Have any royal heads of state (King, Queen, Sovereign Prince, etc.) ever had to stand for election for their position rather than being born into it?
King Charles XIV of Sweden (formerly the French soldier Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte) was elected Crown Prince and heir to King Charles XIII in 1810.
The Maoist rebels in Nepal have stated that they would accept the current monarchy if people voted them in.
The Sultan of Malaysia is chosen by ballot from among the heads of the constituent states.
Prior to 1795 the King of Poland was an elective position.
Officially, the Holy Roman Emperor was elected, by four Prince Electors and three Bishop Electors. In practice, after about 1500 the election simply meant that the Habsburg due to be elected had to make the desired concessions to the electors to get their vote.
Several countries have had referenda to decide whether to continue or restore their monarchy – not quite the same thing as electing a monarch, but in the same ballpark.
When there is no clear order of succession, elections are held. When the last direct Kamehameha died, William Charles Lunalilo was elected. He was a cousin to Kamehameha V(Lot Kapuiwa).
The Pope is pretty much monarch of the Vatican City (and previously of the Papal States), and is elected by the College of Cardinals to his position.
The position of Holy Roman Emperor was to some extent elected by various princes, bishops, counts, and dukes in certain territories that made up the HRE.
The President of France (which is an elected position) also serves ex officio as Co-Prince of Andorra, along with the Bishop of Urgell.
In 1905, Norway held a referendum to decide whether the newly-fully-independent country should be a monarchy or a republic. Since Parliament had already asked Prince Carl of Denmark to become King, people knew that voting for monarchy was the same as voting for him. Monarchy won by a substantial margin and Prince Carl became King Haakon VII.
Simeon Borisov Sakskoburggotski, the rightful heir to the throne of Bulgaria, was elected his country’s Prime Minister in 2002.
Not quite correct. He had been King during the 1940’s
Isn’t the Prime Minister of Bulgaria also the crown prince of the now dethroned Royal family?
D’oh, that’ll learn me to read more thoroughly.