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A Micro Monarchy is the setting (or a mentioned location, or a background for a character) used for a tiny (and usually, but not always, modern) country, that is under a monarchy, albeit usually a liberal, modernized one.

If the monarch has the title of Prince, it's called a Principality.

The make-up of the country will include ancient castles that are juxtaposed with modern day architecture of the surrounding buildings and -- if it's a European state -- the typical modern European car. Despite its size, it will usually have a decent economy, often based around one product that it is known the whole world for, or massive tourism to its historical sites. The nation's defense forces will only consist of ceremonial knights, palace security, and local police, and they will rely on some more powerful neighbor for defense.

If they ever are attacked in serious and their neighbors let them down (or, even worse, the neighbors are the attackers), expect it to be easily conquered, with its inhabitants becoming either dead or oppressed, or, if they fare better, members of La Résistance. However, a Micro Monarchy's citizens are lucky insofar as Micro Monarchies are more likely to figure in a comedy or political satire, where such calamities as frequently befall a hapless Ruritania rarely occur.

This sort of setting has a tendency to be inherited by a long lost princess who has never even heard of the place before.

Compare and contrast with Land of One City, which may or may not be also a Micro Monarchy; as well as Ruritania, which is just a fictional Eastern European country, Qurac which does the same for the Middle East, and Bulungi which covers Africa: All these can be Micro Monarchies too, but don't have to.

Examples of Micro Monarchy include:


Anime & Manga

  • In Ouran High School Host Club Tamaki and pals meet a princess from a tiny imaginary European country.
  • Sanc Kingdom from Gundam Wing. While it is probably the size of Sweden, compared to other states in the setting, which span all of the remaining Earth and all of space, respectively, it's pretty tiny.
  • Sauville from Gosick, a tiny European state in the 1920s.


Films -- Animation


Films -- Live Action

  • Concordia in the Cold War comedy Romanoff and Juliet. In the UN roll-call, after the alphabetical listing of all the member nations is the footnote, "PS. And Concordia".


Card Games

  • Parodied in the card game Super Munchkin with the "Ruler of a Small European Country" card, which shows the character standing in a "country" about one foot square.


Comic Books

  • Several countries in the Marvel Universe, notably Latveria, Symkaria and Madripoor.
  • DC Comics has Markovia.
  • Syldavia from the Tintin comics has been portrayed this way (it is also a Ruritania).


Literature

  • The Duchy of Grand Fenwick in Leonard Wibberley's The Mouse That Roared series. Duchess Gloriana is the ruler but the Prime Minister runs things.
  • The Castle in Septimus Heap.
  • The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot features the fictional country of Genovia, which seems to replace the real life nation of Andorra.
  • The Discworld series has Lancre: 40*10 miles, although it gets a lot bigger if you count vertical surfaces. Neighboring kingdoms are so small, however, that their kings might rule in their free time, while their main job might be farming.
  • Explorers of Gor: When Tarl ventures to Darkest Gor to retrieve a Plot Coupon, he encounters Bila Huruma, who is consolidating all the tiny independent kingdoms/villages into a powerful empire. Bila Huruma is opposed by Kisu, king of Ukungu, who fights against Bila Huruma in order for his village to remain free -- and succeeds:

 To this day, as one may see upon the map, the land of Ukungu stands as a sovereign free state within the perimeter of the empire of Bila Huruma.


Tabletop Games

  • Ghastria of the Ravenloft setting functioned like a Micro Monarchy up until the Great Upheaval.


Theater

  • Lichtenburg of the musical Call Me Madam, which was a blatant Expy of the real-life Duchy of Luxembourg.


Video Games

  • The Principality of Gallia in Valkyria Chronicles. Though it is more powerful than the average Micro Monarchy, it fits the rest rather well.
  • The Kingdom of Sahrani from Arm A : Armed Assault is a small, mostly Spanish-speaking island monarchy in the Atlantic Ocean. Its enviroment and architecture have parallels with the Caribbean and the Cape Verde islands.


Western Animation

  • Kim Possible: The Kingdom of Rodigan, where Prince Wally is from. At the end of the episode it is featured however, the monarchy is said to come to an end when Wally decides to convert the government to a democracy.
  • Ben 10 Alien Force has Zanovia, an European monarchy that called in Ben and his team to help with a revolution brewing.
  • The setting of Jack Frost and Santa Claus is Comin' to Town.


Real Life

  • Various countries the world over resemble this trope: Europe has Monaco, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg; the Middle East has Bahrain.
  • In a way every noble's territory could count as this through much of history. How much depends on how strong the central authority was compared to the nobles.
  • A typical Scottish clan was almost this. The Lords of the Isles might well have ended up as an independant state and perhaps not so "micro" if history had been different.
  • Many real-life micronations - tiny not-quite-countries, many of which have tried and even gained independence from their parent countries - are this.
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