27 June 1995 until his abdication on 25 June 2013. He seized the throne by deposing his father Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, and was succeeded by his son Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Like his father and son, he is a member (and former head) of the House of Thani, which has ruled Qatar for centuries.

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Hans-Adam II

Born on 14 February 1945, he has reigned as Prince of Liechtenstein since 13 November 1989, succeeding his father Franz Joseph II. He has previously served as the country’s Regent from 1984 until 13 November 1989. Like his father, he is head of the House of Liechtenstein, which has been the Liechtensteinian Princely House for 413 years, since the ascension of his distant uncle Karl I in 1608. His heir apparent is his eldest son Hereditary Prince Alois, who is the country’s Regent.

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Harald V

Born on 21 February 1937, he has reigned as King of Norway since 17 January 1991, succeeding his father Olav V. Like his father, he is a member of the House of Glücksburg, which has been the Norwegian Royal House for 116 years, since the ascension of his grandfather Haakon VII in 2015. His heir apparent is his only son and youngest child Crown Prince Haakon.

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Hassanal Bolkiah

Born on 15 July 1946, he has reigned as Sultan of Brunei since 5 October 1967 (succeeding his father Omar Ali Saifuddien III, who abdicated), making him the second-longest-reigning current monarch in the world (after the Commonwealth’s Queen Elizabeth II). He has served as the country’s Prime Minister since 1 January 1984, Minister of Defence since 7 September 1986 (also succeeding his father), as Minister of Finance since 23 February 1997 (previously 1 January 1984 until 20 October 1986), and as Minister of Foreign Affairs since 22 October 2015. Unlike many other monarchies, Brunei does not seem to have an official Royal House. His heir apparent is his eldest son Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah.

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Henri

Born on 16 April 1955, he has reigned as Grand Duke of Luxembourg since 7 October 2000, succeeding his father Jean, who abdicated. He had previously served as the country’s Regent from 4 March 1998 until 7 October 2000. Like his father, he is head of the House of Nassau-Weilburg, which has been Luxembourg’s ruling family for 131 years, since the ascension of his great-great-grandfather Adolphe in 1890. He is additionally a member of the House of Bourbon-Parma through his paternal grandfather, which has been the princely family’s unofficial second name since his father’s ascension to the throne in 1964, for 57 years. His heir apparent is his eldest son Prince Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg. He is the world’s only remaining sovereign Grand Duke.

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Prince Hisahito of Akishino

Born on 6 September 2006, he is a grandson of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko and nephew of Emperor Nahurito, and is second in the line of succession to the throne of Japan, after his father Crown Prince Fumihito, Prince Akishino. Like his father, grandfather and uncle, he is a member of the Imperial House of Japan, which has governed the country since its founding in 660 BC.

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Hussein, Crown Prince of Jordan

Born on 28 June 1994, he is the eldest son of King Abdullah II and his wife Queen Rania, and is the heir apparent to the throne of Jordan. Like his father, he is a member of the Hashemite dynasty, which has been the Jordanian Royal House since 1921.

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Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway

Born on 21 January 2004, she is a granddaughter of King Harald V and his wife Queen Sonja, and is second in the line of succession to the throne of Norway, after her father Crown Prince Haakon. Like her father and grandfather, she is a member of the House of Glücksburg, which has been the Norwegian Royal House since 1905.

Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa

Born on 7 March 1990, he is the grandson of King Hamad and his first wife Princess Sabika, and is second in the line of succession to the throne of Bahrain, after his father, Crown Prince Salman. Like his father and grandfather, he is a member of the House of Khalifa, which has been the Bahraini Royal Family since 1783. The next in line – who will become Crown Prince when Isa becomes King and King when Isa’s reign ends – is his eldest son Hamad.

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Jacques, Hereditary Prince of Monaco

Born on 10 December 2014, he is the only legitimate son and youngest child of Prince Albert II and his wife Princess Charlene, and is heir apparent to the throne of Monaco. Like his father, he is a member of the House of Grimaldi, which has been the Monegasque Princely House since 1814.

