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Abolition of monarchy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The abolition of monarchy involves the ending of monarchical elements in government, usually hereditary.

Abolition has been carried out in various ways, including via abdication leading to the extinction of the monarchy, legislative reform, revolution, coup d'état, and decolonisation. Abolition became more frequent in the 20th century, with the number of monarchies in Europe falling from 22 to 12 between 1914 and 2015, and the number of republics rising from 4 to 34. Decolonisation and independence have resulted in an abolition of monarchies in a number of former colonies such as those created by the United Kingdom.

Motivations for abolition include egalitarianism and anti-class views, opposition to undemocratic and hereditary institutions, perception of monarchy as anachronistic or outdated, and opposition to a particular monarch or dynasty.[1][2] In many colonies and former colonies, abolishing the influence of the monarchy of a colonising state is considered part of decolonisation. In many Commonwealth realms, the monarchy may be viewed as a foreign institution running counter to the national identity or national sovereignty.

In the 21st century, some countries that are monarchies have significant republican movements, such as Spain[3] and Australia.[4]

Since the beginning of the 20th century, restorations of monarchies have been comparatively rare. Examples are the monarchy of Spain, which since 1947 had been a regency with a vacant throne but was restored in 1975; the reinstatement in 1991 of the Emir of Kuwait following abolition in 1990 and the Gulf War; and a 1993 transition of Cambodia from a Marxist-Leninist republic to an elective monarchy.

17th-century reawakening of classical western anti-monarchy tradition

Under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell, in 1649, King Charles I was tried for high treason, convicted and executed. This marked the conclusion of the English Civil War which resulted in the Parliament of England overthrowing the English monarchy, and initiating a period of an English republic (known as the Wars of the Three Kingdoms). After eleven years, in 1660, a limited monarchy was restored but moderated by an independent Parliament.[5][6]

18th-century dawn of republican revolutions


Organized anti-monarchism in what is now the United States developed out of a gradual revolution that began in 1765, as colonists resisted a stamp tax through boycott and condemnation of tax officials.[7] While they were subject to the authority of the Parliament of Great Britain (as the monarchy was a limited monarchy since 1660), the North American citizens increasingly clashed with the Parliament that did not provide seats for parliamentary representatives from North America. With the Declaration of Independence in 1776, anti-monarchical propaganda resulted in violent protests that systematically removed symbols of monarchy. For instance, an equestrian statue of George III in New York City was toppled. Parliamentary loyalists were particularly affected by partisan attacks, with tens of thousands leaving for British Canada.[8] Property that remained was confiscated by each of thirteen newly created States through newly passed laws.[9] Artifacts from the colonial period depicting the British monarchy are seldom found in the United States. However, not all sentiment equated to anti-monarchism. A normality of a monarchy at the head of a polity remained, that some Americans saw a presidency in monarchical terms, a Caesar of the republic, was an early debate in the new republic.[10]


One of the most significant abolitions of monarchy in history – along with the Dutch Republic of 1581–1795 – involved the French monarchy in 1792 in the French Revolution.[11] The French monarchy was later restored several times with differing levels of authority. Napoleon, initially a hero of the Republican revolution, crowned himself emperor in 1804, only to be replaced by the Bourbon Restoration in 1815, which in turn was replaced by the more liberal July Monarchy in 1830. The 1848 Revolution was a clearer anti-monarchic uprising that replaced the succession of royal leaders with the short-lived Second French Republic. Louis Napoleon Bonaparte established the Second French Empire (1852–1870), retaining republican aspects while placing himself in the center of the state until the losses in the Franco-Prussian War led to his fall, resulting in the French Third Republic and the definitive end of the monarchy in France.

19th-century expansion and then collapse of colonial monarchies


Madagascar The monarchy of Madagascar, known as the Merina Kingdom, came to an end in 1897 when France made it a colony and overthrew Queen Ranavalona III.

Zimbabwe In 1629 the Mwenemutapa attempted to throw out the Portuguese. He failed and in turn he himself was overthrown, leading to the Portuguese installation of Mavura Mhande Felipe on the throne. In 1917 Mambo Chioko, the last king of the dynasty, was killed in battle against the Portuguese.


Mexico The First Mexican Empire existed from the September 1821 Declaration of Independence until the emperor's abdication in March 1823. The Provisional Government took power and the First Mexican Republic was proclaimed in 1824. Due to French intervention under Napoleon III, the Second Mexican Empire lasted from 1864 to 1867, when it collapsed and its Emperor, Maximilian I of Mexico, was executed.

