Queen regnant

A queen regnant (plural: queens regnant) is a female monarch, equivalent in rank to a king, who reigns in her own right, as opposed to a queen consort, who is the wife of a reigning king, or a queen regent, who is the guardian of a child monarch and reigns temporarily in the child's stead. An empress regnant is a female monarch who reigns in her own right over an empire.

A queen regnant possesses and exercises sovereign powers, whereas a queen consort shares her husband's rank and titles, but does not share the sovereignty of her husband. The husband of a queen regnant traditionally does not share his wife's rank, title or sovereignty. However, the concept of a king consort is not unheard of in both contemporary and classical periods.

A queen dowager is the widow of a king. A queen mother is a queen dowager who is also the mother of a reigning sovereign.


Elizabeth II & Philip after Coronation
Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, here with her husband on the occasion of her coronation in 1953

In Ancient Africa, Ancient Persia, Asian and Pacific cultures, and in some European countries, female monarchs have been given the title king or its equivalent, such as pharaoh, when gender is irrelevant to the office, or else have used the masculine form of the word in languages that have grammatical gender as a way to classify nouns. The Byzantine Empress Irene sometimes called herself basileus (βασιλεύς), 'emperor', rather than basilissa (βασίλισσα), 'empress' and Jadwiga of Poland was crowned as Rex Poloniae, King of Poland.

Among the Davidic Monarchs of the Kingdom of Judah, there is mentioned a single queen regnant, Athaliah, though the Hebrew Bible regards her negatively as a usurper. The much later Hasmonean Queen Salome Alexandra (Shlom Tzion) was highly popular.

Accession of a queen regnant occurs as a nation's order of succession permits. Methods of succession to queendoms, kingdoms, tribal chiefships, and such include nomination (the reigning monarch or a council names an heir), primogeniture (in which the children of a monarch or chief have preference in order of birth from eldest to youngest), and ultimogeniture (in which the children have preference in the reverse order of birth from youngest to eldest). The scope of succession may be matrilineal, patrilineal, or both; or, rarely, open to general election when necessary. The right of succession may be open to men and women, or limited to men only or to women only.

Margaret of Denmark, Norway & Sweden (1389) effigy 2010 (2)
Margaret I ruled Denmark, Sweden and Norway in the late 14th and early 15th centuries.

The most typical succession in European monarchies from the Late Middle Ages until the late 20th century was male-preference primogeniture: the order of succession ranked the sons of the monarch in order of their birth, followed by the daughters. Historically, many realms forbade succession by women or through a female line in accordance with the Salic law, and some still do. No queen regnant ever ruled France, for example. Only one woman, Maria Theresa, ruled Austria. As noted in the list below of widely-known ruling queens, many reigned in European monarchies.

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Luxembourg[1] and the UK[2] amended their laws of succession to absolute primogeniture (in which the children of a monarch or chief have preference in order of birth from eldest to youngest regardless of gender). In some cases, the change does not take effect during the lifetimes of people already in the line of succession at the time the law was passed.

In 2011, the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms agreed to remove the rule of male-preference primogeniture. Once the necessary legislation was passed, this means that had Prince William had a daughter first, a younger son would not become heir apparent.[3]

In 2015, Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning queen regnant and female head of state in world history. In 2016, she became the longest currently serving head of state and longest currently reigning monarch.

East Asia

In China, Wu Zetian became the Chinese empress regnant and established the Zhou Dynasty after dismissing her sons. The Empress Wu used the title huangdi (皇帝, "emperor") and in many European sources, is referred to as a female emperor rather than an empress regnant. A few decades earlier in Korea, Queen Seondeok of Silla and Jindeok of Silla developed the term yeowang (여왕, "female king") to refer to themselves, using the title instead of wangbi (왕비), which is usually translated as "queen consort" and refers to the wife of a king or emperor.

Although the Chrysanthemum Throne of Japan is currently barred to women, this has not always been the case; throughout Japanese history there have been eight empresses regnant. Again, the Japanese language uses the term josei tennō (女性天皇, "female imperial ruler") for the position which would be "empress regnant" in English, with kōgō (皇后) being the term reserved for an empress consort. The Japanese succession debate became a significant political issue during the early 2000s, as no male children had been born to the Imperial House of Japan since 1965. Prime Minister Junichirō Koizumi pledged to present parliament with a bill to allow women to ascend the Imperial Throne, but he withdrew this after the birth of Prince Hisahito in 2006

Current queens regnant

Queen Countries Date
Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II in March 2015
 United Kingdom 6 February 1952
 New Zealand
 Jamaica 6 August 1962
 Barbados 30 November 1966
 The Bahamas 10 July 1973
 Grenada 7 February 1974
 Papua New Guinea 16 September 1975
 Solomon Islands 7 July 1978
 Tuvalu 1 October 1978
 Saint Lucia 22 February 1979
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 27 October 1979
 Belize 21 September 1981
 Antigua and Barbuda 1 November 1981
 Saint Kitts and Nevis 19 September 1983
Margrethe II
Drottning Margrethe av Danmark
 Denmark 14 January 1972
 Faroe Islands

See also


  1. ^ "Overturning centuries of royal rules". BBC News.
  2. ^ "New rules on royal succession come into force". BBC News.
  3. ^ Bloxham, Andy (28 October 2011). "Centuries-old rule of primogeniture in Royal Family scrapped". Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2011-12-31.

