Is there any real difference between an kingdom, a sultanate, and an emirate? Or are these just different words for the same thing? Obviously they have different etymologies, but is there any difference in the powers of their rulers?
I always thought there was some actual difference between the three forms of government, but here's how the CIA World Factbook defines them:
- monarchy: "a government in which the supreme power is lodged in the hands of a monarch who reigns over a state or territory, usually for life and by hereditary right"
- sultanate: "similar to a monarchy, but a government in which the supreme power is in the hands of a sultan (the head of a Muslim state)"
- emirate: "similar to a monarchy or sultanate, but a government in which the supreme power is in the hands of an emir (the ruler of a Muslim state)."