A regent, from the Latin regens "who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state (ruling or not) because the ruler is a minor, not present or debilitated.
Thus, the common use is for an acting deputy governor.
In a monarchy, a regent usually governs due to one of these reasons, but may also be elected to rule during the interregnum when the royal line has died out. This was the case in Finland and Hungary, where the royal line was considered extinct in the aftermath of World War I. In Iceland, the regent represented the King of Denmark as sovereign of Iceland until the country became a republic in 1944.
In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569–1795), kings were elective, which often led to a fairly long interregnum. In the interim, it was the Polish Roman Catholic Primate who served as the regent, termed the "interrex" (Latin: ruler "between kings". as in ancient Rome).
Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu (see below).
Regents in various current monarchies
It should be noted that those who held a regency briefly, for example during surgery
, are not necessarily listed, particularly if they performed no official acts; this list is also not complete, presumably not even for all monarchies included. The list includes some figures who acted as regent, even if they did not themselves hold the title of regent.
- Prince Nayeff bin Abdullah from the 20th July to 5th September 1951, due to the schizophrenia of King Talal, who was in a Swiss mental hospital.
- A regency council (Ibrahim Hashim, Suleiman Toukan, Abdul Rahman Rusheidat and chairing Queen-mother Zein al-Sharaf) took over after the king's forced abdication and remained in office from 4 June 1952 to 2 May 1953, until the heir King Hussein came of age.
- Crown Prince Hassan, from 4th July 1998 to 19th January 1999 while his brother King Hussein was undergoing cancer treatments.
Malaysia and its constitutive monarchies
- Tengku Muhammad Ismail (eight-years of age) co-reigns with the three-member Regency Advisory Council (Majlis Penasihat Pemangku Raja). His father, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin the Sultan of Terengganu was elected as 13th King of Malaysia. The Malaysian constitution does not allow a simultaneous reign as both the King of Malaysia and as Monarch of the King's native state (deemed absent on the State throne). Sultan Mizan was crowned as King on 13 December 2006 and the prince as the Regent (Pemangku Raja) of Terengganu effective on the same date.
- Karl Knutsson (Bonde) (1438–1440), during the interrgnum following the deposition of king Eric XIII; later became king as Charles VIII
- Bengt Jönsson Oxenstierna (1448; together with his brother Nils Jönsson Oxenstierna), during the interregnum between the death of Christopher of Bavaria and the election of Karl Knutsson (Bonde) as king.
- Nils Jönsson Oxenstierna (1448; together with his brother Bengt Jönsson Oxenstierna), during the interregnum between the death of Christopher of Bavaria and the election of Karl Knutsson (Bonde) as king.
- Jöns Bengtsson Oxenstierna (1457; together with Erik Axelsson Tott), during the interregnum following the first deposition of King Charles VIII, and again (1465–1466), following his second deposition.
- Kettil Karlsson Vasa (1464), during the interregnum following the first deposition of King Christian I; and again (1465), following the second deposition of Charles VIII
- Erik Axelsson Tott (1457; together with Jöns Bengtsson Oxenstierna) (1466–1467), following the end of Jöns Oxenstierna's second regency.
- Sten Sture the Elder (1470–1497, 1501-1503) the longest serving regent during the Kalmar Union
- Svante Nilsson (1503–1512), succeeding Sten Sture the Elder
- Erik Trolle
- Sten Sture the Younger (1512–1520), succeeding Svante Sture
- Gustav Eriksson Vasa was firstly Regent (1521–1523) after the final dissolution of Kalmar Union, but soon was proclaimed King
- Duke Charles of Södermanland (1599–1604) after ousting his Catholic nephew King Sigismund, until he himself claimed the throne.
- Axel Oxenstierna (1632–1644), during the minority of Queen Christina
- Dowager Queen Hedwig Eleonora of Holstein-Gottorp (1660–1672), during the minority of her son King Charles XI, and again (1697–1699), during the minority of her grandson King Charles XII
- Charles, Duke of Södermanland (1792–1796) for his underage nephew Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden, and again (1809) after Gustav IV Adolf was deposed and before Charles himself was proclaimed King Charles XIII
- Crown Prince Charles John (1810–1818), for his adoptive father King Charles XIII, due to Charles XIII's incapacity
United Kingdom and its constitutive realms
- William Longchamp (intermittently 1189–1199), during the absences of Richard I on crusade, in prison, and in France.
