Under personal union refers to the practice of various departments or functions by the same person, but not the etwaig dominated by that person total area. A personal union, both lying in the person of reasons ( for example, because she was elected in separate elections for both offices ), and by a firm connection between the offices arise.

Delimit From the personal union are the Real Union and the double-hatting, where the offices and functions themselves are constitutionally necessarily connected to each other, thus the minister is necessary the same.

Association of countries

The government of several countries in personal union played a major role, especially in the feudal era. Until well into the 18th and 19th century, there was usually no single state but a greater monarch ruled over lands and thus a plurality or multiplicity of countries, each with its own constitution, government systems and class participation rights.

The modern state formation since the 18th century continued to unify this diversity. But even then there was still variously staff unions. Although the affected modern states had the same ruler, but were also guided by different laws and remained legally separate. However, the modern trend towards the standardization state association since the 19th century with that of nationalism, and in the course of the then dominant nation-state formation disintegrated either the remaining staff unions, or they were solidified into a real union. In the Real Union a new, united state as a whole, which was firmly integrated not only on the person of the monarch, but by other institutions ( constitution, parliament, army, etc.) originated.

Examples of personal unions

  • Israel during the period of approximately 1025-926 BC among the kings Saul, David and Solomon.
  • Personal union between the Holy Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Sicily from 1194 to 1197 and from 1212 to 1254.
  • Austria - Hungary 1867-1918; the Emperor of Austria was in personal union also King of Hungary. The two countries, however, were clamped by Real Unions elements, such as a common foreign policy, a common army and joint parliamentary advisory bodies.
  • Personal union between the kingdoms of Hungary and Croatia from 1102 to 1918 (see Croatia in the state of union with Hungary ).
  • Polish- Lithuanian personal union in 1386 (from 1569 Real Union by forming the Polish- Lithuanian Commonwealth ).
  • Personal union between England and Scotland from 1603 to 1707 (from 1707 Kingdom of Great Britain, so constitutional Association ).
  • Similar personal union between England (or 1707 UK) and Ireland since the Middle Ages, the last military force around 1690 and around 1740 until the Act of Union in 1800.
  • Personal Union between Great Britain and Hanover of George I to William IV by different succession plans in Hanover and Great Britain ( female succession or not ) was dissolved, the personal union in 1837.
  • Personal union between Spain and Portugal ( 1580-1640 ).
  • Personal union between Luxembourg and the Netherlands ( 1815-1890 ).
  • Scandinavia Kalmar Union between Denmark, Norway and Sweden (1389-1521) (see History of Norway ).
  • Union between Denmark and Norway ( 1521-1814 ).
  • Union between Norway and Sweden ( 1814-1905 ).
  • Iceland was - after it was recognized in 1918 as a state of Denmark - to 1944 also connected via the person of the common king with Denmark (since then Republic).

Association of functions



  • The Pope is: Bishop of Rome
  • As head of the Holy See of the Catholic Church ( the self-understanding not only of the denomination, but of the entire Christian Church )
  • Patriarch of the West (since 2006 the title is no longer performed)
  • Primate of Italy
  • Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman ecclesiastical province
  • Sovereign of Vatican City
  • Patriarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople Opel
  • Head of world Orthodoxy
  • Bishop of Canterbury
  • Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canterbury
  • Primate of England
  • Lord of the House of Lords
  • " Kaplan of the Nation"
  • Spiritual leader of the Anglican Church.

German Empire (1871-1918)

  • The King of Prussia was also German Emperor at the same time. The imperial office, however, was not associated with the person of the respective Prussian king, but with the latter's official, similar to the EU Heads of State or Government of the Member States exercise as rotating the Presidency of the European Council. So this was not strictly speaking a personal union, but here we speak of a real union.
  • The German Chancellor usually also held the post of Prussian Minister President.


  • A minister held several ministries. The Governing Mayor of Berlin is currently the same culture Senator.
  • The President of the French Republic is simultaneously Kofürst of Andorra.
  • Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany are the same ( deputy ) members of the Bundesrat.

Public service

  • Certain law enforcement officials are identifying people in the prosecutor's office.


  • For small and medium enterprises, which have chosen the corporation as a legal form, there is often a personal union between shareholders, board of directors and management. Conflicts of interest remain out accordingly.