Queen regnant

Queen regnant

A queen regnant (plural "queens regnant") is qualifying reference to a female monarch possessing and exercising all of the monarchal powers of a ruler, in contrast with a "queen consort", who is the wife of a reigning king as monarch, and in and of herself has no official powers of state. The term is redundant in cultures or countries where only a ruling female monarch bears the title of "queen" and where the wife of a king bears a title other than "queen", whilst having no official powers.

Technically, a 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 and its predecessor monarchies. In all current monarchies that allow for a queen to take the Throne, the husband of such a queen is not titled king, generally ranking as a prince. The husband of Mary I of England and Ireland and the second husband of Mary I, Queen of Scots were both 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 of England, II of Scots, and I of Ireland—but this was the only occasion of co-sovereignty in Britain, at least officially. Thereafter, the husbands of queens regnant in Britain have been informally styled princes consort (the formal title "Prince Consort", however, having been granted only to Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria).

Accession of a regnant occurs as a nation's order of succession permits. Methods of succession (to queendoms, kingdoms, 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 matrilineal, patrilineal, 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 in European monarchies from the Late Middle Ages through to 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 then by the daughters. Many realms historically forbade succession by women or through a female line, however, in obedience to the Salic law; and some still do. No queen regnant ever ruled France, for example, nor, the Holy Roman Empire if one excepts Maria Theresa, who held the title Holy Roman Empress by marriage and was the "de facto" ruler. The Chrysanthemum Throne of Japan is currently barred to women, although historically, this has not always been the case.

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 gender. 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.

Partial list of queens regnant

Although many ancient ruling queens and unknown queens of cultures poorly recorded or undocumented upon discovery (such as all of the queens in Africa, Micronesia, Oceania, Polynesia, etc.), are omitted, the following is a list of such queens who are known popularly.


* Seri Ratu Niharsyah the Sultana of Samudera Pasai
* Seri Ratu Ta'jul Alam Shah the Sultana of Atjeh (Aceh) Darussalam. Formerly known as Puteri Seri Alam the Daughter of The Great Sultan Iskandar Muda, and wife of Sultan Iskandar Thani, she ruled Atjeh for nearly 36 years
* Seri Ratu Keumalat Shah the god daughter of Ratu Ta'jul Alam
* Seri Ratu Inayat Shah the god daughter of Ratu Ta'jul Alam


The names of women who ruled some of the native American Indian nations were usually not recorded by Europeans who first encountered them, not understanding the structure of their societies and seeking to deal with male representatives presumed to be the rulers.


* Maria Theresa (reigned 1740-1780)

= Bosnia =

* Helen the Tough (succeeded her husband, reigned 1395-1398)

Central Asia and Persian Empire

* Tomyris, queen of the Massagetae (ruled c. 530 BC)
* Borandukht (ruled 630-631)
* Azarmidokht (sister of Borandukht, ruled 631)


There has been only one Empress regnant in Chinese history, Wu Zetian, but there have been many powerful empress consorts or empress dowagers, some of whom effectively ruled. The powerful empress consorts or empress dowagers were "de facto" rulers, but not "de jure" Empress regnants. A concubine who gave birth to the crown prince could also become empress dowager, though her status was still a little lower than an empress dowager who had been the former empress consort.

* Wu Zetian 武則天 (ruled 684-705, reigned 690-705) - the sole Chinese Empress Regnant, the empress consort of Tang Gaozong, the mother of Tang Zhongzong and Tang Ruizong, she established the Zhou Dynasty (also known as Wu Zhou 武周) after dismissing her sons and becoming the Empress Regnant.
* Empress Lü Zhi (ruled 195BC-180BC) - the empress consort of Emperor Gaozu of Han.
* Empress Dou (Wen)- the empress consort of Emperor Wen of Han.
* Empress Deng Sui (ruled 105-121) - the empress consort of Emperor He of Han.
* Empress Chu Suanzi- the empress consort of Emperor Kang of Jin.
* Empress Feng (Wencheng)- the empress consort of Emperor Wencheng of Northern Wei.
* Empress Dowager Hu (Xiaoming)- the concubine of Emperor Xuanwu of Northern Wei, the mother of Emperor Xiaoming of Northern Wei.
* Empress Dugu Qieluo- the empress consort of Emperor Wen of Sui.
* Empress Xiao (Taizu) (ruled 926-947) - the empress consort of Emperor Taizu of Liao.
* Empress Xiao (ruled 975-1009) - the empress consort of Emperor Jingzong of Liao.
* Empress Liu (ruled 1020-1033) - the empress consort of Emperor Zhenzong of Song.
* Empress Gao (ruled 1085-1093) - the empress consort of Emperor Yingzong of Song.
* Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang- the concubine of Emperor Huang Taiji, the mother of Shunzhi Emperor, the grandmother of Kangxi Emperor .
* Empress Dowager Ci'an (ruled 1861-1881) - the empress consort of Xianfeng Emperor.
* Empress Dowager Cixi (ruled 1861-1908) - the concubine of Xianfeng Emperor, the mother of Tongzhi Emperor.