- William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke (1216–1219) and then Hubert de Burgh, 1st Earl of Kent (1219–1227), during the minority of King Henry III
- A regency council headed by Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster (1327-1330) during the minority of Edward III
- John, Duke of Bedford (1422–1435) and Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (1422–1437), during the minority of their nephew, Henry VI
- Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York (1454–1455; 1455–1456), during the incapacity of his cousin, Henry VI
- Richard, Duke of Gloucester (1483), during the minority of his nephew, Edward V
- Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset (1547–1550), during the minority of his nephew, Edward VI
- John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland (1550–1553), during the minority of Edward VI
- After the death of Queen Anne in 1714, a regency under Baron Parker, The Lord Chief Justice was set up while King George I was sent for to take up the crown.
- Queen Catherine of Aragon, while Henry VIII was in France.
- A regency council of six Guardians existed (1286–1290) during the minority of Margaret, Maid of Norway. These were; William Fraser, Bishop of St Andrews; Donnchadh III, Earl of Fife (followed by Donnchadh IV, Earl of Fife); Alexander Comyn, Earl of Buchan; Robert Wishart, Bishop of Glasgow; James Stewart, 5th High Steward of Scotland; and John II Comyn, Lord of Badenoch
- William Wallace (1298), claiming to act as regent on behalf of the deposed King John
- Robert the Bruce, Earl of Carrick (1298–1300)
- John III Comyn, Lord of Badenoch (1298–1301; 1302–1304)
- William Lamberton, Bishop of St Andrews (1299–1301)
- Sir Ingram de Umfraville (1300–1301)
- John de Soules (1301–1304)
- Thomas Randolph, 1st Earl of Moray (1329–1332) (during the minority of David II)
- Donald, Earl of Mar (1332) (during the minority of David II)
- Sir Andrew Murray (1332) (during the minority of David II)
- Sir Archibald Douglas (1332-1333) (during the minority of David II)
- Robert Stewart, 7th High Steward of Scotland (1334-1335) (during the minority of David II)
- John Randolph, 3rd Earl of Moray (1334-1335) (during the minority of David II)
- Sir Andrew Murray (1335-1338) (during the minority of David II)
- Robert Stewart, 7th High Steward of Scotland (1338-1341; 1346-1357) (during the minority of David II)
- John Stewart, Earl of Carrick (during the incapacity of his father, Robert II)
- Robert Stewart, 1st Earl of Fife (1388–1393) (during the incapacity of his father, Robert II and of his brother, Robert III)
- David Stewart, 1st Duke of Rothesay (1399–1401) (during the incapacity of his father, Robert III)
- Robert Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany (1401–1420) (during the incapacity of his brother Robert III, and then during the minority and captivity of his nephew James I)
- Murdoch Stewart, 2nd Duke of Albany (1420–1424) (during the captivity of his cousin James I)
- Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Douglas (1437–1439) (during the minority of James II)
- William Crichton, 1st Lord Crichton and Sir Alexander Livingston (1439-1445) (during the minority of James II)
- William Douglas, 8th Earl of Douglas (1445–1449) (during the minority of James II)
- Mary of Gueldres (1460–1463) (during the minority of her son, James III)
- James Kennedy and Gilbert Kennedy, 1st Lord Kennedy (1463–1466) (during the minority of James III)
- Robert Boyd, 1st Lord Boyd (1466–1469) (during the minority of James III)
- Patrick Hepburn (1488–1494) (during the minority of James IV)
- Margaret Tudor (1513–1514) (during the minority of her son, James V)
- John Stewart, 2nd Duke of Albany (1514–1524) (during the minority of his cousin, James V)
- Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus and Archbishop James Beaton (1524–1528) (during the minority of the former's stepson James V)
- James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran (1542–1554) (during the minority of his cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots
- Mary of Guise (1554–1560) (during the minority of her daughter Mary, Queen of Scots)
- James Stuart, 1st Earl of Moray (1567–1570) (during the minority of his nephew James VI)
- Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox (1570–1571) (during the minority of his grandson James VI)
- John Erskine, 1st Earl of Mar (1571–1572) (during the minority of James VI)
- James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton (1572–1581) (during the minority of James VI)
Regents in various former Monarchies
The same notes apply; inclusion in this list reflects the political reality, regardless of claims to the throne.
Before the 1881 unification, there were essentially four rulers' capitals: Kabul
(the last now in Pakistan); all their rulers belonged to the Abdali
tribal group, whose name was changed to Dorrani with Ahmad Shah Abdali
. They belong either to the Saddozay
segment of the Popalzay
clan (typically styled padshah
, king) or to the Mohammadzay
segment of the Barakzay
clan (typically with the style Amir
, in full Amir al-Mo´menin
"Leader of the Faithful"). The Mohammadzay also furnished the Saddozay kings frequently with top counselors, who served occasionally as (Minister-)regents, identified with the epithet Mohammadzay.
