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totalitarian or fascist forms of government.

A monarchy is a form of government in which total sovereignty is invested in one person, a head of state called a monarch, who holds the position until death or abdication. Monarchs usually both hold and achieve their position through the right of hereditary succession (e.g., they were related, often the son or daughter, of the previous monarch), although there have been elective monarchies, where the monarch holds the position after being elected: the papacy is sometimes called an elective monarchy.

There have also been hereditary rulers who weren’t considered monarchs, such as the stadtholders of Holland. Many monarchs have invoked religious reasons, such as being chosen by God, as a justification for their rule. Courts are often considered a key aspect of monarchies. These occur around the monarchs and provide a social meeting place for monarch and nobility.

Titles of a Monarchy
Male monarchs are often called kings, and females queens, but principalities, where princes and princesses rule by hereditary right, are sometimes referred to as monarchies, as are empires led by emperors and empresses.

Levels of Power
The amount of power a monarch wields has varied across time and situation, with a good deal of European national history comprising a power struggle between the monarch and either their nobility and subjects. On the one hand, you have the absolute monarchies of the early modern period, the best example being French King Louis XIV, where the monarch (in theory at least) had total power over everything they wished. On the other, you have constitutional monarchies where the monarch is now little more than a figurehead, and the majority of power rests with other forms of government. There is traditionally only one monarch per monarchy at a time, although in Britain King William and Queen Mary ruled simultaneously between 1689 and 1694. When a monarch is either considered too young or too ill to take full control of their office or is absent (perhaps on crusade), a regent (or group of regents) rules in their place.