* Margaret I, Queen of Denmark (1375 – 1412), Queen of Norway (1388 – 1412), Regent of Sweden (1389 – 1412)
* Margaret II (1972 – present)



* Merneith of the first dynasty
* Nimaethap of the third dynasty
* Ahhotep I
* Khentkaues
* Nitocris (disputed)
* Sobekneferu
* Hatshepsut
* Ahmose-Nefertari
* Twosret
* Nefertiti
* Meritaten
* Neferneferuaten
* Smenkhkare


* Berenice I
* Arsinoe I
* Arsinoe II
* Berenice II
* Arsinoe III
* Cleopatra I
* Cleopatra II
* Cleopatra III
* Cleopatra IV
* Berenice III
* Cleopatra V
* Cleopatra VI
* Berenice IV
* Cleopatra VII
* Arsinoe IV


* Shajar al-Durr (ruled 1250-1257)


* Makeda Queen of Sheba

= Hawaii =


* Kūkaniloko, 11th Mookinai of Ookinaahu, (ruled 16th century)
* Kalaimanuia, 12th Mookinai of Ookinaahu, (ruled 1600-1665)
* Kamakahelei, 22nd Mookinai of Kauaokinai, (ruled 1770 - 1794)
* Kaikilani, 17th Mookinai of Hawaiokinai Island, (ruled 1575-1605)
* Keakamahana, 19th Mookinai of Hawaiokinai Island, {ruled 1635-1665)
* Keakealaniwahine, 20th Mookinai of Hawaiokinai Island, (ruled 1665-1695)
* Kalanikauleleiaiwi, Co-ruler of Hawaiokinai Island along with her brother Keaweikekahialiiokamoku, (ruled 1695-1725)
* Ululani, Chiefess of Hilo
* Hualani, Chiefess of Molokai


* Liliuokalani (ruled 1891-1893; still claimed status as queen until her death in 1917) was one of many queens of Hawaii; however, she was the only queen regnant of the modern Kingdom of Hawaii established by Kamehameha I in the late 18th century.

Hungary, Croatia and Dalmatia

* Mary (reigned 1382-1385 and 1386-1395)
* Mary Theresa (reigned 1740-1780)


* Raziyyat-ud-din Sultana of Slave Dynasty (ruled 1236-1240)
* Rani Mangammal of Madurai Nayak Dynasty (ruled 1684-1703)
* Gowri Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore (ruled 1811-1814)


* Queen Himiko of Yamatai
* Queen Toyo of Yamatai
* Empress Jingū r.206–209?—legendary/mythical; removed from the list of Emperors in the 19th century
* Empress Iitoyo

* Empress Suiko (554-628), r.593–628—first ruling empress
* Empress Kōgyoku (594-661), r.642–645—formerly Princess Takara (Empress Consort of Jomei)
* Empress Saimei (594-661), r.655–661 (same person as Empress Kōgyoku)
* Empress Jitō (645-702), r.690–697
* Empress Gemmei (661-721), r.707–715
* Empress Genshō (680-748), r.715–724—formerly Princess Hidaka
* Empress Kōken (718-770), r.749–758
* Empress Shōtoku (718-770), r.764–770 (same person as Empress Kōken)
* Empress Meishō (1624-1696), r.1629–1643
* Empress Go-Sakuramachi (1740-1813), r.1762–1771—most recent ruling empress


* Athaliah (ruled 843-835 BC)
* Salome Alexandra (ruled 76-67 BC)


* Queen Seondeok of Silla (ruled 632-647)
* Jindeok of Silla (ruled 647-652)
* Jinseong of Silla (ruled 887-897)


* Ranavalona I
* Rasoherina
* Ranavalona II
* Ranavalona III


* Töregene Khatun

The Netherlands

* Wilhelmina of the Netherlands (reigned November 23, 1890September 4, 1948)
* Juliana of the Netherlands (reigned September 4, 1948April 30, 1980)
* Beatrix of the Netherlands (reigned April 30, 1980 – present).


Kandake was a title for queens, queen mothers and queen consorts in Nubia. Ruling Kandakes may have included;
* Candace of Meroe (c. 345 BCE - 332 BCE)
* Alakhebasken (c. 295 BCE)
* Shanakdakhete (177 BCE - 155 BCE)
* Amanikhabale (50 BCE - 40 BCE)
* Amanirenas (40 BCE - 10 BCE)
* Amanishakheto (c. 10 BCE - 1 CE)
* Amanitore (1 CE - 20 CE)
* Amanikhatashan (62 - 85)
* Maleqorobar (266 - 283)
* Lahideamani (306 - 314)


* Jadwiga of Poland (ruled 1384-1386)
* Anna Jagiellon (ruled 1575-1595)


* Beatrice of Portugal (ruled "de jure" 1383-1385)
* Maria I of Portugal (ruled 1777-1816))
* Maria II of Portugal (ruled 1826-1828 and 1834-1853)