- John, Regent Prince – responsible to elevate Brasil to Kingdom, in 1815, united to Portugal. One year later, would be acclaimed King of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves.
- Peter, Regent Prince – responsible to declare the independency of Brazil, in 1822, during his regency (1820-1822), since his fater, John VI, returned to Portugal. Some months later, would be acclaimed Emperor of Brazil.
- Provisional triumviral regency – from 7 April to 18 June 1831, comprised José Joaquim Carneiro de Campos, marquess de Caravelas, Nicolau Pereira de Campos Vergueiro and Francisco de Lima e Silva, baron of Barra Grande, was formed to control the country after the abdication of Peter I.
- Permanent triumviral regency – from 18 June 1831 to 12 October 1835, comprised the baron of Barra Grande as well as José da Costa Carvalho, marquess of Monte Alegre, and João Bráulio Muniz.
- Diogo António Feijó – from 12 October 1835 to 19 September 1837, during what was considered the advance of the Liberal Party
- Pedro de Araújo Lima – from 1838 to 1840, during what was considered the retaken of the Conservative Party.
- Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil was Princess Regent of the Empire of Brazil three times (1871-1872; 1876-1877; 1887-1888) while her father travelled abroad. During her last regency, she signed the abolition of slavery in Brazil (known as the "Lei Áurea", or "Golden Law"), on 13 May 1888, whereby Isabel got the sobriquet Isabel the Redeemer. For the act of signing the Golden Law, she was awarded the Golden Rose by Pope Leo XIII.
- Stefan Stambolov, during the absence of Prince Alexander Battenberg from the Bulgarian throne between 28 August 1886 and 3 September 1886 and the vacancy of the throne between 7 September 1886 and 14 August 1887.
- Prince Kyril of Preslav, during the minority of his dead brother (Boris III)'s son, Simeon II (1943–1944).
Ras Tafari Mekonenn
during the reign of Empress Zewditu
from 1922 to ascension to throne in 1931 as Haile Selassie
After the abdication of Nicholas II of Russia
, the throne of the Grand Duke of Finland
was vacant and according to the constitution of 1772, a regent was installed by the Finnish Parliament
during the first two years of Finnish independence, before the country was declared a republic
- Anne of Kiev and Baldwin V, Count of Flanders (1060–1067), during the minority of her son and his nephew Philip I
- Suger, Abbot of St. Denis (1147–1149), during the absence of Louis VII on the Second Crusade
- Alix of Champagne and Guillaume de Champagne, Archbishop of Reims (1190–1191), during the absence of her son Philip II on the Third Crusade.
- Blanche of Castile (1226–1234), during the minority of her son Louis IX
- Blanche of Castile (1248–1252) and Alphonse, Count of Poitou and Toulouse (1248–1254), during the absence of her son and his brother Louis IX on the Louis IX of France.
- Mathieu de Vendôme, Abbot of Saint-Denis and Simon de Clermont, Sieur de Nesle, during the absence of Philip III on the Eighth Crusade (1270).
- Philip the Tall (1316), during the interregnum between the death of his brother Louis X and the birth of Louis' posthumous son John I, and during the minority of the short-lived John I.
- Philip, Count of Valois and Anjou (1328), from the death of his cousin Charles IV until the birth of a posthumous daughter to the late king brought about Valois' own accession to the throne.
- Charles, the Dauphin (1356–1360), during the Captivity of his father in England
- Louis I, Duke of Anjou (1380–1382), during the minority of his nephew Charles VI
- Jean, Duke of Berry, Philippe II, Duke of Burgundy, and Louis II, Duke of Bourbon (1382–1388), during the minority of their nephew, Charles VI
- Louis II, Duke of Bourbon and John, Duke of Berry (1388–1407), during the insanity of their nephew, Charles VI
- Isabella of Bavaria (1417–1420) and then Henry V of England, during the insanity of her husband and his father-in-law, Charles VI; they were opposed by
- Charles, the Dauphin (1417–1422), Charles VI's eldest surviving son, who also claimed the regency.
- John, Duke of Bedford (1422–1435), acting as regent on behalf of his nephew, the young Henry VI of England, whose supporters controlled much of the country in opposition to the legal king Charles VII
- Anne of France and her husband Pierre de Beaujeu (1483–1492), during the minority of her brother, Charles VIII
- Louise of Savoy (1515–1516), during the absence of her son, Francis I, in Italy.
- Louise of Savoy (1523–1526), during the absence at war in Italy, and then the captivity, of her son, Francis I
- Catherine de' Medici:
- (1552) While her husband Henry II left the kingdom for the campaign of Metz.
