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Abdication is the act of formally relinquishing
monarchical A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch, is head of state for life or until abdication. The legitimacy (political)#monarchy, political legitimacy and authority of the monarch may vary from restricted and largel ...
authority. Abdications have played various roles in the succession procedures of monarchies. While some cultures have viewed abdication as an extreme abandonment of duty, in other societies (such as pre-
Meiji Restoration#REDIRECT Meiji Restoration The , referred to at the time as the , and also known as the Meiji Renovation, Revolution, Reform, or Renewal, was a political event that restored practical imperial rule to Japan in 1868 under Emperor Meiji. Although t ...
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
), abdication was a regular event, and helped maintain stability during political succession. Historically, abdications have occurred both by force (where the
regnant A monarchy is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legisl ...
was forced to abdicate on pain of death or other severe consequences) and voluntarily. Some rulers are ruled to have abdicated ''in absentia'', vacating the physical throne and thus their position of power, although these judgments were generally pronounced by successors with vested interest in seeing the throne abdicated, and often without or despite the direct input of the abdicating monarch. Recently, due to the largely
ceremonial A ceremony (, ) is a unified ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed according to a set sequence. Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious ...
nature of the regnant in many
constitutional monarchies A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated el ...
, many monarchs have abdicated due to old age, such as the monarchs of
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
,
Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is in area, bordered by Thailand to Cambodia–T ...

Cambodia
,
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
,
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
and the Papacy.


Terminology

The word ''abdication'' is derived from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
''abdicatio'' meaning to disown or renounce (''ab'', away from, and ''dicare'', to proclaim). In its broadest sense ''abdication'' is the act of renouncing and resigning from any formal office, but it is applied especially to the supreme office of
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
. In
Roman law Roman law is the law, legal system of ancient Rome, including the legal developments spanning over a thousand years of jurisprudence, from the Twelve Tables (c. 449 BC), to the ''Corpus Juris Civilis'' (AD 529) ordered by Eastern Roman emperor J ...
the term was also applied to the disowning of a family member, such as the disinheriting of a son. Today the term commonly applies to monarchs. An elected or appointed official is said to
resign Resignation is the formal act of leaving or quitting one's office or position. A resignation can occur when a person holding a position gained by election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses ...
rather than to abdicate. A notable exception is the voluntary relinquishing of the office of Bishop of Rome (and thus Sovereign of the Vatican City State) by the Pope, called Papal resignation or
Papal renunciation A papal renunciation ( la, renuntiatio) occurs when the reigning pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, ...
.


Historical examples

In certain cultures, the abdication of a monarch was seen as a profound and shocking abandonment of royal duty. As a result, abdications usually only occurred in the most extreme circumstances of political turmoil or violence. For other cultures, abdication was a much more routine element of succession.


The Roman Empire

Among the most notable abdications of antiquity are those of
Lucius Cornelius Sulla Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (; 138–78 BC), commonly known as Sulla, was a Ancient Romans, Roman List of Roman generals, general and Politician, statesman. He won the first large-scale civil war in Roman history, and became the first man of Rom ...
, the
Dictator A dictator is a political leader who possesses absolute power. A dictatorship A dictatorship is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the ...
, in 79 BC;
Emperor An emperor (from la, imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as a title roughly equivalent to ''commander'' under the Roma ...
Diocletian Diocletian (; la, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus; born Diocles; 22 December c. 244 – 3 December 311) was from 284 to 305. Born to a family of low status in , Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become a commander of ...
in AD 305; and Emperor
Romulus Augustulus Romulus Augustus ( 465 – after 511?), nicknamed Augustulus, was Roman emperor of the Western Roman Empire, West from 31 October 475 until 4 September 476. Romulus was placed on the imperial throne by his father, the ''magister militum'' Orest ...
in AD 476.


