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A royalist supports a particular monarch as head of state for a particular kingdom, or of a particular dynastic claim. In the abstract, this position is royalism. It is distinct from monarchism, which advocates a monarchical system of government, but not necessarily a particular monarch. Most often, the term royalist is applied to a supporter of a current regime or one that has been recently overthrown to form a republic.
In the United Kingdom today, the term is almost indistinguishable from "monarchist," because there are no significant rival claimants to the throne. Conversely, in 19th-century France, a royalist might be either a Legitimist, Bonapartist, or an Orléanist, all being monarchists.
- The Wars of the Roses pitted the Yorkists against the Lancastrians
- During the English Civil War, the Royalists or Cavaliers supported King Charles I (and later King Charles II)
- The Jacobites are supporters of the deposed James II and his line after the Glorious Revolution
- The Williamites or Orangemen supported William III against James II
- The Loyalists are supporters of the post-Glorious Revolution monarchy and/or the British Empire
- During and especially towards at the end of World War II, the Royalist Chetniks supported the exiled King of Yugoslavia (Serbia) against the German nazis and the communists.
- Legitimists, French royalists upholding Salic Law
- Orléanists, who, in late 18th and 19th century France, supported the Orléans branch of the house of bourbon, which came to power in the French monarch July Revolution
- Bonapartists, supporters of the Bonaparte imperial line.
- Union of Arras, states of the Netherlands loyal to Philip II
- Orangism in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg
- Supporters of the return of Leopold III as King of the Belgians after the Second World War, also called Leopoldists
- Carlist, a Spanish legitimist
- Royalist (Spanish American Revolution), a supporter of the Spanish Empire during the Spanish American wars of independence
- During World War II the Royalists were Italians who supported Victor Emmanuel III and the government of Pietro Badoglio after the Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini was overthrown.
- Baohuang Hui (the Royalist Society, lit. the Rescue Emperor Society) in late Qing Dynasty, an organisation that supported the pro-reform Guangxu and advocated constitutional monarchy as a peaceful political reform, against both the conservative rulers (such as Cixi) who opposed any reform and the Tongmenghui who sought to overthrow the monarchy and establish the Republic of China
The Constitutionalist Party of Iran (CPI) (Persian: حزب مشروطه ايران - لیبرال دموکرات) is a liberal democratic party founded in 1994 (originally as the Constitutional Movement of Iran) and is based in exile. The party favors a constitutional monarchy in Iran but isn't opposed to a republic based on referendum. It also supports returning of current Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi as the next shah of Iran.
- Loyalists during the American Revolution were American colonists opposed to secession from the British Empire and who remained loyal to the British Crown. After the Revolution, many emigrated north to the remaining British territories in what is now modern Canada, calling themselves the United Empire Loyalists.