List of current pretenders
A pretender is an aspirant or claimant to a throne that either has been abolished or is now occupied by another. It should not be confused with the term impostor, which instead refers to a person who exercises deception under an assumed name or identity. A pretender professes a claim under his own name, and the term is also applied to those persons on whose behalf a claim is advanced, regardless of whether that person himself makes the claim.
Entries in this list are governed with respect to their relevant succession laws, whether hereditary or elective. Prominent and reliably-sourced claims made on a person's behalf are included regardless of whether that person stakes an active claim, provided that the person possesses a legitimate link to the line of succession. Claimants with no legitimate right to inheritance, often distinguished as "false pretenders", are not listed.
|Burundi||Rose Paula Iribagiza [af 1]||1 May 1977||Ntwero||Daughter of King Mwambutsa IV (1915–1966).||Hereditary||1966|||
|Central African Empire||Bokassa II||3 November 1996||Bokassa||Heir apparent of Emperor Bokassa I (1976–1979). [af 2]||Hereditary||1979|||
|Egypt||Fuad II||18 June 1953 [af 3]||Muhammad Ali||Last reigning King (1952–1953).||Hereditary||1953|||
|Ethiopia||Zera Yacob Amha Selassie [af 4]||7 February 1997||Solomon [af 5]||Grandson of Emperor Haile Selassie I (1930–1974).||Hereditary [af 6]||1975|||
|Girma Yohannes Iyasu [af 7]||1977||Grandson of Emperor Iyasu V (1913–1916). [af 8]|
|Kongo||Yves Ñzînga Mvêmb’a||October 1962||Kilukeni [af 9]||Descendant of Manikongo Afonso I (1509–1542).||Elective and Hereditary [af 10]||1914|||
|Libya||Muhammad bin Hasan||18 June 1992||Senussi||Son of Hasan ar-Rida, heir apparent of King Idris I (1916–1969).||Hereditary||1969|||
|Idris bin Abdullah
|May 1989||Relative of King Idris I (1916–1969).|||
|Rwanda||Kigeli V||28 January 1961 [af 11]||Ndahindurwa [af 12]||Last reigning King (1959–1961).||Hereditary and Elective [af 13]||1962|||
|Tunisia||Muhammad XI||17 June 2013||Al Husain||Grandson of Bey Muhammad VI al-Habib (1922–1929).||Hereditary||1956|||
|Zanzibar||Jamshid bin Abdullah||12 January 1964 [af 14]||Al Bu Sa‘id||Last reigning Sultan (1963–1964).||Hereditary||1964|||
Another living figure sometimes identified as a pretender is Albert Kalonji Ditunga. During the Congolese struggle for independence in 1960, Kalonji reigned as king of South Kasai, a short-lived separatist state founded by the Baluba. Declared mulopwe (meaning "god-king") on 12 April 1960, Kalonji allegedly later rejected royalty status on 16 July, but retained the title. He was captured by Congolese forces on 30 December, when the central government regained control of the region. He escaped imprisonment in 1962, and fled into exile, returning June 1964. While his self-proclaimed monarchy was never recognised by any foreign government, Kalonji remains an influential leader of the Luba people in Kasai.
|Brazil||Luiz||5 July 1981||Orléans-Braganza [am 1]||Descendant of Emperor Pedro II (1831–1889).||Hereditary||1889|||
|Pedro Carlos||27 December 2007|
|Mexico||Maximilian von Götzen-Itúrbide||November 1949||Habsburg-Iturbide [am 2]||Descendant of Emperor Agustín I (1822–1823).||Hereditary||1867|||
|Miskito||Norton Cuthbert Clarence||1977||Descendant of Chief Robert Henry Clarence (1890–1894).||Hereditary and Elective [am 3]||1894|||
|Talamanca, Costa Rica||Lizandro Méndez||2002||Blu||Shaman of the Bribri people and member of the Awak caste (religious)||Matrilineal descendant of the Blu clan (monarchic caste, now extinct)||1920|||
|Araucanía and Patagonia||Antonio IV||9 January 2014||Orélie||Related to, but not directly descendant from, Orélie-Antoine de Tounens||Hereditary||1862||See below|
A "kingdom" that was never diplomatically recognized by any state, is the Kingdom of Araucanía and Patagonia, a short-lived attempt at establishing a constitutional monarchy during the 19th Century. It claimed the far southern stretches of South America, where the native Mapuche were fighting to maintain their sovereignty against the advancing Argentine and Chilean forces. In 1860, the Frenchman Orélie-Antoine de Tounens convinced the Mapuche chiefs that they would be better served in negotiations with the surrounding powers by a European leader, and he was elected "king" over a loosely-governed confederation of tribes. The proclaimed "kingdom" never exercised more than a marginal de facto sovereignty over a small area in present-day Chile, around a Mapuche town or tent camp called Perquenco. The efforts by Tounens to gain international recognition prompted an invasion by Chile, worried by the mere possibility of the establishment of a French protectorate in Araucania. The Chilean invasion resulted in Tounens' capture and deportation. The last pretender is Jean-Michel Parasiliti di Para, since January 9, 2014.
