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A realm is a community or territory over which a
sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descende ...

sovereign
rules. The term is commonly used to describe a
monarchical A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch, is head of state for life or until abdication. The legitimacy (political)#monarchy, political legitimacy and authority of the monarch may vary from restricted and large ...
or
dynastic A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or other relationship). Th ...
state. A realm may also be a subdivision within an
empire An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". Narrowly defined, an empire is a sovereign state called an empire and ...

empire
, if it has its own monarch, e.g. the
German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biography Herbert Tuttle was born in Bennington, Vermont Bennington is a New England town, town ...
.


Etymology

The Old French word ''reaume'', modern French ''royaume'', was the word first adopted in English; the fixed modern spelling does not appear until the beginning of the 17th century. The word supposedly derives from medieval
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
''regalimen'', from ''regalis'', of or belonging to a ''rex'' (king).
Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition The ''Encyclopædia Britannica,'' Eleventh Edition (1910–11), is a 29-volume reference work, an edition of the ''Encyclopædia Britannica The (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic b ...
article "Realm"
The word ''rex'' itself is derived from the Latin verb ''regere'', which means "to rule". Thus the literal meaning of the word ''realm'' is ''the territory of a ruler'', traditionally a monarch (emperor, king, grand duke, prince, etc.).


Usage

"Realm" is particularly used for those states whose name includes the word ''kingdom'' (for example, the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
), as
elegant variation Elegant variation is a writer's substitution of "one word for another for the sake of variety". The term was introduced in 1906 by H. W. Fowler and F. G. Fowler in ''The King's English ''The King's English'' is a book on English usage and gram ...
, to avoid clumsy repetition of the word in a sentence (for example, "The Queen's realm, the United Kingdom..."). It is also useful to describe those countries whose monarchs are called something other than "king" or "queen"; for example, the
Grand Duchy A grand duchy is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisa ...
of
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a landlocked ...

Luxembourg
is a realm but not a
kingdom Kingdom may refer to: Monarchy * A type of monarchy * A realm ruled by: **A king, during the reign of a male monarch **A queen regnant, during the reign of a female monarch Taxonomy * Kingdom (biology), a category in biological taxonomy Arts an ...
, since its monarch holds the title Grand Duke rather than King. The term may commonly be used to describe any of the "
Commonwealth realm A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state A sovereign state is a polity, political entity represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a perma ...
s", which are kingdoms in their own right and share the same person as monarch, though they are fully independent of each other. More broadly, a "realm" may encompass territories that are subject to a monarch, yet are not a physical part of his or her "kingdom"; for example, the
Cook Islands ) , image_map = Cook Islands on the globe (small islands magnified) (Polynesia centered).svg , capital = Avarua Avarua (meaning "Two Harbours" in Cook Islands Māori) is a town and district in the north of the island of Rarotonga, and i ...
and
Niue Niue ( or ; niu, Niuē) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, r ...

Niue
are considered parts of the
Realm of New Zealand The Realm of New Zealand consists of the entire area (or realm) in which the monarch of New Zealand functions as head of state. The Realm of New Zealand is not a federation; it is a constitutional concept encompassing the three autonomous legal ...

Realm of New Zealand
, although they are not part of New Zealand proper. Realm may also be used
metaphor A metaphor is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of ...
ically to refer to an area of knowledge, expertise or habitat within which an individual or denizen is pre-eminent or dominant, e.g., "Shakespeare's realm was English drama," or "A lion's realm is the jungle".


See also

*
Biogeographical realm A biogeographic realm or ecozone is the broadest biogeographic division of Earth's land surface, based on distributional patterns of terrestrial organisms. They are subdivided into ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ec ...
*
Empire An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". Narrowly defined, an empire is a sovereign state called an empire and ...

Empire
*
Kingdom Kingdom may refer to: Monarchy * A type of monarchy * A realm ruled by: **A king, during the reign of a male monarch **A queen regnant, during the reign of a female monarch Taxonomy * Kingdom (biology), a category in biological taxonomy Arts an ...
*
Monarchy A monarchy is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a ...
*
Reich ''Reich'' (; , English: ''Riche'') is a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nati ...

Reich


References

Attribution * {{Authority control __NOTOC__ Monarchy