- (1560–1563) During the minority of her second son, Charles IX
- (1574) During the absence of her third son, Henry III, in Poland
- Marie de' Medici (1610–1614), during the minority of her son, Louis XIII
- Anne of Austria (1643–1651), during the minority of Louis XIV
- Philippe II of Orléans (1715–1723), during the minority of Louis XV; often called "the Regent", since he was the last regent of France. **The related era and style are commonly referred to as the Régence (analogous to the British Regency period).
- A 136 carat (27.2 g) diamond he acquired in 1717 is known as 'le régent'
- Louis-Stanislas-Xavier, Comte de Provence, while living in exile, self-declared Regent for his nephew Louis XVII of France after the 1793 guillotining of King Louis XVI, until the young pretender's death in 1795.
- Empress Eugenie, three times for her husband, Napoleon III, during his absence.
Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Both before and during the British raj
(colonial rule), most of India was ruled by several hundred native princely houses
, many of which have known regencies, under the raj subject to British approval
In the short-lived Hashemite kingdom, there were three regencies in the reign of the third and last king Faysal II
(b. 1935 - d. 1958; also Head of the 'Arab Union', a federation with the Hashemite sister-kingdom Jordan, from 14 February 1958) :
- 4 April 1939 - 1 April 1941 Abdul Ilah (1st time) (b. 1913 - d. 1958)
- 1 April 1941 - 1 June 1941 Sharaf ibn Rajih al-Fawwaz (b. 1880 - d. 1955)
- 1 June 1941 - 2 May 1953 Abdul Ilah (2nd time)
Italian former principalities
- Louise of Artois (1854–1859), during the minority of her son duke Robert I.
- Countess Theresa, during the minority of her son Afonso I (1112-1139). Styled herself Queen of Portugal.
- Afonso, Count of Boulogne, after Pope Innocent IV had deposed his brother Sancho II, and before assuming himself the throne, following Sancho's death (1245-1248). Styled himself Regent and Defender of the Kingdom.
- Queen Leonor, for her daughter Beatrice I, as Beatrice was also Queen Consort of Castile (1383-1384).
- João, Mestre de Avis, during the Dynastic Crisis, and before assuming himself the throne (1384-1385). Styled himself Regent and Defender of the Kingdom.
- Queen Leonor, during the minority of her son Afonso V (1438-1439).
- Peter, Duke of Coimbra, during the minority of his nephew Afonso V (1439-1448).
- Queen Catharine, during the minority of her grandson Sebastian I (1557-1562).
- Cardinal Prince Henry, during the minority of his grandnephew Sebastian I (1562-1568).
- Queen Luísa, for her son Afonso VI (1656-1662).
- Prince Peter, for his brother Afonso VI, and before assuming himself the throne, following Afonso's death (1668-1683).
- John, Prince Regent, during the incapacity of his mother Mary I, and before assuming himself the throne, following her death (1792-1816).
- Princess Isabel Maria, following her father's (John VI) death, and whilst awaiting the arrival of her brother Peter IV to assume the throne (1826-1828).
- Prince Michael, for his niece Mary II, and before usurping the throne for himself (1828).
- Peter, Duke of Bragança (former King Peter IV), for his daughter Mary II (1831-1834).
- King Ferdinand II, during the minority of his son Peter V (1853-1855).
In the ancient independent miniature republic of San Marino
, a landlocked enclave within central Italy, the two Captains Regent
, or Capitani Reggenti
, are elected annually as joint heads of state and of government.
Occasionally, the term regent refers to positions lower than the ruler of a country.
- In the Dutch republic of the United Provinces, the members of the ruling class, not formally hereditary but de facto patricians, were known collectively as regenten (the Dutch plural for regent)
- In the Dutch East Indies, a regent was a native prince allowed to rule de facto colonized 'state' as a regentschap (see that term). Consequently, in the successor state of Indonesia, the term regent is used in English to mean a bupati (local government official).
- Also used in private spheres, for instance, some university managers in North America are called regents, or the members of certain governing bodies of lofty institutions, such as the national banks, in France and (imitating) Belgium.
- Again in Belgium and France, but far lower on the social ladder, (Régént in French; or in Dutch) Regent is the official title of a secondary school teacher of the lower years (equivalent to junior high school), who does not require a college degree but is trained solely for education in a specialized écôle normale = normal school.
- A management board for a college or university; this is commonly stated as: "Board of Regents".
- In the Philippines, specifically, the University of Santo Tomas, the Father Regent, who must be a Dominican priest and is often also a teacher, serves as the College/Faculty/Institute's Spiritual Head and the "owner" of that college, faculty or institution as the Dominican representative. They also form the Council of Regents that serves as the highest administrative council of the university.
Sources and references