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James, Prince Royal

Born in 1986, he is the eldest son of Prince Michael and his ex-wife Princess Lorraine, and is heir apparent to the throne of Sealand. Like his father, he is a member of the House of Bates. The next in line is his son Prince Freddy.

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Jamshid bin Abdullah

Born on 16 September 1929, he reigned as Sultan of Zanzibar from 1 July 1963 until the abolishment of the monarchy on 12 January 1964. He succeeded his father Abdullah bin Khalifa. Like his father, he is a member of the House of Al Said, which had governed Zanzibar from its founding in 1856.

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Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck

Born on 21 February 1980, he has reigned as Dragon King of Bhutan since 9 December 2006, succeeding his father Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who abdicated. Like his father, he is head of the House of Wangchuck, which has been the Bhutanese Royal House for 114 years, since the reunification of the country under his great-great-grandfather Ugyen Wangchuck in 1907. His heir apparent is his eldest son, Crown Prince Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck.

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Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck, Crown Prince of Bhutan

Born on 5 February 2016, he is the eldest son of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and his wife Queen Jetsun Pema, and is the heir apparent to the throne of Bhutan. Like his father – and his grandfather, the former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, he is a member of the House of Wangchuck, which has been the Bhutanese Royal House since 1907.

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Jigme Singye Wangchuck

Born on 11 November 1955, he reigned as Dragon King of Bhutan from 24 July 1972 until his abdication on 9 December 2006. He inherited the throne after the death of his father Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, and he was succeeded by his son Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. Like his father and son, he is a member of the House of Wangchuck, which has been the Bhutanese Royal House since 1907.

Joan Enric Vives i Sicília

Born on 24 July 1949, he has reigned as Co-Prince of Andorra since 12 May 2003, when he was appointed Bishop of Urgell, succeeding Joan Martí i Alanis. By convention, the Bishop of Urgell and the President of France jointly share Andorra’s monarchy, and Vives i Sicília has thus served as Prince jointly with first Jacques Chirac, then Nicolas Sarkozy, then François Hollande, and now Emmanuel Macron. He is Europe’s only ecclesiastical state leader, and was raised to Archbishop in 2010.

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Prince Joseph Wenzel of Liechtenstein

Born on 24 May 1995, he is a grandson of Prince Hans-Adam II and his wife Princess Marie, and is second in the line of succession to the throne of Liechtenstein, after his father Hereditary Prince and Regent Alois. Like his father and grandfather, he is a member of the House of Liechtenstein, which has been the Liechtensteini Princely House since 1608.

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Juan Carlos I

Born on 5 January 1938, he reigned as King of Spain from the restoration of the monarchy on 22 November 1975 until his abdication on 19 June 2014. The throne had last been held by his grandfather Alfonso XIII, and he was succeeded by his son Felipe VI. Like his grandfather, his father (Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona) and his son, he is a member of the House of Bourbon, which has been the Spanish Royal House since he ascended the throne in 1975 (and was previously the Spanish Royal House from the ascension of his great-great-grandfather Alfonso XII in 1874 until the monarchy was abolished in 1931).

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Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Born on 7 September 1948, he has served as President of the United Arab Emirates since 3 November 2004, and has reigned as Emir of Abu Dhabi since 2 November 2004, in both offices succeeding his father Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

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Kim Jong-un

Born on 8 January in either 1982, 1983 or 1984, he has served as Supreme Leader of North Korea since 17 December 2011, succeeding his father Kim Jong-il. He has also served as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of North Korea since 30 December 2011, First Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea from 11 April 2012 until 9 May 2016, First Chairman of the National Defense Commission from 13 April 2012 until 29 June 2016, Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea from 9 May 2016 until 10 January 2021, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission since 29 June 2016, and General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea since 10 January 2021.

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Leonor, Princess of Asturias

Born on 31 October 2005, she is the eldest daughter of King Felipe VI and his wife Queen Letizia, and is heir presumptive to the throne of Spain. Like her father – and her grandfather, the former King Juan Carlos I – she is a member of the House of Bourbon, which has been the Spanish Royal House since 1975.

