MonarchIs it time for Europe’s royal families to abdicate?  In 2017, the British queen celebrated her 65-year sapphire jubilee, becoming the first British monarch to ever reach that milestone. Was it a moment of national unity and pride, or a reminder that many Europeans still live with an anachronistic political system?

There are technically twelve sovereign monarchies in Europe. These include seven EU Members (Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and, for now, the United Kingdom), as well as Norway, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, and Vatican City. There is currently no serious movement pushing for republicanism within any of these countries, but several European monarchies have been embroiled in scandals in recent years.

Royalists often argue that monarchies bring political stability, respect for tradition and a sense of national pride, along with hordes of tourists (not to mention a roaring trade for tabloid journalists). Republicans, meanwhile, respond that hereditary monarchy is an anachronism in a democratic society, particularly as they are often heavily subsidised by the taxpayer.

Should European monarchies be abolished? Are constitutional monarchies incompatible with 21st Century democracy? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reaction!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Michael Garnett

145 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Bobi Dochev

    And… what the hell you have in common with the choice of sovereign countries?! Soon there will be European Caliphates BECAUSE OF YOU then what will be the question?!!

    • avatar
      Alexander Tsankov

      Where is this chaliphate of yours? I don’t see it! I don’t see any muslims trying to enforce their views over the european nations. I can see Sadiq Khan the mayor of London to be one of the most capable politicians in Europe. Maybe the problem is within you with all of your hatred towards the different. And since Europe is the ever closing union and europeans are able to live in any country they like, it is not a bad question. Even though, this is a page for debates not for any political intervention. Idiot.

    • avatar
      maria pons

      Oh people get real! European republics follow political party lines, whereas Monarchies are for all, independant from politics…HM queen Elizabeth is the Monarch of all British and Commonwealth…Makes much more sense a Mpnarchy!!!

  2. avatar
    Caroline Magoha

    Yes. An outdated institution that flies in the face of democracy.

    • avatar

      Actually, the monarchy in Britain is the reason we got democracy to begin with. But don’t let something like facts get in the way of your point of view . . . . . .

    • avatar

      Royalty = undemocratic, self-absorbed, financial parasites. I’m sorry but there are NO legitimate excuses for any form of monarchy – anywhere in the world – to so shamefully continue existing in 2017.

  3. avatar
    Jose Rocha

    It seams that the most relevant aspect of some monarchies it is not the king or queen, are the laws that protect all the nobles against common people concerning several aspects of social and economical life.

  4. avatar
    Stef Kostov

    In theory yes, but since it’s working for now , let’s not disturb the political climate even more. If there should come a ruler that is unjust and goes out of his way to mistreat its people, then there will be a revolt and the monarchy will be stripped of its power.

  5. avatar
    George Slanchev

    No difference. The monarch will be replaced by president with restricted power.
    I think that it sounds more prestigious to be KING/QWEEN, than President.
    Just leave them be and think of serious problems.

  6. avatar
    Tchoum Xav

    That this is even a discussion in 2017 shows how reactionary people are. Get your heads out of your butts people and move on.

  7. avatar
    Matej Zaggy Zagorc

    I think in the UK they hold more of a ceremonial role. But I think Luxembourg has an active ruling monarchy and their economic and social standards are quite good. Much better than what we have in our republic, for example.

    • avatar
      Jason Cotterill-Attaway

      But you can, in fact, it was around this time that the last successful ‘European Union’ ended.

    • avatar
      Vitaliy Markov

      Jason is clearly not very educated, it’s stupid to even answer him. His next comment will compare the EU to the Soviet Union or some similar stupidity.

    • avatar
      Jason Cotterill-Attaway

      Not at all, the USSR was created by force after a number of violent revolutions, the federal EU is being created by much more peaceful means, but probably won’t last as long.

      If anything, I would actually compare it to a more recent democratic expansionist regeme in the late 1930s…..

  8. avatar
    Michael E. Lambert

    Monarchy is no more than the perfect example of legalized inequality, going against the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”.

