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A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy, a form of government in which a country or entity is usually ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and normally rules for life or until abdication. Monarchs may be autocrats (absolute monarchy) or ceremonial heads of state who exercise little or no power or only reserve power, with actual authority vested in a parliament or other body (constitutional monarchy).
Most states have a single monarch at any given time, although a regent may rule when the monarch is a minor, not present, or otherwise incapable of ruling. Two monarchs have ruled simultaneously in some countries, as in the ancient Greek city-state of Sparta or the joint sovereignty of spouses or relatives (e.g. William and Mary of Kingdom of England and Scotland,Peter and Ivan of Russia, Charles and Joanna of Castile, etc.).
Monarchs have various titles — king or queen, prince or princess (e.g. Sovereign Prince of Monaco), Malik or Malikah (e.g. Maliks of Middle eastern Mamlakahs). emperor or empress (e.g. Emperor of Japan, Emperor of India), Shah of Iran, or dukeor grand duke (e.g. Grand Duke of Luxembourg). Many monarchs are distinguished by titles and styles. They often take part in certain ceremonies, such as a coronation.