There was a time when monarchies were the norm. Most every place on earth was ruled by a king, emperor or even tribal chief but now in some areas of the world monarchies are in the minority. In fact, at the moment there are about 44 countries in Europe with only 12 of them being monarchies. This means that monarchies are still honoured in slightly more than one-fourth of all European nations. Since much of the world has other types of political systems, it’s interesting to note that much of Europe still recognises its monarchies. Why not take a trip through time on your next holiday and visit Europe from one monarchy to the next? Visit palaces that have stood for hundreds of years and learn about that country’s royal family.
European Countries with Monarchies
Many people find it interesting to note just how many countries in Europe still have a monarchy and derive a great deal of entertainment learning about the history of each royal family. Perhaps you studied a bit about these countries in school but if you’ve forgotten exactly which countries are still considered monarchies, here they are in alphabetical order:
- Andorra – a co-principality with no rights of succession. The successor is elected in the French presidential election following the death or removal of the current monarch.
- Belgium – a kingdom with an heir apparent like here in the UK.
- Denmark – a kingdom with an heir apparent.
- Liechtenstein – principality and a hereditary heir apparent.
- Luxembourg – a grand duchy with a hereditary heir apparent.
- Monaco – principality with a hereditary heir apparent.
- Netherlands – kingdom with a hereditary heir apparent.
- Norway – a kingdom with a hereditary heir apparent.
- Spain – kingdom with a hereditary heir apparent.
- Sweden – kingdom with a hereditary heir apparent.
- United Kingdom – kingdom with a hereditary heir apparent.
- Vatican City – a papacy with the successor being voted in during a papal enclave.
When visiting these countries, take the time to learn the difference between a kingdom like here at home in the UK and a principality or co-principality. Of course everyone knows that Vatican City is ruled by a pope who has taken the vow of celibacy so there would not be a hereditary line of succession.
Taking a Photo Journal of your Trip
While it is fun to take pictures on every holiday, travelling from monarchy to monarchy offers a great opportunity to take a photo journal of your visits to each royal palace. Some are open, in part, to the public whilst others in some areas of the world cannot be entered at all, ever, even for an entrance price. Whether you choose to document your visit to that country’s royal palace from the inside or out, you can bring back memories for a lifetime by taking pictures as you go.
Some people choose to visit one monarchy only whilst on annual holiday whereas others enjoy traipsing the face of the earth taking in several monarchies each year. Of course there is only so much time to see and do all that you’d like to do but with fewer monarchies as time goes on, it’s fun to take in a bit of history still in the making.