Brazil In Brazil, the monarchy was abolished in 1889, when Emperor Pedro II was overthrown by a republican military coup (the status of the republic was confirmed by a plebiscite in 1993 that resulted in 86% of the votes to the republican government).


Burma The monarchy of Burma was abolished in 1885 when the last king, Thibaw Min, lost his throne and the country was annexed by Britain.

South Asia In 1858 the Mughal Empire came to an end after losing a war against Britain, and its Emperor, Bahadur Shah II, lost his throne.


Italy Between 1859 and 1861, four monarchies in Southern Europe ceased to exist (Parma, Modena, Tuscany and the Two Sicilies) when they all became part of the new Kingdom of Italy.

Spain In Spain monarchy was abolished from 1873 to 1874 by the First Spanish Republic, but then restored until 1931.


Hawaii In 1893 foreign business leaders overthrew Queen Liliʻuokalani of the Kingdom of Hawaii. They established a republic, which was annexed by the United States in 1898.

Tahiti The monarchy of Tahiti came to an end in 1880 when France made it a colony and overthrew King Pōmare V.

20th-century global end of monarchies


China The monarchy of China ceased to exist in 1912 when the Xinhai Revolution led by Sun Yat-sen succeeded in overthrowing the Xuantong Emperor; this marked the end of the Qing dynasty and the start of the Republic of China. In 1915, Yuan Shikai proclaimed the Empire of China with himself as the emperor; the regime failed to gain legitimacy and collapsed three months later. In 1917, the Qing loyalist Zhang Xun sought to revive the Qing dynasty and briefly reinstalled the Xuantong Emperor to the Chinese throne; this attempt is known as the "Manchu Restoration" in historiography.

During the Xinhai Revolution, Outer Mongolia declared independence from the Qing dynasty of China in the Mongolian Revolution of 1911. The Bogd Khanate of Mongolia was subsequently proclaimed, although the Republic of China laid claims to Outer Mongolia and was widely recognized by the international community as having sovereignty over it. In 1924, the Mongolian People's Republic was established, bringing an end to the monarchy in Mongolia.

Greece Throughout Greece's eventful modern history, the monarchy was toppled and restored several times between and after the two World Wars. The last king, Constantine II, was forced into exile after a coup in 1967 and the republic was proclaimed in 1973 by the then-ruling military dictatorship. The final abolition of the monarchy was confirmed overwhelmingly after constitutional legality was restored, by free referendum in 1974.

Italy, Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia World War II saw another spate of abolition. In 1939 Italy invaded Albania and removed the reigning self-proclaimed King Zog and instated their own King Victor Emmanuel III as its new monarch. Italy, along with the eastern European monarchies of Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania joined with Germany in World War II against the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the Western allies and the Soviet Union. As the Axis powers came to a defeat in the war, communist partisans in occupied Yugoslavia and occupied Albania seized power and ended the monarchies. Communists in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania removed their monarchies with strong backing by the Soviet Union, which had many troops and supporters placed there during the course of the war. Through this, Peter II of Yugoslavia, Simeon II of Bulgaria and Michael I of Romania all lost their thrones. King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy had switched sides during the war in favor of the western allies, but a referendum in 1946 ended the short reign of his son King Umberto II and the Italian monarchy ceased to exist.


In a 1999 referendum, the voters of Australia rejected a proposal to replace the constitutional monarchy with a republic with a president appointed by Parliament. The proposal was rejected in all states, with only the Australian Capital Territory voting in favor. Though polling consistently showed a majority in favour of a republic, the result of the referendum was attributed to a split among republicans between those who supported the presented model and those who supported a directly elected president.[12][13][14][15]

Communism and socialism

Afghanistan In 1973, the monarchy of King Mohammed Zahir Shah of Afghanistan was abolished after a socialist-supported coup d'état led by Mohammad Daoud Khan, from the same Musahiban royal family.

Ethiopia Emperor Haile Selassie I was overthrown in 1974 as a result of a Marxist coup, ending almost 3000 years of monarchical rule in Ethiopia.

Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire, Montenegro The defeated German, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires saw the abolition of their monarchies in the close aftermath of the war, ending the reigns of Wilhelm II, Charles I and Mehmed VI respectively. The monarchs of the constituent states within the German Empire, most importantly Ludwig III of Bavaria, Frederick Augustus III of Saxony and Wilhelm II of Württemberg, soon abdicated. During the war, monarchies were planned for Poland (Kingdom of Poland), the Grand Duchy of Finland (to have a Finnish King), and Lithuania (Mindaugas II of Lithuania), with a protectorate-like dependency of Germany. Both intended kings renounced their thrones after Germany's defeat in November 1918. King Nicholas I of Montenegro lost his throne when the country became a part of Yugoslavia in 1918.

