Hereditary monarchy

form of government and succession of power in which the throne passes from one member of a royal family to another member of the same family

A hereditary monarchy is a type of government in which usually a king or a queen becomes the monarch by being related to the last monarch. That is the most common sort of monarchy and is the form used by almost all of the world's monarchies today.

Types change

Hereditary monarchy change

In a hereditary monarchy, the monarchs come from the same family, and the crown is passed down from one member of the family to another. The hereditary system can be more stable and can command loyalty, but at other times, great bloodshed happened over the question of succession.

When the king or queen of a hereditary monarchy dies or quits the throne (abdicates), the crown is generally passed to one of his or her children, often the oldest. When that child dies, the crown will be then passed to his or her child, or, if he or she has no child, to a sister, brother, niece, nephew, cousin, or some other relative. Hereditary monarchies most usually arrange the succession by a law that creates an order of succession. That way, it is known beforehand who will be the next monarch.

The order of succession in hereditary monarchies is now often based on the idea of primogeniture (oldest born), but other methods used to be much more common.

Succession change

In the past, there were differences in systems of succession, often depending on whether only men can succeed or whether both men and women could succeed.

Agnatic succession means that women are not allowed to succeed or pass the succession from their fathers to their children. Agnates are relatives who have a common ancestor in an unbroken male line from father to father.

Cognatic succession means that both men and women can succeed. Women usually are allowed to succeed only if they have no brother alive. For example, in the United Kingdom, Princess Anne came after her younger brothers (and her nephews and nieces) in the line of succession.

In the 1970s, Sweden changed from agnatic succession to "fully-cognatic" succession. That means the line of succession is based on age, not sex. Therefore, Princess Victoria of Sweden was born, she could never become queen, and when her younger brother was born, he became crown prince (heir to the throne), but the law changed, and Victoria became crown princess.

Elective monarchy change

An elective monarchy can sometimes seem like a hereditary monarch. For example, only members of one family may be allowed to be elected, or before the monarch dies, the chosen heir (son, daughter, brother, sister, or other relative) might be elected.

In Europe, the Holy Roman Empire was an elective monarchy, but for many hundreds of years, only the head of the Habsburg family was elected. In 1806, the Holy Roman Emperor abolished the empire and instead became the Emperor of Austria, a hereditary monarch.

The only true example of an elective monarchy today is Malaysia, where a ruling Sultan of a Malaysian state, is elected as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for a term of five years.[1]

References change

  1. "Explained: Malaysia is the world's only monarchy of its kind. Here's why". The Indian Express. 2019-08-03. Retrieved 2021-04-23.