Further reading

  • Monter, William (2012). The Rise of Female Kings in Europe, 1300-1800. Yale University Press. p. 271. ISBN 9780300173277.; studies 30 women who exercised full sovereign authority in Europe.

External links

Berenice III of Egypt

Berenice III (Greek: Βερενίκη; 120–80 BC), sometimes called Cleopatra Berenice, ruled as queen regnant of Egypt from 81 to 80 BC. She had previously been queen consort of Egypt, or possibly queen regnant with her uncle/husband Ptolemy X Alexander I, from 101 to 88 BC.


Khatun (Uzbek: xotin, Persian: خاتون‎ khātūn; Mongolian: ᠬᠠᠲᠤᠨ, khatun, хатан khatan; Urdu: خاتون‎, Hindi: ख़ातून khātūn, plural خواتين khavātīn; Bengali: খাতুন; Sylheti: ꠈꠣꠔꠥꠘ; Turkish: hatun) is a female title of nobility and counterpart to "khan" or "Khagan" prominently used in the Turkic Khaganate and in the subsequent Mongol Empire. It is equivalent to "queen regnant" or "empress regnant", approximately.

Kingdom of Cyprus

The Kingdom of Cyprus was a Crusader state that existed between 1192 and 1489. It was ruled by the French House of Lusignan. It comprised not only the island of Cyprus, but also had a foothold on the Anatolian mainland: Antalya between 1361 and 1373, and Corycus between 1361 and 1448.

List of Castilian monarchs

This is a list of kings and queens of the Kingdom and Crown of Castile. For their predecessors, see List of Castilian counts.

List of Danish monarchs

This is a list of Danish monarchs, that is, the Kings and Queens regnant of Denmark. This includes:

The Kingdom of Denmark (up to 1397)

Personal union of Denmark and Norway (1380–1397)

The Kalmar Union (1397–1536)

Union of Denmark, Norway and Sweden (1397–1523)

Union of Denmark and Norway (1523–1536)

The Kingdom of Denmark-Norway (1536–1814)

The Kingdom of Denmark (1814–present)

Iceland (since the union between Denmark and Norway in 1380; independent kingdom in a personal union with Denmark 1918–1944; a sovereign republic since 1944)

Greenland (since the union between Denmark and Norway in 1380; effective Danish control began in 1721; integrated into the Danish realm in 1953; internal home rule introduced 1979; self-determination assumed in 2009; Greenland has two out of 179 seats in the Danish parliament Folketinget)

Faroe Islands (since the union between Denmark and Norway in 1380; County of Denmark 1816–1948; internal home rule introduced 1948; The Faroe Islands have two out of 179 seats in the Danish parliament Folketinget)The house of Oldenburg held the Danish Crown between 1448 and 1863, when it passed to the house of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, a cadet branch of the same house, patrilineally descended from King Christian III of Denmark. The kingdom had been elective (although the eldest son or brother of the previous king was usually elected) until 1660, when it became hereditary and absolutist. Until 1864 Denmark was also united in a personal union with the duchies of Holstein and Saxe-Lauenburg (1814–1864), and in a political and personal union with the Duchy of Schleswig.

List of Syrian monarchs

The Syrian monarchs ruled Syria as kings and queens regnant. The title King of Syria appeared in the second century BC in referring to the Seleucid kings who ruled the entirety of the region of Syria. It was also used to refer to Aramean kings in the Greek translations of the Old Testament; mainly indicating the kings of Aram-Damascus. Following the defeat of the (Ottoman Empire) in World War I, the region came under the rule of France, United Kingdom and prince Faisal of Hejaz who was proclaimed King of Syria on 8 March 1920. Faisal's reign lasted a few months before he was overthrown by France and the title fell out of use.

List of monarchs of Hawaii

Kamehameha I established the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1795 after conquering most of the Hawaiian archipelago. In 1810, Kaumualii became a vassal of Kamehameha I, who therefore emerged as the sole sovereign of the island chain of Hawaiʻi. His dynasty lasted until 1872, and his Kingdom lasted until 1893, when Queen Liliuokalani, of the Kalākaua Dynasty, was deposed by the pro-United States led overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii. The monarchy was officially ended on January 24, 1895, when Liliuokalani formally abdicated in response to an attempt to restore the royal government. On November 23, 1993, the Congress passed Public Law 103-150, also known as the Apology Resolution, acknowledging the American role in the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. President Bill Clinton signed the joint resolution the same day.

List of monarchs of Tahiti

This is a list of monarchs of Tahiti, during the Pōmare Dynasty. They carried the title Ari'i rahi.

List of rulers of Bosnia

This is a list of rulers of Bosnia, containing bans and kings of Medieval Bosnia.

Pan Htwar

Pan Htwar (Burmese: ပန်ထွာ) also known as Princess Thonbanhla was the queen regnant of Beikthano, the ancient cities of the Pyu Kingdom. She was a strong spiritual lady of war and fame.

Prince consort

A prince consort is the husband of a queen regnant who is not himself a king in his own right. In recognition of his status, a prince consort may be given a formal title, such as prince or prince consort, with prince being the most common. However, most monarchies do not have formal rules on the styling of princes consort, thus they may have no special title. Few monarchies use the title of king consort for the same role.

Queen Gwendolen

Queen Gwendolen, also known as Gwendolin, or Gwendolyn (Latin: Guendoloēna) was a legendary ruler of ancient Britain. She is said to have been queen during the 11th century BC.

As told by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his pseudohistorical account Historia Regum Britanniae, she was the repudiated queen of King Locrinus until she defeated her husband in battle at the River Stour. This river was the dividing line between Cornwall and Loegria, two key locations in ancient Britain. After defeating the king, she took on the leadership of the Britons, becoming their first queen regnant.

Queen Isabella

Queen Isabella may refer to:

Isabella of Hainaut (1170–1190), queen consort of Philip II of France

Isabella I of Jerusalem (1172–1205), queen regnant

Isabella of Angoulême (1188–1246), queen consort of John of England

Isabella II of Jerusalem (1212–1228), queen regnant, also known as Yolande

Isabella of England (1214–1241), Holy Roman Empress to Frederick II and his queen consort of Germany and of Sicily

Isabella, Queen of Armenia (died 1252), queen regnant

Isabella of Aragon (1247–1271), queen consort of Philip III of France

Isabella of Ibelin (1241–1324), queen consort of Hugh III of Cyprus

Isabella of Ibelin (1252–1282), queen consort of Hugh II of Cyprus

Elizabeth of Aragon (1271–1336), queen consort of Denis of Portugal

Isabella of France (1295–1358), queen consort of Edward II of England

Isabella of Majorca (1337–1406), titular queen consort

Isabeau of Bavaria (1369–1435), queen consort of Charles VI of France

Isabella of Valois (1389–1409), queen consort of Richard II of England

Isabella of Portugal, Queen of Castile (1428–1496), queen consort of John II of Castile

Isabella I of Castile (1451–1504), Queen of Spain and wife of Ferdinand II of Aragon

Isabella, Princess of Asturias (1470–1498), queen consort of Manuel I of Portugal

Isabella of Austria (1501–1526), queen consort of Christian II of Denmark, Norway and Sweden

Isabella of Portugal (1503–1539), Holy Roman Empress to Charles V and his queen consort of Aragon and Castile

Isabella Jagiellon (1519–1559), queen consort of János Szapolyai of Hungary

Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia of Spain (1566–1633), co-sovereign of the Habsburg Netherlands

Isabella II of Spain (1830–1904), queen regnant

Queen consort

A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king (or an empress consort in the case of an emperor). A queen consort usually shares her husband's social rank and status. She holds the feminine equivalent of the king's monarchical titles, but historically, she does not share the king's political and military powers. A queen regnant is a queen in her own right with all the powers of a monarch, who (usually) has become queen by inheriting the throne upon the death of the previous monarch.

In Brunei, the wife of the Sultan is known as a Raja Isteri with prefix Pengiran Anak, equivalent to queen consort in English, as were the consorts of tsars when Bulgaria was still a monarchy.


Royalty may refer to:


Royal family, the immediate family of a king or queen regnant, and sometimes his or her extended family

Royalty payment for use of software, such as music, or natural resources.

Suo jure

Suo jure is a Latin phrase, used in English to mean "in his/her own right".

It is commonly encountered in the context of titles of nobility or honorary titles, e.g. Lady Mayoress, and especially in cases where a woman holds a title through her own bloodline or accomplishments rather than through her marriage.

An empress or queen who reigns suo jure is referred to as an "empress regnant" or "queen regnant", those terms often being contrasted with empress consort or queen consort: "empress" and "queen" are, however, often used alone to refer to either a regnant or consort, the distinction being indicated by context.

Tehaapapa II

Maerehia of Raiatea and Tahaa (1824 – 28 May 1893), was a princess of Raiatea and Tahaa from the Tamatoa dynasty family, a Polynesian royal family. She was wife of Ari'imate of Huahine, founder of the Teururai dynasty which reigned on the Tahitian island of Huahiné and Maia'o during the 19th century. She was Queen of Huahine and Maia'o and later Queen regnant in her own right. Comteporary sources seems to call her Tehaapapa I instead, disregarding the ruling queen by the same name at the time Captain Cook visited the island.

Se was installed as Queen of Huahine in 1868 until her death in 1893.

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