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Prince Lerotholi Seeiso

Born on 18 April 2007, he is the only son and youngest child of King Letsie III and his wife Queen ‘Masenate Mohate Seeiso, and is the heir apparent to the throne of Lesotho. Like his father, he is a member of the House of Moshesh, which has been Lesotho’s Royal Family since 1822.

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Letsie III

Born on 17 July 1963, he has reigned as King of Lesotho since 7 February 1996, having previously reigned from 12 November 1990 until 25 January 1995. In both cases he succeeded his father Moshoeshoe II, who succeeded him after his first reign before dying in a car accident. Like his father, he is head of the House of Moshesh, which has been Lesotho’s Royal House for 199 years, since the monarchy was founded by his ancestor Moshoeshoe I in 1822. His heir apparent is his only son and youngest child, Prince Lerotholi Seeiso.

Queen Margrethe smiling

Margrethe II

Born on 16 April 1940, she has reigned as Queen of Denmark since 14 January 1972, succeeding her father Frederick IX. Like her father, she is a member of the House of Glücksburg, which has been the Danish Royal House for 158 years, since the ascension of her great-great-grandfather Christian IX in 1863. Her heir apparent is her eldest son Crown Prince Frederik.

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Michael

Born on 2 August 1952, he has reigned as Prince of Sealand since 9 October 2012, succeeding his father Roy. He had previously served as Regent from 1999 until 2012. Like his father, he is head of the House of Bates, which has been the Sealand Princely House since the country was established by Roy in 1967, 56 years ago. His heir apparent is his eldest son James, Prince Royal.

KUNA : Kuwait parliament blesses Sheikh Mishal Al-Sabah as Crown Prince -  Parliamentary - 08/10/2020

Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Crown Prince of Kuwait

Born in 1940, he is a son of Emir Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and his wife Maryam Marit Al-Huwaila, and a younger half-brother of Emir Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and former Emirs Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and is heir apparent to the throne of Kuwait. Like his father and half-brothers, he is a member of the House of Al Sabah, which has been the Kuwaiti Royal House since 1752. He is the world’s oldest heir apparent or presumptive.

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Mizan Zainal Abidin

Born on 22 January 1962, he reigned as King of Malaysia from 13 December 2006 until 12 December 2011, succeeding Sirajuddin and preceding Abdul Halim. He has also served as the country’s Regent from 8 October until 12 December 2001, and reigned as Sultan of Terengganu since 15 May 1998, succeeding his father Mahmud. Like his father, he is a member of the House of Bendahara.

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Mohammed VI

Born on 21 August 1963, he has reigned as King of Morocco since 23 July 1999, succeeding his father Hassan II. Like his father, he is head of the Alaouite dynasty, which has been the Moroccan Royal House for 355 years, since the country was unified under his ancestor Sultan Al-Rashid in 1666. His heir apparent is his only son and eldest child Crown Prince Moulay Hassan.

Mohammed bin Salman aged 34

Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

Born on 31 August 1985, he is a son of King Salman and his third wife Fahda bint Falah bin Sultan Al Hathleen, and is heir apparent to the throne of Saudi Arabia. He has served as Deputy Prime Minister and de facto ruler since 21 June 2017, and has also served as Minister of Defense since 23 January 2015. Like his father, he is a member of the House of Saud, which has been the Saudi Royal Family since 1932.

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Moulay Hassan, Crown Prince of Morocco

Born on 8 May 2003, he is the eldest child and only son of King Mohammed VI and his wife Princess Lalla Salma, and is heir apparent to the throne of Morocco. Like his father, he is a member of the Alaouite dynasty.

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Mswati III

Born on 19 April 1968, he has reigned as King of Eswatini since 25 April 1986, succeeding his father Sobhuza II. Eswatini (Swaziland until last decade) has two joint sovereigns, the King and the Queen Mother; Mswati’s Queen Mother and joint sovereign is his mother Ntfombi. Like his father, he is a member of the House of Dlamini, which has been the Swazi Royal House for centuries. There is no line of succession, as the King’s heir is chosen from among his children after his death.

