List of current monarchs of sovereign states

A monarch is the head of a monarchy, a form of government in which a state is ruled by an individual who normally rules for life or until abdication, and typically inherits the throne by birth.[1] Monarchs may be autocrats (as in all absolute monarchies)[2] or may be ceremonial figureheads, exercising only limited or no reserve powers at all, with actual authority vested in a legislature and/or executive cabinet (as in many constitutional monarchies).[3] In many cases, a monarch will also be linked with a state religion.[4] Most states only have a single monarch at any given time, although a regent may rule when the monarch is a minor, not present, or otherwise incapable of ruling.[5] Cases in which two monarchs rule simultaneously over a single state, as is the current situation in Andorra, are known as coregencies.[6]

A variety of titles are applied in English; for example, "king" and "queen", "prince" and "princess", "emperor" and "empress". Although they will be addressed differently in their local languages, the names and titles in the list below have been styled using the common English equivalent. Roman numerals, used to distinguish related rulers with the same name,[7] have been applied where typical.

In political and sociocultural studies, monarchies are normally associated with hereditary rule; most monarchs, in both historical and contemporary contexts, have been born and raised within a royal family.[6][8] Succession has been defined using a variety of distinct formulae, such as proximity of blood, primogeniture, and agnatic seniority. Some monarchies, however, are not hereditary, and the ruler is instead determined through an elective process; a modern example is the throne of Malaysia.[9] These systems defy the model concept of a monarchy, but are commonly considered as such because they retain certain associative characteristics.[10] Many systems use a combination of hereditary and elective elements, where the election or nomination of a successor is restricted to members of a royal bloodline.[11][12]

Entries below are listed beside their respective dominions, which are organised alphabetically. These monarchs reign as head of state in their respective sovereign states. Monarchs reigning over a constituent division, cultural or traditional polity are listed under constituent monarchs. For a list of former ruling families or abolished thrones, see: former ruling families.