|Abkhazia||Andrew Nikititch Shervashidze||17 July 2008||Shervashidze||Descendant of Prince Mikhail (1823–1864).||Hereditary||1864|
|Mohammed Omar||13 November 2001||N/A||Last reigning Emir (1996–2001). [as 1]||Elective||2001|||
|Ahmad Shah||23 July 2007||Barakzai||Heir apparent of King Zahir Shah (1933–1973). [as 2]||Hereditary||1973|
|Burma||Taw Phaya||4 April 1956||Konbaung [as 3]||Descendant of King Thibaw Min (1878–1885).||Hereditary||1885|||
|Champasak||Champhonesak||17 March 1980||Champasakti [as 4]||Son of Prince Boun Oum (1945–1946), the last reigning prince.||Hereditary||1946|||
|China||Puren [as 5]||28 February 1994||Qīng [as 6]||Descendant of Emperor Dàoguāng (1820–1850).||Hereditary||1912|||
|Georgia||David Bagration||16 January 2008||Mukhrani [as 7]||Descendant of King Konstantine II (1478–1505)||Hereditary||1801|||
|Nugzar Bagration||13 August 1984||Gruzinsky [as 7]||Descendant of King Giorgi XII (1798–1800)|
|Hsipaw [as 8]||Sao Oo Kya [as 9]||Shan||Relative of Saopha Sao Kya Seng (1947–1962).||Hereditary||1962|||
|Rezā Pahlavi II||27 July 1980||Pahlavi||Heir apparent of Shah Mohammad Rezā (1941–1979). [as 10]||Hereditary||1979|||
|Mohammad Hassan Mirza II||5 May 1988||Qajar||Descendant of Shah Mohammad Ali (1907–1909).||Hereditary||1925|||
|Iraq||Ra'ad bin Zeid [as 11]||18 October 1970||Hāshim [as 12]||Relative of King Faisal II (1939–1958). [as 13]||Hereditary||1958|||
|Jaffna||Remigius Kanagarajah||Aryacakravarti||Descendant of King Cekaracacekaran IX (1617–1619).||Hereditary||1619|||
|Kandy||Mokanbabu Rajah||19 March 2004||Nayak [as 14]||Descendant of King Rajadhi Rajasinha (1782–1798).||Hereditary||1815|||
|Kengtung [as 15]||Sao Leng||14 September 1997||Mangrāi||Relative of Saopha Sao Kya Seng (1947–1962).||Hereditary||1962|||
|Korea||Yi Seok [as 16]||16 July 2005 [as 17]||Yi [as 18]||Descendant of Emperor Gojong (1863–1907).||Hereditary||1910|||
|Yi Won [as 19]|||
|Laos||Soulivong Savang||19 September 1997 [as 20]||Khun Lo||Descendant of King Savang Vatthana (1959–1975).||Hereditary||1975|||
|Manchukuo [as 21]||Jin Youzhi||28 February 1994||Qīng [as 6]||Brother of Emperor Puyi (1934–1945).||Hereditary||1945|||
|Maldives||Muhammad Nooraddeen||27 May 1969||Huraa||Son of Sultan Hassan Nooraddeen II (1935–1943).||Hereditary||1968|||
|Mongolia||Jebtsundamba Khutuktu X TBD||N/A||Reincarnation of Jebtsundamba Khutuktu VIII, the last reigning Khan (1911–1924). [as 22]||Theocratic [as 23]||1924|||
|Mongpawng||Hso Hom||2 March 1962 [as 24]||Shan||Last reigning Saopha (1947–1962).||Hereditary||1962|||
|Ottoman Empire||Bayezid Osman||24 September 2009||Osman||Direct descendant of Sultan Abdülmecid I (1839–1861). [as 25]||Hereditary||1922|||
|Ryūkyū||Mamoru||30 August 1996||Shō||Descendant of King Shō Tai (1848–1879).||Hereditary||1879|||
|Sarawak||James Bertram Lionel Brooke||2 March 2011||Brooke||Great nephew of Rajah Vyner (1917–1946).||Hereditary||1946|||
|Sikkim||Wangchuk Namgyal||29 January 1982||Namgyel||Son of Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal (1963–1975).||Hereditary||1975|
|Sulu [as 26]||Sultan Muedzul Lail Tan Kiram||16 February 1986||Kiram||Son of the last Sultan of Sulu, Sultan Moh. Mahakuttah Kiram (1974 - 1986)||Hereditary||N/A|||
|Yahcub Alimuddin V||3 January 1967||Alimuddin [as 27]||Descendant of Sultan Alimuddin III (1876–1877)|||
|Rodinood Julaspi Kiram||21 February 1997||Kiram [as 27]||Descendant of Sultan Jamalul Kiram II (1883–1917)|
|Tibet||Tenzin Gyatso||17 March 1959||N/A||Last reigning and current recognised Dalai Lama. [as 28]||Theocratic [as 23]||1964|||
|Vietnam||Bảo Thắng||28 July 2007||Nguyễn||Son of Emperor Bảo Đại (1926–1945).||Hereditary||1949|||
|Yawnghwe||Hso Khan Pha||26 May 1999||Shan||Son of Saopha Sao Shwe Thaik (1927–1962).||Hereditary||1962|||
The current pretender to the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, a rebel Chinese state that existed from 1851 to 1864, is unknown.