Indochina In 1945, during the August Revolution, Bảo Đại abdicated under the pressure of the Việt Minh led by Ho Chi Minh. This marked the end of the Nguyễn dynasty and the Vietnamese monarchy. From 1949 to 1955, Bảo Đại served as the Quốc Trưởng (lit. "Chief of State") of the State of Vietnam and did not receive the title of Hoàng Đế (lit. "Emperor").

Political upheaval and Communist insurrection put an end to the monarchies of Indochina after World War II: a short-lived attempt to leave a monarchical form of government in post-colonial South Vietnam came to naught in a fraudulent 1955 referendum, a military coup overthrew the kingless monarchy in Cambodia in 1970 and a Communist takeover ended the monarchy in Laos in 1975. Cambodia's monarchy later saw an unexpected rebirth under an internationally mediated peace settlement with a former king Norodom Sihanouk being restored as a figurehead in 1993.

Middle East That of Iran was abolished by the Islamic revolution of 1979 overthrowing Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Portugal The monarchy of Portugal was also overthrown in 1910 (5 October), two years after the assassination of King Carlos I, ending the reign of Manuel II, who died in exile in England (1932), without issue.

Russia World War I led to perhaps the greatest spate of abolitions of monarchies in history. The conditions inside Russia and the poor performance in the war gave rise to a revolution which toppled the entire institution of the monarchy, followed by a second revolution against that government in October of the same year that executed Tsar (Imperator (Императоръ)) Nicholas II and implemented a Marxist-Leninist government.

Sikkim King Palden Thondup Namgyal of Sikkim lost his throne in 1975 when the country became a state of India following a referendum.

Spain In Spain, the monarchy was again abolished in 1931 by the Second Spanish Republic (1931–1939). In 1947, General Franco declared Spain a realm, and appointed Juan Carlos of Bourbon his successor in 1969. The Prince of Spain became king at Franco's death in 1975, and constitutional monarchy was restored in 1978 under him.


Egypt The monarchy of Egypt was abolished in 1953, after the revolution of 1952, which caused King Farouk I to abdicate in favor of his infant son Fuad II.

Tunisia The monarchy of Tunisia ended in 1957 when Muhammad VIII al-Amin lost his throne.

Iraq The monarchy Iraq ended in 1958 when King Faisal II was killed and a republic proclaimed.

Yemen The monarchy of Yemen was abolished in 1962 when King Muhammad al-Badr was overthrown in a coup, although he continued to resist his opponents until 1970.

Libya King Idris of Libya was overthrown by a military coup led by Muammar Gaddafi in 1969.

Imperialism expansion and decolonisation

Commonwealth of Nations Many monarchies were abolished in the middle of the 20th century or later as part of the process of decolonization. The monarchies of India, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanganyika, Uganda, Guyana, and Malawi were abolished shortly after they became independent of the United Kingdom, while remaining within the Commonwealth. The monarchy of Ireland was not abolished following the Irish war of independence in the 1920s. The monarchy was abolished by the Republic of Ireland Act of 1948, which came into force in 1949. Some Commonwealth realms waited a little longer before abolishing their monarchies: Pakistan became a republic in 1956 and South Africa in 1961. Gambia abolished its monarchy in 1970, while Sierra Leone became a republic in 1971, as did Sri Lanka in 1972, Malta in 1974, Trinidad and Tobago in 1976, and Fiji in 1987. The latest country to become a republic within the Commonwealth was Mauritius in 1992.

Japan A unique result of World War II was that the Emperor Hirohito of Japan became a figurehead instead of losing the throne altogether. The Japanese Emperor had held a debated but important role in Japan's warfare against an alliance of nations. The reduction in stature from a divine being to a figurehead was at the direction of the United States.

Korea In 1910 the last emperor of Korea, Sunjong, lost his throne when the country was annexed by Japan. However, the Korean royal family was mediatized as a puppet family within the Japanese imperial family. Many of the Korean royals were forcibly re-educated in Japan and forced to marry Japanese royalty and aristocrats to meld the ruling families of the two empires. With the abolition of the Japanese aristocracy and cadet branches of the imperial family, the Korean royals officially lost their remaining status.[citation needed]

South Asia The independence of the Indian subcontinent from direct British rule in 1947 posed a unique problem. From 1858, when the British government had assumed direct rule over the subcontinent, it had been governed as a quasi-federation, with most of the subcontinent (known as British India), under the direct rule of the British sovereign. The remainder of the subcontinent, however, was under a form of indirect rule through its division and subdivision into over 500 subnational monarchies, known as princely states; each was ruled by a prince in a subsidiary alliance with the British government. The princely states ranged from powerful and largely independent principalities such as Hyderabad or Mysore, with a high level of autonomy, to tiny fiefdoms a few dozen acres (in the low tens of hectares) in size. The resulting imperial structure was broadly similar to that of the German Empire before the First World War.

