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How many wives can a king have?

The lives of kings and queens are often fascinating, filled with drama and intrigue. One aspect that often draws attention is their marital status. How many wives can a king have? The answer, as it turns out, is dependent on a variety of factors, including the country’s laws and cultural norms. In this blog post, we’ll explore the various factors that impact a king’s ability to have multiple wives.

Monogamous Marriages in the West

In Western culture, kings and queens have traditionally been in monogamous marriages, meaning having only one partner at a time. This practice has been upheld by legal and religious institutions, which recognize marriage as a union between two people and prohibits polygamy.

In the past, royal marriages were typically arranged by their families for political or strategic reasons. The purpose of marriage was to cement alliances between different royal families, ensuring peace and stability between nations. For example, many European monarchies in the 16th and 17th centuries encouraged their royals to marry foreign royals, such as the Spanish Hapsburgs and the French Bourbons.

One notable English monarch who challenged these conventions was King Henry VIII, who famously had six wives. Henry’s disregard for traditional marriage caused a split with the Catholic Church and sparked a period of religious turmoil in England.

Polygamous Marriages in Other Cultures

While monogamy is the norm in the western world, polygamous marriages are still practiced in various cultures worldwide. In these societies, a man may have multiple wives, with the practice being legal and socially acceptable.

In some cases, having multiple wives is seen as a status symbol, allowing the man to demonstrate his wealth and resources. This practice is often found in societies where men are expected to provide for their wives and children, and taking multiple wives can be seen as a way to spread the burden.

There are also examples of polygamy being practiced by royalty in the past. For example, King Mswati III of Swaziland has 15 wives. In other African countries, kings have also been known to have multiple wives, such as King Mohammed VI of Morocco, who has two wives.

Legalities of Polygamy

The legality of polygamous marriages is dependent on the country and its laws. In some countries, polygamy is allowed and recognized by law. For example, in Saudi Arabia, a Muslim man can take up to four wives as long as he can provide for all of them equally.

In other countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, polygamy is illegal and punishable by law. However, there are still cases of polygamy being practiced in these countries, with individuals forming unofficial unions with multiple partners.

In countries where polygamy is legal or culturally acceptable, it is not uncommon for wealthy men to have multiple wives. In some cases, the wives may all live together in a single household, while in others, they may have separate homes.


So, how many wives can a king have? The answer is not straightforward, as it depends on various factors such as culture, religion, and legalities. In Western cultures, monogamy is the norm and polygamy is illegal, while in other cultures, such as some African and Middle Eastern societies, polygamy is practiced and accepted. Regardless of the society, however, having multiple wives can be a symbol of power and status.


Which king had 100 wives?

Abumbi II, the 11th fon, or king, of Bafut, Cameroon, is known for having close to 100 wives. However, it is essential to understand the cultural and traditional practices of the Bafut community before making any assumptions on the king’s polygamous lifestyle.

According to the Bafut tradition, the fon has several wives to maintain the unity and prosperity of the community. These wives are not all the king’s from the start. In fact, when a fon dies, his successor inherits all his wives and then marries his own queens.

Abumbi II ascended to the throne in 1968 after his father’s death when he was just 22 years old. He inherited several wives from his father being the next in line, and he has also married a few more throughout his reign. By the Bafut tradition, having several wives is a sign of prosperity and unity, and the fon’s wives have important roles to play in the community.

The king’s first wife is known as the queen mother, and she is respected as the most significant wife. She is responsible for advising the king on important decisions, especially on matters related to the community. The king’s wives also have their own roles to play, depending on their status. For instance, some are responsible for the royal kitchen, while others take care of the royal children.

However, while polygamy is an accepted practice in Bafut culture, it is worth noting that the king’s wives are not just objects or symbols of the king’s wealth. They are real people with feelings, and their lives extend beyond serving the king. Many have careers and interests outside of their roles within the community.

Abumbi II, the Fon of Bafut, Cameroon, is a polygamous king with close to 100 wives. However, it is crucial to understand that this is a cultural and traditional practice within his community. The fon’s wives have significant roles to play within the community, and although they are respected for their positions, they are not just objects of the king’s wealth.

Which king married his own daughter?

It is a disturbing fact, but there have been instances in history where a king had married his own daughter. One of the most infamous examples of this practice is the Mughal king Shah Jahan, who is also famously known as the builder of the Taj Mahal.

Shah Jahan was known for his deep love and affection towards his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who was considered one of the most beautiful women in the Mughal empire. However, after the untimely death of Mumtaz Mahal in 1631, Shah Jahan was left devastated and plunged into a deep state of grief.

It is believed that in his despair, Shah Jahan began to lose touch with reality and even started to exhibit signs of mental instability. In an attempt to recapture the love and beauty of his deceased wife, Shah Jahan is said to have turned his attention towards his own daughter, Jahanara Begum.

Jahanara was the eldest daughter of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal and was known for her exceptional beauty and intelligence. Shah Jahan reportedly began to see Mumtaz’s reflection in his daughter, and this obsession with Jahanara led him to marry her, despite the social taboos and religious prohibitions against incestuous relationships.

The marriage of Shah Jahan and Jahanara, however, remains a subject of controversy among historians, with many suggesting that there is little evidence to support the claim that the two were ever wed. Nevertheless, the rumors and speculation surrounding the issue have persisted through the ages, and the idea that a king married his own daughter continues to shock and fascinate people to this day.

While the practice of marrying one’s own daughter is an abhorrent and abominable practice that is rightly condemned by society, it is important to remember that our understanding of history is often influenced by the social norms and values of the time. As we continue to uncover new facts and evidence about the past, it is our responsibility to examine these events with a critical eye and to separate fact from fiction.