Royal family

Royal family

A royal family is the extended family of a monarch. Generally, the head of a royal family is a king or queen regnant. The term "imperial family" more appropriately describes the extended family of an emperor or empress regnant, while the terms "ducal family", "grand ducal family" or "princely family" are more appropriate in reference to the relatives of a reigning duke, grand duke, or prince. It is also considered proper in some circles to refer to the extended relations of a deposed monarch and his or her descendants as a royal family.

Members of a Royal Family

A royal family typically includes the spouse of the reigning monarch, surviving spouses of a deceased monarch, the children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, and cousins of the reigning monarch, as well as their spouses. In some cases, royal family membership may extend to great grandchildren and more distant descendants of a monarch. In certain monarchies where voluntary abdication is the norm, such as the Netherlands, a royal family may also include one or more former monarchs. There is often a distinction between persons of the blood royal and those that marry into the royal family. In certain instances, such as in Canada, the royal family is defined by who holds the titles Majesty and Royal Highness. [ [ Department of National Defence: "The Honours, Flags and Heritage Structure of the Canadian Forces"; pg 281] ] Under most systems, only persons in the first category are dynasts, that is, potential successors to the throne (unless the member of the latter category is also in line to the throne in their own right, a frequent occurrence in royal families which frequently intermarry). This is not always observed; some monarchies have operated by the principle of jure uxoris.

In addition certain relatives of the monarch (by blood or marriage) possess special privileges and are subject to certain statutes, conventions, or special common law. The precise functions of a royal family vary depending on whether the polity in question is an absolute monarchy, a constitutional monarchy, or somewhere in between. In certain absolute monarchies, such as that found in Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, or in political systems where the monarch actually exercises executive power, such as in Jordan, it is not uncommon for the members of a royal family to hold important government posts or military commands. In most constitutional monarchies, however, members of a royal family perform certain public, social, or ceremonial functions, but refrain from any involvement in electoral politics or the actual governance of the country.

The specific composition of royal families varies from country to country, as do the titles and royal and noble styles held by members of the family. The composition of the royal family may be regulated by statute enacted by the legislature (e.g. Spain, the Netherlands, and Japan since 1947), the Sovereign's prerogative and common law tradition (e.g. the United Kingdom), or a private house law (e.g., Liechtenstein, the former ruling houses of Bavaria, Prussia, Hanover, etc.). Public statutes, constitutional provisions, or conventions may also regulate the marriages, names, and personal titles of royal family members. The members of a royal family may or may not have a surname or dynastic name (see Royal House).

In a constitutional monarchy, when the monarch dies, there is always a very specific order of succession that indicates the exact order of family members in line to the throne.


In some cases, well-known families that are not actually involved in monarchies but are still prominent in government are informally referred to as "royal families". The best-known example of this is the Kennedy family in the U.S. and the descendents of the Gurjara-Pratiharas clans or "Rajputs" in India. See Gujjar.

Some royal families have lost their "royalty" by social changes over a long period time. In recent years, many royal families have become increasingly challenged by the media to justify the public expenditure on them. This is particularly so when the royal family is perceived as behaving badly (such as in the case of the British Royal Family; extramarital affairs, and/or refusing to grieve publicly on the death of Diana, Princess of Wales).