In 1947, it was agreed that the Indian subcontinent would be partitioned into the independent British dominions of India and Pakistan, with the princely states acceding to one nation or the other. The accession process proceeded smoothly, with the notable exception of four of the most influential principalities. The Muslim ruler of the Hindu-majority state of Junagadh ruler acceded to Pakistan, but his decision was overruled by the Indian government, while Hyderabad chose to be independent, but was forcibly annexed to India in 1948. The Hindu ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, among the largest and most powerful of the principalities, but with a Muslim-majority population, initially held off on a decision. In the autumn of 1947, an invading force from Pakistan frightened the ruler into acceding to India. The ruler of Kalat, in Baluchistan, declared his independence in 1947, after which the state was forcibly merged with Pakistan, resulting in an insurgency persisting to this day. With the promulgation of the Indian constitution in 1950, India abolished its monarchy under the British crown and became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations, followed by Pakistan in 1956; as a result of both developments, the majority of the princes formally lost their sovereign rights. A few remaining principalities in Pakistan retained their autonomy until 1969 when they finally acceded to Pakistan. The Indian government formally derecognized its princely families in 1971, followed by Pakistan in 1972.


In a referendum in Brazil in 1993, voters rejected an attempt to restore the country's monarchy. Unsuccessful efforts to restore the monarchies of some of the Balkan states in the former Eastern Bloc continue. Former King Michael of Romania and Prince Alexander of Serbia have been allowed to return, gained some popularity, played largely apolitical public roles, but never came close to being restored to their ancestral thrones. However, in Bulgaria, Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, who was deposed from the Bulgarian throne in 1946, was elected and recently served as the Prime Minister of his country from 2001 to 2005. The only formerly socialist country to have held a referendum on the monarchy was Albania where the claimant to his father's throne, the self-styled Leka I, lost by a 2/3 majority, though it was later revealed upon Leka’s death in 2011 by the Albanian government that the referendum had been rigged in favour of the republic.[citation needed]

New monarchies in the 20th century

The 20th century also saw the formation of a number of new monarchies that still exists to this day such as: Bhutan (1907), Jordan (1921), Saudi Arabia (1932) & Malaysia (1957).