India and Pakistan
Following the Partition of India in 1947, the majority of princely states in the subcontinent acceded to either the Dominion of Pakistan or the Union of India. Official recognition of hereditary royal entitlements and accompanying privy purses was abolished in the Republic of India through a constitutional amendment on 28 December 1971. The same was done in Pakistan on 1 January 1972. In many cases, members of the former ruling families of princely states retain a considerable degree of social prestige and even political influence within their communities. Many leaders continue to be referred to by their claimed titles, including most notably within the Supreme Court.
Nepal's numerous petty kingdoms were collectively abolished by the federal government on 7 October 2008. At the time, the thrones of both Salyan and Jajarkot had been vacant since the deaths of rajas Gopendra Bahadur Shah and Prakash Bikram Shah respectively (both in 2003), and have remained vacant.
|Nepal||Gyanendra||28 May 2008 [as 29]||Shah [as 30]||Last reigning Maharajdhiraja (2001–2008).||Hereditary||2008|||
|Bajhang||Binod Bikram||7 October 2008||Last reigning Raja (1989–2008).||Hereditary [as 31]|||
|Bhirkot||Prakash||7 October 2008 [as 32]||Last reigning Raja (2002–2008).||Hereditary [as 31]|||
|Mustang [as 33]||Jigme Palbar||7 October 2008 [as 34]||Bista [as 35]||Last reigning Raja (1964–2008).||Hereditary [as 31]|||
Former states of the British Aden Protectorate were united in the 1960s to form the People's Republic of South Yemen, which became independent on 30 November 1967. South Yemen later merged with its northern counterpart to form the modern state of Yemen in 1990.
|Audhali||Salih ibn al-Husayn||17 September 1967 [as 36]||Al Audhali||Last reigning Sultan (1928–1967).||Hereditary||1967|||
|Lower Aulaqi||Nasir ibn Aidrus||29 November 1967 [as 37]||Al Awlaqi||Last reigning Sultan (1947–1967).||Hereditary|||
|Upper Aulaqi||Awad ibn Salih||29 November 1967 [as 38]||Al Awlaqi||Last reigning Sultan (1935–1967).||Hereditary|||
|Beihan||Talal bin Saleh||15 February 2010||Al Habieli [as 12]||Heir apparent of Emir Saleh bin al-Husayn (1935–1967).||Hereditary|||
|Dhala||Shafaul ibn Ali Shaif||17 August 1967 [as 39]||Al Amiri||Last reigning Emir (1954–1967).||Hereditary|||
|Fadhli||Nasir bin Abdullah||29 November 1967 [as 40]||Al Fadhli||Last reigning Sultan (1964–1967).||Hereditary|||
|Haushabi||Faisal bin Surur||29 November 1967 [as 41]||Al Haushabi||Last reigning Sultan (1955–1967).||Hereditary|||
|Kathiri||Husayn ibn Ali||2 October 1967 [as 42]||Al Kathiri||Last reigning Sultan (1949–1967).||Hereditary|||
|Lahej||Fadhl VI bin Ali||17 August 1967 [as 43]||Al Abdali||Last reigning Sultan (1958–1967).||Hereditary|||
|Mahra||Abdullah ibn Ashur||16 October 1967 [as 44]||Al Mahri||Last reigning Sultan (1966–1967).||Hereditary|||
|Qu'aiti||Ghalib II||17 September 1967 [as 45]||Al Qu'aiti||Last reigning Sultan (1966–1967).||Hereditary|||
|Wahidi Balhaf [as 46]||Ali ibn Muhammad||17 August 1967 [as 47]||Al Wahidi||Last governing Hakim (1967).||Hereditary|||
|Wahidi Bir Ali||Alawi ibn Salih||29 November 1967 [as 48]||Last reigning Sultan (1955–1967).||Hereditary|||
|Wahidi Haban||Husayn ibn Abdullah||29 November 1967 [as 49]||Last reigning Sultan (until 1967).||Hereditary|||
|Lower Yafa||Mahmud ibn Aidrus||28 August 1967 [as 50]||Al Afifi [as 51]||Last reigning Sultan (1954–1967).||Hereditary|||
|Upper Yafa||Muhammad ibn Salih||29 November 1967 [as 52]||Harharah [as 51]||Last reigning Sultan (1948–1967).||Hereditary|||
|Yemen, North||Ageel bin Muhammad||6 August 1996||Al Qasimi||Eldest son of King Muhammad al-Badr, the last ruling king. [as 53]||Hereditary||1962|||
The thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland have not strictly been abolished but rather unified into the British Crown. The abolition dates given above refer to the acts of union which unified them, the Acts of Union 1707 and the Acts of Union 1800. The Jacobite claim to these thrones predates both Acts, dating from the Glorious Revolution of 1688.
The German Empire was a federation of myriad smaller monarchies, all of which are now abolished under modern republican Germany. As a result, there are a large number of claimants to various German thrones. Since the dissolution of the empire, however, a number of former royal households have become extinct in the male line, and are therefore not represented in the list below. Mecklenburg-Schwerin went extinct in 2001, Saxe-Altenburg in 1991, and Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and Schwarzburg-Sondershausen in 1971.
Up until the 19th century, the Italian peninsula comprised a number of states, some of which were monarchies. During the Italian unification, the monarchs of such agglomerated states lost their sovereignty and their titles became purely ceremonial. The resultant throne of the Kingdom of Italy was held by the former king of Sardinia.
|Italy||Amedeo||18 March 1983||Savoy||Descendant of King Vittorio Emanuele II (1861–1878).||Hereditary||1946|||
|Vittorio Emanuele IV [eu 28]||15 December 1969||Heir apparent of King Umberto II (1946).|
|Etruria||Carlos||18 August 2010||Bourbon-Parma [eu 8]||Descendant of King Ludovico II (1803–1807).||Hereditary||1807|||
|Mantua||Maurizio||18 September 1943||Gonzaga||Descendant of Marquess Federico I (1478–1484).||Hereditary||1708|||
|Modena||Lorenzo||7 February 1996||Habsburg-Lorraine [eu 3]||Relative of Franz Ferdinand, adopted heir of Duke Francesco V (1846–1859).||Hereditary||1859|||
|Naples||Joachim||20 July 1944||Murat||Descendant of King Gioacchino I (1808–1815).||Hereditary||1816|||
|Parma||Carlos||18 August 2010||Bourbon-Parma [eu 8]||Great-grandson of Duke Roberto I (1854–1859).||Hereditary||1859|||
|Piombino||Niccolò||8 February 1988||Boncompagni-Ludovisi [eu 29]||Descendant of Prince Antonio I (1778–1805).||Hereditary||1805|||
|Tuscany||Sigismondo [eu 30]||18 June 1993||Habsburg-Lorraine [eu 3]||Descendant of Grand Duke Ferdinando IV (1859).||Hereditary||1859|||
|Two Sicilies||Carlos of Calabria||3 February 1964||Bourbon [eu 31]||Descendant of King Ferdinando II (1830–1859).||Hereditary||1861|
|Carlo of Castro||20 March 2008|
|Tavolara||Tonino||9 May 1993||Bertoleoni||Son of King Paolo II (1929–1934).||Hereditary||1934|||
Upon independence in 1941, a puppet monarchy of Italy was instituted in Croatia, with Prince Aimone of the House of Savoy appointed king. Aimone accepted the nomination in May 1941, adopting the regnal name "Tomislav II". In July 1943, however, he was forced to abdicate his throne on the orders of the Italian king Vittorio Emanuele III, before ever having been crowned. Aimone formally renounced all claims in October 1943. Since his death on 29 January 1948, his eldest son Amedeo may be argued to be the heir to that throne, although he does not advance the claim. If reigning, he would be known as "Zvonimir II". However, the Habsburg claim is normally considered the primary one in regard to Croatia (see under "Austria-Hungary", above).
In 1918, following Finland's independence from Russia, the national parliament made an attempt to establish a monarchy under the reign of a German king. Prince Friedrich Karl, of the House of Hesse, was elected as King of Finland in October 1918. He renounced this throne two months later, without ever having taken up the position, and Finland subsequently adopted a republican constitution. For this reason, there is a dispute as to whether the House of Hesse may lay claim to this title, as many maintain that since the king-elect was never installed, the title was never officially bestowed, and thus no claim has any legal basis. The order of succession to the throne was never established. In 2002 Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat declared Phillipp von Hessen, the great grandson of Friedrich Karl, as the current heir of throne. This was based on the assumption that the Finnish throne would have been separated from the senior line of the Hessen family.
The Chiefs of the Name are the hereditary chieftains of the Irish clans, who are directly descended from the Gaelic royal families which ruled in parts of Ireland until the beginning of the seventeenth century. Most prominent among these are:
- Desmond Roderic O'Conor (since 10 July 2000) of the Ó Conchobair, descended from the kings of Connacht.
- William Butler Kavanagh (since 29 May 1962) of the Mac Murrough clan, descended from the kings of Leinster.
- Conor Myles John O'Brien (since 20 May 1982) of the Ó Brien clan, descended from the kings of Munster and Thomond.
- Hugo Ricciardi O'Neill of the Ó Neill clan, descended from the kings of Ulster.
- Liam Trant MacCarthy Mór (since 11 November 2009) of the Mac Carthy clan, descended from the kings of Munster and Desmond.
