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How popular are Europe’s Monarchies?

The British Monarchy has enjoyed a very high percentage of support for many decades now almost without interruption, with the latest polls putting support for the Monarchy between 70% and 80% and republicanism never rising above 20%, the British Monarchy is one of the most popular in Europe and indeed the world.



In this post, we’ll analyse if the other European monarchies enjoy the same levels of support as the British Monarchy and just how things are for the royals on the continent.


Queen Margrethe of Denmark – the world’s only other Queen Regnant other than Queen Elizabeth – has reigned for 42 years and celebrated her Ruby Jubilee in Denmark in 2012, at the same time as our Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee.  Despite the Queen being known for keeping to the ‘old ways’ and also being castigated by some for being a chain-smoker, the Danish Monarchy is immensely popular. Denmark, regarded as one of the freest and most prosperous countries in the world, has a long-held admiration for their Queen who has seldom (if at all) courted controversy.

Polls show a similar level of support in Denmark for the Monarchy at around 77% in favour of it. Many also regard Queen Margrethe as very down-to-earth in her approach to public life. She gives off-the-cuff speeches and interviews and while steering well clear of politics is not averse to speaking out on topical issues.

Queen Margrethe’s health has been a cause of concern to some in recent months as Her Majesty suffers a quite limiting back problem which caused her to cancel engagements. The heir to the Danish throne, Crown Prince Frederik, and his Australian-born wife Princess Mary are also very popular in Denmark (on a par with the popularity enjoyed by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in the UK) which makes the Danish Monarchy even more secure in the future.


large_4041195273For some time, Spain’s monarchy has looked in serious peril due to scandal endured by the now abdicated King Juan Carlos and his daughter being embroiled in a scandal over public funds. Due to his ailing health and a desire to hand the Crown over to a new generation, Juan Carlos abdicated in favour of his son, now King Felipe VI – Europe’s youngest Monarch. At the time of the abdication, 50% of Spaniards supported the Monarchy, with serious calls from republicans for its abolition.

Despite these calls, the Spanish Monarchy has already seen a small, yet significant increase in popularity since the abdication. New polls from the beginning of the month have shown around 55% of Spaniards support retaining the Monarchy. Spain is also going through some political issues in recent times which has left many political and constitutional institutions in the firing line among Spaniards.

A poll has also shown that Spaniards are interested in seeing their new king play a part on the political scene to try and resolve some of Spain’s problems with 75% saying they’d want to see King Felipe pushing for pacts among politicians in order to try and solve Spain’s problems.

Whilst calls for a referendum among the Spanish people are still strong, support for the Monarchy is slowly picking up pace again according to the polls, though if things are set to improve it won’t be for some time yet as the King’s sister Infanta Cristina is on corruption charges. Spain has a generally positive relationship with their Monarchy and a history of it contributing to national life, especially with the restoration of democracy to Spain at the hands of King Juan Carlos over 40 years ago. Support may dwindle for now, though in the long term once Felipe and his new Queen Letizia have had a chance to establish a more powerful impression among Spaniards and to reintroduce public trust in the Monarchy (including by distancing itself from previous events, as the abdication will contribute towards) the Spanish Monarchy will endure.


large_8073743696For quite a while, Sweden’s King, Carl XVI Gustaf, went through a phase of relative unpopularity – or at least ambivalence – with may Swedes after newspapers made allegations about his private life, resulting in a poll showing that many believed he should abdicate in favour of his daughter Crown Princess Victoria. Since then, the Swedish monarchy’s popularity has recovered at a relatively quick pace with now just under 70% of Swedes supporting the Monarchy as an institution (though some still believe the King should abdicate).

Nonetheless, the Swedish Monarchy is one of the ones to watch. Whilst Crown Princess Victoria (set to become Sweden’s first Queen regnant since 1720) enjoys far reaching popularity in Sweden, as one commentator put it, her personal popularity outweighs public support for the institution of Monarchy itself – indeed, her consort Prince Daniel is also a popular figure among Swedes.

That’s not to say, however, that the Swedish monarchy is failing, though calls for the King to abdicate are often dismissed by His Majesty – leading to a mixed response from the public, many of whom feel he should retire after 40 years on the throne.


large_4694190132Strong personal popularity for King Harald, positive attitude towards the institution of Monarchy and a majority opposed to the present King’s abdication – Norway is another successful example of a popular Monarchy in Europe. Harald, seen by many as an incredibly personable and warm Monarch.

In a poll on whether Norwegians thought King Harald had done a good job a staggering 93% said yes with only 1% saying they thought he’d done a bad job – with similar poll results for his consort (Queen Sonja) and heir Crown Prince Haakon.

Norway’s looks like it could well be the most secure in Europe, despite the wife of the heir – Crown Princess Mette-Marit – being ridiculed and treated with suspicion by some over her past (when she married Prince Haakon, she was a single mother and seen by many as ‘rebellious’).