The Papacy, the Papal States and Vatican City

Due to the complex nature of the office of Pope (head of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church and sovereign of the
Papal States The Papal States ( ; it, Stato Pontificio), officially the State of the Church ( it, Stato della Chiesa, ; la, Status Ecclesiasticus; also '), were a series of territories in the Italian Peninsula The Italian Peninsula (Italian Ital ...
from 754 to 1870 and of Vatican City since 1929), a papal abdication involves both the spiritual and the secular sphere. Technically, the correct term for a reigning Pope voluntarily stepping down as Bishop of Rome is renunciation or resignation, as regulated in Canon 332 §2 of the
1983 Code of Canon Law The 1983 Code of Canon Law (abbreviated 1983 CIC from its Latin title ''Codex Iuris Canonici''), also called the Johanno-Pauline Code, is the "fundamental body of ecclesiastical laws for the Latin Church". It is the second and current comprehens ...
. The debate is open about some disputed resignations in the early middle ages: the last three popes to resign were
Celestine VCelestine is a given name and a surname. People Given name * Pope Celestine I (died 432) * Pope Celestine II (died 1144) * Pope Celestine III (c. 1106–1198) * Pope Celestine IV (died 1241) * Pope Celestine V (1215–1296) * Antipope ...

Celestine V
in 1294,
Gregory XII Gregory may refer to: Places Australia *Gregory, Queensland Gregory is a rural town and locality in the Shire of Burke, Queensland Queensland ( ,) is a state situated in northeastern Australia, and is the States and territories of A ...

Gregory XII
in 1415, to end the Western Schism, and
Benedict XVI Pope Benedict XVI ( la, Benedictus XVI; it, Benedetto XVI; german: Benedikt XVI.; born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, , on 16 April 1927) is a retired prelate A prelate () is a high-ranking member of the clergy who is an ordinary or who ra ...
in 2013, who was succeeded by
Francis Francis may refer to: People *Pope Francis Pope Francis ( la, Franciscus; it, Francesco; es, link=no, Francisco; born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 17 December 1936) is the head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to ...

Francis
. Benedict's resignation, that occurred 598 years after the last time a Pope did so, and 719 years after the last one who renounced entirely on his own volition, was an event unheard of for more than half a millennium, and was met with a great deal of surprise worldwide.


Britain

One of the most notable abdications in recent history is that of
King Edward VIII Edward VIII (Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David; 23 June 1894 – 28 May 1972) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominion The word Dominion was used from 1907 to 1948 to refer to one of several self-governing colonies ...
of the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
and the
Dominion The word Dominion was used from 1907 to 1948 to refer to one of several self-governing colonies of the British Empire. "Dominion status" was formally accorded to Canada, Australia, Dominion of New Zealand, New Zealand, Dominion of Newfoundland ...

Dominion
s. In 1936 Edward abdicated to marry American divorcée
Wallis Simpson Wallis, Duchess of Windsor (born Bessie Wallis Warfield; June 19, 1896 – April 24, 1986), known as Wallis Simpson, was an American socialite A socialite is a person (usually from a wealthy, or aristocratic background) who plays a promin ...
, over the objections of the British establishment, the governments of the
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existenc ...

Commonwealth
, the
Royal Family A royal family is the immediate family of kings/queens Queens is a borough of New York City, coextensive with Queens County, in the U.S. state of New York. It is the largest borough of New York City New York City (NYC), often simp ...
and the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Critic ...
. It was the first time in history that the British or English crown was surrendered entirely voluntarily.
Richard II of England Richard II (6 January 1367 – c. 14 February 1400), also known as Richard of Bordeaux, was King of England from 1377 until he was List of deposed politicians, deposed in 1399. Richard's father, Edward the Black Prince, Edward, Prince of ...

Richard II of England
, for example, was forced to abdicate after power was seized by his cousin,
Henry Bolingbroke Henry IV (15 April 1367 – 20 March 1413) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerge ...