Summary table of the 20th century

Country Last monarch Year Notes
Dendi Askia Malla 1901 Ousted by the French, the country became a part of French West Africa.
Flag of Ashanti.svg
Ashanti Prempeh I 1902 Ousted by the British, the country became a part of Gold Coast (British colony).
Oyo Adeyemi I Alowolodu 1905 Last monarch died, the country became a part of British Southern Nigeria Protectorate.
Flag of the Mwali Sultanate.svg
Mwali 1909 The country was incorporated into French Third Republic.
Flag of Portugal (1830).svg
Portugal Manuel II 1910 Republican Coup d'État.
Flag of Korea (1882–1910).svg
Korea Sunjong Native monarchy abolished; replaced by rule by Japan, a monarchy, through 1945.
Angoche Ousted by the Portuguese, the country was incorporated into Portugal.
Nri Eze Nri Òbalíke 1911 Ousted by the British, the country became a part of Southern Nigeria Protectorate.
Kasanje The country was incorporated into Portuguese West Africa.
Flag of China (1889–1912).svg
China Xuantong 1912 Xinhai Revolution – Emperor ousted by warlords and republicans.
Ndzuwani Saidi Mohamed bin Saidi Omar The country was incorporated into French Third Republic.
Flag of the Kingdom of Kongo.svg
Kongo Manuel III 1914 Position abolished by Portuguese after an unsuccessful revolt.
Late 19th Century Flag of Sulu.svg
Sultanate of Sulu Sultan Jamalul-Kiram II 1915 Split into American Insular Government over the Philippine islands, British North Borneo and the Dutch East Indies.
Darfur Ali Dinar 1916 Darfur formally re-incorporated into Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.
Flag of the Empire of China (1915–1916).svg
China Hongxian Monarchy dropped, shortly after the outbreak of the National Protection War.
Flag of Russia.svg
Russia Nicholas II 1917 Russian Revolution of 1917.
Flag of Russia.svg
Finland Finnish Declaration of Independence.
Flag of Montenegro (1905–1918).svg
Montenegro Nicholas I 1918 Referendum deposed King and united Montenegro with Serbia.
Flag of Germany (1867–1919).svg
Germany William II All on account of German defeat in World War I and the following German Revolution.
Flag of Prussia (1892-1918).svg
Flag of Bavaria (striped).svg
Bavaria Ludwig III
Flagge Königreich Württemberg.svg
Württemberg William II
Flagge Königreich Sachsen (1815-1918).svg
Saxony Frederick Augustus III
Flagge Großherzogtum Hessen ohne Wappen.svg
Hesse Ernest Louis
Flagge Großherzogtum Baden (1891–1918).svg
Baden Frederick II
Flagge Großherzogtum Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (1897-1920).svg
Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach William Ernest
Flagge Großherzogtümer Mecklenburg.svg
Mecklenburg-Schwerin Frederick Francis IV
Flagge Großherzogtümer Mecklenburg.svg
Mecklenburg-Strelitz Adolphus Frederick VI
Civil flag of Oldenburg.svg
Oldenburg Frederick Augustus II
Flagge Herzogtum Braunschweig.svg
Brunswick Ernst Augustus
Flagge Herzogtum Anhalt.svg
Anhalt Joachim Ernst
Flagge Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha (1911-1920).svg
Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Charles Edward
Flagge Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha (1826-1911).svg
Saxe-Meiningen Bernhard III
Flagge Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha (1826-1911).svg
Saxe-Altenburg Ernst II
Flag of Germany (3-2 aspect ratio).svg
Waldeck-Pyrmont Friedrich
Flagge Fürstentum Lippe.svg
Lippe Leopold IV
Flagge Fürstentum Schaumburg-Lippe.svg
Schaumburg-Lippe Adolf II
Flagge Fürstentümer Schwarzburg.svg
Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt Günther Victor
Flagge Fürstentum Reuß ältere Linie.svg
Reuss Elder Line Heinrich XXIV
Flagge Fürstentum Reuß jüngere Linie.svg
Reuss Younger Line Heinrich XXVII
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg
Austria Charles I Charles I "renounced participation" in state affairs, but did not abdicate. Monarchy officially abolished by the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, on 10 September 1919.
Flag of Finland 1918 (state).svg
Finland Frederick Charles I Monarchy never in effect.
Flag of Lithuania (1918–1940).svg
Lithuania Mindaugas II
Flag of Poland.svg
Poland Ruled by Regency Council
Flag of Hungary (1915-1918; angels; 3-2 aspect ratio).svg
Hungary Charles IV Monarchy restored in 1920, although the throne remained vacant with a Regent.
Flag of Serbia (1882–1918).svg
