Modern Monarchies

As anyone who knows me could testify from my rants whenever the latest Royal ‘story’ breaks through the news, I’m a bit of a republican, in traditional terms.  Being a republican in the UK, however, is like being sober at a party; nobody listens to you, and you’re forever being considered a pedantic bore.  The monarchy enjoys ever-high levels of popularity here and, while it’ll probably sag when/if Prince Charles becomes King (“I support the monarchy but don’t want Charles to become King” sort of misses the point), Prince William, second in line, is pretty popular.

The dismal chances for republicanism in the UK is one reason why I particularly like looking at this map:

(Blue denotes a generally symbolic monarch; red a monarch with substantial powers).

The UK really is in the majority by keeping its head of state a member of the Royal Family.  If you took us, Canada, Australia and New Zealand off the map, this would be even more so the case.  There is also hope on the international frontier: Australia held a republican referendum in 1999 which narrowly lost – 45.13% voted to remove the monarchy – and Spain’s royal family is becoming ever more unpopular.

This blog is more intended to show off my maps than make a case for abolishing the monarchy, so I’ll finish off with my favourite map.  This one roughly shows countries in the world by the date they got rid of their monarchies.  Republicanism is winning, let there be no doubt!

Monarchies - Copy


4 thoughts on “Modern Monarchies

  1. Technically with the Australian Referendum there were Two Referendums in one.

    The Establishment of a Republic and a Preamble. Of which the first received 45.13% and the second received 39.34%

    And the Republic Referendum wasn’t narrowly lost, given when looking at the Australian states, it was one of the worst defeats and losses in any Referendum. And not only that the Republic was going to elect a President via the Australian Parliament but that the Australian President, no matter if the people had to vote for the President or the Parliament, can be removed at any opportunity by a Prime Minister.

    Most referendums lost were around the 40s median margin. A close, narrowly lost Referendum was the Communism Referendum which lost at 49.44%

    Recent polls and surveys would suggest that Australians are ditching Republicanism.

  2. Probably you don’t care about this, but your second map is a bit off with Latin America, back then in the early 1800s, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador and Venezuela were one country, according to the map, Venezuela became independent from Spain before the other three, when in fact they did it together as The New Granada in 1810. So, Northern South America should be dark purple as a whole.

    • I was vaguely aware of this. I could be wrong – you probably know far more than I do – but my research on this shows that Venezuela was the first country to become independent, under a republic, around 1810, which later led to what I’ve found to be ‘Gran Colombia’ forming in 1819, with the countries of Colombia, Panama and Ecuador only first becoming independent themselves after 1831. All I can find for the term ‘New Grenada’ is the Viceroyalty of New Grenada, the Spanish colony up until 1819, and then a short-lived state comprising of Colombia and Panama between 1831 – 1858.

      I found this article which gives a basic narrative of the events:

  3. Then we’d have to have a President, and that certainly wouldn’t be any cheaper. And yet another election every 5 years I just couldn’t bear.
    Incidentally the Australian referendum was “lost” because Parliament were going to choose who was President, and no one there trusts the Australian Parliament !
    But I do agree in a way that the whole business of the UK’s royal family is completely overblown, and it should be scaled down to the likes of Sweden for example.
    But then think of the damage this would do to the UK’s tourist trade ?!

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