Both a king and a queen

In so many stories, especially fairy tales, a monarchy is ruled by a king and a queen. But it seems that real monarchies have either a king or a queen, but not both. Are there any current countries that have both?

I realize there may be some ambiguity regarding the terms “monarchy,” “king” and “queen.”

Most fairy-tale queens would be consort queens, not reigning queens. It would be the usual pattern for a country to have both a King and Queen at the same time. But the King would be the actual ruler. When Queen Beatrix steps down, the Netherlands will have a King and Queen after that pattern. (I can’t actually think of any current reigning Kings. Surely there must be one somewhere!)

Reigning Queens generally don’t name their consort’s as King, probably for various reasons including general sexist assumptions that where male and female members of a married couple have the same status the man is the one “really in charge”, so a consort of a Queen needs to have a lower official status to balance that out. But it could happen, in theory.

For instances where both the King and Queen are equal co-rulers, that’s pretty rare and I can’t think of any current examples. Famous historical examples would include William and Mary of Britain, and Isabella and Ferdinand of Aragon/Castille

Some real monarchies have both at the moment - for example, King Gustaf and Queen Sylvia of Sweden.

I was surprised at Wikipedia how many European Kings have only ‘Princesses’ for spouses, not queens. One important point to remember is that only one out of the King or the Queen is the true monarch - usually in fairy tales, it’s the King.

I think, (WAG alert,) that if the King and Queen are married in the real world, then it’s probably the King who’s the monarch and the Queen is a ‘Queen consort.’ The other type of Queen is Queen regnant - one who inherited the throne by blood, say, like both Queen Elizabeths, and Queen Victoria, in England.

Queen Elizabeth is married to Philip, but they don’t call him King Philip, just Prince Philip. I’m not sure if any country would call the spouse of a Queen regnant a King consort.

Does that help at all?
(on edit.) Or what Aspidistra said, yeah. :wink:

One of my favorite monarchs King Juan Carlos I of Spain has been reigning since 1975 (and General Francisco Franco is still dead!)

Thailand has a king.

will no-one think of the Belgians!

King Albert II has been King of the Belgians since 1993. His spouse is Queen Paola.

From the title I was expecting a royal version of Anna Madrigal.

King Phillip of Spain who married Mary I of Scotland was listed at the time as King of England; for instance, Acts of Parliament show that both Philip and Mary gave royal assent to acts. However, he is not normally now included in the lists of monarchs.

Lord Darnley, who married Mary, Queen of Scots, was granted the title of King Consort by Mary, but never was granted the “Crown matrimonial”, the term for a male spouse acquiring full rights of king regnant.

If you go back in history, you’ll find that most Kings of England/Britain/United Kingdom had a queen consort; it’s just that because the monarch is currently a queen regnant that her spouse does not have the title of king.

For instance, from the end of the reign of Queen Victoria to the beginning of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, there were four kings on the throne. Three of them were married, and their wives were styled as queens consort:

  • King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra;

  • King George V and Queen Mary;

  • King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

Norway has King Harald V, married to Queen Sonja.

I clicked on the link as I was curious about Juan Carlos’ marital status, and may have discovered something interesting about Wikipedia listing royal spouses. Under Juan Carlos’ article, it says “Juan Carlos married Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark,”, but when I follow the link to Sophia, it’s titled Queen Sophia of Spain. So I guess she’s a princess by blood and a queen by marriage?

At the time of her marriage she was a princess, but she became a queen consort when her husband became king. She’s also one of the royalist royals around:

Hmm… did you mean ‘royalist’ to be the superlative of royal? (Royal, royaler, royalist?) Because I would think that should be ‘royalest’, even though it’s not in the dictionary. Royalist is a different word, meaning somebody who supports royalties in general or particular monarchs in wars against republicans.

Yes, I did mean royalest…I thought it looked funny, but I left it because I liked the sound of it (and I was just making the word up anyway).

Isabella and Ferdinand were NOT co-rulers. She was ruler of Castille and consort of Aragon, he was ruler of Aragon and consort of Castille - and later, regent of Castille. If Ferdinand had been co-regnant of Castille, their daughter Juana wouldn’t have become queen (she was declared incapable before his death). “Tanto monta, monta tanto” (one matters as much as the other) because both were regnant of one kingdom and consort of another, not because both were regnants of both kingdoms.

Ferdinand’s father and the father’s first wife (Juan of Aragon and Blanca of Navarre) were a previous example of the wife being regnant and the husband consort and vice versa; Juan II of Aragon’s refusal to accept that he was consort of Navarre and not her regnant led led to war with his firstborn Carlos, Prince of Viana, to the eventual murder of Carlos, and to the invasion of the High Navarre (the Spanish side) by Castillian troops paid by Aragon (1512): paid. If Ferdinand had been King Regnant he wouldn’t have had to pay.

And his wife is called the queen, so there’s both here.

There is a relatively famous photograph of the Three Queens in mourning for Geeorge VI at the time of his funeral: His mother Queen Mary; his widow Queen Elizabeth (AKA the Queen Mother); and his daughter the new Queen (Regnant) Elizabeth II.

This thread prompts a thought…

Has there ever been a case of a Queen Regnant whose consort was styled King, despite not being co-ruler? (And styled king within her realm if he was a king in his own right elsewhere.)

Yes - Lord Darnley, husband of Mary Queen of Scots, as mentioned in post # 8.

A king outranks a queen so that is why the consort of a Queen Regnant will not usually take the title of ‘King’.