BBC documentary about the history of the Monarchy. A monarchy is a form of government in which sovereignty is actually or nominally embodied in a single individual (the monarch). Forms of monarchy differ widely based on the level of legal autonomy the monarch holds in governance, the method of selection of the monarch, and any predetermined limits on the length of their tenure. When the monarch has no or few legal restraints in state and political matters, it is called an absolute monarchy and is a form of autocracy. Cases in which the monarch's discretion is formally limited (most common today) are called constitutional monarchies. In hereditary monarchies, the office is passed through inheritance within a family group, whereas elective monarchies are selected by some system of voting. Historically these systems are most commonly combined, either formally or informally, in some manner. (For instance, in some elected monarchies only those of certain pedigrees are considered eligible, whereas many hereditary monarchies have legal requirements regarding the religion, age, gender, mental capacity, and other factors that act both as de facto elections and to create situations of rival claimants whose legitimacy is subject to effective election.) Finally, there are situations in which the expiration of a monarch's reign is set based either on the calendar or on the achievement of certain goals (repulse of invasion, for instance.)

Film Duration: 48 min .