Are there any states in recent history - say 1900 and on - which became a monarchy after being a non-monarchy for a significant period of time before that?

Monarchy is in a literal sense, with the right to rule legally being vested in last monarch's offspring - so countries like North Korea and USA (with its Clintons, Bushes and Kennedies) don't count despite having rulers from the same family.

  • 2
    Technically I believe the Vatican (est 1929) is considered to be ruled by an elected Monarch. But the position isn't passed on to his children. Apr 11, 2013 at 3:32
  • Not the best example, but Yugoslavia was created in XX. century and as a monarchy. Apr 11, 2013 at 12:10
  • didn't the Dutch just get back their King? that'll solve all their problems
    – user1726
    May 6, 2013 at 3:01
  • The Netherlands became a Monarchy in 1815 and Belgium in 1830. Both don't make your cut-off date.
    – Sjoerd
    Jul 29, 2018 at 20:26

3 Answers 3


I just want to mention the weird example of Hungary.

It was merged in Austro-Hungarian Empire, and got it's freedom after first world war. Shortly after it a republican revolution took over, Hungary got demilitarized and after a communist revolution ended the short lived democracy. The communists tried to take back the control of whole historical territory of Hungary. They failed, and the new govenor, Horthy restored Kingdom of Hungary but without anyone in king's or queen's position. This lasted until the end of WW2.

An another - maybe better - example is Central African Republic.

In 1960 it gained de-facto independece from France, and became republic. Shortly after independence, in 1965 Jean-Bédel Bokassa grabbed the power and in 1972 declared himself Emperor of Central Africa. He ruled Central African Empire for an another 9 years, when France made a coup d'etat against him.


I would say Spain. After having been a republic under the fascist Generalissimo Franco, it became (again) a kingdom in 1974(?). Not sure if the new king was descendant of royalty. It should be noted that the king was handpicked by Franco, though he doesn't seem to have any fascist sympathies.

  • How long was the absence of monarchy before that?
    – user4012
    Apr 17, 2013 at 16:02
  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but the spain was a monarchy and a fachist state simulatneously, much like pre-WWII Italy.
    – Bregalad
    Apr 6, 2015 at 21:20
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    @Bregalad Correction here, Franco picked Juan Carlos I (the grandson of the last reigning King) as his successor, as a way to "legitimate" the succession. It was only with Franco's death that Juan Carlos I became Head of State, and a program of democratization was quickly introduced. For the few months/years that it took for the process to finish you could argue that it was in fact both a monarchy and a dictature, but the democratization process started right after he took power (that does not mean that the dictature did not found itself in a dead end before that happened).
    – SJuan76
    Sep 20, 2015 at 21:01
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    Under Franco it was not a republic. It was formally a monarchy with Franco as a regent.
    – Anixx
    Oct 27, 2015 at 19:16
  • @Anixx is right. Spain had been a republic before Franco, from 1931 to 1936/39. However Franco didn't present himself as regent, he was head of state on his own right ("Caudillo de España por la Gracia de Dios", as it was written in coins). Franco wasn't regent for the king, and Juan Carlos I was successor of Franco; Franco was never his regent or his ancestor's regent. Francoist Spain was a kingdom without a king nor a regent. That makes it different from Horty's Hungary.
    – Pere
    Dec 20, 2017 at 18:21

There are some nations which have absolutely monarchies from before the 1900s but were never abandoned, thus are still ruled by a king or queen today, e.g. Qatar, Oman, Brunei and Saudi Arabia. Vatican City is technically a monarchy but it's by vote, and the title is not passed to the son. Switzerland is classified as a nitary parliamentary absolute constitutional monarchy but is ruled by a council of 7 members.


  • Spain overthrew its monarchy but restored it after Franco, I think. Apr 11, 2013 at 22:02

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