    • avatar
      Jason Cotterill-Attaway

      And many countries, including the European republics ignore human rights.

    • avatar
      Jason Cotterill-Attaway

      The right to hold and distribute opinion, religious, political or otherwise – the EU tried to ban such under their failed ‘constitution’ (most of which has now been made law btw – regardless of those democracies that voted against it – including the French Republic)

    • avatar
      Joel Dominic Rodrigues

      That’s quite the intelligent argument there, Steve. Is that where this notion of yours came from?

  9. avatar
    Stefano Ciarrocchi

    Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes

  10. avatar
    Vassiliki Xifteri

    European Union is not the United States. Each country has its own culture and its own nation. If the people of one country want democracy and others want monarchy let it be. May all countries of Europe though remember how to be above all humanitarian.

    • avatar
      Jason Cotterill-Attaway

      The EU want every member to be a republic, one step closer to federalisation.

    • avatar
      Vassiliki Xifteri

      Jason Cotterill-Attaway EU is its citizens… And nobody wants an EU like that.

  11. avatar
    Marco Rafael

    Don’t see a problem. Since the ones that exist do as represent of the country’s very well and promove in most of the cases peace ✌️

  12. avatar
    Marco Rafael

    Don’t see a problem. Since the ones that exist do as represent of the country’s very well and promove in most of the cases peace ✌️

  13. avatar
    Ralf Grahn

    If people find feudal states outdated, why keep monarchies based on same concept of inequality by birth (nobility)?

  14. avatar
    Stephen Challen

    The Queen holds a vital role within our constitution. That constitution ensures we do not have the opportunity for dictators like Hitler to take power. We should protect our constitution and be proud of it.

    Our entire judiciary and legal system is built on that constitution. Equally all our armed forces and emergency services hold their contracts with the Queen rather than government ensuring our troops cannot be used against our own people. The checks and balances between the Queen and government protect us.

  15. avatar
    Tony Petersen

    While this is no matter for the EU, of course all monarchies should be replaced – worldwide. Posts or functions that anybody is born into – i.e. not availble upon merit – are a thing of the past that has no place in the future. They can keep their titles but should be stripped of any privileges and functions.

  16. avatar
    Federico Amorino

    In modern democracies there’s little difference between the two. Thus I’d say this is an irrelevant question.

  17. avatar
    Rosy Forlenza

    oh fgs have you got nothing better to do with your time? don’t see much of a difference tbh.

  18. avatar
    Alfredo Iannuzzi

    Why? In a monarchy the king or the queen does not interfere with the politics. In the republics instead the president often pokes his nose into it and is not “super partes”

    • avatar
      Παυλος Χαραλαμπους

      Of course we have the example of the Greek monarch how came back to his thrown with the help of the “security battalions “..the Greek arm of the ss police. eventually led his county to a brutal civil war that lasted for 5 years his moto was “i belong to you and you belong to me “..and of course his son which under his premision the leaders of the 1967 military coup was allowed to take over the country. ..

    • avatar
      Joel Dominic Rodrigues

      ..and in your scenario, what is the purpose of these “monarchs” who imagine “god” has appointed them?

    • avatar

      I think you mean God, not god. As for their purpose, well for me one big reason to not abandon the monarchy is so we don’t end up as a republic. The Queen generates money for the country, Presidents by contrast cost the country money. The Prime Minister if a President would be held to no higher power. This might make them a little power mad (should that be more power mad?) the royal family in general do good humanitarian work, are the heads and in many cases founders of charitable or community based organisation, have diplomatic skills taught to them and they use them for the benefit of the nation. Furthermore, the argument of inherited privilege being out of date is total BS, if you can’t inherit privilege then explain why I couldn’t afford to go to Oxford University whereas people whose parents were wealthy could? Explain why people get left things I wills? Surely for society to be privilege free, all education and healthcare should be the same everywhere and your parents should have to leave any spare wealth to the state upon death. But that’s not what happens is it?