Serbia Peter I Country transformed to Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.
Flag of Ukraine.svg
Ukraine Pavlo Skoropadskyi Removed from power, following an uprising led by Symon Petliura and the withdrawal of German forces from Kiev.
Flag of the Emirate of Bukhara.svg
Bukhara (Uzbekistan) Mohammed Alim Khan 1920 Monarchy deposed by an invasion by the Red Army (Bukhara operation).
Flag of the Khanate of Khiva.svg
Khiva (Uzbekistan) Abdallah Khan Monarchy deposed by a communist uprising aided by the Red Army (Khivan Revolution).
Flag of Kingdom of Syria (1920-03-08 to 1920-07-24).svg
Syria Faisal I Monarchy deposed, following the Siege of Damascus.
Ottoman flag.svg
Ottoman Empire Mehmed VI 1922 Sultanate abolished in 1922.
Wituland Fumo `Umar ibn Ahmad 1923 Sultanate abolished by British, the country was incorporated into Kenya Colony.
Hellenic Kingdom Flag 1935.svg
Greece George II 1924 Restored 1935 and later abolished again in 1973 (see below).
Flag of Bogd Khaanate Mongolia.svg
Mongolia Bogd Khan Communist People's Republic proclaimed after Khan's death.
Flag of Albania (1914–1920).svg
Albania William I 1925 Monarchy restored in 1928 (Albanian Kingdom).
Mohammerah Khaz'al al-Ka'bi 1925 Sheikhdom abolished by Persia
Orungu Rogombé-Nwèntchandi 1927 Position abolished by French.
Beda 1930 The country was incorporated into the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen.
Flag of Spain (1785–1873, 1875–1931).svg
Spain Alfonso XIII 1931 Later restored (see below).
Jimma Abba Jofir 1932 Ousted by Ethiopians, Jimma incorporated into Ethiopia.
Flag of Albania (1934–1939).svg
Albania Zog I 1939 Throne usurped by Victor Emmanuel III, after Italian invasion.
Flag of Albania (1939–1943).svg
Albania Victor Emmanuel III 1943 Relinquished throne after Italian armistice.
Flag of Croatia (1941–1945).svg
Croatia Tomislav II Abdicated after withdrawal of Italian support.
Flag of Iceland (1918–1944).svg
Iceland Christian X 1944 Union with Denmark terminated.
Flag of Montenegro (1905–1918, 1941–1944).svg
Montenegro Ruled by Governor Monarchy abolished after takeover by Yugoslav Partisans
Flag of Yugoslavia (1918–1941).svg
Yugoslavia Peter II 1945 Communist reconstruction.
Flag of Manchukuo.svg
Manchukuo Kangde Monarchy abolished after the Surrender of Japan. Territories returned to the Republic of China.
Flag of the Empire of Vietnam (1945).svg
Vietnam Bảo Đại Monarchy abolished after the Surrender of Japan.
Flag of Hungary (1915-1918, 1919-1946).svg
Hungary Miklós Horthy as Regent 1946 Decision of the parliament without a referendum.
Flag of Italy (1861–1946).svg
Italy Umberto II Referendum; official result: 54.3% in favour of republic.
Flag of Bulgaria.svg
Bulgaria Simeon II Referendum held to decide whether the monarchy would be retained; 95% in favour of republic. Simeon later served as Prime Minister of Bulgaria 2001-2005.
Flag of the Raj of Sarawak (1870).svg
Sarawak Charles Vyner Brooke White Rajahs hand over power to British crown.
Flag of Romania.svg
Romania Michael I 1947 Forced out by the communists.
Flag of Ireland.svg
Ireland George VI 1949 Abolished the last "Monarchy of Ireland", the King of the United Kingdom.
Flag of India.svg
India George VI 1950 Abolished Commonwealth monarchy.
Jaisalmer Flag.svg
Jaisalmer Giridhar Singh Bhati 1950 The Kingdom of Jaisalmer merged with the Republic of India in 1950.
Flag of Mysore.svg
Mysore Jayachamaraja Wodeyar 1950 The Kingdom of Mysore merged with the Republic of India in 1950
Flag of Tibet.svg
Tibet Tenzin Gyatso 1951 Incorporated into the People's Republic of China.
Flag of Egypt (1922–1952).svg
Egypt Fuad II 1953 Republic proclaimed one year after the 1952 Coup d'état.
Flag of Pakistan.svg
Pakistan Elizabeth II 1956 Abolished Commonwealth monarchy.
Flag of Tunisia.svg
Tunisia Muhammad VIII 1957 Decision of the parliament.
Flag of Iraq (1924–1959).svg
Iraq Faisal II 1958 coup d'état
Flag of Ghana.svg
Ghana Elizabeth II 1960 Abolished Commonwealth monarchy, following a referendum; official result: 88% in favour of republic.
Flag of South Africa (1928–1994).svg
South Africa 1961 Abolished Commonwealth monarchy pursuant to 1960 referendum; official result: 53% in favor of republic.
Flag of Rwanda (1959–1961).svg
Rwanda Kigeli V coup d'état, followed by referendum; official result: 80% in favor of abolishing monarchy.
Flag of Tanganyika (1961–1964).svg