Latest polls from Norwegian news outlets earlier this year have shown that apparently 82% of Norwegians are in favour of retaining the Monarchy, with support for the Monarchy having shot up and stayed high in recent years.

photo credit: Mikepaws, aalborgstift, bjornolsson, TAKleven and jlmaral via photopin cc

  • Royalist

    Existing Monarchies are widely recognised and respected. Why don’t you take a look at republics with strong Monarchist/Royalist movements? France’s president has plummeted to new lows (latest opinion polls showed an approval rate of 16%). In Romania Monarchists take to the street and demand a referendum on the country’s form of state. Other countries that might get their Monarchies back are Serbia or Albania.

    • Royal Central

      Thanks for info – will look into this.

      • Ben V

        I know Brazil isn’t in Europe, but more than 10% of brazilians population wants monarchy back and that fact is being hidden by midia. That’s just some info that I think you would like to know

        • Acc

          And the other 90%?

    • Ricky

      While it’s unlikely that a monarchy would take hold here in the US, I’ll consider any offers!

      • Ben V

        USA was born as a republic it is a true republic, it would be nonsense if USA become monarchy

        • Bruce Alan Wilson

          Exactly. While in the abstract I can see the advantages of a monarchy, I love our republic for all its flaws, and the idea of our becoming a monarchy is too silly to consider.

        • Andrew F

          I don’t think you guys have to worry. Having the United States remain a republic help other countries retain their Monarchies and push some republics toward a return of their monarchies.

    • huhster

      Except an unpopular president can be voted out at the next election, we’re stuck with a monarch until they die.

      • Christopher-trier

        If a monarch is corrupt and dangerous parliament can remove him or her.

        • Bruce Alan Wilson

          Also, in a modern monarchy the Prime Minister has most of the power, and it is a lot easier to get rid of a bad PM than a bad President. (On the other hand, it is easier for a President to do the right thing when it isn’t the popular thing.)

  • Although Crown Prince Alexander does a superb job in taking on charity work, meeting with politicians and others, there is no real movement toward restoration of the monarchy. It took several years for the government to finally acquiesce to allowing a state funeral for King Peter II, Queen Alexandra, Queen Marie and Prince Andrej (I was one of Crown Prince Alexander’s VIP guests at the state funeral) But there is no real movement or momentum toward restoration. Romania is a little different. There has been restoration of property, and Crown Princess Margarita and Prince Radu are allowed to live at Elisabetha Palace and use it for official events that have included leaders of the Romanian government. Monarchists groups are small with no real power or clout. Romania has serious political and economic issues that cloud the question of a monarchy restoration. It is very good, however, to see the family so active socially within the country.

  • Mikey

    what about Belgium, Luxembourg, Monaco, Lichtenstein and the Netherlands?

    • Lizzy

      Yes, I am missing those too. 🙂

      • Bruce Alan Wilson

        The Netherlands have their first King in over 100 years. Belgium has just gotten a new one.

        • Ted Thomas Martin

          The question is, do they like him?

          • Benjamin Damien

            In Belgium, the new king is quite popular, and is working very hard to maintain this (visits to cities, participation to public/business events, etc). Most of the republican movement is pushed by populists/socialists and doesn’t get so much traction those days…

  • Dominique

    I miss quite a lot of monarchies in this list.

  • Leonardo Cousland

    If you don’t mind I would like your opinion on house Savoy?

  • Chris Matthews

    You missed out the King of Belgium, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg and the Prince of Monaco – they’re all monarchs of Europe too! D:

    • Ricky

      There is no King of Belgium; the monarch’s title is King of the Belgians. A minor point, but Belgians would be quick to make the distinction. But then the peculiarities and intricacies are part of what makes the study of royalty so much fun!

      • Benjamin Damien

        True. The distinction simply translates the fact that the country was made independent by the population (Congress), who commited the king as head of state (one year later). So the country precedes the king. (Same thing with the last king of France, during the restoration : Louis Philippe, who was king of the french, and not king of France). But we (Belgians) still use “King of Belgium”, more as an indication of his origin, than an indication of “ownership”). But thanks for pointing it out. 😉

    • Ricky

      Also the Prince of Liechtenstein!

  • Some information about the popularity of monarchies in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands would be interesting, especially Luxembourg.

    (In my own country of Bulgaria the monarchist idea was hugely popular some ten years ago but Tsar Simeon II is no more a star, so to say.)

  • rajaraja
  • Ted Thomas Martin

    The Netherlands?

  • Annette

    I wui mein Kini wieder ham!
    (That’s Bavarian for: “I want my King back!” 😉

  • Marcia Tracy

    Crown Princess Mary is Crown Prince Fredrick of Denmark’s wife, not Princess Mary.

  • Ted Thomas Martin

    I agree, I love the Queen but when Charles becomes King, I will be not as easily impressed, and unfortunately he is younger than I so I will probably not be around when my favorite William becomes King. Long live The Queen……..

  • David Foot

    To have a Head of State who grows up with his/her people is fantastic, it also gives a “voice” to the “fatherland” so that any politician can’t make the “alegoric” figure of the country say anything the politician wants. The weaker our Monarchy has been made, the less great our nation has become. Just taking one look at the House of Commons makes me feel that we should be going the other way! The further away from a republic and from the potential “candidates” there for president the better.

  • Jon

    S Africa is a republic but there is a king of the Zulus.

  • Pavla

    And Czech republic!!!

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