The History and Evolution of the World's Oldest Monarchies

Monarchies have been around since ancient times and are still present today in some countries around world. Learn about history & evolution oldest royal families.

The History and Evolution of the World's Oldest Monarchies

Monarchies have been around since the dawn of civilization, with the earliest evidence of their existence dating back to Ancient Egypt in 3100 BC. C. In a monarchy, a country is governed by a monarch who is the head of state and the only one who makes decisions about the affairs of a country. Monarchs are appointed by a hereditary lineage and not through elections, as would be the case in an elective democracy.

Japan, considered a constitutional monarchy under the Imperial House of Japan, is traditionally said to have originated with the mythical emperor Jimmu. The first verifiable historiographic evidence begins with Emperor Kinmei in the 6th century, making it the oldest continuous hereditary monarchy in the world. Today, there are fewer than 45 monarchies left in the world and most of the ruling monarchs have no real power over their countries. Only a few countries remain absolute monarchies in which the king or queen has full authority over the entire nation.

Swedish monarchs have been descended from the House of Bernadotte since 1818. In 1980, Sweden's succession rule was changed to that of absolute birthright, meaning that the throne will be passed to the eldest son of the reigning monarch, regardless of gender. The Danish monarchy was established around 935 A. D., by Gorm the Elder, who ruled a unified Denmark until his death around 958 A. D.

The Kingdom of Denmark was originally an elective monarchy, but the choice of heir was normally limited to the eldest son of the reigning monarch. The Kingdom of Norway traditionally traces its monarchy to 885 AD, after the Battle of Hafrsfjord, when Harald Fairhair merged several smaller kingdoms. Since then, there have been several royal dynasties ruling Norway. Throughout Norway's history, the country has been united to Denmark and Sweden. In 1905, Norway dissolved its union with Sweden to become an independent nation and elected Haakon VII as its king; he was the first monarch of the House of Glücksburg. The beginning of the British monarchy is often difficult to date, since before 1066, England was divided into seven main kingdoms with several different rulers.

Depending on who you ask, the first king of England is Alfred the Great, who ruled from 871 to 899; or William the Conqueror, who invaded England from Normandy and was declared king of a unified England. The current royal family is directly descended from William the Conqueror. Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended the throne in 1952, is the longest-reigning British monarch. Today, the British monarchy is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy. In 751 AD, Ibadian Muslims established an imamate in Oman, with Al-Julanda bin Mas'ud as the country's first official ruler.

The imamate survived until 1749, when the Al Said dynasty came to power and the Sultanate of Oman was established. The monarchy of Cambodia was established in 68 AD, under the reign of Queen Soma, who was not only the first official monarch of Cambodia, but also the country's first female leader. In the past, Cambodia had a hereditary monarchy, but since 1993, the King of Cambodia has been elected by the Royal Council of the Throne, making it one of the only monarchies elected in the world. According to legend, the Imperial House of Japan was founded in 660 BC. by Japan's first emperor, Jimmu, making it one of oldest continuous hereditary monarchies in existence. Although Japan's monarchy has mythological origins, it recognizes February 11th 660 BC as its official founding date.

Japan's imperial house recognizes 125 monarchs starting with Emperor Jimmu but existing records only go back to Emperor Ōjin who ruled in early 4th century. The current emperor of Japan is Emperor Akihito who ascended throne on January 7th 1989; his heir and eldest son is Crown Prince Naruhito. The Mewar is a kingdom that ruled for more than 1 400 years and was established in 6th century and governed by same governing family since then. The British monarchy was not created until 1707 with union between Scottish monarchy (founded 834 AD) and English monarchy (founded 927 AD). Historians now accept Athelstan grandson Alfred Great as first king England (927-93). Before that he was king Anglo-Saxons (924-92).

Constantine (Causatin) II grandson Kenneth McAlpins was first known Ri n'Albannaich (king Scots) around 900 AD before that kings were known “king Picts”.Neither Scotland nor England covered geographical territory they occupy today. Monarchies used to rule world from beginning all human society Mesopotamia 4 000 years ago until end British Empire mid-20th century kings queens controlled most powerful countries world from Turkey Tonga Japan Jordan royal families have overseen development their countries throughout history heads state rulers figureheads. However 21st century monarchies have declined considerably both power numbers where before there were more than hundred monarchies world there are now 43 left only seven exist absolute monarchies genuine power instead rulers some monarchs have become cultural icons while others have taken back seat members high society charitable activists. To survive changing world monarchies have had evolve when referring country word monarchy describes system government purest form monarchy absolute monarchy absolute monarch such those Oman Saudi Arabia last word.

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