Monarchs by country

Title Monarch
(Birth year)
Sovereign state(s) Since Length House Type Heir to the throne Ref.
Co-Prince[fn 1] Joan Enric Vives i Sicília
(b. 1949)
 Andorra 12 May 2003 19 years, 265 days Ceremonial Ex officio [13] [14]
Co-Prince[fn 1] Emmanuel Macron
(b. 1977)
 Andorra 14 May 2017 5 years, 263 days Ceremonial Ex officio [13] [14]
King Charles III[fn 2]
(b. 1948)
 Antigua and Barbuda
 The Bahamas
 New Zealand
 Papua New Guinea
 Saint Kitts and Nevis
 Saint Lucia
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
 Solomon Islands
 United Kingdom
8 September 2022 146 days Windsor[fn 3] Ceremonial William, Prince of Wales [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29]
King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
(b. 1950)
 Bahrain 6 March 1999[fn 4] 23 years, 332 days Al Khalifa[fn 5] Executive Salman, Crown Prince of Bahrain [30]
King Philippe
(b. 1960)
 Belgium 21 July 2013 9 years, 195 days Saxe-Coburg and Gotha[fn 6] Ceremonial Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant[fn 7] [34]
Druk Gyalpo Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
(b. 1980)
 Bhutan 14 December 2006[fn 8] 16 years, 48 days Wangchuck Executive Jigme Namgyel [36]
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah
(b. 1946)
 Brunei 5 October 1967
[fn 9]
55 years, 119 days Bolkiah Absolute Al-Muhtadee Billah [37]
King Norodom Sihamoni
(b. 1953)
 Cambodia 14 October 2004[fn 10] 18 years, 110 days Norodom[fn 11] Ceremonial Hereditary and elective[fn 12] [39]
Queen Margrethe II
(b. 1940)
 Denmark 14 January 1972 51 years, 18 days Glücksburg[fn 13] Ceremonial Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark [43]
King Mswati III
(b. 1968)
 Eswatini 25 April 1986 36 years, 282 days Dlamini Absolute Hereditary and elective[fn 14] [46]
Emperor Naruhito[fn 15]
(b. 1960)
 Japan 1 May 2019[fn 16] 3 years, 276 days Yamato[fn 17] Ceremonial Fumihito, Prince Akishino (Presumptive heir) [52]
King Abdullah II
(b. 1962)
 Jordan 7 February 1999[fn 18] 23 years, 359 days Hāshim Executive Hereditary and elective (presumably Hussein, Crown Prince of Jordan)[fn 19] [55] [56]
Emir Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
(b. 1937)
 Kuwait 29 September 2020[fn 20] 2 years, 125 days Al Sabah[fn 5] Executive Hereditary and elective (presumably Mishal Al-Ahmad)[fn 21] [60]
King Letsie III
(b. 1963)
 Lesotho 7 February 1996[fn 22] 26 years, 359 days Moshesh Ceremonial Lerotholi Seeiso [61] [62]
Prince Hans-Adam II
(b. 1945)
 Liechtenstein 13 November 1989[fn 23] 33 years, 80 days Liechtenstein Executive The Hereditary Prince Alois (currently Prince Regent) [63]
Grand Duke Henri
(b. 1955)
 Luxembourg 7 October 2000[fn 24] 22 years, 117 days Luxembourg-Nassau[fn 25] Ceremonial Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg [65]
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Abdullah[fn 26]
(b. 1959)
 Malaysia 31 January 2019[fn 27] 4 years, 1 day Bendahara Ceremonial & Federal Elective[fn 28] [71]
Prince Albert II
(b. 1958)
 Monaco 6 April 2005[fn 29] 17 years, 301 days Grimaldi Executive Jacques, Hereditary Prince of Monaco [75]
King Mohammed VI
(b. 1963)
 Morocco 23 July 1999[fn 30] 23 years, 193 days Alawi Executive Moulay Hassan, Crown Prince of Morocco [77]
King Willem-Alexander
(b. 1967)
 Netherlands 30 April 2013 9 years, 277 days Orange-Nassau[fn 31] Ceremonial Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange [80]
King Harald V
(b. 1937)
 Norway 17 January 1991[fn 32] 32 years, 15 days Glücksburg[fn 13] Ceremonial Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway [81]
Sultan Haitham bin Tariq
(b. 1954)
 Oman 11 January 2020 3 years, 21 days Al Said Absolute Theyazin bin Haitham [82]
Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
(b. 1980)
 Qatar 25 June 2013 9 years, 221 days Al Thani Executive[83] Abdullah bin Hamad [84]
King Salman
(b. 1935)
 Saudi Arabia 23 January 2015 8 years, 9 days Al Saud Absolute Mohammed bin Salman[fn 33] [86]
King Felipe VI
(b. 1968)
 Spain 19 June 2014 8 years, 227 days Borbón-Anjou Ceremonial Leonor, Princess of Asturias (Presumptive heir)[fn 34] [88]
King Carl XVI Gustaf
(b. 1946)
 Sweden 15 September 1973[fn 35] 49 years, 139 days Bernadotte Ceremonial Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden [90]
King Vajiralongkorn[fn 36]
(b. 1952)
 Thailand 13 October 2016[fn 37] 6 years, 111 days Chakri Ceremonial Dipangkorn Rasmijoti (Presumptive heir) [95]
King Tupou VI
(b. 1959)
 Tonga 18 March 2012 10 years, 320 days Tupou[fn 38] Executive Tupoutoʻa ʻUlukalala [97]
President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
(b. 1961)
 United Arab Emirates 14 May 2022 263 days Al Nahyan[fn 39] Executive & Federal[fn 40] Hereditary and elective (presumably Khaled bin Mohamed Al Nahyan)[fn 41] [101]
Pope Francis[fn 42]
(b. 1936)
  Vatican City 13 March 2013 9 years, 325 days Absolute Elective [102]

