There are some royal families that are world famous, either as contemporary regal dynasties or as ancient royal Houses whose stories have become legendary over the passage of time. 

Royal lineages such as the famous Bourbon Kings of France, the legendary Archdukes of Habsburg, the ancient Ming dynasty of China, or the infamous Medici family of Renaissance Florence – these have all become popular names around the world, both throughout the centuries or decades of their reign, or after leaving their mark on history. 

One of the most famous royal families of the 21st century is the House of Windsor, the British Royal Family, whose characters and stories captivate people from all walks of life all over the world. 

Whether it’s the celebrations of the late Queen Elizabeth II and her impressive 70-year reign, or a new royal baby, a grand royal wedding or even a newsworthy royal scandal, it seems that modern culture and contemporary media platforms can’t get enough of the English royals. 

Royal Families Around The World

Yet the British Royal Family is just one of a number of ruling monarchies around the world

There are also royal families in the Middle East, powerful and enduring dynasties that hail from ancient royal lines. Many of these monarchies enjoy wealth and opulence to rival even the greatest imperial rulers of the ages. 

Nations such as Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait and Oman all have royal families that enjoy a life comparable to the European royals, often surpassing the riches and lavishness of their Western peers, representing the beautiful and captivating history of the Middle Eastern region and its many fascinating cultures and traditions. 

Beyond the Middle East, to ancient nations such as Japan, the countries of the African continent, and Asian lands such as Malaysia and Bhutan, these too can proudly boast their own royal family along with all the history and tradition that accompany a monarchy and sovereign past.

It’s perhaps not surprising, however, that many of the royal families that have endured to the present day are in Europe. 

After the great royal dynasties that evolved and flourished on the European continent during the heyday of kings, queens and empires, it’s little wonder that a number have survived to modern times, the various revolutions and political upheavals notwithstanding.

Here are some of the European royal families that still reign supreme in contemporary societies, whether that’s in official terms of politics and governance, or more as inspiring figureheads of royal leadership. 

House of Bernadotte & The Swedish Royal Family

Charles John, born Jean Bernadotte, King of Sweden and Norway 1818–1844 Portrait by Fredric Westin – Fredric Westin, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The House of Bernadotte is the current royal family of Sweden. It was also formerly the royal house of Norway, in the centuries when the monarchies of Norway and Sweden combined. 

This thoroughly modern royal family, like so many of its European neighbours, can claim a rich and captivating history, full of the drama and intrigue that has entertained history lovers and ordinary people alike throughout the ages. 

Perhaps the most historic legend of this royal family is its founding monarch, Charles XIV John of Sweden, whose origins as a humble French soldier make for such a fascinating rags to riches tale.

The former name of this enterprising military man was Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, and his surname became the name of the royal House and its descendants that would follow his reign. 

His remarkable rise to power and glory was due in large part to his proximity to one of Europe’s most famous rulers – Emperor Napoleon I. Bernadotte was a lifelong friend and ally of Napoleon, and it was through the imperial connection that he became the ruler of a Scandinavian nation, despite his French origins. 

His son and grandson went on to establish the great House of Bernadotte as one of the most esteemed royal families of Europe, and one of the most beloved lineages of the Swedish people. 

The current King of Sweden is Carl XVI Gustav, a direct descendant of Jean-Baptistery Bernadotte, and the latest monarch from the royal House of Bernadotte. 

The Royal Family Of Belgium

The royal family of Belgium is another historic European lineage that has endured to the present day. 

Like the famous royals around the world, the Belgian royals of the 21st century are a popular source of inspiration and entertainment, both in their native country and around the world. 

The current monarch is Philippe, King of the Belgians, who ascended to the Belgian throne in 2013. His popular and glamourous wife, Queen Mathilde, along with their four charming children ensure that the cultural and media interest in this uniquely Belgian royal family goes from strength to strength. 

The marriage of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde is typical of many royal marriages throughout the ages, particularly in the royal courts of Europe. It has long been the tradition for a king or heir to the throne to choose a wife from the local nobility, and the modern Belgian royals followed in this centuries-old practice. 

Before she became Queen Consort of the Belgian monarch, Mathilde, or to use her full name; Mathilde Marie Christine Ghislaine d’Udekem d’Acoz, was the daughter of a respected noble family. In line with another tradition of noble ascension, the royal marriage led to her parent’s rank being elevated from the level of Baron to that of Count, so that her parents are now styled Count and Countess Patrick d’Udekem d’Acoz.

Whether it’s the fairy tale theme of her royal marriage, her respected charity work, her delightful family or her Belgian roots, Queen Mathilde is a popular modern royal who, alongside her husband the king, is an esteemed representative of one of the much loved royal families of Europe. 

The various royal families around the world provide a captivating collection of regal dynasties, tradition and heritage. Though some of the modern royals may live quieter lives than the more famous characters who thrive in the limelight, these historic royal Houses provide a refreshing insight into the various types of contemporary monarchies.