Following the country's independence from Russia in 1918, the Council of Lithuania voted to establish a monarchy, and invited Prince Wilhelm, the Duke of Urach,[eu 32] to take the throne as king. Wilhelm accepted the nomination in July 1918, and adopted the regnal name "Mindaugas II". During the subsequent German Revolution, however, the Council withdrew its decision in November 1918, and Wilhelm was never crowned. His grandson, Wilhelm Albert was the current head of the family since 9 February 1991. His marriage in 1992 was morganatic and so in 2009 his brother, Prince Inigo of Urach, visited Lithuania and announced that if offered the throne he would be ready to assume it. Prince Inigo is the head of the international online community "Nobilitas Contacts", which is a special meeting place for networking and communication by members of historical nobility and aristocracy and their friends.
|Abemama||Tem Tokataake [oc 1]||Descendant of Tem Binoka (1878–1891).||Hereditary||1911|||
|Cocos Islands [oc 2]||Ross V||1 September 1978 [oc 3]||Clunies-Ross||Last reigning King (1944–1978).||Hereditary||1978|||
|Easter Island||Valentino Riroroko Tuki||July 2011||Descendant of King Atamu Tekena (1883–1889).||Hereditary||1888|||
|Hawaiʻi||Abigail Kawānanakoa||20 May 1969||Kawānanakoa [oc 4]||Descendant of David Kawānanakoa, heir apparent of Queen Liliʻuokalani (1891–1895).||Hereditary||1895|||
|Quentin Kawānanakoa||29 July 1997|||
|Noa Kalokuokamaile [oc 5]||19 September 1988||Laʻanui [oc 6]||Descendant of Kalokuokamaile, half-brother of King Kamehameha I (1795–1819).||Hereditary|||
|Tahiti||Léopold Pomare [oc 7]||Pomare||Descendant of Queen Pōmare IV (1877–1880).||Hereditary||1880|||
|Joinville Pomare [oc 8]||28 May 2009|
- Abolished monarchy
- List of current sovereign monarchs
- List of current constituent monarchs
- List of living former sovereign monarchs
- List of royal houses
- List of usurpers
- As the last living sister and daughter of the last and second-to-last kings respectively, Princess Rose Paula Iribagiza is considered the head of the royal household. According to the relevant laws of succession, however, the crown must pass to a male member of the family.
- Jean-Bédel Bokassa was Crown Prince of the Central African Empire from its inception on 4 December 1976 until its abolition on 20 September 1979.
- Fuad II previously reigned as King of Egypt and the Sudan during his infancy, from 26 July 1952 until the monarchy's official abolition in 1953. He reigned in absentia, and under a regent.
- Designated heir presumptive by his grandfather the Emperor on 14 April 1974. Confirmed as heir apparent by his father Amha Selassie I on 6 April 1988. He has used the title Crown Prince since 7 April 1989, when his father was proclaimed emperor-in-exile. He is recognised as heir to the throne by the Imperial Crown Council.
- The Solomonic dynasty of Ethiopia claims descent from King Solomon of Israel, who belonged to the House of David. Both of the current claimants are from the House of Shoa, which represents the junior branch of the dynasty.
- According to the 1955 Constitution, the Emperor designated his successor from members of his own family, with the rule of primogeniture preferred, but not necessarily followed. Candidates for the succession must be descendants of the Solomonic dynasty, in the male or female line. They must also be practising members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and their candidature must be approved by the Imperial Crown Council. If the Emperor has no direct descendants, or if the Crown Prince is unable to perform his dynastic duties, the Crown Council selects the successor from amongst the members of the Solomonic dynasty.
- Lij Girma claims that all governments in Ethiopia since the 1916 deposition of his grandfather are illegitimate, and as such, as the seniormost descendant of Iyasu V, he claims to be the nation's rightful monarch.
- Iyasu V was heir apparent of Menelik II and succeeded as Emperor upon the latter's death, but was never crowned. His reign was deposed with the sanction of the Church following allegations of conversion to Islam.
- Succession is limited to members of two lineages of the Kilukeni: the Kinlaza and the Kimpanzu, both descended from Afonso I. It is unclear as to which of the two lines the current pretender belongs.
- During the civil war period beginning in 1669, the line of succession was disputed between two lines of descendants of Afonso I: the Kinlaza and the Kimpanzu. Under Pedro IV (1695–1718), who restored unity to the kingdom in 1709, it was established that the Manikongo was to be elected by a council of six, and that succession would rotate between the two lineages. This system functioned sporadically, with considerable fighting, until the kingship was extinguished by the Portuguese in 1914.
- Kigeli V previously reigned as king from 25 July 1959 until he was deposed in 1961.
- A sept of the Abanyiginya clan of Tutsis.
- The mwami is selected from amongst members of the various royal clans by the Abiru, a traditional council of Tutsi and Hutu elders.
- Jamshid previously reigned as sultan from 1 July 1963 until the monarchy's abolition in 1964.
- The Imperial Family of Brazil is descended from the Houses of Bragança and Orléans. The current line of succession is disputed between two branches: the Vassouras branch, headed by Prince Luiz, and the Petrópolis branch, headed by Prince Pedro Carlos.
- The current line of succession to the Mexican throne is descended from the Houses of Iturbide and Habsburg, which respectively ruled the First (1822–1823) and Second (1864–1867) Empires of Mexico. Succession in the Habsburg line passed to the Iturbide family through Emperor Maximilian I's formal adoption of Agustín de Iturbide y Green and Salvador de Iturbide y Marzán, two grandsons of Emperor Agustín I.
