Portraying A Monarch (Kings, Queens, and Royalty)
Don’t you all just wonder what it would feel like to live as a king or queen for a day? Like an actual ruler? Not like a dictator or a tyrant, no. This guide will cover some of the things that you’d need to keep in mind when portraying a king or a queen. Monarchs aren’t just about looking pretty with thousands of jewels and sitting on a fabulous throne and being all proper, there’s more to it. The discussion following this guide might mostly refer to the British monarchy since it is the most known to be around, other than the dukes and duchesses of some of the European countries.
Warning: Slight form of History lessons applied. You may get bored if History isn’t your favorite subject.
But wait, let’s pause for a moment and sink in as to what a monarch and a monarchy actually are.
A monarchy is a form of government in which the sovereignty (having independent territory over an area), is nominally embodied by a single individual or ruler, which is the monarch. Monarchy is the one of the oldest forms of government and has been for many hundreds of years. But now, a monarchy is no longer prevalent in today’s society, which is why the UK transformed into a constitutional monarchy.
Update from an anon:
"The UK has been a constitutional monarchy since the late 1600s when monarchy was definitely still the norm. (although monarchical power had been tempered before by a constitution and parliament since the Magna Carta, and before that anglo-saxon kings were elected by witangamot, periods of dictatorship were actually relatively short)?
Unlike an absolute monarchy, where the king or queen is the sole source of power, in a constitutional monarchy the monarch’s power is limited and shared with other parts of the government. In a constitutional monarchy, the king or queen is referred to as the Head of State. The royals retain its legal and ceremonial role, but have limited or no political power over the government, which is why in this type of government, there is a Prime Minister and its Parliament who takes the responsibility in running the country and its governing affairs.
All European countries are under constitutional monarchies, except the one in Vatican City.
Here are some links and articles to help you understand what it means to rule a monarchy and how a constitutional monarch is handled and run by.
- What is Constitutional Monarchy?
- Types of Monarchy (Absolute & Constitutional)
- How the Monarchy Works
- Brief Notes on the Monarchy Form of Government
- Monarchy: The Primordial Form of Government
- Monarchy & Kingship
In Europe, monarchy survived in Britain, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, and The Netherlands. Also in Greece until a military junta decreed the monarchy’s end in 1973. Denmark was the last monarchy in Europe to abandon absolutism in 1849. The pattern of all these limited monarchies was set by Britain, with the personal prestige and longevity of Queen Victoria playing a very important part in it.
Excerpt from a fanmail sent into me by imextremelypretentious about the British Monarchy:
"You have one monarch, at present the Queen. Although many institutions are still in her name (the Royal mail, the Royal Air Force (RAF)) they are actually controlled by the Government.
Similarly, although she technically has power in Government - she is allowed to refuse to sign laws, and she supposedly appoints the Prime Minister - the nature of this power is more as a figure head, and when people whine about how she’s allowed all this power and control but isn’t elected, they’re just being ignorant. ”
Reply from kgillsrpc on the Sweden monarchy:
In some monarchies, for example the one in Sweden, the king and queen actually have virtually no power at all and have a more formal role of representing the country whilst the prime minister/government/parliament have the power to rule.
Monarchs have various titles that they can be referred by depending on where in the world they are located in. King and Queen; Archduke, Duke, Grand Duke; Prince and Princess; Emperor and Empress. What’s different about a King and Queen and a Emperor and Empress is that kings and queens rule kingdoms, whereas emperors and empresses rule empires.
Most monarchs, both historically and in the modern day, have been born and brought up within a royal family (whose rule over a period of time is referred to as a dynasty) and trained for future duties.
Characteristics of Kings and Queens
- They are law.
- They are never voted into power; their power is inherent from birth.
- They are royal by birthright.
- Their authority is absolute.
- A king and queen owns everything in his kingdom/domain.
- Their wealth is measured by their property.
- A king and queen protects their realm.
- A king is the leading power of his kingdom and will not stand down for anyone otherwise.
- The king has the final say.
- Their authority and decisions are absolute.
- A king/queen provides order in their kingdom.
- They bless the lives of others.
- They care for their people as their people should care for them.
- A king and queen leave a legacy, something for their children to continue on for the rest of the life span of the monarchy.
- A queen provides hope for her people and gives them something to look forward to.
- A king and queen must not follow orders from anyone; they gives the orders and those whose duties are to obey them and carry them on do so.
- Queens are proper, refined, and prestigious in manners.
- Kings are to act as powerful as their ability to rule.
- They must have good moral, noble character, and ethical minds.
- They are dignified and ready to observe protocol.
There are many more traits about kings and queens. Kings and queens are expected to rule in their most expected ways possible. They must not act out of line with how they are expected to act. You cannot look like a fool in front of your people, for that would be shameful and not to mention embarrassing to the country you are ruling. The Queen is looked upon as a more higher power than a King, referring to Queen Elizabeth II of England.
You must have manners and act proper. You can’t slouch, don’t chew with your mouth open nor while it’s full. You must never be immature and childish in public. Your people look up to you as a role model of their country and expect you to be serious about governing it.
I hope this guide helps you in some way. If you are ever applying for a character or writing a character that is acting in some way as a ruler, or a king or queen, hopefully this guide can help you give you a fel on how kings and queens are. You are welcome to message me and add/change some information you feel is wrong or should be included.
Some more links about Monarchies and Monarchs: