The term "royal family" refers to the immediate family of a monarch (usually a king or queen) who leads a nation in a monarchy government. Monarchy countries have royal families. Traditionally, the royal family includes the ruling monarch, their spouse, their children and grandchildren, any still-living parents, their siblings, and their paternal cousins. Spouses of all immediate family members are also included in the royal family. In addition, aunts, uncles, great-grandchildren (as Britain's Queen Elizabeth II now has), and other descendants may also be considered part of the royal family.
Of the 26 monarchies around the world, 12 are in Europe and 10 of those 12 are led by a royal family. This includes well-known royal families such as the Windsors in the United Kingdom and the Grimaldi's in Monaco. However, monarchies in Africa and Asia also have notable royal families, many of whom have captivating stories. For example, Japan's current Emperor Emeritus Akihito broke 2,600 years of tradition in 1959 by marrying his beloved, a commoner named Michiko Shōda, instead of choosing an aristocratic bride from the approved social group. More recently, his granddaughter Princess Mako followed his example and gave up her royal status completely so she could marry the man she loved. Another royal family worthy of mention is Bhutan's photogenic Wangchuck family: King Jihme Singye, Queen Jetsun Pema, and the young princes Jigme Namgyel and Jigme Ugyen, who frequently charm the internet at large via annual calendar appearances and the queen's Instagram account.
It's a little-known fact in many countries that The Windsor family, arguably the most well-known royal family globally, is the ruling family of far more than just the United Kingdom. In fact, the British monarch technically also presides over 15 other countries spread all over the world, including Canada, the Bahamas, and Australia. These countries were all subjected to British rule at one point or another in their history, and although all are now independent sovereign nations, they still maintain at least a ceremonial connection to the British monarchy.
|Antigua and Barbuda||Windsor||King Charles III|
|Australia||Windsor||King Charles III|
|Bahamas||Windsor||King Charles III|
|Bahrain||Al Khalifa||King Hamad bin Isa|
|Belgium||Saxe-Coburg and Gotha||King Philippe|
|Belize||Windsor||King Charles III|
|Bhutan||Wangchuck||King Jigme Khesar Namgyel|
|Cambodia||Norodom||King Norodom Sihamoni|
|Canada||Windsor||King Charles III|
|Denmark||Glücksburg||Queen Margrethe II|
|Eswatini||Dlamini||King Mswati III|
|Grenada||Windsor||King Charles III|
|Jamaica||Windsor||King Charles III|
|Jordan||Hāshim||King Abdullah II|
|Kuwait||Al Sabah||Emir Nawaf Al-Ahmad|
|Lesotho||Moshesh||King Letsie III|
|Luxembourg||Luxembourg-Nassau||Grand Duke Henri|
|Malaysia||Bendahara||King Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah|
|Monaco||Grimaldi||Sovereign Prince Albert II|
|Morocco||Alawi||King Mohammed VI|
|New Zealand||Windsor||King Charles III|
|Norway||Glücksburg||King Harald V|
|Oman||Al Said||Sultan Haitham bin Tariq|
|Papua New Guinea||Windsor||King Charles III|
|Qatar||Al Thani||Emir Tamim bin Hamad|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||Windsor||King Charles III|
|Saint Lucia||Windsor||King Charles III|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||Windsor||King Charles III|
|Saudi Arabia||Al Saud||King Salman bin Abdulaziz|
|Solomon Islands||Windsor||King Charles III|
|Spain||Borbón-Anjou||King Felipe VI|
|Sweden||Bernadotte||King Carl XVI Gustaf|
|Tonga||Tupou||King Tupou VI|
|Tuvalu||Windsor||King Charles III|
|United Kingdom||Windsor||King Charles III|
Twenty-six countries in the world are monarchies, meaning all of these countries have royal families.
The following countries have royal families: Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Bahrain, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, Eswatini, Grenada, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, the Solomon Islands, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and Vatican City.