Henry Bolingbroke
, while Richard was abroad. During the
Glorious Revolution The Glorious Revolution of November 1688 ( ga, An Réabhlóid Ghlórmhar; gd, Rèabhlaid Ghlòrmhor; cy, Chwyldro Gogoneddus), the invasion also known as the ''Glorieuze Overtocht'' or Glorious Crossing by the Dutch, was the deposition of ...
in 1688,
James II of England and VII of Scotland
James II of England and VII of Scotland
fled to France, dropping the
Great Seal of the Realm The Great Seal of the Realm or Great Seal of the United Kingdom (known prior to the Treaty of Union of 1707 as the Great Seal of England; and from then until the Union of 1801 as the Great Seal of Great Britain) is a seal Seal may refer to ...
into the Thames, and the question was discussed in Parliament whether he had forfeited the throne or had abdicated. The latter designation was agreed upon in spite of James's protest, and in a full assembly of the Lords and Commons it was resolved "that King James II having endeavoured to subvert the constitution of the kingdom, by breaking the original contract between king and people, and, by the advice of
Jesuits The Society of Jesus ( la, Societas Iesu; abbreviated SJ), also known as the Jesuits (; la, Iesuitæ), is a religious order (Catholic), religious order of the Catholic Church headquartered in Rome. It was founded by Ignatius of Loyola and six co ...
and other wicked persons, having violated the fundamental laws, and having withdrawn himself out of this kingdom, has abdicated the government, and that the throne is thereby vacant." The
Scottish parliament The Scottish Parliament ( gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba ; Scots language, Scots: ''Scots Pairlament'') is the Devolution in the United Kingdom, devolved, Unicameralism, unicameral legislature of Scotland. Located in the Holyrood, Edinburgh, Holyro ...
pronounced a decree of forfeiture and
deposition Deposition may refer to: * Deposition (law), taking testimony outside of court * List of deposed politicians, Deposition (politics), the removal of a person of authority from political power * Deposition (university), a widespread initiation ritual ...
. In
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
,
Mary, Queen of Scots Mary, Queen of Scots (8 December 1542 – 8 February 1587), also known as Mary Stuart, was Queen of Scotland The monarch of Scotland was the head of state of the Kingdom of Scotland. According to tradition, the first King of Scots was Kenn ...

Mary, Queen of Scots
, was forced to abdicate in favour of her one-year-old son,
James VI James is a common English language surname and given name: * James (name), the typically masculine first name James * James (surname), various people with the last name James James or James City may also refer to: People * King James (disambiguati ...

James VI
. Today, because the title to the Crown depends upon
statute A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) ...

statute
, particularly the
Act of Settlement 1701 The Act of Settlement is an Act of the Parliament of England that was passed in 1701 to settle the order of succession, succession to the List of English monarchs, English and List of Irish monarchs, Irish crowns on Protestants only. This had ...
, a royal abdication can be effected only by an
Act of Parliament Acts of parliament, sometimes referred to as primary legislation, are texts of law passed by the Legislature, legislative body of a jurisdiction (often a parliament or council). In most countries, acts of parliament begin as a Bill (law), bill, wh ...
; under the terms of the
Statute of Westminster 1931 The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom In the United Kingdom an Act of Parliament is primary legislation In parliamentary systems and presidential systems of government, primary legislation and ...
, such an act must be agreed by the parliaments of all extant signatories of the Statute. To give legal effect to the abdication of King Edward VIII,
His Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act 1936 His Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act 1936 (1 Edw. 8 & 1 Geo. 6 c. 3) was the Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that recognised and ratified the abdication of King Edward VIII and passed succession to his brothe ...
was passed.