Famous royal houses and dynasties

*Al-Abbasi Noble Family
*Al Khalifa
*Aisin Gioro
*Angevin Dynasties
*House of Aviz
*House of Bernadotte
*Bagrationi Dynasty
*House of Bourbon
**House of Orléans
**House of Bourbon-Parma
*House of Braganza
*House of Capet
*Carolingian Dynasty
*Chakri Dynasty
*Cochin Royal Family
*Davidic line
*Flavian Dynasty
*Giray Dynasty
*House of Grimaldi
*House of Glücksburg
*Han Dynasty
*House of Hesse
*House of Hohenzollern
*Joseon Dynasty (House of Yi)
*Julio-Claudian Dynasty
*Khun Lo Dynasty
*House of Karadjordjević
*House of Kalakaua
*House of Kamehameha
*House of Kawananakaoa
*House of Laanui-Kalokuokamaile
*House of Lancaster
*Koch Rajbongshi Royal Family(Koch Dynasty-Kamatapur,Kamarupa,Pragjyotishpur-Indian Kings)
*Merovingian Dynasty
*Ming Dynasty
*Mughal Dynasty
*Nguyễn Dynasty
*House of Obrenović
*House of Oldenburg
**House of Holstein-Gottorp
*House of Orange-Nassau
*Ottoman Dynasty
*Pahlavi Dynasty
*Piast dynasty
*Qajar dynasty
*Qing Dynasty
*Rurik Dynasty
*Safavid Dynasty
*House of Saud (Saudis)
*House of Savoy
*Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
*Tang Dynasty
*Tudor dynasty
*Uí Néill
*Valois Dynasty
*House of Vasa
*House of Windsor
*House of Wittelsbach
*House of York
*Yuan Dynasty

Current Royal families

*Al-Abbasi Nobel Family
*Belgian Royal Family
*Royal Family of Bhutan
*British Royal Family
*Bahraini Royal Family
*Brazilian Imperial Family (deposed)
*Bulgarian Royal Family (deposed)
*Danish Royal Family
*Dutch Royal Family
*Greek Royal Family (deposed)
*Jamaican Royal Family (House of Windsor)
*Japanese Imperial Family
*Hashemites of Jordan
*Princely Family of Liechtenstein
*Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg
*Koch Rajbongshi Royal Family India (deposed)

*Grand Ducal families of Mecklenburg (Schwerin and Strelitz) (deposed)
*Laotian Royal Family (deposed)
*Monegasque Princely Family
*Nepalese Royal Family / King of Nepal (deposed)
*Norwegian Royal Family
*Romanian Royal Family (deposed)
*Spanish Royal Family
*Swedish Royal Family
*Portuguese Royal Family (deposed)
*Princely Family of Schwarzenberg (mediatised)
*Saudi Royal Family
*Thai Royal Family
*Zulu Royal Family
*Kingtanga - The Maori King Movement
*House of Tupou

See also

*Family trees of royal families
*Royal Descent
*Crown prince
*Prince consort

*Princess Royal
*Queen consort
*Royal House
*Royal prerogative
*Royal and noble styles
*The Royle Family - A 1990s British TV sitcom about a working class family in Manchester.


External links

* [ Family trees of ruling and former ruling European Dynasties] Fr icon
* [ Genealogía, Reyes y Reinos] Es icon
* [ Koch Rajbongshi Royal Family/India/Koch Dynasty]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • royal family — royal families N COUNT The royal family of a country is the king, queen, or emperor, and all the members of their family …   English dictionary

  • royal family — noun count * a family consisting of a king or a queen, and their relatives …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • royal family — noun royal persons collectively (Freq. 1) the wedding was attended by royalty • Syn: ↑royalty, ↑royal line, ↑royal house • Hypernyms: ↑house • Hyponyms …   Useful english dictionary

  • royal family */ — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms royal family : singular royal family plural royal families a family consisting of a king or a queen, and their relatives …   English dictionary

  • royal family — the immediate family of a reigning monarch. * * * …   Universalium

  • royal family — noun The family of the ruling sovereign of a country or state …   Wiktionary

  • royal family — King and queen and their relatives, ruling family of a kingdom …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Royal Family — /rɔɪəl ˈfæmli/ (say royuhl famlee) noun the close family members of a monarch, especially the British monarch …   Australian-English dictionary

  • royal family — In a larger sense, all those persons who are by any possibility inheritable to the crown. In a narrower sense, only those who are within a certain degree of propinquity to the king. After that degree is past, they fall into the rank of ordinary… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • Royal Family Hotel — (Несебр,Болгария) Категория отеля: 3 звездочный отель Адрес: Kokalu Area, 8230 Не …   Каталог отелей

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