  19. avatar
    Taline Babikian Angelidou

    I prefer them around as they are the history of their country..and alot of them do support more and promote various social needs..alot do not like monachs but I am all for it. They are part of the Euopean history culture and above all identity of the respective country/kingdom

  20. avatar

    Let each country, each people, decide. OK?

  21. avatar
    Nando Aidos

    Let each country, each people, decide. OK?
    Why are we all meddling in this?
    I would not reeinstitute any monarchy that has been deposed in the past, as some here in Portugal have the desire to do… but I am not going to tell any of my fellow, friendly countries to toss their monarchs. That would be insane!

  22. avatar
    Acsai György

    Should Europe’s republics be replaced with monarchies? Like in the good ole’ days. ☺

  23. avatar
    Acsai György

    Should Europe’s republics be replaced with monarchies? Like in the good ole’ days. ☺

  24. avatar
    Paul X

    I would far rather my taxes were spent on an un-elected, elitist, over-privileged, head of state living in Buckingham Palace than an un-elected, elitist, over-privileged President living in Brussels

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @ Paul X

      Which may feel good presently but wait until this present Queen joins her Mum, Dad and sister. Will you feel happy millions of pounds of your taxes goes toward the upkeep of an unequal and over privileged Camilla Parker Bowles? Or, far worse, the Miners granddaughter whose mother is Carol Goldsmith? Along with, as yet to be seen, the other anorexic. American and with an as yet enigma heritage, Meghin somebody? The actress who borders on a porn star, with a brother facing jail for drug trading. She, with the possibility, should Bill duck out, with the alleged son of his mothers lover, the Red James.

      What Royalty is that we must ask? Add to the fact they can marry anyone of faith other than a Roman Catholic. LOL. Makes it a bit difficult being, supposedly, Defender of the Church of England. Which is of course why Charles called himself defender of all faiths. Had they any sense of morality they would do what Uncle David did. Abdicate and exile.

      Come back Wallis Simpson all is forgiven.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      Catherine, my comment was based on the lesser of two evils, and please don’t mention Camilla Parker Bowles in my presense, the very mention of her name makes me embarrased to be British

    • avatar

      Queen Camilla is still a less scary notion than President Cameron would have been Catherine. Hands down and unequivocally, also she’d only be the consort not the monarch.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @ Duncan

      First of all you elect a president. And he has the gift for only eight years max. He can be impeached, thrown out and curtailed. A Monarch is a different matter.

      You cannot throw out the Monarch.

      And as far as Camilla is concerned, she keeps her head down. She knows the game and plays it well.

      However, the dummy with the alleged genes of a mentally ill aristocrat, whom, it is said, was fathered by Jimmy Goldsmith, who then raised him with the intention to remove the House of Windsor is a very dangerous bet. Along with his deranged, anorexic, unfit wife, who awaits the curtsey. The daughter of hurry come up Carol Middleton, nee Goldsmith, makes me feel physically sick as a prospect for Buck House.

      You do realise the Middleton names Carol, will be Queen Mother and expect the line up to curtsey to her also. It is so ridiculous a farce as one could ever make up. Paying taxes to support such a mob is laughable. As I wrote above,Wallis Simpson, at very least, had a good dress sense and an excellent taste in comforts. Even taking into account her grasp of English needed a grammar lesson. The famous line of, ‘I didn’t marry the Duke to eat lunch with him,’ being on a good day This new bunch of hurry come ups are a desperate grasp on the institution of Monarchy and a scrounging shame they’d expect us to accept them as Royal at all. Look at them. They all resemble the lowest council estate you could find and us on our knees kissing the hands. Give me a break.

    • avatar

      Catherine I think you do indeed need a break. Look at the financial returns the institute of monarchy brings in to our country. Tax payers pay for the monarchy the same way that an energy supplier pays your gas bill for you. As for your view on certain people within the Royal Family, I can’t help but think it merely comes across as petty jealousy. Convince me otherwise if you can.

