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A queen regnant (plural "queens regnant") is a qualifying reference to a female monarch (queen) possessing and exercising all of the monarchical powers of a ruler, in contrast to a "queen consort", who is the wife of a male reigning as monarch and who is without any official powers of state.

In Ancient Egypt, Pacific cultures, and even in historical European countries, as noted below, women monarchs have been given the title king or its equivalent, such as pharaoh, when gender is irrelevant to the office. Also the Byzantine Empress Irene 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 Judea, there is mentioned a single queen regnant, Athaliah, though the Bible regards her negatively as an usurper. The much later Hasmonean Queen Salome Alexandra (Shlomzion) was highly popular.

Technically a male king also may 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 monarchy and its predecessor monarchies. In all current monarchies that allow a queen to take the throne, the husband of such a queen is not titled king, generally ranking as a prince. The husband of Queen Mary I of England and the first two husbands of Mary, Queen of Scots, were all created kings consort of their wives' realms. 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 and II. The latter arrangement was the only occasion of co-sovereignty in Britain.

Accession of a regnant occurs as a nation's order of succession permits. Methods of succession to queendoms, kingdoms, tribal chiefships, and such include nomination when the sitting monarch or a council names an heir, primogeniture when the children of a monarch or chief become regents in order of birth from eldest to youngest, and ultimogeniture when the children become regents 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 women only.

The most typical succession in European monarchies from the Late Middle Ages through most of the twentieth century was male-preference primogeniture; i.e., the order of succession cycled through the sons of the monarch in order of their birth, followed by the daughters or grandsons. Historically, many realms forbade succession by women or through a female line in obedience to 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 ruled in European monarchies.

In the waning days of the twentieth century, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, and the Netherlands amended their acts of succession to primogeniture with no preference as to sex. 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 China, Wu Zetian became the Chinese Empress Regnant and established the Zhou Dynasty (also known as Wu Zhou 武周) after dismissing her sons and becoming the Empress Regnant. Although the Chrysanthemum Throne of Japan is barred to women, this has not always been the case; eight of the ruling empresses of Japan are listed below.


Current queens regnant

Queen Country Date
Beatrix Kingdom of the Netherlands: Aruba (became a country within the Kingdom on January 1, 1986), The Netherlands and Netherlands Antilles 30 April 1980
Elizabeth II Antigua and Barbuda 1 November 1981
Australia 6 February 1952
Bahamas 10 July 1973
Barbados 30 November 1966
Belize 21 September 1981
Canada 6 February 1952
Grenada 7 February 1974
Jamaica 6 August 1962
New Zealand 6 February 1952
Papua New Guinea 16 September 1975
Saint Kitts and Nevis 19 September 1983
Saint Lucia 22 February 1979
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 27 October 1979
Solomon Islands 7 July 1978
Tuvalu 1 October 1978
United Kingdom 6 February 1952
Margrethe II Kingdom of Denmark: Denmark, Faroe Islands, Greenland 14 January 1972

List of all queens regnant

See also


External links


Simple English

Redirecting to Queen Consort


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