See also


  1. The bishop of Urgell and the president of France each hold the position of co-prince of Andorra, but there is no personal title attached to the role.
  2. Charles is currently King of fifteen separate Commonwealth realms.
  3. Agnatically a member of the House of Glücksburg.
  4. Hamad bin Isa reigned as Amir of the State of Bahrain until 14 February 2002, when he assumed the new title of King of Bahrain under a new Constitution.[30]
  5. A clan of the Utub tribe.[31]
  6. The House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha[32] is a branch of the House of Wettin.[33]
  7. The Belgian monarch does not automatically assume the throne at the death or abdication of their predecessor; they only become monarch upon taking a constitutional oath.
  8. Coronation took place 6 November 2008.[35]
  9. Coronation took place 1 August 1968.[37]
  10. Coronation took place 29 October 2004.[38]
  11. A branch of the Varman dynasty. The surname "Norodom" is used by the descendants of Norodom I.[39][40]
  12. The king is selected for life by the Royal Council of the Throne from amongst the male descendants of kings Ang Duong, Norodom, and Sisowath.[41]
  13. Officially the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, which is a branch of the House of Oldenburg.[42]
  14. Succession is subject to customary law, and does not follow primogeniture. A council of elders selects who among the reigning king's wives will be mother of the next king. This woman will succeed as Ndlovukati upon her son's ascension to throne, and will rule alongside him for the duration of his reign. The king's first two wives are considered ineligible.[44][45]
  15. "Naruhito" is the current emperor's given name, but it is not his regnal name, and he is never referred to as this in Japanese. The era of Naruhito's reign bears the name "Reiwa", and according to custom he will be renamed "Emperor Reiwa" following his death.[47]
  16. The formal enthronement ceremony was held on 22 October 2019.[48]
  17. The Japanese emperor does not have a family name.[49][50] The use of the name "Yamato" for the household derives from the ancient Yamato Court.[51] It is used often as a name for the imperial dynasty, but has no official basis.
  18. Formally enthroned on 9 June 1999.[53]
  19. Succession is based upon primogeniture. However, the reigning king may also select his successor from among eligible princes.[54]
  20. Formally enthroned on 30 September 2020 upon the invitation of Parliament.
  21. The heir is appointed by the reigning emir, and the nomination must also be approved by a majority of members in the National Assembly.[57] The throne was traditionally alternated between the two main branches of the Al Sabah family – the Al Salem and Al Jaber – until 2006.[58][59] The current emir is of the Al Jaber branch.
  22. Coronation took place 31 October 1997. Has previously reigned as king from 12 November 1990 until 25 January 1995.[61]
  23. Formally enthroned on 15 August 1990. Prior to his accession, Hans-Adam had served as prince regent since 26 August 1984.[63] On 15 August 2004, the prince formally appointed his son Alois, Hereditary Prince of Liechtenstein as regent, in preparation for his succession to the throne, but remained head of state in accordance with the constitution.[64]
  24. Prior to formal enthronement, Henri had served as prince regent since 4 March 1998.[65]
  25. The royal family of Luxembourg are members of the House of Nassau-Weilburg,[66] descended from the House of Nassau and the Parma branch of the House of Bourbon.
  26. Official title: Yang di-Pertuan Agong. It roughly translates as "Supreme Head of State", and is commonly rendered in English as "King".[67]
  27. Elected on 24 January 2019.[68] Term of office started on 31 January 2019.[69]
  28. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is elected to a five-year term by and from amongst the nine hereditary rulers of the Malay states, who form the Council of Rulers. The position has to date been, by informal agreement, systematically rotated between the nine; the order was originally based on seniority.[70]
  29. Albert II was formally enthroned as prince in a two-part ceremony, in accordance with tradition, on 12 July and 19 November 2005.[72][73] He had previously served as regent from 31 March 2005 until his accession to the throne.[74]
  30. Coronation took place 30 July 1999.[76]
  31. The Dutch royal family is descended from the Houses of Nassau and Lippe. [78][79]
  32. Formally enthroned on 21 January 1991, and consecrated on 23 June 1991. Prior to his accession, Harald had served as prince regent since 1 June 1990.[81]
  33. Succession is determined by consensus within the House of Saud as to who will be Crown Prince. This consensus may change depending on the Crown Prince's actions:[85]
  34. Succession is based upon male primogeniture. However, Felipe VI currently has no male children.[87]
  35. Formally enthroned on 19 September 1973.[89]
  36. Name is also written as Mahawachiralongkon.[91] He is also styled Rama X.[92]
  37. Vajiralongkorn was proclaimed King on 1 December 2016 with retroactive effect to the date of his father's death.[92] The coronation took place from 4 – 6 May 2019.[93][94]
  38. A line of the Tuʻi Kanokupolu dynasty.[96][97]
  39. The Al Nahyan are a branch of the Al Falahi, a clan of the Yas tribe.[98]
  40. The Prime Minister is the head of the government. However, with the consent of the Supreme Council, the office is appointed by the President, who retains considerable power.[99]
  41. According to the Constitution, the President of the United Arab Emirates is elected by the Federal Supreme Council from among the individual rulers of the seven emirates.[99] However, by informal agreement the Presidency is always passed to the head of the Al Nahyan clan, the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi (see constituent monarchs), which makes it a de facto hereditary position. In addition, the appointed Prime Minister has always been the head of the Al Maktoum clan and Sheikh of Dubai.[100]
  42. As Sovereign of the Vatican City State, by virtue of being Bishop of Rome.


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