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Policy Document for the Council of Monarchs

1. Purpose of the Council

The purpose of the Council is to convene a global gathering of reigning monarchs, who evidently have considerable influence, power and prestige internationally. The purpose of their coming together as a council is so that they can be more effective as a council than they can be individually. They could add their voices collectively to the work that needs to be done on the planet and the achievement of certain collective policy aims. These could be, firstly, eliminating the need for wars between nation states or their respective dominions, in effect they would act as a peace pact; the members of the Council would pledge their countries to non-violence against each other, and would set up a mechanism that in the unlikely event that any such outbreaks of violence occurred, it would be referred automatically to an arbitration mechanism established within the Council whereby other monarchs not involved in the dispute could facilitate its solution.
            Secondly, it would also act as a mediating forum for disputes between other nations which are not monarchies, and where countries may be sadly locked in cycles of war and violence. The Council could send mediation teams with their backing and support to help solve any dispute
            Why set such a Council up? Surely the UN does this? Does this not usurp the UN? The answer is that the UN is an assembly of governments and as such is subject to the whims of democracy or the political structures that are in place in those respective governments and therefore is riveted with party faction-building and all the agendas that come with conventional party politics: like a choppy sea, depending on which way the currents are flowing or the breeze is blowing you can either sail or not in a given direction. The UN has proved unable to solve many of the great conflicts affecting the planet at the moment, and has also proved somewhat lacking in ability to galvanize the collective imagination of mankind to solve some of the dilemmas affecting the planet.
            The Council of Monarchs would act as a support and a supplement to the work of the UN, not usurping its functions at all but working alongside with it. Wherever the Council chose to intervene it would invite a UN representative to be present or to come alongside, thereby adding weight to the work of the UN. It would be anticipated that the Council would get some kind of official recognition from the United Nations and vice-a-versa.
            The point is that the Council could, we maintain, galvanize the collective imagination of the planet, because whilst in some quarters the notion of monarchy is outdated and no longer seen as necessary, for many it is, and always has been, a symbol and guarantor of order in society. The concept of a monarch evolved among the various kinds of government by humankind in order to guarantee law and stability in a given community, and many political philosophers such as Hobbes in the horrors of the English Civil War, argued there had to be a sovereign to take care of the affairs of the nation and guarantee peace.
            Therefore, if the Council were to be convened, it would act as a symbol for order and stability on the planet, which at the moment, tragically, seems lacking. At the moment we have the supposed rule of international law – but this is being flouted. States are committing horrendous acts, there are conflicts within states that go unchecked, and in the last 50 years of the UN’s existence there have been acts of tremendously uncivilized standards of human behaviour: the monarchs of the world have a moral duty to add their voice to preventing it going on, it’s time to say ‘enough is enough’.

2. Who is eligible to join?

The Council is specifically for current reigning monarchs, all of whom have received a copy of this proposal. Although monarchy is not as wide-spread as a form of government as it once was, there are still a large number (30) of reigning sovereigns around the world (see Appendix A) and all are invited to join the Council.

3. What are the Council’s Functions?

3.1. Annual Meeting

The Council will have an annual meeting lasting several days to discuss the issues given below, to be hosted in turn by members’ countries, as a relatively low-profile, non-public event in order to ease the issues of logistics and security.

3.2. Peace

The overall objective of the meetings of the Council will be global peacemaking. Conflict prevention, and finding diplomatic and non-violent solutions to war and other conflicts: this is historically what monarchs, as guarantors of peace and stability to their subjects, have done. Diplomatic disputes that come to a dead-end within the United Nations may fare better with the prestige and influence of the Council’s members. One would hope that in such a capacity, members of the Council would not hold private agendas, but wish merely for the peace and happiness not only of their own subjects, but those in the rest of the world also.

3.3. Interfaith Dialogue

The Council will have representatives from a large number of world religions, and as such, could act as a forum for discussion of the issues between these religions, and hopefully as a focal point for constructive dialogue between the two. This is given particular strength by the important station that some monarchical positions have within a given religious group.

3.4. Environmental Concerns

The Council would be able to act as a collective spokesperson for the environment as a whole. In many cultures, the monarch derives some of his or her power from the land itself, and has been seen as a symbolic protector of the natural world and the land of their dominion.

3.5. Scientific Research

Monarchs have historically been patrons of scientific advancement. By pooling their people’s respective scientific resources to focus on pertinent and urgent problems and solutions to them, the Council could aid in making desperately needed contributions to certain areas of crucial scientific concern; not least those relating to the continuing downward spiral that many scientists point to our environment as being in. Influence to encourage such scientific research not only coincides with traditional values of patronage to the sciences, but also ties with the historical environmental precedent noted above. In addition, the Council can act as a process of rigorous screening to prevent political skewing or editing of scientific research for non-global ends.

3.5. Economics

Most notable if the peace aim becomes successful, the Council could also function to steer the world economy away from a military orientation towards a peacetime orientation, a situation which many desire, but which proves to be elusive due to the difficulties with the current international mechanisms in place.

3.6. Arts and Culture

It has always historically been the case that monarchs have given patronage to great artists of their time: commissioning composers, hiring visual artists, etcetera. Members of the Council could also encourage and support the work of artists and cultural figures in their respective domains, and encourage world-wide appreciation of a variety of cultures as a group.

