Abolition of monarchy

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The abolition of monarchy involves the ending of monarchical elements in the government of a country. Such abolition may also (but not always) eliminate aristocratic systems[note 1] and "hereditary government"[note 2] features in constitutional practice.

History records transitions from monarchy to other forms of government from very early times, through revolutions, coups d'état, wars, or legislative reforms (sometimes involving abdications). Athens had abandoned the principle of hereditary rule by 753 BCE. The founding of the Roman Republic in the 6th century BCE provides a well-known example, and anti-monarchism became part of Rome's traditions, being cited as justification for the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BCE. Monarchical Carthage became an aristocratic republic in 308 BCE.

The 20th century saw the abolition of several monarchies: some constitutionally or violently overthrown by revolution or by war, some disappearing as part of the process of decolonisation. By contrast, the restoration of monarchies has occurred rarely in modern times:

17th and 18th centuries[edit]

England, Scotland and Ireland[edit]

The English Civil War (part of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms) resulted in the Parliament of England (under the leadership of in particular Oliver Cromwell) overthrowing the English monarchy, initiating an eleven-year period of republican and military government in England, Scotland and Ireland. In 1649, King Charles I was tried for high treason, convicted and executed. In 1660 the monarchy was restored, though in a more limited form moderated by a more independent Parliament.

United States of America[edit]

Organized anti-monarchism in what is now the United States developed out of a gradual revolution that began in 1765, as colonists resisted the Stamp Act through boycott and the expulsion and condemnation of royal officials.[citation needed] While they were subjects of Great Britain (a union of England and Scotland), the colonists of British North America enjoyed a level of autonomy which increasingly clashed with royal and Parliamentary authority, which did not consider colonial needs. With the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the most violent wave of anti-monarchical protest began, with the systematic destruction of the relics and symbols of monarchy. For instance the equestrian statue of George III on Bowling Green in New York City was toppled on 9 July 1776. Monarchic loyalists were particularly affected by partisan attacks or harassment, with tens of thousands leaving for Canada, Britain, and other colonies.[1] Wealth or property that remained was typically confiscated.[by whom?] Thomas Paine, the famous author of the revolutionary pamphlet "Common Sense", urged the colonists to finance the revolutionary war through this means. Even today, very few artefacts depicting the British monarchy from the colonial period can be found in the United States. However, not all anti-British or anti-Loyalist sentiment equated to anti-monarchism. The normalcy of having a King at the head of a polity had strong roots in much political thought (Machiavelli, Hobbes) and in religious doctrine (see for example 1 Samuel 8:6-9).[2] Some Americans saw the presidency in monarchical terms.[3]


One of the most significant abolitions of monarchy in history[citation needed] – along with the Dutch Republic of 1581–1795 – involved the French monarchy in 1792 in the French Revolution.[4] 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 centre 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[edit]

South Asia[edit]

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


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.


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.


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


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


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


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).


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.


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.

20th century[edit]

Europe 1914 monarchies versus republics.png Europe 1930 monarchies versus republics.png Europe 2015 monarchies versus republics.png
European states in 1914.[note 3]
  Monarchies (22)
  Republics (4)
European states in 1930.[note 4]
  Monarchies (20)
  Republics (15)
Present-day European states.
  Monarchies (12)
  Republics (32)



In 1910 the last emperor of Korea, Sunjong, lost his throne when the country was annexed by Japan. However, the Korean royal family was mediatised 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]


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.


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.


World War I led to perhaps the greatest spate of abolition 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 Emperor Nicholas II and implemented a Marxist-Leninist government.

Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire, Montenegro[edit]

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.



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.

Italy, Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia[edit]

World War II saw another spate of abolitions. 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 favour 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.


A unique result of the war was that Emperor Hirohito of Japan, who had held a debated but important role in Japan's warfare against the Allies, was reduced in stature from a divine being to a figurehead by the occupying United States, instead of losing his throne altogether.


On 25 August 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").

South Asia[edit]

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 size. The resulting imperial structure was broadly similar to that of the German Empire before the First World War.

In 1947, it was agreed 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 derecognised its princely families in 1971, followed by Pakistan in 1972.



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. Final abolition of the monarchy was confirmed overwhelmingly after constitutional legality was restored, by free referendum in 1974.

Commonwealth of Nations[edit]

Many monarchies were abolished in the middle of the 20th century or later as part of the process of decolonisation. 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. That of Ireland was not abolished when Ireland became independent of the United Kingdom in the 1920s, but 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.

