A royal family is the group of family members of a king, queen, emperor, or a monarch. Although all are different titles, they are functionally the same. A monarch has a wider range, applicable to a king, queen or emperor. Unlike a king, queen, or an emperor or empress, a monarch is not a gender specific title and entails both of them. An emperor is sometimes distinguished from a king on being the head of religious functions too, like King Henry VIII of England, who rejected the authority of the Pope and became an emperor, but he or his successors never changed the title from king to emperor. The royal family comprises members from the past, present, and future that are the ancestors, current rulers, and potential successors. Royal families are, like their ideals, personified to their subjects and considered no less than multiple, adorable deities. People are overjoyed when they see their royalty happy, and they are grieved when they find them suffering on any account. But what is the most hurtful for them is the scandals relating to the royal families.
1. The British Royal Family
Before 1917, the name of the British Royal House was Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. When Britain was at war with Germany, George V changed its name to the House of Windsor after the name of the castle which was the royal residence. He wanted to disassociate Britain from the strong German ancestry. Since 1917, the British Royal Family is considered to be members of the House of Windsor by birth or marriage. Although the lists of royal family members differ, but all of those carrying the style Her or His Majesty (HM), or His or Her Royal Highness (HRH) are essentially considered as royal family members. On November 30, 1917, King George issued the Letters Patent defining the entitlement of the royal family members. The Text included, ‘The King has been pleased by Letters Patent’¦that the children of any Sovereign of the United Kingdom and the children of the sons of any such Sovereign, and the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales shall have and at all times hold and enjoy the style, title, or attribute of Royal Highness.’
2. The Saudi Royal Family
The Saudi Royal Family, known as House of Saud, is comprised of the descendants of Muhammad Bin Saud and his brothers. The ruling family is headed by the descendants of Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud. The King of Saudi Arabia is the absolute monarch and head of state. Formerly titled as His Majesty, he is currently known as the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. The two mosques in his jurisdiction are the Masjid al Haram in Mecca and the Masjid al-Nabvi in Medina. These two mosques are the physical center of Islam, and each year Muslims from all over the world visit them to perform Hajj, the pilgrimage. And this constitutes the largest congregation in the world. The kings who ruled from 1930 include: Ibn Saud, Saud, Faisal, Khalid, Fahad, and King Abdullah. Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is the Heir Apparent.
3. The Spanish Royal Family
The Spanish Royal Family, known as the House of Borbon, comprises currently the king, the queen consort, their children, spouses, and the grandchildren. The king and queen are styled with ‘His’ and ‘Her Majesty.’ The membership of the Spanish Royal Family is defined by the King’s decree and presently includes: the King, the Queen, the Prince and Princess of Asturias, the King’s son and his wife, the Infanta Leonor, the Prince of Asturias’s eldest daughter, the Infanta SofÃa, the Prince of Asturias’s second daughter, and the Infanta Elena, Duchess of Lugo.
4. The Norwegian Royal Family
In Norway, the Norwegian Royal Family is different from the Royal House which comprises the King, Queen, eldest son and his spouse, known as the Crown Prince and Crown Princess. The Royal House also includes the eldest child of the Crown Prince known as Prince Ingrid Alexandria. All the remaining grandchildren, siblings of the King and their spouses are included in the Royal Family. Members of the Royal Household are styled His Majesty or Royal Highness, while the Royal Family members hold the style of Highness. Birthdays of the members of the Royal House is an official Flag Flying Day.
5. The Bulgarian Royal Family
The Bulgarian Royal Family belongs to the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The rulers of Bulgaria included: Ferdinand I who ruled from 1887 to 1918; Boris III, who ruled from 1918 to 1943; and Simeon II, who ruled from 1943 to 1946. Simeon II was the last tsar, and in 2001 he became the Prime Minister of Bulgaria and remained in office until 2005. Not excluding the others, the notable members of the Royal Family include: HM The Tsar, HM The Tsaritsa, HRH The Prince of Turnover, the Tsar’s eldest son; HRH The Prince of Preslav; the Tsar’s second son, HRH The Prince of Panagiurishte; the Tsar’s third and youngest son, HRH The Prince of Vidin.
6. The Danish Royal Family
The Danish Royal Family is one of the most beloved royalties by its people. It is comprised of the relatives of Monarch. Except for Queen Margrethe II, all the members of the Royal Family hold the title of Prince or Princess of Denmark. In addition to others, the notable members of the Royal Family include: The Queen; The Prince Consort, the Queen’s husband; The Crown Prince and Crown Princess, the Queen’s son and daughter-in-law Princess Benedikte; the Queen’s sister, Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes.
7. The Belgian Royal Family
Just after its independence in 1830, Belgium’s National Congress chose a Constitutional Monarchy by an overwhelming majority of votes. Albert, the Monarch by heredity, is the state head. He is titled ‘Koning der Belgan’ in Dutch, meaning ‘King of the Belgians.’ According to the Constitution of Belgium, the King is solely a descendant of the first King of the Belgians, Leopold II. The Belgian monarchy is a Constitutional Monarchy but not only a symbolic one. It is very potent. And according to Francis Delperee, the Belgian senator, to reign does not mean only to preside at ceremonies, it is to play an effective role in the running of the State.
8. The Japanese Imperial Family
The Japanese monarchy is the oldest, continuous monarchy in the world. Starting from the Legendary Emperor Jimmu it is said to have started ruling since February 11, 660 BC, until the current Emperor Akihito. The Imperial House includes 125 emperors. Historical evidence is lacking in case of the first 25 emperors. The Emperor of Japan constitutionally symbolizes the state and unity of the Japanese. Whereas the Emperor of Japan performs official duties, the other members of the Royal Family have no direct role in the government’s affairs. They perform only social and ceremonial duties.
9. The Zulu Royal family
The Zulu Royal family is currently headed by King Goodwill Zwelethini kaBhekuzulu, the Monarch of the Zulu nation of South Africa. The Royal Family is comprised of his legitimate descendants and male line descendants of his great-grandfather King Mpande. As of 2004, the current King Goodwill Zwelethini kaBhekuzulu had 6 wives and 27 children. He was born in Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal on July 14, 1948 and became king in 1968 after the death of his father King Cyprian Bhekuzulu kaSolomon.
10. Monarchy of Thailand
The Monarch of Thailand, the King of Thailand, was historically also known as King of Siam. It is a Constitutional Monarchy, and the king of Thailand is the head of state and the head of the ruling House of Chakri. The present Emperor of Thailand, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej has been reigning since June 9, 1946, and he is the longest reigning monarch currently. According to Forbes, he is the richest king in the world presently. Although most of the king’s powers are exercised by the elected government, yet the King is the head of the Royal Thai Armed Force, has the power of pardon, and is the custodian of the Buddhist faith in Thailand.
Lives of the royal family members are not always that luxurious as envisaged by the common folk. The royalties also undergo the stresses and strains of life just like commoners. At times they have to face the terminal paparazzi chases like it was in the case of the former Princess then Lady Diana. There are kings who, like King Edward VIII, abdicated the British throne for the love of an American, married woman Mrs. Wallis Simpson. In Part 2, Act 3, Scene I of the drama Henry the Fourth, Shakespeare concluded, ‘Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.’