Queen regnant

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Cleopatra is one of the most well-known queens regnant

A queen regnant is a female monarch who possesses all the monarchal powers that a king would have without regard to gender. This is in contrast with a queen consort, who is merely the spouse of a reigning king, and on her own has no official powers of state.

Technically, a king may also be a "king regnant" or a "king consort" - but this distinction is unusual and, for example, has been used only twice in the history of the British and its predecessor monarchies. In all current monarchies that allow for a Queen regnant to take the Throne, the husband of such Queen is not titled King, generally ranking as a prince, often with the style "Prince Consort". The husband of Mary I of England and Ireland and the second husband of Mary I, Queen of Scots were both created king consorts of their wives' realms, but they were not liked, and the marriages were short. The husband of Mary II, Queen of England and Ireland, and Queen of Scots, was named king regnant co-sovereign with her, as William III of England, II of Scots, and I of Ireland - but this was the only occasion of co-sovereignty, at least officially. Thereafter, the husbands of queens regnant in Britain have been informally styled princes consort (the formal title "Prince Consort," however, being reserved by history to Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria).

Accession of queens regnant occurs as a nation's order of succession permits. Methods of succession (to kingships, tribal chiefships, etc.) include nomination (the sitting monarch or a council names an heir), primogeniture (children of a monarch or chief, in order of birth, eldest to youngest), and ultimogeniture (children in order of birth, youngest to eldest). The scope of succession may be patrilineal, matrilineal or both; or, rarely (usually only when necessary), open to general election. Right of succession by gender may be open to men and women, limited to men only, or limited to women only.

The most typical succession from the Late Middle Ages through to the 20th century was male primogeniture with secondary female primogeniture. That is, the sons of the king succeeded in order of their birth, and then the daughters after the sons. Many realms historically forbade succession by women, however, in obedience to the Salic law; and some still do.

For example, the King of the Netherlands used to be Grand Duke of Luxembourg. But when the last Dutch king died in 1890 and was succeeded by his daughter, obedience to the Salic law prevented Luxembourg from accepting her as Grand Duchess in her own right. Similarly, when Victoria ascended to the throne of the United Kingdom, she did not also become Queen of Hanover.

In the waning days of the Twentieth Century, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, and the Netherlands amended their acts of succession to primogeniture with no gender preference. In some cases, the change does not take effect until the generation following the current generations in existence - to avoid dispossessing people who were already in the succession in a particular position.


[edit] List of queens regnant

[edit] Scotland / England / Great Britain / UK / Commonwealth

Image:Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.jpg
Elizabeth II is the current Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth Realms (Photo: Richard Gifford).

[edit] The Netherlands

[edit] Sweden

[edit] Denmark

[edit] Spain/Castile

  • Isabella of Castile
  • Joanna of Castile, reputedly mad after the death of her husband, she was effectively deposed by her father, King Ferdinand of Aragon, who ruled Castile as her regent until his death; then her son, Charles, who was named King of Aragon (which followed the Salic Law) ruled as regent for his mother until her death. On Charles' abdication, his son, Philip, became the first monarch of the now united Kingdom of Spain.
  • Isabella II of Spain

[edit] Portugal

[edit] Austria, Hungary and Bohemia

[edit] Hungary


[edit] Poland

Jadwiga of Poland

[edit] Aceh

[edit] Ancient Egypt

[edit] Russia

[edit] China

[edit] Japan

[edit] Hawaii

[edit] Judea

[edit] See also

ko:여왕 la:Regina cr:ᒋᐦᒋᐅᒋᒫᔅᐧᑫᐤ ja:統治女王 vi:Nữ hoàng

Queen regnant

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