* Catherine I of Russia (1725-1727)
* Anna of Russia (1730-1740)
* Elizabeth of Russia (1741-1762)
* Catherine II of Russia (1762-1796)

= Spain/Castile/Aragon =

* Petronila of Aragon
* Urraca of Castile
* Berenguela of Castile
* Isabella I of Castile
* Joanna of Castile
* Isabella II of Spain


* Margaret of Sweden (1389 – 1412)
* Christina of Sweden (1632 – June 5, 1654)
* Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden (November 30, 1718February 29, 1720)

= UK / Commonwealth / England / Great Britain / Scotland =

* Boudica, queen of the Brythonic Celtic Iceni people of Norfolk in Eastern Britain who, in 61 AD, led a major uprising of the tribes against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire.
* Queen Cordelia
* Queen Gwendolen
* Matilda (or Maud) of England (never reigned 1141) – usurped. Styled herself "Lady of the English." (although Queen of the English was not unknown) She was named heir by her father Henry I of England upon securing the loyalty of nobles of the realm, but Count Stephen of Blois contradicted his promise after the king's death and made himself King of England instead of Maud/Matilda. Civil war ensued and was ended when the crown was secured to Maud/Matilda's son, Henry II of England, who became the first king of the House of Plantagenet.
* Margaret, the Maid of Norway (heir March 19, 1286September 26, 1290). She was the daughter of Eirik II of Norway and Margaret, daughter of Alexander III. She died on the sea journey to Scotland before being inaugurated.
* Mary I, Queen of Scots (reigned December 14, 1542July 24, 1567). She became queen when she was six days old, was crowned at age five, and promptly engaged to the Dauphin of France - the future Francis II.
* Lady Jane Grey (reigned July 10July 19, 1553) – Her cousin Edward VI of England appointed her successor by removing his older half-sisters Mary and Elizabeth from the order of succession as illegitimates. This decision had not been approved by Parliament and was open to questions of its legality. Mary was the heir according to the will of their father Henry VIII of England and was elevated to the throne through revolt. Nevertheless, Jane is sometimes considered England's first queen regnant, without consideration to Celtic queens such as Boudica. She is called "The Nine Days Queen."
* Mary I of England (reigned July 19, 1553November 17, 1558). Elevated to the throne in accordance with Henry VIII's will. Reckoned the first or second queen regnant and subsequent years of her reign as though Jane had never been Queen.
* Elizabeth I of England (term November 17, 1558March 24, 1603). Her elder sister Mary I attempted to remove her from the order of succession. Succeeded her childless older half-sister and led England to one of its richest periods in history, known as the Elizabethan Age. Also died childless.
* Mary II of England/Mary II, Queen of Scots (reigned February 13/April 11, 1689December 28, 1694). Co-reigned with her husband William III; they were given the throne by Parliament after the same deposed James II during the so-called Glorious Revolution of 1688.
* Anne, Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland; later, Queen of Great Britain and Queen of Ireland (reigned March 8, 1702August 1, 1714).
* Victoria of the United Kingdom (reigned June 20, 1837January 22, 1901).
* Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom (February 6, 1952 - present).

Viet Nam

* Trưng Sisters (40 - 43)
* Isanavarman of Champa (? - 653)
* Lý Chiêu Hoàng (1224 - 1225)
* Nguyễn Thị Anh (1451 - 1459)

ee also

* List of current queens regnant
* Monarch
* Queen consort
* Order of succession

External links

* [http://guide2womenleaders.com/women_state_leaders.htm Queen Regnants throughout the times]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Queen regnant — Queen Queen, n. [OE. quen, quene, queen, quean, AS. cw[=e]n wife, queen, woman; akin to OS. qu[=a]n wife, woman, Icel. kv[=a]n wife, queen, Goth. q[=e]ns. [root]221. See {Quean}.] 1. The wife of a king. [1913 Webster] 2. A woman who is the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • queen regnant — n. a queen reigning in her own right …   English World dictionary

  • queen regnant — noun a female sovereign ruler • Syn: ↑queen, ↑female monarch • Ant: ↑male monarch (for: ↑female monarch), ↑king (for: ↑que …   Useful english dictionary

  • queen regnant — / regnant/ In English law, a queen who holds the crown in her own right; as the first Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Anne, and Queen Victoria. For the titles and descriptions of various officers in the English legal system, called queen s… …   Black's law dictionary

  • queen-regnant — queen regˈnant noun A queen reigning as monarch • • • Main Entry: ↑queen …   Useful english dictionary

  • queen regnant — queen′ reg′nant n. gov a queen who reigns in her own right • Etymology: 1840–50 …   From formal English to slang

  • queen regnant — noun (plural queens regnant) Date: circa 1639 a queen reigning in her own right …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • queen regnant — a queen who reigns in her own right. Also, queen regent. [1840 50] * * * …   Universalium

  • queen regnant — /kwin ˈrɛgnənt/ (say kween regnuhnt) noun a queen who reigns in her own right …  

  • queen regnant — See queen regent …   Ballentine's law dictionary

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