  25. avatar
    Jude De Froissard

    I would like to say to those who dislike the idea of modern monarchy that in europe,the most democratic countries are monarchies. …and that many many persons live out of it…and,Antonios C. what belongs more to the 21st century…the crisis, famine poverty, uncertainty,wars,refugees ,bombs,…..they belong as much to the 21st century as democratic monarchy do.

  26. avatar
    Emanuel David Gaspar

    No difference…. president or queen/king? The prime minister is the head of the government in either the Republic or Monarchy…

  27. avatar
    Eleonora Petrucci

    One of my best friends is British and loves the royal family, it’s part of the folklore that attracts tourism and their image sells well. Right Jennifer Mclachlan-Newens?

    • avatar
      David Fuzzey

      As if WE would allow it!!!….Keep Her Majesty get rid of politicians.

  28. avatar
    Coriolanus Muresan

    In some European republics like Romania, Serbia, France, Portugal there are strong royalists groups that ask for the restoration of Monarcjy. In no European Monarchy there are strong groups to abolish the Monarchy.

  29. avatar
    Παυλος Χαραλαμπους

    Monarchy is a think of the past of course if people want it they can have it,but they must know that a bad monarch can be extremely dangerous to his own people. ..just take example of what happened in Greece throughout the 20th century 2 civil wars and one military reign after the other to keep the royal family in power especially because of the 2 last monarchs ex Nazi supporters became the apper class of the country. ..

    • avatar

      Many countries without a monarchy simply pretend they’re a democracy. . . . .

  30. avatar
    Joel Dominic Rodrigues

    Tourism is not a valid argument for the millions it costs to maintain them, provide them with free housing, travel, etc. Countries without monarchies attract plenty of tourists. Also, all the public property – land, art, resources being occupied/used by these self-described “appointed by god” ” monarchs, can be enjoyed by everyone.

    • avatar

      Again, the British Monarchy make the country money, they actually mostly live off of their private estates. That they inherited. Unless you’re suggesting we abolish rich people? As for self described as being appointed by God, they don’t self describe, the Church Describes them so, and anoints them so too.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @ Duncan

      Again you are so wrong. The so called estates, they claim to own belong to the people. Take up your history books. It was stolen from the minions of the day.

      The Duchy of Lancaster and Cornwall were snatched from the poor and voiceless, the same way the land was snatched and is being snatched today in Zimbabwe and South Africa from those who had it for centuries in their families. Of course you could say those South African families snatched it from the chiefs of the areas but at very least they made a pretence at payment. Not our monarchy. They simply took via the armies.

      Here is a simple read.

    • avatar

      @Catherine, if you’re wanting to get into the semantics of how anybody owns anything then I guess you could, but you will lose that debate. If you comment about how the Royal Family’s lands were taken from the everyday people you fail to acknowledge that a duke/duchess was far from an everyday person, they were a feudal overlord. But moreover, those people took the lands by Royal Assent after the Norman conquest. Prior to that the lands were taken by the Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Scandinavians from the romans, who took the land from the Celts . . . . . . . Do you see the futility of your logic yet? No obviously you won’t because you’re so clearly set against the monarchy that words like logic will just make he vein on the side of your head throb. Fact is possession is 9/10ths of the law, these lands were inherited and ergo belong to the Monarchy.

  31. avatar
    Sandra Ribeiro

    Let each country, each people decide their future. do not impose your views to the others and I am a Republican.

  32. avatar
    michael hales

    Yes and so should all titles

  33. avatar
    Calum Price

    No way. I’d rather have a king or queen than an unelected eurocrat that unprofessionally greets members of the EU. I haven’t forgotten Cromwell, that dull, fun killing mole! Lord Protector of England, my backside. On that note ‘You’re the king? Well I didn’t vote for you!’ (yes, I realise that could be used against this comment, but whatever. 10 internet cookies for people who guess the film that the quote is from.’

  34. avatar
    Alexandros Souflias

    No and if yes it’s up to their own people not us to converse upon our ideologies. The monarchies that have stood for so long are there for a reason.

