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This article is about the political arrangement. For the Christian theological teaching, see Hypostatic union.

A personal union is the combination of two or more different states who have the same monarch while their boundaries, laws, and interests remain distinct.[1][2] It differs from a federation in that each constituent state has an independent government, whereas a federal state is united by a central government. The ruler in a personal union need not be a hereditary monarch.[3]

Personal unions can arise for several reasons, ranging from coincidence (a woman who is already married to a king becomes queen regnant, and their child inherits the crown of both countries) to virtual annexation (where a personal union sometimes was seen as a means of preventing uprisings). They can also be codified (i.e., the constitutions of the states clearly express that they shall share the same person as head of state) or non-codified, in which case they can easily be broken (e.g., by the death of the monarch when the two states have different succession laws).

The Commonwealth realms, not addressed in the list of personal unions, are contemporary independent states that share the same person as monarch.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Joseph Lalor, ed., Cyclopaedia of Political Science. New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co. Accessed 13 June 2013
  2. ^ Oppenheim, Lassa; Roxbrough, Ronald (2005). International Law: A Treatise. The Lawbook Exchange. ISBN 1-58477-609-9. Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  3. ^ In the Holy Roman Empire, many prince-bishops had themselves elected to separate prince-bishoprics, that they ruled in a personal union. For example, Joseph Clemens von Bayern (1671-1723) was Prince-Bishop of Freising (1685-1694), Prince-Bishop of Regensburg (1685-1694), Prince-Elector of Cologne (1688-1723), Prince-Bishop of Liège (1694-1723) and Prince-Bishop of Hildesheim (1702-1723).

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_union — Please support Wikipedia.
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5 news items

The Guardian

The Guardian
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 22:00:03 -0700

But "the personal union" between Britain and Germany bequeathed not just the largely dysfunctional family soap opera that was the Georgian kings – handily reduced by CBBC's Horrible Histories to the sad, bad, mad and fat (satirised as a boy band, right).
First Things (blog)
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 02:56:15 -0700

If, as many have argued of late, “we need a participation-oriented account of salvation in order to do justice to the heart of the gospel, it seems that we need a relational model of the Trinity for that very same reason: the deeply personal union and ...

Catholic News Agency

Catholic News Agency
Fri, 08 Aug 2014 21:52:30 -0700

By physically retreating from the world, leaving everything behind, she accomplished a final and deeply personal union with God. Yet once this personal martyrdom had been achieved – in ways hidden from the world and hardly understood by her own family ...


Thu, 14 Aug 2014 02:56:15 -0700

Der Tag nach dem schlimmen Unfall von Natalie Charlos (21). Noch immer sind bei der Schwimm-EM in Berlin alle geschockt, auch wenn es der Elmshornerin, die für Polen startet, schon besser geht. Beim 10-Kilometer-Freiwasser-Rennen am Mittwoch in ...
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 09:52:30 -0700

3) Der Clip besteht aus langen, langsamen Einstellungen mit einer einzigen Schauspielerin, die die Rollen der Streitenden in Personal-Union übernimmt. Schuld an diesem Mahnmal des Minimalimus ist Regisseur RobisRob (Franz Ferdinand, Depeche ...

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