The Royals

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

Prince William
Prince William in 2015
Source: KGC-375/STAR MAX/IPx for AP

Kings and queens are not just characters in fairy tales. There are more than four dozen reigning monarchs in the world today. Spain, Morocco, Lesotho, Nepal, and the Netherlands are a few countries that still have royalty. These people of royal blood are the children of the children (and back and back) of former kings and queens.

Kings and Queens

They are the descendants of royal parents. A reigning king makes his wife a queen. A reigning queen makes her husband a prince.

Princes and Princesses

These titles are reserved for the children of kings and queens, the husbands of reigning queens, and for the grandchildren who are descended through the sons of kings or queens.


The children of nobility are called lords and ladies.

These are the descendants of powerful and wealthy landowners who passed their titles on to their children and grandchildren. From top to bottom, here is the order of British nobility as well as the terms of address. (Note that counts are European, but not British.)

Rank Term of Address
King “Your Majesty”
Queen “Your Majesty”
Prince and Princess“Your Royal Highness”
Duke and Duchess “Your Grace”
Marquess “My Lord”
Marchioness “Madam”
Earl “My Lord”
Countess “Madam”
Viscount “My Lord”
Viscountess “Madam”
Baron “My Lord”
Baroness “Madam”

What Was So Great about Catherine the Great?

Catherine II, or Catherine the Great, was the empress of Russia from 1762 to 1796. During her reign, she built schools and hospitals, promoted the education of women, and allowed religious tolerance. She extended the borders of Russia by acquiring much of Poland. Many artists, teachers, and scientists moved to Russia because of the freedom of ideas she promoted.

Who was the Victoria of Victorian?

Queen Victoria ruled the British Empire for close to 64 years, longer than any other British monarch. She became queen in 1837, when her uncle King William IV died without an heir. During her reign, the British colonial empire was the richest in the world, owning one-fourth of the world's land and ruling more than one-fourth of the world's people.

The Six Wives of Henry VIII

Henry VIII was the sixteenth-century king of England who is remembered for his shocking treatment of his many wives. Here is what happened to his six wives:

Catherine of Aragon Married 1509, annulled 1533; mother of Mary Tudor
Ann Boleyn Married 1533, beheaded 1536; mother of Elizabeth I
Jane Seymour Married 1536, died in childbirth 1537; mother of Edward VI
Anne of Cleves Married and divorced 1540
Catherine Howard Married 1540, beheaded 1542
Catherine Parr Married 1543, survived him

More Royal Titles Around the World

The sultan of Brunei rides in a golden chariot for important events.

Czar/Czarina: The ruler of Russia until 1917.

Emir: The native ruler in parts of Asia and Africa.

Emperor/Empress: The supreme head of an empire. The ancient Romans had emperors; the Japanese still do.

Pharaoh: A ruler of ancient Egypt.

Raja: An Indian prince.

Shah: A sovereign of Iran.

Sultan: A head of a Muslim state.

See also Kingdoms and Monarchs of the World.

Sources +