Malaysia king: Sultan Muhammad V abdicates in historic first - BBC News

Muhammad V

Born on 6 October 1969, he reigned as King of Malaysia from 13 December 2016 until his abdication on 6 January 2019, succeeding Abdul Halim and preceding Abdullah. He has also reigned as Sultan of Kelantan since 13 September 2010, succeeding his father Ismail Petra. Like his father, he is a member of the House of Long Yunus. His heir presumptive in Kelantan is his brother Crown Prince Tengku Muhammad Faiz Petra.

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Naruhito

Born on 23 February 1960, he has reigned as Emperor of Japan since 1 May 2019, succeeding his father Akihito, who abdicated. Like his father, he is head of the Imperial House of Japan, also known as the Yamato Dynasty, which has governed Japan continuously since the country was founded in 660 BC – for approximately 2681 years. His heir presumptive is his younger brother Crown Prince Fumihito, Prince Akishino.

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Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah

Born on 25 June 1937, he has reigned as Emir of Kuwait since 30 September 2020, succeeding his half-brother Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Like his half-brother, and his father Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, he is head of the House of Al Sabah, which has been the Kuwaiti Royal House for 269 years, since the country’s independence under his ancestor Sheikh Sabah I bin Jaber in 1752. His heir apparent is his half-brother Crown Prince Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

Nicolas Sarkozy

Born on 28 January 1955, he reigned as Co-Prince of Andorra from 16 May 2007 until 15 May 2012, during his term as President of France, succeeding Jacques Chirac and preceding François Hollande. He served as Prince jointly with Joan Enric Vives i Sicília. He has been a member of The Republicans since 2015, and was previously a member of the Union for a Popular Movement from 2002 until 2015, and a member of the Rally for the Republic until 2002.

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Norodom Sihamoni

Born on 14 May 1953, he has reigned as King of Cambodia since 14 October 2004, succeeding his father Norodom Sihanouk, who abdicated. Like his father, he is head of the House of Norodom, which has been the Cambodian Royal House for 28 years, since the second ascension of his father Norodom Sihanouk in 1993. Unlike most other monarchies, there is no line of succession; when a King or Queen dies or abdicates, the throne council elects a new monarch from the extended Royal Family (which has resulted in the throne changing hands between the House of Norodom and the House of Sisowath several times since 1904). There is therefore no heir apparent.

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Nftombi

Born in 1950, she has reigned as Queen Mother of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) since 25 April 1986, having previously served as Queen Regent from 25 March 1983 until 24 April 1986, succeeding Dzeliwe. The Queen Mother and King traditionally serve as joint sovereigns, and Nftombi’s King and co-sovereign is her son Mswati III.

Philippe

Born on 15 April 1960, he has reigned as King of the Belgians since 21 July 2013, succeeding his father Albert II, who abdicated. Like his father, he is head of the House of Belgium, which has been the Belgian Royal House for 101 years, since his great-grandfather Albert I renamed the Royal House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1920. His heir apparent is his eldest daughter Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant.

Salman in his eighty-second year

Salman

Born on 31 December 1935, he has reigned as King of Saudi Arabia since 23 January 2015, succeeding his half-brother Abdullah. He has also served as Prime Minister since 23 January 2015, Governor of Riyadh Province from 18 April 1955 until 22 September 1960, and again from 5 February 1963 until 5 November 2011, and as Minister of Defense from 2011 until 2015. Like his half-brother – and his father, the late King Ibn Saud, he is head of the House of Saud, which has been the Saudi Royal House since the country was founded by his father in 1932. His heir apparent is his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Salman, Crown Prince of Bahrain

Born on 21 October 1969, he is the eldest son of King Hamad and his first wife Princess Sabika bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, and is the heir apparent to the throne of Bahrain. He has served as the country’s Prime Minister‘s since 11 November 2020. Like his father, he is a member of the House of Khalifa, which has been the ruling family of Bahrain since 1783. The next in line, who will become Crown Prince when Salman becomes King and King when Salman’s reign ends, is his eldest son Isa.

