Go back a hundred years or so and you’ll find it much more common to see a king or queen as a head of state. But today there are just a handful of monarchs left. The queen of Britain, the king of Spain, and a few others. So what happened to the others? Well, they were overthrown. In eastern-Europe they lost their position to communist revolutionaries and were never really given it back even after European communism collapsed. The really interesting part is that some of these monarchs are still alive. They were born into royalty only to eventually lose it. Some of them have spent the most part of their log lives as a regular peasant. Their stories are really interesting – so here is a list of 10 living monarchs who lost their throne.
Gyanendra Of Nepal
Gyanendra Of Nepal was king of Nepal for less than a year in 1950. He then lost his thrown and lived a fairly dull life until 2001, when he once again became king. This was just after the heir to the thrown killed himself and several of his close family members. So this meant that Gyanendra was the only person left to claim the thrown. He lost his thrown again in 2008 when the whole monarchy was abolished and his country became a republic. This was partly because his people were sick of him. A civil war broke out during his years in power and he essentially threw away the countries constitution and became an absolute dictator.
Fuad II Of Egypt
Fuad II Of Egypt was king of Egypt and Sudan from June 1952 to July 1953. The union between Sudan and Egypt soon broke apart and so the monarchy was abolished. The monarchy was not maintained in either nations so Faud has been without a thrown ever since. He was litarally a baby at the time he was king so I doubt he actually had much physical power. After the monarchy was abolished, he did what all abdicated royals do. He went to live in Switzerland. He still lives in Switzerland today at the age of 64. He was the last monarch in a ruling dynasty stretching back to 1805.
Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha has had an interesting life. At 6 years old he was crowned king of Bulgaria only to be overthrown three years later. The overthrow was ordered by a referendum in wich Bulgaria’s population voted to get rid of him. He fled Bulgaria shortly after and would only return in 1996. On returning, he founded a political party and was elected prime minister of Bulgaria in 2001. He served as prime minister until 2005 and left politics in 2008. It’s a story straight out of a Dickens novel – but it’s true. He is currently one of just three living monarchs who were in power during the second world war.
Constantine II Of Greece
Constantine II Of Greece is currently a Danish prince, and was once the king of Greece. Greek history has been quite politically volatile in modern times so the monarchy was doomed from the start. Between 1964 and 1973. He took power during a coup and ruled what was essential a military dictatorship. When I say ruled, what I mean is that he was a puppet head of state for the military officials who really controlled the country. But military rule was overthrown in 1967 and Constantine was exiled. He somehow managed to be the official head of state for 6 more years until the monarchy was finally abolished .
Jamshid Bin Abdullah of Zanzibar
Jamshid bin Abdullah of Zanzibar was the king (or Sultan) of the tiny African nation of Zanzibar between July 1963 and January 1964. He didn’t have any political power as Zanzibar was made independent by the empire as a constitutional monarchy. But not everyone was happy with this arrangement. There was soon a revolution in the country, forcing Jamshid bin Abdullah the flee to Europe as the monarchy was abolished. Today, he still lives in the united kingdom aged 86. He has 7 children who hope to one day return to Zanzibar as recognized royalty.
Khalifa Bin Hamad Al Thani
Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani was the monarch of Qatar from 1972 up until 1995, making him one of the longest reigning monarchs to lose his thrown. During his reign he restructured the political system within Qatar to gain as much power as possible. The outcome of this was his relatives losing significant portions of their power. I can’t help but think this contributed to his fall from power. Because it was his son who stole power from him in 1995. While he was in Switzerland for a brief period, his son simply took power and Khalifa has lived in Europe ever since.
Kigeli V Of Rwanda
Kigeli V of Rwanda was king of Rwanda between 1959 and 1961. This was just after most African nations gained their independence so no one was sure which monarchies would survive. The Rwandan monarchy wasn’t one of them. Kigeli V gained the thrown at the age of 23. He was forced into exile after the monarchy was abolished in 1961. This was the result of his inability to suppress tribal conflicts within the kingdom. Some of these tribes were actually encouraged to rebel against their king by the Belgian army. After losing power he drifted around for a while before eventually being granted political asylum in America.
Ismail Petra Of Kelantan
Ismail Petra of Kelantan was king (or Sultan) of Kelantan from 1980 to 2010. Kelantan is a state within the country of Malaysia, and is still able to have a monarchy. Malaysia is sort of like a union between several ancient kingdoms. In 2010, Ismail Petra of Kelantan was forced to step down from the thrown over fears that he was not mentally sound. This stemmed from him suffering several strokes. His son became the next Sultan – but Ismail Petra had disputed his sons claim to the thrown on a constitutional basis. However, it doesn’t look like Ismail Petra will ever regain his position. He is currently 66 years old. You’ll notice there aren’t really any young monarchs who lost their power.
Ghalib II al-Qu’aiti
Ghalib II al-Qu’aiti is a complicated case. He was the king of Qu’aiti until the monarchy was completely abolished in 1967. Qu’aiti was a tiny kingdom in present day Yemen. Today the kingdom exists only as an administrative district and his thrown no longer exists. But he still claims to be the rightful Sultan. He was originally forced to abdicate by communist revolutionaries who captures half of what is now Yemen for a number of years. It was South-Yemen which was controlled by the communists and Qu’aiti was forced to join the communist republic – no kings allowed.
Michael I Of Romania
As you could have guessed, Michael I of Romania was king of Romania between 1940 and 1947. That was his second time on the thrown, his first being between 1927 and 1930. He was eventually overthrown by the communists in Romania but was never asked to return to the thrown aft the fall of Romanian communist rule. He really drew the short straw when you look at where his relatives are today. He is cousins with the kings of Norway, Spain, and Sweden, as well as the queen of Denmark and Britain. It must really suck to see all your relatives maintain their thrown while you’re downgraded to a regular peasant.