  35. avatar
    Tiago Miranda

    No need. If they have an elected parliamentary government doing almost all the job, and the justice is in the hands of an independent court, a monarchy is just a cultural, familiar presidency. And I think (not sure) that the Queen of England doesn’t have the same military power than, say, the President of the Portuguese Republic has. The Prime Minister of Portugal can’t declare war, but the Prime Minister of the UK can!

    • avatar
      David Fuzzey

      She is the head of our armed forces not the prime minister.

    • avatar
      Tiago Miranda

      Can you explain me how the war of the Falklands War was launched. I couldn’t quite understand how was it that Thatcher was leading the campaign…
      Thank you in advance. ;)

    • avatar
      Paul X

      The UK military attestation swears allegiance to the Monarch, their Heirs and successors but parliament needs to actually send people to war

    • avatar
      David Fuzzey

      or even worse corbyn or farron.

  36. avatar

    Well you (European Nations , dictators and despots) have been trying to replace our Monarch since the beginning the time . You failed , you failed , you failed every time you tried . You have failed in the latest attempt through political invasion and at last the British people have come to realise it . Our Queen is safe from the European Union socialist republic , we will never surrender our Monarch we will never surrender our Democracy .

    God save the Queen

    • avatar

      we are

  37. avatar
    Vitaliy Markov

    In most places sthe monarch has only symbolic power. If it costs less to have a president, then why not get rid of it, otherwise there is no real downside to keeping the monarchy.

  38. avatar
    Belamie Versco

    Europe is united in diversity. Monarchy is part of a country’s history, there is no point to change it, unless a country wants to from within.

  39. avatar
    Conti valter

    It must be a transition to the rule of law  coordinated at federal level. The Republic involves to overcomeany monocratic body both in representation and operation. Maintaining a formal sovereignty through inheritance of the charge does not deny the effective sovereignty linked to representativeness. I think Brexit is a long pause for reflection in order to allow the prince of the democratic systems (not Republicans) to rethink the foundations of the principles of public values to inform the contemporary civilization.
    – We want to know what public capital can be created whithin the rule of law, know what constitutes the public wealth, the capital of the Republic:
    relates to the possession of the information or the knowledge of ‘facts’ fundamental in public finance; is the information that can be transmitted with the data and spread with the help of databases;
    – We want to know why the gouvernement acts , know why the government adopts a specific policy:
    covers the principles and laws that govern nature, the human mind and society. It is the practical knowledge that is the basis of artistic research and theoretical knowledge that is the basis of scientific and technological research. It allows us to innovate the decision processes, production of the products / processes entailed and reduces the frequency of errors in procedures;
    – We want to Know how the legislation can be managed, know how to interact with the representation of elected legislative bodies is mainly related operational experience individual and shared workers, particularly in the different groups united by homogeneous practices (shareholders and stakeholders governance). It is the human capital of an enterprise and the various organized social networks;
    – We want to Know who have the skill and reputation to manage justice, know who has the skills and reputation to govern negotiations or court documents): allows you to find people who know how to do certain things and know how to find solutions to new and complex problems. It requires you to have the relational skills, cooperation, communication with parties and with experts in various areas. This element of knowledge allows you to build networks and feeds the formation of social capital, in a broad perspective and intense interactivity way.

  40. avatar
    Vinko Strgar

    Mrha morilska,!,v zapor jo strpajte ,še prej pa naj staroselcem vrne državo ,ki jim jo je ukradla in odgovarja za vse pobite, pregnane ter zasužnjene !!!!!!
    ,, mrha zločinska,,.😈😈😈😱😱😱😱😱

  41. avatar
    Vinko Strgar

    Mrha morilska,!,v zapor jo strpajte ,še prej pa naj staroselcem vrne državo ,ki jim jo je ukradla in odgovarja za vse pobite, pregnane ter zasužnjene !!!!!!
    ,, mrha zločinska,,.

  42. avatar
    EU Reform- Proactive

    Isn’t it obvious that the principle of the “EU supranational concept”, “independent democratic Republics” & “democratic constitutional Monarchies”- within Europe- are on opposing ends? Fishing “cowardly” for opinions indirectly (DE) is partly disingenuous and polarizing.