Tanganyika Elizabeth II 1962 Abolished Commonwealth monarchy.
Flag of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen.svg
Yemen Muhammad al-Badr coup d'état
Flag of Nigeria.svg
Nigeria Elizabeth II 1963 Abolished Commonwealth monarchy.
Flag of Uganda.svg
Flag of Kenya.svg
Kenya 1964
Flag of the Sultanate of Zanzibar (1963).svg
Zanzibar Jamshid bin Abdullah Zanzibar Revolution
Flag of Burundi (1962–1966).svg
Burundi Ntare V 1966 coup d'état
Flag of Malawi.svg
Malawi Elizabeth II Abolished Commonwealth monarchy.
Flag of the Sultanate of Fadhli.svg
Fadhli Sultanate Nasser bin Abdullah bin Hussein bin Ahmed Alfadhli 1967 The countries were incorporated into newly created People's Republic of South Yemen.
Flag of Quaiti Hadramaut.svg
Qu'aiti Sultanate in Hadhramaut Ghalib II bin Awadh bin Saleh Al Qu'aiti
Flag of the State of Upper Yafa.svg
Sultanate of Upper Yafa Muhammad ibn Salih Harharah
Flag of Lower Yafa.svg
Sultanate of Lower Yafa Mahmud ibn Aidrus Al Afifi
Muflahi Sheikhdom al Qasim ibn Abd ar Rahman
Audhali Sultanate Salih ibn al Husayn ibn Jabil Al Audhali
Flag of Beihan.svg
Emirate of Beihan Saleh al Hussein Al Habieli
Dathina Sheikhdom
Flag of Dhala.svg
Emirate of Dhala Shafaul ibn Ali Shaif Al Amiri
Flag of Wahidi Balhaf.svg
Wahidi Sultanate of Balhaf in Hadhramaut
Sheikhdom of Shaib Yahya ibn Mutahhar al-Saqladi
Alawi Sheikhdom Salih ibn Sayil Al Alawi
Aqrabi Sheikhdom Mahmud ibn Muhammad Al Aqrabi
Flag of Wahidi Haban.svg
Wahidi Sultanate of Haban in Hadhramaut Husayn ibn Abd Allah Al Wahidi
Qutaibi Sheikhdom
Hadrami Sheikhdom
Mausatta Sheikhdom
Busi Sheikhdom
Dhabi Sheikhdom
Haushabi Sultanate Faisal bin Surur Al Haushabi
Kathiri flag.svg
Kathiri Sultanate in Hadhramaut Al Husayn ibn Ali
Mahra Sultanate
Flag of the Sultanate of Lahej.svg
Sultanate of Lahej Ali bin Abd al Karim al Abdali
Sheikhdom of al-Hawra
Sheikhdom of al-`Irqa
Lower Aulaqi Sultanate Nasir ibn Aidrus Al Awlaqi
Upper Aulaqi Sultanate Awad ibn Salih Al Awlaqi
Upper Aulaqi Sheikhdom Amir Abd Allah ibn Muhsin al Yaslami Al Aulaqi
Flag of Maldives.svg
Maldives Muhammad Fareed Didi 1968 Independence referendum.
Flag of Libya (1951–1969).svg
Libya Idris I 1969 Coup d'état
Flag of Rhodesia (1968–1979).svg
Rhodesia Elizabeth II 1970 Abolished Commonwealth monarchy. An unrecognised government of the British colony of Southern Rhodesia had unilaterally declared independence as Rhodesia in 1965, proclaiming Elizabeth II as Queen, but she did not accept the title, nor was it recognised by any other state. Following a referendum in 1969, in which 81% voted to abolish the monarchy, a republic was declared in 1970.
Flag of Cambodia.svg
Cambodia Norodom Sihanouk Later restored (see below).
Flag of The Gambia.svg
The Gambia Elizabeth II 1971 Abolished Commonwealth monarchy.
Flag of Guyana.svg
Flag of Sierra Leone.svg
Sierra Leone
Flag of Sri Lanka.svg
Ceylon 1972 Abolished Commonwealth monarchy, state name changed into "Sri Lanka".
Flag of Afghanistan (1931–1973).svg
Afghanistan Mohammed Zahir Shah 1973 Coup d'état
Flag of Ethiopia (1897-1936; 1941-1974).svg
Ethiopia Haile Selassie I 1974
Flag of Greece (1970-1975).svg
Greece Constantine II referendum; official result: 69% against monarchy
Flag of Malta.svg
Malta Elizabeth II Abolished Commonwealth monarchy.
Flag of Laos (1952-1975).svg
Laos Savang Vatthana 1975 Communist takeover
Flag of Sikkim (1967-1975).svg
Sikkim Palden Thondup Namgyal Referendum; official result: 97% to become a state of India.
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg
Trinidad and Tobago Elizabeth II 1976 Abolished Commonwealth monarchy.
State flag of Iran (1964–1980).svg
Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi 1979 Iranian Revolution
Flag of the Central African Republic.svg
Central Africa Bokassa I coup d'état
Rwenzururu flag.png
Rwenzururu Charles Mumbere 1982 Forced to abdicate by the government of Uganda; declaration of independence of Rwenzururu was annulled.
Flag of Fiji.svg
Fiji Elizabeth II 1987 Abolished Commonwealth monarchy. Elizabeth II remained recognized as Paramount Chief by the Great Council of Chiefs until the council's de-establishment on 14 March 2012.
Flag of Kuwait.svg
Kuwait Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah 1990 Later restored (see below)
Flag of Mauritius.svg
Mauritius Elizabeth II 1992 Abolished Commonwealth monarchy.

