Asia’s Monarchies: Series 1
We journey to the heart of these beautiful lands to understand the relationship between the people and their monarchs. 2010, Off the Fence
Part 1: Japan
The Japanese Imperial family is the oldest hereditary monarchy in the world, dating back to the sixth century BC. However, its central role in Japan has not shielded the family from controversy in recent years.
Part 2: Nepal
In 2008, Nepal’s royalty was ousted from power, forced out of their palaces, and the country began a new era as a republic. The story of the fall of the House of Shah is one of bloodshed, betrayal, and intrigue. The transformation from kingdom to a republic was swift, dramatic.
Part 3: Bhutan
Bhutan’s governing party pledged recently to follow the policies of the absolute monarchy it is replacing after it won a landslide in the country’s first parliamentary elections. This remote, beautiful country truly is in the throes of a noble experiment.
Part 4: Brunei
Brunei may be one of the richest nations in the world, but financial problems have beset even their royal house. The sultan has recently made moves towards some form of partial democracy. However, it is up to him whether or not he introduces it. Why did he make a move to do so, and then let it drop?
Part 5: Cambodia
King Sihanouk retired in 2004, giving way to his son, Sihamoni – a ballet dancer. Unlike many monarchies, Cambodia’s is not hereditary – rather the next king or queen mother is chosen by the National Assembly from a pool of eligible candidates.