Queen Elizabeth II may be the longest-reigning monarch in Europe - but she's not the only one. There are six other countries with monarchs, and all of them are of pensionable age.
Lilibet was the childhood pet name of Queen Elizabeth II - and she's apparently still called that by some of her close friends. She and other members of the British royal family, who represent the crown at official functions, are by far the best-known royal "firm" in Europe.
Nobility expert Rolf Seelmann-Eggebert says the reason for that is simple: "The British monarchy deploys more pomp than anyone else. You only have to think which other monarchs - apart from the Queen - you've ever seen wearing an actual crown," he told DW.
Elizabethhas been on the throne for 60 years, and, at the age of 86, is still going strong. "She's more popular than ever before," said her biographer, Kate Williams. Elizabeth apparently hopes to beat Queen Victoria's record as longest-reigning British monarch - 63 years and seven months.
The seven kingdoms of Europe
But the British monarchy is not alone in Europe. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands are all constitutional monarchies. Kings and queens inherit their titles and are not elected - although all those countries are also stable parliamentary democracies. Historian Monika Wienfort explains that monarchies have survived in those countries that have experienced relative stability over the last 150 years.
"Where there were no overthrows, no revolutions, where the world wars had a different significance, monarchies still exist," she said.
Wienfort says Denmark is a good example of that. "The constitutional monarchy remains in place because the majority of people do not want to abolish it," she explained. That's also the case in the UK: Recent polls show that around 80 percent of Britons are in favor of the monarchy.
"We don't expect any revolutions to break out in Europe any time soon. That's why monarchies have a good chance for the future," said the historian.
King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden
One big family
All the kings and queens of Europe are over 60, and many of them are related to one another. The youngest is 66-year-old Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. All of Europe's royal dynasties are likely to be handed down to the next generation within the next ten or 20 years. In every case, there is already a successor lined up - but the younger generation are no longer marrying among "their own." Instead, like in the wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton last year, they are marrying "commoners" - those without titles.
Wienfort explains that trend by the fact that the royal families are closer to the people nowadays - they go to normal universities and no longer feel so much pressure to marry into nobility.
That never used to be the case - royal and noble families of Europe used to intermarry. Most of Europe's monarchies are descended from just a couple of families, notably the German noble families of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Even the British Queen has German blood in her veins: King George V changed the family's name from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to Windsor by royal proclamation in 1917, due to anti-German sentiment in World War I.
In Germany, Kaiser Wilhelm II was forced to abdicate in 1918 to make way for the Weimar Republic. Despite that, the Germans today are loyal fans of other European royals. Millions of Germans follow the private lives and scandals of the royals in the tabloid press. "They can readily identify with them," Wienfort said. "The royal families live normal lives: they marry, have children, they die. But they do so in public, and with a huge amount of pomp. How often do you get to see coaches, castles, beautiful clothes? Of course people are interested."
Author: Bernd Riegert / ji
Editor: Simon Bone
The war in eastern Ukraine continues to sow unrest in the European Union and NATO. Now, the focus is shifting to the tiny republic of Moldova on the EU's eastern border, and the breakaway territory of Transnistria.
A German court has closed the case against former lawmaker Sebastian Edathy after he admitted to viewing child porn, in return for a fine paid to the Child Protection Agency. The agency doesn't agree with the ruling.
A short statement, a brief confession - but there was no punishment for Sebastian Edathy. Legally, it may have been sound. But an unpleasant aftertaste remains, says DW's Jens Thurau.
Anne Frank, the young girl who kept a journal about hiding from the Nazis, captured hearts all over the world - an in Japan in particular. Seventy years after the war, she remains a touchstone for young Japanese.