Nine kings,

Gathered together,

At Windsor Castle

On May 20, 1910,

To mourn the death

Of the late Edward VII.

Standing, left to right;

King Haakon VII of Norway,

Tsar Ferdinand of the Bulgarians,

King Manuel II of Portugal and the Algarve,

Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany & Prussia,

King George I of the Hellenes,

King Albert I of the Belgians.

Seated, from left to right:

King Alfonso XIII of Spain,

King George V,

King Frederick VIII of Denmark.

They are ghosts of the past,

12 kingdoms remain*,

But we are unlikely to see the likes of this ever again.

© Caro Ness 2015


There are currently twelve (12) sovereign monarchies in Europe: the Principality of Andorra, the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Principality of Monaco, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Norway, the Kingdom of Spain, the Kingdom of Sweden, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the State of the Vatican City. Ten of these are states where the head of state (a monarch) inherits his or her office, and usually keeps it for life or until they abdicate. As for the other two: in the Vatican City (an elective monarchy, styled as an absolute theocracy), the head of state, the Sovereign (who is a Pope), is elected at the papal conclave, while in Andorra (technically a semi-elective diarchy), the joint heads of state are the elected President of France and the Bishop of Urgell, appointed by the Pope