21st century

Elimination of remaining monarchies

The bulk of monarchies did not survive the 20th century, those that remained were limited to figurehead status or continued in odd forms such as the monarchy in communist Cambodia. One of the few traditional monarchies that remained was the Kingdom of Nepal. After a series of strange events, King Gyanendra's monarchy was abolished in May 2008 and replaced with a secular federal republic.[16]

Summary table of the 21st century

Country Last monarch Year Notes
Flag of Nepal.svg
Nepal Gyanendra 2008 Decision of the parliament.
Flag of Barbados.svg
Barbados Elizabeth II 2021 Will abolish Commonwealth monarchy.

Monarchies that were abolished, restored, and continue to exist in the 21st century

Country Year abolished Notes Year restored Years of republic
Flag of England.svg
Saint Patrick's Saltire.svg
England 1649 Commonwealth of England established, then Parliament reversed itself and invited the return of the monarchy. 1660 11
Flag of Scotland (1542-2003).svg
Scotland 1652 Commonwealth 1660 8
Flag of Spain.svg
Spain 1873 First Spanish Republic established 1874 1
1931 Second Spanish Republic established; restored (de jure) under the regency of Francisco Franco in 1947. 1975
(de facto)
44 (16 - de jure)
Flag of Kuwait.svg
Kuwait 1990 Republic of Kuwait proclaimed prior to annexation by Iraq; restored in the Gulf War. 1991 1
Flag of Ankole.svg
Ankole 1967 Four traditional Ugandan monarchies abolished by government under new constitution of Milton Obote 1993 26
Flag of Buganda.svg
Flag of Bunyoro, Uganda.svg
Flag of Toro, Uganda.svg
Flag of Cambodia.svg
Cambodia 1970 The Khmer Republic established; restored as an elective monarchy. 1993 23
Rwenzururu flag.png
Rwenzururu, a part of Uganda 1982 'Reinstated' out of popular support despite no evidence of such a kingdom.[17] 2009
(de facto)

Many other monarchies continue to exist in the 21st century, never having been abolished.

See also



  1. ^ "We need to abolish the monarchy – because it's not fair on anyone, including the royals". The Independent. 19 May 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  2. ^ "'Essentially, the monarchy is corrupt' – will republicanism survive Harry and Meghan?". The Guardian. 9 May 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  3. ^ "Royal families: The countries that feel the strongest about abolishing their monarchies". QZ. 18 May 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Does the monarchy have a future?". Dhaka Tribune. 11 January 2020. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  5. ^ "The Restoration of a Limited Monarchy in England: Definition & History, ", last accessed 28 Dec 2019.
  6. ^ Haley, K.H.D. (1985), Politics in the Reign of Charles II, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, ISBN 0-631-13928-1
  7. ^ "Stamp Act crisis and significance, " University of Massachusetts History Club, last accessed 28 Dec 2019.
  8. ^ Maya Jasanoff (2012). Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World. Random House. p. 357.
  9. ^ Mark Boonshoft "Dispossessing Loyalists and Redistributing Property in Revolutionary New York," The New York Public Library, 19 September 2016, Last accessed 26 December 2019.
  10. ^ Note for example: Breen, Timothy H. (2017). "4: Voices of the People". George Washington's Journey: The President Forges a New Nation. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 120. ISBN 9781451675436. Retrieved 24 February 2017. If most Americans saw the danger of addressing Washington as their American Caesar - he had absolutely no interest in becoming emperor - they nevertheless found it surprisingly appealing.
  11. ^ Everdell, William R. (2000). The End of Kings: A History of Republics and Republicans. Chicago: University of Chicago. ISBN 0226224821.
  12. ^ Turnbull, Malcolm (1999). Fighting for the Republic. South Yarra: Hardie Grant Books. p. 250.
  13. ^ Steve Vizard (1998). Two Weeks in Lilliput: Bear Baiting and Backbiting at the Constitutional Convention. Ringwood (Vic): Penguin. ISBN 0-14-027983-0.
  14. ^ Higley, John; Case, Rhonda (July 2000). "Australia: The Politics of Becoming a Republic". Journal of Democracy. 11 (3): 136–150. doi:10.1353/jod.2000.0058. ISSN 1045-5736.
  15. ^ Steketee, Mike (31 October 2009). "Ten years after the referendum, we are no closer to a republic". The Australian. Retrieved 6 November 2009.
  16. ^ "World | South Asia | Nepal votes to abolish monarchy". BBC News. 28 May 2008. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  17. ^ Caleb Mukirane "Uganda: Rwenzururu Kingdom Has Never Existed, " all Africa, 3 October 2007, last accessed 28 December 2019.
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