- The Hereditary Chief of the Miskito Nation was elected by the Council of State from amongst the closest male blood relatives of the previous ruler.
- Mullah Omar was installed as Head of the Supreme Council of Afghanistan on 27 September 1996, a position which he held until the government was overthrown in 2001. The emirate was a theocratic state, with Omar holding the Islamic title Amir al-Mu'minin ("Commander of the Faithful"). He continues to maintain a government-in-exile and an armed insurgency against the republican government in Kabul.
- Ahmad Shah, second son of the last reigning king, was Crown Prince of Afghanistan from 26 November 1942 until the monarchy's end in 1973.
- Also known as the Alaungpaya dynasty.
- The House of Champasakti is a branch of the Khun Lo dynasty of Laos.
- Jin Youzhi, whose regnal name is Puren, is the half-brother of Puyi (1908–1912), the last emperor of China.
- The Emperors of the Qīng dynasty were descended from the Aisin Gioro clan of Manchus.
- A branch of the House of Bagrationi. During the partition of the kingdom in the 15th Century, the Bagratid dynasty split into two main lineages: the Mukhrani line of Kartli, and the Gruzinsky line of Kakheti. It is between these two lineages that the leadership of the Royal House of Georgia is now disputed.
- Alternatively known as Thibaw, or officially as Dutawadi.
- Sao Oo Kya was imprisoned by the Burmese military regime in 2005.
- Rezā, eldest son of the last reigning shah, was Crown Prince of Iran from birth, on 31 October 1960, until the monarchy was deposed in 1979.
- Another claimant to the throne (since 1956) is Sharif Ali bin al-Hussein, of the same family, but his claim is not regarded to fulfil the requirements of the former monarchy's laws of succession. Furthermore, his reigning Hāshemite relatives in Jordan have supported Ra'ad's claim, rather than Sharif Ali's.
- The name "Hashimites" refers to members of the Hāshim clan, a sept of the Quraysh tribe to which the Prophet Muhammad belonged.
- Ra'ad's father, Prince Zeid, was appointed Head of the Royal House of Iraq following the assassination of King Faisal II during the coup d'état in 1958. Zeid was the son of Hussein bin Ali, King of Hejaz.
- The Nayakar dynasty of Kandy was descended from the Nayaks of Madurai, who were of Telugu origin.
- Alternatively written as Kyaingtong or Keng Tung.
- The legal genealogical heir of the last reigning emperors when the traditional laws of male primogeniture are applied is Yi Chung, who does not actively pursue any claim to the throne. Seok is the next in line.
- The position of head of the royal family and heir to the throne of Korea has been disputed among various claimants since the death of the last heir, Yi Gu. Claimants not listed include Yi Haewŏn.
- The House of Yi consists of the descendants of the Joseon dynasty.
- Yi Won was chosen as the next head of the Imperial Household, with the title of Hereditary Prince Imperial of Korea, by a majority of its organised members following the death of the last head of the dynasty, Yi Gu, in 2005. Won was adopted as Gu's son after the elder's death, but the legality of the adoption is disputed.
- After the monarchy was deposed in 1975, the senior members of the royal family were imprisoned by the military. The deaths of the former King, Queen, and Crown Prince were confirmed by the Lao authorities on 17 December 1989. The dates of actual death were not released, but the current heir, who is the eldest son of the late Crown Prince, escaped imprisonment and arrived in Thailand on 3 August 1981. He was confirmed as the successor to his grandfather by the Royal Council in Exile on 19 September 1997.
- The vassal state of Manchukuo was created in 1932 after its annexation by Japan. The last emperor of China, Puyi, who had been deposed in 1912, was installed as the nominal head of state. After Japan's defeat in World War II, the territory was ceded back to the Chinese republic.
- Jampal Namdol Chökyi Gyaltsen was recognised as the 9th Jebtsundamba Khutuktu by the Tibetan government in 1936. He was publicly proclaimed as such by the current Dalai Lama in 1990, and was formally "enthroned" in 1999. His predecessors were the spiritual leaders of the Gelug branch of Tibetan Buddhism in Mongolia. The 8th Jebtsundamba Khutuktu was enthroned as Khan of Mongolia upon the country's independence from China in 1911. After his death in 1924, the installation of any further Khutuktus was forbidden by the republican government.
- Succession is neither hereditary nor elective, instead being based on theocratic laws.
- Sao Hso Hom reigned as saopha from 19 July 1947, until the national coup d'état deposed him in 1962.
- The sultans of the Ottoman Empire also held the title Caliph of Islam, thus claiming to be the spiritual leaders of all Muslims. The Ottoman Caliphate was abolished by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in 1924.
- The state of Sulu was abolished under the Carpenter Agreement of 1915. It was restored as a traditional polity in 1962.
- A branch of the House of Sulu. The royal family of Sulu is a Tausūg dynasty.
- The 14th and current Dalai Lama was recognised as the reincarnation of his predecessor in 1939. He was officially inaugurated on 17 November 1950, from which time he reigned as both spiritual and temporal ruler of Tibet until his flight into exile in March 1959. He continues to maintain a government-in-exile, in opposition to the Chinese administration, and remains the seniormost spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists until August 2011 when he abdicated and released temporal authority to the democratically elected Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay.
