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Constitutional monarchy

A type of monarchy in which power is restricted by a constitution

Constitutional monarchy is a form of government. It is also called limited monarchy. A monarch is the head of state, but must follow a constitution.

Most constitutional monarchies use a parliamentary system.

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, Swaziland, Sweden, and Laos.

List of current reigning monarchiesEdit

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[1] Hereditary succession
  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
  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[source?]
  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
  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.


  1. Belgium is the only existing popular monarchy — a system in which the monarch's title is linked to the people rather than a state. The title of Belgian kings is not King of Belgium, but instead King of the Belgians. Another unique feature of the Belgian system is that the new monarch does not automatically assume the throne at the death or abdication of his predecessor; he only becomes monarch upon taking a constitutional oath.