North Africa, the Middle East, Afghanistan[edit]

The monarchy of Egypt was abolished in 1953, after the revolution of 1952, which caused King Farouk I to abdicate in favour of his infant son Fuad II. The monarchy of Tunisia ended in 1957 when Muhammad VIII al-Amin lost his throne. The monarchy Iraq ended in 1958 when King Faisal II was killed and a republic proclaimed. 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. King Idris of Libya was overthrown by a military coup led by Muammar Gaddafi in 1969. The monarchy of Afghanistan was abolished in 1973 after a coup d'état overthrew King Mohammed Zahir Shah. That of Iran was abolished by the Islamic revolution of 1979 overthrowing Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.


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


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


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 former king Norodom Sihanouk being restored as a figurehead in 1993.


Restoration Attempts[edit]

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 huge margin.

Abolition Attempts[edit]

In a 1999 referendum, the voters of Australia rejected a proposal to abolish their monarchy in favour of a specific republican model. The proposal was rejected in all states, with only the Australian Capital Territory voting in favour.

Monarchies abolished in the 20th–21st centuries[edit]


Last monarch



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 the German Empire.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 Prussia
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.
State 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).
Bandera de Khiva 1917-1920.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.
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 Independent State of Croatia.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 Kāngdé Merged into the Republic of China after abolition of the Empire.
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 (1922–1958).svg Egypt Fuad II 1953 Republic proclaimed one year after the 1952 Revolution.
Flag of Vietnam.svg Vietnam Bảo Đại 1954 Vietnam partitioned through the Geneva Accords.
Flag of South Vietnam.svg Vietnam Bảo Đại 1955 Referendum in South Vietnam.
Flag of Pakistan.svg Pakistan Elizabeth II 1956 Abolished Commonwealth monarchy.
Flag of Tunisia.svg Tunisia Muhammad VIII al-Amin 1957 coup d'état
Flag of Iraq (1924–1959).svg Iraq Faisal II 1958
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 Uganda
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
Mahraflag.svg 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 Guyana
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.
Flag of Nepal.svg Nepal King Gyanendra 2008 Monarchy abolished on 28 May 2008, replaced with a secular federal republic.[5]

Current monarchies that were abolished and then restored[edit]


Year abolished


Year restored

Years of republic

Flag of England.svg Saint Patrick's Saltire.svg England, and Ireland 1649 Commonwealth of England established 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, then restored in 1947 (de jure), initially under the regency of Francisco Franco 1975
(de facto)
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 Buganda
Flag of Bunyoro, Uganda.svg Bunyoro
Flag of Toro, Uganda.svg Tooro
Flag of Cambodia.svg Cambodia 1970 Khmer Republic established, in 1975 it was overthrown by the Khmer Rouge and Democratic Kampuchea was established. In 1979, the People's Republic of Kampuchea was established, whose name was changed to the State of Cambodia. 1993 23
Rwenzururu flag.png Rwenzururu, a part of Uganda 1982 Abolished by the government. 2009
(de facto)
Flag of Kuwait.svg Kuwait 1990 Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah was ousted from power when the Republic of Kuwait was proclaimed during the Gulf War before its subsequent annexation by Iraq. Monarchy restored after Iraq's expulsion from Kuwait. 1991 1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Aristotle in his Politics distinguished monarchy and aristocracy as systems of government. Russia after 1917, for example, abandoned the traditional nobility; German nobility (but not Austrian nobility) after 1919 retained certain features of aristocratic nomenclature and social influence.
  2. ^ Not all monarchies depend on the inheritance of political power: see elective monarchy.
  3. ^ The Ottoman Empire and Russian Empire are counted amongst Europe, the German Empire is counted as a single monarchy.
  4. ^ The Republic of Turkey is counted amongst Europe, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as a single republic, the Irish Free State as an independent monarchy (see also Irish head of state from 1936 to 1949), Vatican City as an elective monarchy, the Kingdom of Hungary as a nominal monarchy.


  1. ^ Maya Jasanoff (2012). Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World. Random House. p. 357.
  2. ^ "But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee [...]. Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them."
  3. ^ 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 to depict him as a king, as in King George I of the United States. Their extremely unrepublican behavior when they encountered him on the road probably drew on their recent colonial past. While Americans had just ratified a republican form of government, which among other things abolished monarchs and aristocrats, many of them almost reflexively imagined Washington as a kind of elected monarch.
  4. ^ Everdell, William R. (2000). The End of Kings: A History of Republics and Republicans. Chicago: University of Chicago. ISBN 0226224821.
  5. ^ "World | South Asia | Nepal votes to abolish monarchy". BBC News. 28 May 2008. Retrieved 21 July 2011.