Open just about any magazine nowadays and you will find some related news about members of the royal families. Sometimes we tend to forget what a royal family even means, and keep in mind that they are not mare celebrities. These people are relatives to a currently regnant queen or king; meaning that these are the families that family reign by hereditary right on a country. Their history go over hundreds of years and they are the ones that have shape the country as it is now.
Nowadays we have only 9 out of 20 monarchies that originally reigning over Europe. Most of the previous monarchies were abolish after WW1, and right know only 9 countries still have a monarch on their throne: Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom. All these royal families are related one way or another, thanks to a long tradition of intermarriage to ensure power and territory. Although, you can consider the Vatican on this list, let’s focus on traditional kings and queens. Currently 3 out of 9 monarchies are ruled by a queen, these are: Queen Margrethe II (Denmark), Queen Beatrix (Netherlands) and Queen Elizabeth II (United Kingdom). However the new generation of heirs will change this picture to mostly Kings, except for Monaco and Sweden where women are expected to inherit the throne.
Interesting to know
It is interesting to know that these monarchies doesn’t have the same power as once had, in fact most politicians want to limit their current power even more. Even though not all of them are there for only ceremonial purposes, the truth is that Prime Ministers and Parliaments made the actual government choices in these countries. The most influencial and powerful monarch in this matter is Queen Beatrix of Netherlands, who chairs the council of state and appoints the formateur. She even has weekly meetings with the Prime Minister to discuss state decisions, and she is especially involved in matters of international relations.
As times change, monarchies are also, slowly modernizing in both style and law. They still have great approval among their citizens. They are seem as the embodiment of national identity, power and stability. Even when they are limited to only cutting ribbons on ceremony, the truth is that hundreds of years of history has made them irreplaceable to their culture. Traditions may change but monarchies will most likely remain as long as the public opinion is on their side.