Monarchy is defined as a form of government in which supreme power is absolutely or nominally lodged in the head of state, often for life or until abdication, and "is wholly set apart from all other members of the state" . It was a common form of government in the world during the ancient and medieval times.Out of 192 nations in United Nation, 44 nations have monarchies as heads of states, of which 16 are in Commonwealth realms that recognise Queen Elizabeth II as their head of states. To digest the info further, extract the 16 nations who have the same head of state, there are only 28 nations or 14.5 % still practise monarchy as their system of government.
The extent of monarch's powers varies, whether the nation practise absolute monarchy or constitutional monarchy. Among the countries whose monarchy system changes their political landscape are France with their French revolution, China with their last emperor Pu Yi, Nepal with the abolition of monarchy system in 2008.
Amongst the monarch that remained popular in history was Marie Antoinette, the queen of France, wife of Louise XVI. She was the queen when the French revolution took place and when the "Declaration of Rights of Men and Citizens of 1793" was proclaimed, including :-
1. Equality as the first right of man;
2. The protection of liberty
3. The protection of citizens against their own government
With that, the monarchy in France met its end...
Romantically, monarchy system has its own share of its own tales and sacrifice. The one that will be forever compared to "Romeo and Juliet" shall be that of Edward and Simpson. KIng Edward VIII of England abdicated his throne in 1936, sacrificing his throne for the hands of his love, the widowed Wallis Warfield Simpson. However, the secret papers released in 2003 indicated that Simpson was having an affair with an American salesman when she was seeing Edward. And this is different from the romance of Grace Kelly, the American actress with King Rainier III, which ultimately potrays Monaco as the glamour city of Europe.
What about Pu Yi, the child emperor of China? The young emperor that was forced to descend his throne in 1912, elevated later as rulerof puppet state to the invasion army in 1932, captured by the Soviet red army, spent 10 years in Chinese prsion, worked in botanical garden, died in 1967 of heart disease during the cultural revolution. A sad ending for an emperorof heaven and earth...
Then, in more modern times, the regent of Nepal shot and massacred his own parents, King Bierndra in 2001, and 10 other royalties all because of marriage dispute. The event was later marked as the beginning of the end of Nepal monarchy system, the curtains finally drawn in 2008.
In Russia, Tsar Nicholas II was the last emperor who abdicated in 1917 amid Russia's economic and military disaster, paving way for Bolcheviks and later Communism to rule present day Russia. The Tsar's downfall was traced back to 1905 when the soldiers fire on the workers' march participants trying to send their petition to the Tsar who were carrying banners , singing imperial anthem supporting the Tsar. Almost 100 dead and the rest...as they say it is history...hasten by the hatred towards Rasputin. All because the Tsar was given the wrong advise by his confidants and Ministers.
In Cambodia, King Norodom Shihanouk, the darling of the West in the early 1960's is more interested in politics than to be the King. His forays into politics in the 1960's see him elevated as the Prime Minister,
and later Head of State before being deposed by Lon Nol and exiled to China. As time passed, he return to Cambodia in 1991, installed as King on 1993 before abdicating the throne in 2004.
The lessons from all across the globe is that the Monarch needs its peoples' support as much as the people look for comfort, economic, political, military stability in the Monarchy system. On that virtue, the monarchy system must remain aloof, scandal free for continual support. Once the bondage are severed or seems to be severed, the monarchy system will be exposed to disintegration. Further, the monarch needs to be back up by good confidants in order to avoid wrongful decision, coupled with good social and moral standing so that they can be free from scandal, deceit and blackmail.
The number of nations practising monarchy system, either absolute or constitutional monarchy mey be declining but it is a good check and balance system, as long as the monarchy acts in good faith for the betterment of its subjects and as long as the subjects' bondage with the monarchy system is strong.
Till then...G'nite M'sia...wherever u are...