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How many royal families are there?

How many royal families are there?
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According to the Washington Post, 26 monarchies reign over 43 countries today. Although the most famous crown no doubt belongs to Queen Elizabeth II and the House of Windsor in the United Kingdom, many other nations in Europe and around the world still have kings and queens who pass on their title and throne from generation to generation. Today, most operate as constitutional monarchies, in which the monarch is more of a figurehead, but some remain absolute, where the sovereign is the sole ruler. Read on to discover the princes and princesses who will inherit the crown someday.

The Cambridge children of the United Kingdom

The Cambridge children of the United Kingdom
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If you’re a royal watcher, no doubt you’re familiar with the young future heir to the British throne, the adorable Prince George, now 6 years old. He’s currently third in the line of succession once his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, is no longer in charge; ahead of him are his grandfather, Prince Charles, and his father, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. Next in line after him are his younger siblings, Princess Charlotte, age 4, and Prince Louis, age 1. Princess Charlotte owes her place in the line of succession to a 2013 rule that now allows the crown to pass to a woman even if there’s a younger son.

The Cambridge children’s cousin, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, is seventh in line. Even though Archie’s father, Prince Harry, has opted out of official royal duties, he and his son are still listed in the line of succession.

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Princess Estelle of Sweden

Princess Estelle of Sweden
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Although many people don’t realise it, Sweden has one of the oldest monarchies in the world, dating back more than a thousand years. Seven-year-old Princess Estelle is second in the line to the throne, and she will succeed her grandfather, King Carl XVI Gustaf, and her mother, Crown Princess Victoria. Since 1980, the monarch’s eldest child, regardless of gender, becomes heir to the throne, which is how both princesses are in line over their younger brothers. Princess Estelle’s sibling, Prince Oscar, is just 3 years old and third in the line of succession. The young members of the Swedish royal family seem fun and vibrant, and athletic Princess Estelle loves horses, skiing and even skateboarding.

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Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands

Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands
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As opposed to Sweden, the Kingdom of the Netherlands is fairly new; it was established in the early 1800s. The oldest of three sisters and the daughter of King William-Alexander, Princess Catharina-Amalia is styled Princess of Orange, the traditional title for the heir to the throne. She turned 16 last December, but she didn’t have a big party. “There won’t be a big celebration; she still has a lot of work to do for school, the end of the year is coming, Sinterklaas [St. Nicholas’s Day], and all kinds of festivities,” her mother, Queen Maxima, reportedly said on the Dutch talkshow RTL Boulevard. “She is growing up fast and beautifully. She is an amazing daughter, an amazing friend. I am so very proud of her.”

Princess Elisabeth of Belgium

Princess Elisabeth of Belgium
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Unlike Princess Catharina-Amalia, Belgium’s Princess Elisabeth recently went all-out for her 18th birthday. First in line to the throne occupied by her father, King Philippe, Princess Elisabeth had a celebration fit for a queen, with family members, politicians and 80 teenagers also in their 18th birthday year attending. Princess Elisabeth, who can now rule without a regent, also gave a speech broadcast on national television. “These 18 years have been filled with many rewarding moments that have made me the person I am today,” she reportedly said. “I realise that I still have a lot to learn. I will also focus on that in the coming years, trying to understand the world better, and helping to improve it, by giving the best of myself. The country can count on me.” Princess Elisabeth also has three younger siblings.

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Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway

Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway
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Another Scandinavian heir to the throne, Princess Ingrid Alexandra is second in line to succeed behind her father, Crown Prince Haakon. Her grandfather, King Harald V, currently sits on the throne; her younger brother, 14-year-old Prince Sverre Magnus, is third in line. The 16-year-old is already preparing for her royal duties, and she even has a park named after her. The Princess Ingrid Alexandra Sculpture Park features artistic creations made by children, for children – and she helps pick the pieces herself. Described as an “active teenager” in her official biography, she loves skiing, kickboxing and even surfing.

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Crown Prince Moulay Hassan of Morocco

Crown Prince Moulay Hassan of Morocco
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Sixteen-year-old Crown Prince Moulay is the son of King Mohammed VI. When he’s not wearing traditional Moroccan garments called djellabas, he’s often seen in very dapper suits, such as when he met with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle last year during their royal visit. In the past several years, the Crown Prince has started to undertake royal duties – reportedly, he was the youngest participant in the One Planet Summit in France in 2017 – while also attending school. He took his Baccalaureate end-of-high-school exam last year. He’s also rumoured to be one of the richest teenagers in the world, and he has a younger sister, 12-year-old Princess Lalla Khadija.

Prince Jacques of Monaco

Prince Jacques of Monaco
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Although his twin sister, Princess Gabriella, is two minutes older, five-year-old Prince Jacques gets to be heir to the throne, as Monaco follows the male line. The tiny European country of Monaco gained Hollywood royalty when actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier III in 1956. Her son, Prince Albert, sits on the throne today, and her grandson, Prince Jacques, will succeed him. Interestingly, monarchs of Monaco are never king or queen, only prince or princess, because Monaco is a small principality that historically fell under the protection of larger kingdoms.

Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella’s mother, Princess Charlene, admits that sometimes raising twins can be “exhausting,” as she told the French magazine Point de Vue, according to People. The twins, though, “talk to each other all the time, and like all children they sometimes can be a little abrupt…but they support each other unconditionally,” she said. “When all is well, then nothing and no one can stop them.”

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Prince Christian of Denmark

Prince Christian of Denmark
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Prince Christian can trace his roots back to the Vikings more than 1,000 years ago through his grandmother, the current monarch Queen Margrethe II. His father, Crown Prince Frederik, is first in line to the throne, and 14-year-old Prince Christian follows him as second in line. The Danish royals pride themselves on being modern and accessible – Denmark’s tourism website even notes that it’s not unusual to see the Queen walking her dogs or Prince Frederik running a 10K. And let’s not forget that Prince Frederik chose as his wife a lovely down-to-earth Australian called Mary Donaldson. As for young Christian, he’s pictured on the royal website playing soccer and tennis, and has three younger siblings, 12-year-old Princess Isabella and 9-year-old twins Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent.

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Princess Leonor of Spain

Princess Leonor of Spain
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Technically called Princess Leonor of Asturias (a region in northwest Spain), this 14-year-old is the heir presumptive to the Spanish throne behind her father, King Felipe VI. Her position was uncertain as long as the king and his wife, Queen Letizia, might have had a future son – in that case, Princess Leonor would have been knocked down the line of succession, and she wouldn’t even be called a princess anymore. Instead, she’d be an “Infanta,” which means a daughter of royal birth who won’t inherit the throne. Her 12-year-old younger sister, for example, is Infanta Sofia. But as the birth of any more royal children is very unlikely at this point, Princess Leonor has started in her preparations to become Queen. She was even presented with one of Spain’s highest honours, the Order of the Golden Fleece.

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