The stories of kings, queens, emirs or sultans may seem like fairytales to the new generation but they are still very much a reality. Perhaps the most recognisable monarch in today's world is Britain's queen Elizabeth II, but did you know that at this day and age, 26 monarchies in the world are ruling over 43 countries?
Here is a list of all the other monarchs of the world-
1. Saudi Arabia: Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is the king and prime minister of Saudi Arabia as it is an absolute monarchy. His deputies and other cabinet members also come from royal family. While the monarchy is hereditary now, future Saudi kings will be chosen by a committee of Saudi princes, per a 2006 decree.
2. Kuwait: Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah became Emir of Kuwait on 29 September 2020, following Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah who died earlier on 29 September. The emir rules rules the oil-rich nation as emir and head of the royal family, which has been in some form of power since the early 1700s.
3. Qatar: Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani is the emir of Qatar who took over after his father's peaceful abdication. The al-Thani family is known for ostentatious wealth and for working aggressively to expand their country's regional, oil-funded influence. They've ruled Qatar since 1825 and underwent a series of forced abdications in the 20th century, typically instigated by sons or nephews eager to take the throne.
4. United arab Emirates: United Arab Emirates: As its name suggests, the United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven districts, each of which is governed by a hereditary monarch who bears the title of emir. Traditionally, the emir of Abu Dhabi is also the federation president. Today that's Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who's been in charge since his father died in 2004. He is thought to have personal wealth of about $5 billion.
5. Swaziland : When he was barely 18 years old, King Mswati III became the absolute monarch of this small southern African country, inheriting the crown from his father in 1986. His formal title is Ngwenyama, an honorific that also means lion.
6. Brunei : Hassanal Bolkiah is the 29th and current Sultan and Yang di-Pertuan of Brunei, as well as the Prime Minister of Brunei. He appoints virtually all of Brunei's ruling bodies, including the Legislative Council and the Supreme and Sharia Courts. His 1,800-room palace, the Istana Nurul Iman, is considered the world's largest private residence.
7. Bahrain : Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa is the King of Bahrain. He has been the monarch of Bahrain since 6 March 1999, initially reigning as emir, and from 14 February 2002, as the first king. The al-Khalifa family, which is Sunni, has ruled over this small and majority-Shiite island nation since 1783. Though the constitutional monarchy grants Shiites some role in the government, it's not much, and pro-democracy protests have roiled the country since 2011.
8. Jordan: Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein is King of Jordan, reigning since 7 February 1999. As a member of the Hashemite dynasty, the royal family of Jordan since 1921, Abdullah is a 41st-generation direct descendant of Muhammad. Though he isn't technically the head of government -- Jordan has an appointed prime minister -- he has very real political powers, including the ability to veto any law and dissolve parliament at will.
9. Morocco: King Mohammed VI is the ruler of the country though he voluntarily shrank his power in the wake of Arab Spring uprising of 2011. He enacted a series of reforms to Morocco's government, a constitutional monarchy. He still can appoint the prime minister and members of government but cannot call for new election or dissolve the parliament.
10. The Vatican: The pope is considered the monarch of this European city-state.
11. Monaco: Despite the fact that Monaco has an elected legislature, Prince Albert II has ruled since 2005 and holds a large political role. For example, he gets to appoint the minister of state from a list of three preselected candidates.
12. Thailand: Vajiralongkorn is the King of Thailand since 2016. He is the only son of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit. As of 2020, his net worth is estimated to be around US$30 billion, making him the wealthiest ruler in the world. People in Thailand are not allowed to criticize his rule, as the monarchy is protected by one of the strictest Lèse-majesté laws in the world.
13. Liechtenstein: Liechtenstein: In a rare move among Western European countries, Liechtenstein actually voted to increase the powers of Prince Hans Adam II in the early aughts. The prince can veto any legislation and dissolve the parliament at will, among other powers. Technically, these official duties have been transferred to his son, Prince Alois, but Hans Adam remains chief of state.
14. Tonga: The present monarch, King TUPOU VI has succeeded his eldest brother, His Late Majesty King George TUPOU V who passed away in March 2012. Tonga had been an absolute monarchy, but violent, pro-democracy rallies shortly before Tupou's coronation caused huge damage in the capital and killed eight people.
15. Bhutan: Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk is the Druk Gyalpo of Bhutan, which means Dragon King. Jigme formally took the throne in 2008, two years after his father's abdication. The coronation was delayed to give 26-year-old Jigme more administrative experience. Reforms in the late 1990s reduced the king's powers. The Wangchuck monarchy is just over 100 years old, having unified the small Himalayan country under its rule with help from the British Empire.
16. Norway: Norway's King Harald V has a number of important-sounding but entirely ceremonial roles, including appointing the Norwegian cabinet and the prime minister -- with the approval of the parliament, of course. The monarchy is hereditary, and 40-year-old crown prince Haakon Magnus will take over from his father.
17. Sweden: Sweden is one of the few monarchies that allows female succession, which means Princess Victoria Ingrid Alice Desiree will become queen at the end of her father's reign, so far of 40 years. King Carl XVI Gustaf, the current monarch, is a ceremonial figure.
18. The Netherlands: The Netherlands' King Willem-Alexander took the throne after his mother Beatrix gave up her reign of 33 years. The Netherlands has a bicameral parliament, so the monarch doesn't rule directly. But King Willem-Alexander still has an important role as the president of the Council of State, an advisory body with roots in the 16th century. No law may be submitted to parliament unless it goes to the council first.
19. Spain: Felipe VI or Philip VI is the King of Spain. He ascended the throne on 19 June 2014 upon the abdication of his father, Juan Carlos I. In accordance with the Spanish Constitution, as monarch, he is head of state and commander-in-chief of the Spanish Armed Forces with military rank of Captain General, and also plays the role of the supreme representation of Spain in international relations.
20. Greenland: Greenland is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, though it has governed itself through an elected parliament since 1979. Denmark's Queen Margrethe II is still the queen in name there, however; the 73-year-old queen has reigned since 1972 and is to eventually pass the throne to her son Frederik.
21. Luxemburg: Henri is the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, reigning since 7 October 2000. He represents, in the words of the official government Web site, "a symbol of stability, a single figure at the head of state, above the daily political business. In 2019, his net worth was estimated around US$4 billion
22. Belgium: Belgium's 53-year-old King Philippe inherited a divided country when he was sworn, hours after his father abdicated. His position is symbolic but important, given Belgium's current political climate: Philippe has advocated for greater unity between the country's warring Flemings and Francophones.
23. Lesotho: Letsie III is the King of Lesotho. He succeeded his father, Moshoeshoe II, when the latter was forced into exile in 1990. His father was briefly restored in 1995 but soon died in a car crash in early 1996, and Letsie became king again. As a constitutional monarch, most of King Letsie's duties as monarch of Lesotho are ceremonial. In 2000, he declared HIV/AIDS in Lesotho to be a natural disaster, prompting immediate national and international response to the epidemic. He is a "living symbol of national unity," per the national constitution, and he has no political powers.
24. Cambodia : Norodom Sihamoni is the King of Cambodia. He became King on 14 October 2004, a week after the abdication of his father, He was Cambodia's ambassador to UNESCO and named by a nine-member throne council to become the next king after his father Norodom Sihanouk abdicated in 2004. Before ascending the throne, Sihamoni was educated in Czechoslovakia and was best known for his work as a cultural ambassador in Europe and as a classical dance instructor.
25. Malaysia : Abdullah of Pahang is the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong (monarch) of Malaysia and the sixth Sultan of Pahang. He was proclaimed as Sultan on 15 January 2019, succeeding his father, Sultan Ahmad Shah, whose abdication was decided at a Royal Council meeting. On 24 January 2019, days after his accession to the throne of Pahang, he was elected as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia. He was sworn in on 31 January. He was also a member of the FIFA Council from 2015 to 2019.
26. Japan: The Emperor of Japan is the head of state and the head of the Imperial Family of Japan. Under the Constitution of Japan, he is defined as "the Symbol of the State and of the Unity of the People" and his title is derived from "the Will of the People, who are the Sovereign". Naruhito is the Emperor of Japan. He acceded to the Chrysanthemum Throne on 1 May 2019, beginning the Reiwa era, following the abdication of his father, Akihito. He is the 126th monarch according to Japan's traditional order of succession. He is the only monarch in the world to hold the monarchical title of "Emperor."