- Gyanendra reigned as King of Nepal between 7 November 1950 and 8 January 1951, and again from 4 June 2001 until the monarchy was abolished in 2008.
- Members of the Shah dynasty of Nepal are descended from the Parmar clan of Rajputs from the former state of Narsinghgarh in modern India.
- Succession to the throne, whilst hereditary, is also subject to confirmation from the reigning King of Nepal.
- Prakash reigned as raja from 13 November 2002 until 2008, when the constituent monarchies of Nepal were abolished.
- A Tibetan kingdom known locally as Lo, the name "Mustang" is actually a Nepalese corruption of Manthang, the state's capital. Its ruler was styled Raja of Mustang by the Nepalese, and Lo rGyal-po (King of Lo) in Tibetan.
- Jigme reigned as raja from 1964 until 2008, when the constituent monarchies of Nepal were abolished.
- The surname "Bista" was adopted by the last reigning raja and his family.
- Previously reigned as sultan from 3 September 1928 until the monarchy was deposed in 1967.
- Previously reigned as sultan from 1947 until the monarchy was deposed in 1967.
- Previously reigned as sultan from 1935 until the monarchy was deposed in 1967.
- Previously reigned as emir from 1954 until the monarchy was deposed in 1967.
- Previously reigned as sultan from 10 July 1964 until the monarchy was deposed in 1967.
- Previously reigned as sultan from 1955 until the monarchy was deposed in 1967.
- Previously reigned as sultan from 24 April 1949 until the monarchy was deposed in 1967.
- Previously reigned as sultan from 8 December 1958 until the monarchy was deposed in 1967. Prior to his formal ascension to the throne, he had served as prince regent since 10 July 1958.
- Previously reigned as sultan from 1966 until the monarchy was deposed in 1967.
- Previously reigned as sultan from 10 October 1966 until the monarchy was deposed in 1967.
- Known as Balhaf and Azzan from 1881, signifying Balhaf's merge with Wahidi Azzan. Known simply as Wahidi from 1962, when the sultanates of Wahidi Bir Ali and Wahidi Haban were made subordinate.
- Prince Ali held the position of hakim (regent) from 20 February 1967 until the sultanate's abolition in August of the same year. He was never crowned sultan.
- Alawi previously reigned as sultan from 1955 until the monarchy was abolished in 1967. Before his reign ended, he was made subordinate to the Sultan of Balhaf and Azzan on 23 October 1962.
- Husayn had previously reigned as sultan prior to the monarchy's abolition in 1967. Before his reign ended, he was made subordinate to the Sultan of Balhaf and Azzan on 23 October 1962.
- Mahmud previously reigned as sultan from 1954 until the monarchy was deposed in 1967. His reign was not initially recognised by the British government, which continued to recognise his still-living father and predecessor as sultan until 1958.
- A clan of the Yafa tribe. The Yafai are divided into ten sheikhdoms that were spread across the former sultanates of Lower Yafa and Upper Yafa.
- Previously reigned as sultan from 1948 until the monarchy was deposed in 1967.
- Many of the kings of the Qasimid dynasty also held the title Imam and Commander of the Faithful, and were the spiritual leaders of the Zaidiyyah branch of Shi'a Islam. The Imamate ended with the republican revolution in 1962.
- If reigning, he would be known as "Karl II of Austria" and "Károly V of Hungary".
- On 31 May 1961, Karl's father Otto renounced all claims to the Austrian throne in order to return from exile. He relinquished his position as head of the House of Habsburg to Karl on 1 January 2007.
- A branch of the House of Lorraine cognatically descended from the House of Habsburg. The ducal family of Modena, which was historically descended from the House of Este, traditionally uses the name Austria-Este, which has continued to be adopted as a title by the current line.
- The Austro-Hungarian monarch held the united crowns of Austria and Hungary, and also reigned as King of Bohemia, King of Croatia, and more.
- Simeon II reigned as Tsar of Bulgaria from 28 August 1943 until the monarchy was deposed in the Communist revolution of 1946. After returning to the country from exile in 1996, he later served as elected Prime Minister between 24 July 2001 and 17 August 2005.
- A sept of the Ernestine branch of the House of Wettin.
- The House of Bourbon is a branch of the House of Capet.
- A branch of the House of Bourbon.
- Charles Napoléon is the current head of the House of Bonaparte. His son, Jean Christophe, was posthumously appointed heir in the will of his grandfather, Louis Napoléon.
- Constantine II reigned as King of the Hellenes from 6 March 1964 until the monarchy's abolition in 1973.
- Officially the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, which is a branch of the House of Oldenburg.
- A branch of the Aberffraw.
- The kings of Saxony belonged to the Albertine branch of the House of Wettin.
- A branch of the House of Aviz.
- Michael I reigned as King of the Romanians between 20 July 1927 and 8 June 1930, and again from 6 September 1940 until the monarchy's abolition during the Communist revolution of 1947. A rival claim to the throne is maintained by the descendants of Carol Lambrino, Michael's elder half brother from his father's first marriage. Carol Lambrino's eldest son, Paul-Philippe, has maintained his claim to the throne since his father's death on 27 January 2006.