3.7. Education

In addition to patronising the arts and culture, patronising education in general would also be hoped to be on the Council’s agenda. Monarchs have often founded colleges, universities, and schools in order to increase their dominion’s level of education and advancement. Encouraging education and educators – many of whom often struggle in the face of horrifying odds, often in mortal danger – worldwide would be another key function of the Council.

3.8. Law

Another function of the Council would be to guarantee the legal systems of the world: law as opposed to lawlessness, order as opposed to chaos. As part of this, the Council could encourage international comparative study of both domestic and international law. Additionally, the Council could attempt to give definitive credence on the world stage that there are common international legal standards: that murder, theft, torture, and so on are wrong, and that human beings have definitive, unbreakable rights, the flouting of which is an unequivocal crime. The monarch in many countries remains the apex of their dominion’s legal system, and so it is appropriate that the Council pays special attention to these issues. Finally, although the Council would not initially have formal international legal status, it could by influence aid in providing an additional source of wisdom as regards the referral of pertinent legal cases and the need for them to be dealt with at the requisite level with both truth and justice.

4. The Process – How will the Council be created?

I write this document as the Director of the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy (IIPSGP) which is unique among institutions dedicated to peace and educational research into peace, in that it looks at global philosophical traditions and cultures, and we have as members people from all religions, all cultures, and all philosophical schools, and as Director I have spent 25 years studying in-depth all the great spiritual teachings of mankind and their philosophical heritage and as a result have a great estimation and love of all of those traditions. I am sad therefore that the planet is not at the moment pooling its collective wisdom to solve its common problems. As a historian and philosopher I have a great respect for the role of monarchy over the centuries in different cultures; and so it seems a logical proposal. As a philosopher, I should also say I am a student, inter alia, of Aristotelian philosophy, and Aristotle, the Greek philosopher (and tutor of Alexander the Great) always argued that the best kind of constitution was a mixture of aristocracy, democracy, and monarchy, and that you need all three in a strong state for its healthy well-being. At the moment we have many democracies that have their own forum – the UN – as well as having the EU, a nascent club of democracies, among others. We also have aristocratic bodies – networks of experts and elites in their respective fields, which are still in existence. What we do not have however is the monarchical function being given a joint voice on the global level, and this is why my Institute is putting forward this proposal.
            The central idea is to have an annual gathering of monarchs, to be hosted by different countries. We are sending this document to all the currently existing monarchs, in the hope that one or more of them will come forward and offer to host the launch meeting. We obviously hope that all reigning monarchs will approve and endorse this idea, and wish to join the Council. In terms of how the order of hosting the meeting would be decided, we feel this is a matter best left for the Council itself to decide upon.
            In addition, a member of the Institute based in the Bermudas has offered to host a small gathering of representatives from all involved monarchs, to come together to think through some of the protocol surrounding the Council, and indeed decide upon who would host the first actual Council meeting itself.
            In terms of cost and funding involved, there would not be vast amounts needed. The annual meeting being proposed is a low-key, non-public event, specifically for the member monarchs and any necessary aides, rather than a public ritual or ceremonial meeting, to discuss and meet as human beings and deal with the core issues discussed earlier. This approach also lessens the security issue, particularly if the meeting took place in relatively remote locations (for instance, Balmoral as used by the G8 summit).
            The running costs of the Secretariat to serve the Council during the year between meetings could equally be kept small – as opposed to an army of bureaucrats. One proposal has been to have a single Secretary to the Council from each monarch, so there would be a secondary Council of thirty aides who would keep in touch with each other during the year to prepare for and organize the Council itself.

5. Conclusions

We hope this document is favourably received by the respected monarchs to whom it has been issued. We offer it in humility and love as an offering from the heart of people deeply interested in the future of the planet, and who are committed to peace and amity and reconciliation between all nations. We hope the serving monarchs of the planet will see something of the potential behind this proposal, and will respond favourably. The Institute will certainly be happy to help convene the first meeting of experts (representatives sent from each monarchy) to discuss this, and would certainly be happy to play a role in midwifing this Council into being, in true Socratic style, and perhaps asking useful questions about how it might be shaped and formed. This project is an offering to the combined wisdom of the monarchs of the planet, and we would be honoured to continue to serve in some way as a specialist academic and educational research institute on peace and philosophy,  if such a Council was formed, and we pray that it shall come into being, and make a difference to the planet, because we feel the world is in need of visionary projects, of which this is certainly one, and so we commend it your attention.


Dr. Thomas Clough Daffern,
Wales, United Kingdom, January 2008 / France 2017


Appendix: Current Reigning Monarchs by Nation



Co-Princes Nicolas Sarkozy and
Joan Enric Vives Sicília


King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa


King Albert II (now King Philippe)


King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck


Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah


King Norodom Sihamoni


Queen Margrethe II


Emperor Akihito


King Abdullah II


Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah


King Letsie III


Prince Hans Adam II


Grand Duke Henri


King Mizan Zainal Abidin (now Mohammad V of Kelantan)


Prince Albert II


King Muhammad VI


Queen Beatrix (now King Willem-Alexander)


King Harald V


Sultan Qabus ibn Sa'id


Emir Sheik Hamad ibn Khalifa al-Thani (Now Tamim bin Hamad al Thani)

Saudi Arabia

King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (Now King Salman)


King Juan Carlos I (Now King Felipe V1)


King Mswati III


King Carl XVI Gustaf


King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Now Maha Vajiralongkorn)


King George Tupou V (Now Tupou V1)

United Arab Emirates

Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan

United Kingdom &
Commonwealth Realms

Queen Elizabeth II

Vatican City

Pope Francis