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Simeon II

Born on 16 June 1937, he reigned as King of Bulgaria from 28 August 1943 until the abolishment of the monarchy on 15 September 1946. He succeeded his father Boris III. He subsequently served as Prime Minister of Bulgaria from 24 July 2001 until 17 August 2005, succeeding Ivan Kostov and preceding Sergei Stanishev. Like his father, he is a member of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha-Koháry, which had been the Bulgarian Royal House from 1887. He founded the National Movement Simeon II (now National Movement for Stability and Progress) party in April 2001, and resigned as leader on 6 July 2009.

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Sirajuddin

Born on 17 May 1943, he reigned as King of Malaysia from 13 December 2001 until 12 December 2006, succeeding Salahuddin and preceding Mizan Zainal Abidin. He has also reigned as Raja of Perlis since 17 April 2000, succeeding his father Putra. Like his father, he is a member of the House of Jamalullail, which has governed the state since 1843. His heir apparent in Perlis is his son Crown Prince Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail.

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Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani

Born on 3 June 1980, he has reigned as Emir of Qatar since 25 June 2013, succeeding his father Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who abdicated. Like his father, he is head of the House of Al Thani, which has governed the country for centuries. His unofficial heir presumptive is his younger half-brother, Deputy Emir Abdullah bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.

Prince Taufa’ahau Manumataongo

Born on 10 May 2013, he is a grandson of King ‘Aho‘eitu Tupou VI and his wife Queen Nanasipauʻu Tukuʻaho, and is second in the line of succession to the throne of Tonga, after his father Crown Prince Tupoutoʻa ʻUlukalala. Like his father and grandfather, he is a member of the House of Tupou, which has governed Tonga since 1845.

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Tupouto’a ‘Ulukalala, Crown Prince of Tonga

Born on 17 September 1985, he is the oldest son and second child of King ‘Aho‘eitu Tupou VI and his wife Queen Nanasipauʻu Tukuʻaho, and is heir apparent to the throne of Tonga. Like his father, he is a member of the House of Tupou, which has been the Tongan Royal House since 1845. The next in line is his oldest child and only son Prince Taufaʻahau Manumataongo.

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Vajiralongkorn (Rama X)

Born on 28 July 1952, he has reigned as King of Thailand since 1 December 2016, succeeding his father Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX). Like his father, he is a member of the Chakri dynasty, which has governed Thailand since 1782. His heir presumptive is his youngest child Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti.

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Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden

Born on 14 July 1977, she is the eldest daughter of King Carl XVI Gustaf and his wife Queen Silvia, and is heir apparent to the throne of Sweden. Like her father, she is a member of the House of Bernadotte, which has been the Swedish Royal House since 1818. The next in line is her only daughter and eldest child Princess Estelle, Duchess of Östergötland.

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Willem-Alexander

Born on 27 April 1967, he has reigned as King of the Netherlands since 30 April 2013, succeeding his mother Beatrix, who abdicated. Through his mother, he is head of the House of Orange-Nassau, which has been the Dutch Royal (formerly Princely) House for 208 years, since the ascension of his ancestor Prince William Frederick (later King William I) to the throne in 1813. Through his father Prince Claus, he is also head of the House of Amsberg, and is the first monarch from that House. His heir apparent is his eldest daughter Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange.

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Prince William, Duke of Cambridge

Born on 21 June 1982, he is the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and is the second in the line of succession to the thrones of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis, after his father, Charles, Prince of Wales. Like his father and grandmother, he is a member of the House of Windsor, which has been the British and Commonwealth Royal House since 1917. The next in the line of succession – who will become heir apparent when William becomes King, and King after William’s reign ends – is his eldest son Prince George of Cambridge.

7 thoughts on “The World’s Monarchs

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