- A line of the House of Hohenzollern.
- The House of Romanov is a line of the House of Holstein-Gottorp, which itself is a branch of the House of Oldenburg.
- Full title: Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias, used since 1721, although commonly designated Tsar. The emperors of Russia were also the Grand Dukes of Finland from 1809 until 1917, and the Kings of Poland from 1815 until 1916.
- The House of Obrenović, who were overthrown as the Royal Family of Serbia in 1903, hold that the rightful heir to the crown of the King of Serbia is a descendant of Prince Mirko of Montenegro, who was the designated successor of Alexander I, the last of the Obrenović line of kings in Serbia.
- The House of Hanover is a branch of the House of Welf, which itself is a branch of the House of Este.
- The royal family of Mecklenburg-Strelitz belongs to the Strelitz branch of the House of Mecklenburg.
- A branch of the House of Oldenburg.
- The principalities of Hohenzollern-Hechingen and Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen were created in 1576 from the partition of the territory of Hohenzollern. When the Hechingen lineage became extinct in 1869, the heirs of the Princes of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen reclaimed the title Prince of Hohenzollern.
- A branch of the House of Hohenzollern.
- The territory of Reuss was partitioned between the sons of the reigning prince in 1564, eventually resulting in the principalities of Reuss-Greiz, the elder line, and Reuss-Köstritz, the junior. The Greiz lineage ceased in 1927 through the death of Heinrich XXVII, and inheritance passed to the junior Köstritz line, whose heirs now claim the title Prince Reuss.
- For details on the unusual numbering system of the Reuss-Köstritz lineage, see the main article.
- Vittorio Emanuele, only son of King Umberto II, was heir presumptive to the throne of Italy from his birth on 12 February 1937 until the monarchy was abolished in 1946. He declared himself King of Italy in 1969, claiming that his father, having agreed to submit to a referendum on his position as head of state, had thereby abdicated his throne. The declaration came after his father called for Amedeo, Duke of Aosta to visit him in Cascais, allegedly to name him his heir. Umberto II died on 18 March 1983.
- Descended from the Houses of Boncompagni and Ludovisi. By matrimonial pact between the two families, the descendants all have the name Boncompagni-Ludovisi.
- Leopold Franz, the previous head of the household, abdicated his right to the throne in favour of his son Sigismund upon the date of the former's second marriage in 1993. Sigismund succeeded as Grand Master of the Tuscan Orders (the Order of Saint Joseph and Order of Saint Stephen) on 12 April 1994.
- This branch is known as the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. The right to succession is currently disputed between two sects of the family.
- A branch of the House of Württemberg.
- Although his family no longer holds any inherent political power, Tokataake remains a highly influential member of the community. He has served a number of terms as the member for Abemama in the national parliament, and still holds his title for land rights purposes.
- A Crown colony of Great Britain from 1857, the Cocos Islands were granted in perpetuity to the Clunies-Ross family by Queen Victoria in 1886. Its resulting self-proclaimed monarchy, however, was not recognised by the British government. It disbanded in 1978, when John Cecil Clunies-Ross relinquished his official authority as governor.
- John Cecil succeeded as king upon the death of his father, on 14 August 1944. He remained overseas in London until 1946, during which time the islands were overseen by a military administrator. Officially, he served as governor of the territory from 1947. He relinquished his authority in 1978.
- The House of Kawānanakoa was a collateral line of succession of the reigning Kalākaua dynasty. The last queen, Liliʻuokalani, not having had any issue of her own, adopted and appointed the head of the Kawānanakoa as heir apparent. The House of Kawānanakoa are historically recognised as the presumptive heirs to the throne should the monarchy be revived. Because of an early succession dispute within the family, there are currently two claimants from this household.
- Noa Kalokuokamaile DeGuair is a descendant of the House of Kalokuokamaile, which was a collateral line of succession of the Kamehameha dynasty, the first line of Hawaiʻian kings. It became extinct in the male line during the time of the monarchy, and now survives through the female line as the House of Laʻanui. The current descendants also belong to the Wilcox lineage of English and Italian descent. His right to make a claim on the throne is disputed.
- The House of Laʻanui consists of maternal descendants of the House of Kalokuokamaile, the seniormost branch of the chiefly House of Keōua Nui. It descends from the eldest half-brother of Hawaiʻi's first king, Kamehameha the Great, who united the petty chiefdoms of the Hawaiʻian Islands under the Kamehameha dynasty in 1810. When the male heirs of this lineage died out in 1872, it was replaced by the Kalākaua dynasty who ruled till 1893. It claims closer kinship to the kingdom's first dynasty while the Kawānanakoa line claims closer kinship to the kingdom's last dynasty.
- Recognised as the rightful heir to the Tahitian throne by a majority of the royal family's current members. He has migrated overseas, however, and currently lives in Paris.
- An adopted member of the family. He was "enthroned" as Pomare XI during a ceremony attended by descendants of local chiefs. The enthronement was rejected by other members of the royal family.
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