Japan

In
Japanese history The first human habitation in the Japanese archipelago has been traced to prehistoric times around 30,000 BCE. The Jōmon period The is the time in Japanese prehistory, traditionally dated between  Upper Paleolithic, 14,000–300 BC ...
, abdication was used very often, and in fact occurred more often than death on the throne. In those days, most executive authority resided in the hands of
regent A regent (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...
s (see
Sesshō and Kampaku In Japan, was a title given to a regent who was named to act on behalf of either a child Emperor of Japan, Emperor before his coming of age, or an Empress of Japan, empress regnant. The was theoretically a sort of chief advisor for the Emperor, ...
), and the Emperor's chief task was priestly, containing so many repetitive rituals that it was deemed the incumbent Emperor deserved pampered retirement as an honored retired emperor after a service of around ten years. A tradition developed that an Emperor should accede to the throne relatively young. The high-priestly duties were deemed possible for a walking child; and a dynast who had passed his toddler years was regarded as suitable and old enough; reaching the age of legal majority was not a requirement. Thus, many Japanese Emperors have acceded as children, some only 6 or 8 years old. Childhood apparently helped the monarch to endure tedious duties and to tolerate subjugation to political power-brokers, as well as sometimes to cloak the truly powerful members of the imperial dynasty. Almost all Japanese empresses and dozens of Emperors abdicated and lived the rest of their lives in pampered retirement, wielding influence behind the scenes, often with more power than they had had while on the throne (see
Cloistered rule was a form of government in Japan during the Heian period. In this bifurcated system, an Emperor of Japan, emperor abdicated, but retained power and influence. Those retired emperors who withdrew to live in monasteries (''in'') continued to act in ...
). Several Emperors abdicated while still in their teens. These traditions show in Japanese folklore, theater, literature and other forms of culture, where the Emperor is usually described or depicted as an adolescent. Before the
Meiji Restoration#REDIRECT Meiji Restoration The , referred to at the time as the , and also known as the Meiji Renovation, Revolution, Reform, or Renewal, was a political event that restored practical imperial rule to Japan in 1868 under Emperor Meiji. Although t ...
, Japan had eleven reigning empresses. Over half of Japanese empresses abdicated once a suitable male descendant was considered to be old enough to rule. There is also no provision for abdication in the
Imperial Household Law is a statute in Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat ...
, the
Meiji Constitution The Constitution of the Empire of Japan (Kyūjitai are the traditional forms of kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters that are used in the Japanese writing system. They are used alongside the Japanese language, Japanes ...
, or the current 1947
Constitution of Japan The Constitution of Japan (Shinjitai are the simplified forms of kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters that are used in the Japanese writing system. They are used alongside the Japanese language, Japanese syllabic script ...
. After the defeat of Japan in
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, many members of the Imperial Family, such as Princes
Chichibu is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It can be d ...
, Takamatsu and Higashikuni, pressured then-Emperor
Hirohito , posthumuously known as Emperor , was the List of emperors of Japan, 124th emperor of Japan, ruling from 1926 until his death in 1989. Hirohito and his wife, Empress Kōjun, had two sons and five daughters; he was succeeded by his fifth child a ...
to abdicate so that one of the Princes could serve as regent until Crown Prince
Akihito is a member of the Imperial House of Japan who reigned as the 125th emperor of Japan, according to the List of Emperors of Japan, traditional order of succession, from 7 January 1989 until 30 April 2019, Heisei era. He succeeded to the Chrysan ...
came of age. On February 27, 1946, the Emperor's youngest brother,
Prince Mikasa was a Japanese royal, member of the Imperial House of Japan The , also referred to as the Imperial Family, comprises those members of the extended family of the reigning Emperor of Japan who undertake official and public duties. Under the prese ...
(Takahito), even stood up in the privy council and indirectly urged the Emperor to step down and accept responsibility for Japan's defeat. U.S. General
Douglas MacArthur , birth_date = , birth_place = Little Rock, Arkansas (The Little Rock, The "Little Rock") , government_type = council-manager government, Council-manager , leader_title = List of mayors of Lit ...

Douglas MacArthur
insisted that Emperor Hirohito remain on the throne. MacArthur saw the Emperor as a symbol of the continuity and cohesion of the Japanese people. On 13 July 2016, national broadcaster
NHK also called the Japan Broadcasting Corporation and shortened from ''Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai'', is a Japanese government-owned public broadcaster Public broadcasting involves radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunicatio ...

NHK
reported that the Emperor intended to abdicate in favor of his eldest son
Crown Prince Naruhito is the emperor of Japan. He acceded to the Chrysanthemum Throne on 1 May 2019, beginning the Reiwa era, following the 2019 Japanese imperial transition, abdication of his father, Akihito. He is the 126th monarch according to Japan's List of Em ...
within a few years, citing his age; an abdication within the
Imperial Family A royal family is the immediate family of kings/queens Queens is a borough of New York City, coextensive with Queens County, in the U.S. state of New York. It is the largest borough of New York City New York City (NYC), often simp ...
had not occurred since
Emperor Kōkaku was the 119th Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional List of Emperors of Japan, order of succession.Imperial Household Agency (''Kunaichō'') 光格天皇 (119)/ref> Kōkaku reigned from 16 December 1780 until his abdication#Japanese_histo ...