    The EU leadership- through its appropriate structures- needs to be challenged and forced to publish its stance on such matters unambiguously. Equally overdue is its clear announcement on the compatibility- or not- on the different existing Humans Rights Charters- namely the 1948 UDHR, its European CHR version & the 1990 CDHR in Islam.

    Once the EU leaders collected enough courage and made THEIR stance crystal clear- its voting public has a much better opportunity to judge their politicians and not vise versa. Or, is the prohibition of criticism of Islam equal to a similar prohibition of the EU & its Treaties?

  43. avatar
    Ivan Čorak

    Don’t see a reason. Sure you could do it out of desire to be ”modern” or whatnot, but it would all come down to aesthetic modification of the political system. In modern republics it is the president who is essentially a ”monarch” and fills the role of such (greets dignitaries of other states, represents his own country in formal visits etc.). You could argue for the elimination of the institution of the president as well, since most of his duties in peacetime could be performed by either the prime minister and/or the foreign affairs minister, and in war it could be the top generals who command the army of an country. In short – if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it for the sake of change alone.

  44. avatar
    Jokera Jokerov

    Actually not! The republics should be replaced by monarchies.
    God save the Queen! Long may She reign!

  45. avatar
    José Bessa da Silva

    Who the hell do you bloody think you are to dare to day what political system each country should have? I am irrevocably republican,but mind me, this page is disgusting and it proves time afer time why the EU and it’s europhiles should be dismissed as a corrupt anti-democratic institution and a bunch of lunatics.

  46. avatar
    GonEprata Megarp

    Joel, its true…democracy means people power, and monarchy is power of the rich, the point were these two can coexist is when you have an elite that tells people what is democracy for them, how should they see democracy and covicing people that their needs are the needs of the people…this is why people think they are almost the same thing…they love being told how to think…but when the concep of democracy was though in ancient Athenas, it was not for the porpouse of becoming an extension tool of the plutocratic elites as it clearly now is.

  47. avatar

    It’s not the regime that matters, but the people ruling. In Europe there is no need to change regimes for now, you can’t fix what isn’t broken.

  48. avatar

    There is no obvious role for monarchs in a mature parliamentary democracy. I suppose they do no harm as long as people are happy to keep paying for their upkeep.

    But in the UK, in particular, judges etc swear allegiance to the queen, which means that anyone that brings a case against the royal family is by default going to lose the case. This means that at least one person in the country has more “rights” than others and the democracy is not 100% actual. Not sure what it is like in other EU countries, but in the UK at least it looks like monarchy is actually not compatible with democracy. It should be scrapped. Probably that;s why the queen was pro-Brexit because she sees the EU and people power as a threat to her role.

  49. avatar
    Carlos Agorreta Zafra

    Yes, they should be abolished, specially since USA, China, Russia… None of them are monarchies, and the broke with the feudal monarchies.

    The spanish monarchy is probably the most corrupt institution of Spain, since they are outside the law of the common people. In Spain we have inherited a feudalist regime because we never could break with feudalism. There’s no old regime here, and obviously there’s not a liberal regime.

    There’s an old regime who has accepted liberalism partially, but aiming to preserve the old, nasty institutions from feudalism.

    The spanish monarchy has had finantial support from arabian monarchies like saudi arabia. Of course monarchies are not doing any good to the European Union. The European Union is the alliance of France and Germany and the rest of european states, but if this union is not based in the principles of illustration, then europe is gonna be like the north african, decadent arabian monarchies.

    A thousand years ago the arabians where at the top of the “western” world, but they’ve been in decadence for almost a millenium!

  50. avatar
    G Blake

    yes end the monarchy just a waste of tax payers money they are no longer needed. It is outdated . The queen does not need to live in palaces , just an upscale large country ;home. Why should we pay for the upkeep of all those palaces and pay ridiculous income for the monarchy.It is right that William, Kate Harry and the other nieces, nephews and grandchildren and their children should work like anyone else. Earn their keep and live in modest home like any other employed worker.

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