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Monarchy is a form of government where the head of state, a monarch, is de jure appointed for life, usually through heredity. In an absolute monarchy the monarch has uninhibited power. Most monarchies today are constitutional monarchies where the monarch's role is mostly ceremonial. In some contexts and languages a constitutional monarchy is a separate term - where the monarch is limited by a constitution, but still has certain powers - from a parliamentary monarchy where all power resides with parliament in practice if not theory. The narrow meaning of constitutional monarchy was a common transitional form in the 19th century but has mostly died out with very few exceptions.



Monarchies today

Historical monarchies