A monarchy, from the Greek μονος, "one", and ἀρχειν, "to rule", is a form of government in which a monarch, usually a single person, is the head of State. Monarchies were formed through conquest, popular sovereignty, greed, tradition, political necessity and an opportunity to exploit certain situations.
In most monarchies, the monarch holds their position for life and passes the responsibilities and power of the position to their children or family when they die. In a few republics the head of State, often styled president, might remain in office for life, but most are elected for a term of office, after which he or she must step down, and any successors must then also be elected. There are currently 30 monarchs reigning over 44 extant sovereign monarchies in the world; the disconnect in numbers between monarchs and countries is explained by the fact that the sixteen Commonwealth realms—vast geographic areas including the transcontinental realms of Canada and Australia—are separate realms of one sovereign; and one other monarchy, Andorra, has two non-resident foreign (French and Spanish) co-monarchs.
Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government where the monarch has the power to rule his or her land or State and its citizens freely, with some laws or legally-organized direct opposition in force. Although some religious authority may be able to discourage the monarch from some acts and the sovereign is expected to act according to custom, in an absolute monarchy there is no constitution or body of law above what is decreed by the sovereign (king or queen). As a theory of civics, absolute monarchy puts total trust in well-bred and well-trained monarchs raised for the role from birth.
A constitutional monarchy or limited monarchy is a form of government established under a constitutional system which acknowledges an elected or hereditary monarch as head of State, as opposed to an absolute monarchy, where the monarch is not bound by a constitution and is the sole source of political power. (The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy even though it does not have an actual written constitution.) The process of government and law within a constitutional monarchy is usually very different from that in an absolute monarchy. Template:/box-footer
The Queluz National Palace (Portuguese: Palácio Nacional de Queluz) is a Portuguese 18th-century palace located at Queluz, a freguesia of the modern-day Sintra municipality, in the District of Lisbon. One of the last great Rococo buildings to be designed in Europe, the palace was conceived as a summer retreat for Dom Pedro of Braganza, later to become husband and then king consort to his own niece, Queen Maria I. It served as a discreet place of incarceration for Queen Maria as her descent into madness continued in the years following Dom Pedro's death in 1786. Following the destruction by fire of the Ajuda Palace in 1794, Queluz Palace became the official residence of the Portuguese prince regent, John VI, and his family and remained so until the Royal Family fled to Brazil in 1807 following the French invasion of Portugal.Work on the palace began in 1747 under the architect Mateus Vicente de Oliveira. Despite being far smaller, the palace is often referred to as the Portuguese Versailles. From 1826, the palace slowly fell from favour with the Portuguese sovereigns. In 1908, it became the property of the state. Following a serious fire in 1934, which gutted the interior, the palace was extensively restored, and today is open to the public as a major tourist attraction.One wing of the palace, the Pavilion of Dona Maria, built between 1785 and 1792 by the architect Manuel Caetano de Sousa, is now a guest house allocated to foreign heads of state visiting Portugal.Queluz's architecture is representative of the final extravagant period of Portuguese culture that followed the discovery of Brazilian gold in 1690.
George I, King of the Hellenes (Greek: Γεώργιος A', Βασιλεύς των Ελλήνων, Georgios A' Vasileus ton Ellinon; December 24, 1845 – March 18, 1913) was King of Greece from 1863 to 1913. Originally a Danish prince, when only 17 years old he was elected King by the Greek National Assembly, which had deposed the former King Otto. His nomination was both suggested and supported by the Great Powers (the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the Second French Empire and the Russian Empire).As the first monarch of the new Greek dynasty, his 50-year reign (the longest in modern Greek history) was characterized by territorial gains as Greece established its place in pre-World War I Europe. Two weeks short of the fiftieth anniversary of his accession, and during the First Balkan War, he was assassinated. In sharp contrast to his reign, the reigns of his successors would prove short and insecure.George was born in Copenhagen, the second son of Prince Christian of Denmark and Louise of Hesse-Kassel. Until his accession in Greece, he was known as Prince Vilhelm (William), the namesake of his paternal and maternal grandfathers, Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and Prince William of Hesse.He was a younger brother of Frederick VIII of Denmark and Alexandra, Queen consort of Edward VII of the United Kingdom.
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Mary II (30 April 1662 – 28 December 1694) reigned as Queen of England and Ireland from 13 February 1689, and as Queen of Scots (as Mary II of Scotland) from 11 April 1689 until her death. Mary, a Protestant, came to the thrones following the Glorious Revolution, which resulted in the deposition of her Roman Catholic father, James II and VII. Mary reigned jointly with her husband and first cousin, William III and II, who became the sole ruler of both countries upon her death in 1694. Popular histories usually refer to the joint reigns as those of "William and Mary". Mary, although a sovereign in her own right, did not wield power during most of her reign, instead ceding it to her husband. She did, however, govern the realms when William was engaged in military campaigns abroad.Mary, born at St. James Palace in London on 30 April 1662, was the eldest daughter of James, Duke of York (the future James II of England) and of his first wife, Lady Anne Hyde.Mary's uncle was Charles II; her maternal grandfather, Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, served for a lengthy period as Charles's chief advisor.The Duke of York converted to Roman Catholicism in 1668 or 1669, but Mary and Anne had a Protestant upbringing, pursuant to the command of Charles II.At the age of fifteen, Lady Mary became betrothed to the Protestant Stadtholder, William, Prince of Orange.William was the son of her aunt, Mary, Princess Royal, and Prince William II of Nassau.
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