Emperor Kōkaku
abdicated in 1817. However, senior officials within the
Imperial Household Agency The (IHA) is an agency of the government of Japan in charge of state matters concerning the Imperial House of Japan, Imperial Family, and also the keeping of the Privy Seal of Japan, Privy Seal and State Seal of Japan. From around the 8th cen ...

Imperial Household Agency
denied that there was any official plan for the monarch to abdicate. A potential abdication by the Emperor required an amendment to the
Imperial Household Law is a statute in Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat ...
, which at that time had no provisions for such a move. On 8 August 2016, the Emperor gave a rare televised address, where he emphasized his advanced age and declining health; this address was interpreted as an implication of his intention to abdicate. On 1 December 2017, Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe Shinzo Abe (, ; ; born 21 September 1954) is a Japanese politician who served as Prime Minister of Japan The (informally referred to as the PMOJ) is the head of government, leader of the executive branch of the government of Japan and th ...

Shinzo Abe
announced that Emperor Akihito would step down on 30 April 2019. The announcement came after a meeting of the
Imperial Household Council The is a ten-member body to approve the statutory matters on the Imperial House of Japan The , also referred to as the Imperial Family, comprises those members of the extended family of the reigning Emperor of Japan who undertake official and p ...
. On 19 May 2017, the bill that would allow Akihito to abdicate was issued by the
Japanese government The is the central government of Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of Japan.svg , alt ...
's cabinet. On 8 June 2017, the
National Diet The is Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of Japan.svg , alt_coat = Go ...

National Diet
passed a one-off bill allowing Akihito to abdicate, and for the government to begin arranging the process of handing over the position to
Crown Prince Naruhito is the emperor of Japan. He acceded to the Chrysanthemum Throne on 1 May 2019, beginning the Reiwa era, following the 2019 Japanese imperial transition, abdication of his father, Akihito. He is the 126th monarch according to Japan's List of Em ...
. The abdication officially occurred on 30 April 2019.


Other examples in recent history

Hussein ibn Ali al-Hashimi, Sharif of Mecca abdicated the Kingdom of Hejaz in October 1924. In recent decades, the monarchs or leaders of the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
,
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...

Belgium
,
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a landlocked ...

Luxembourg
,
Qatar Qatar (, , or ; ar, قطر, Qaṭar ; local vernacular pronunciation: ), officially the State of Qatar,) is a country in Western Asia. It occupies the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, and shares it ...

Qatar
,
Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is in area, bordered by Thailand to Cambodia–T ...

Cambodia
,
Bhutan Bhutan (; dz, འབྲུག་ཡུལ་, Druk Yul, ), officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan ( dz, འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་, Druk Gyal Khap), is a landlocked country in the Eastern Himalayas. It is bordered by Chin ...

Bhutan
and
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
have abdicated as a result of old age. In the Netherlands, the last three monarchs
Wilhelmina
Wilhelmina
, Juliana, and
Beatrix Beatrix is a feminine given name, most likely derived from ''Viatrix'', a feminine form of the Late Latin name ''Viator'' which meant "voyager, traveller" and later influenced in spelling by association with the Latin word ''beatus'' or "blessed". I ...
have all abdicated. In all three instances, this was done to pass the throne to the heir sooner. In June 2014,
King Juan Carlos of the King of the Romans (variant used in the early modern period) File:Nezahualpiltzintli.jpg"> Aztec King Nezahualpiltzintli of Texcoco King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen ...
of
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
announced his intent to abdicate in favor of his son,
Felipe Felipe is the Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation ...

Felipe
. Felipe took the throne as King Felipe VI on June 19.


See also

*
Lists of office-holders These are lists of incumbent The incumbent is the current holder of an office or position, usually in relation to an election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple ...
*
List of monarchs who lost their thrones in the 20th century The following monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality ...
* List of monarchs who lost their thrones in the 21st century *
Papal renunciation A papal renunciation ( la, renuntiatio) occurs when the reigning pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, ...


References

* Attribution *


External links

* {{Authority control History of the papacy