queen regnant
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A queen regnant (plural: queens regnant) is a female
monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state Foakes, pp. 110–11 " he head of statebeing an embodiment of the State itself or representatitve of its internat ...
, equivalent in rank and title to a
king King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen, which title is also given to the consort of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contemporary indigenous peoples, the ...
, who reigns '' suo jure'' (in her own right) over a realm known as a "kingdom"; 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 rules '' pro tempore'' in the child's stead, be it in sharing power or in ruling alone. She is sometimes called a woman king. A princess regnant is a female monarch who reigns ''suo jure'' over a "
principality A principality (or sometimes princedom) can either be a monarchical feudatory or a sovereign state A sovereign state or sovereign country, is a political entity represented by one central government that has supreme legitimate authorit ...
"; an empress regnant is a female monarch who reigns ''suo jure'' over an " empire". A queen regnant possesses and exercises sovereign powers, whereas a queen consort or queen regent shares her spouse's and/or child's rank and titles but does not share the sovereignty of her spouse or child. The husband of a queen regnant traditionally does not share the queen regnant's rank, title, or sovereignty. However, the concept of a king consort or prince consort is not unheard of in both contemporary and classical periods. A queen dowager or
empress dowager Empress dowager (also dowager empress or empress mother) () is the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family, with its earliest forms spoken by the inhabitants of early medieval England ...
is the widow of a king or emperor; a queen mother is a queen dowager who is also the mother of a reigning sovereign.


History

The oldest attested queen regnant was the sumerian Kubaba from the later mid-3rd millenium BC and the
Pharaoh Pharaoh (, ; Egyptian: '' pr ꜥꜣ''; cop, , Pǝrro; Biblical Hebrew: ''Parʿō'') is the vernacular term often used by modern authors for the kings of ancient Egypt who ruled as monarchs from the First Dynasty (c. 3150 BC) until th ...
Sobekneferu from the 18th/17th century BC. In Ancient Africa,
Ancient Persia The history of Iran is intertwined with the history of a larger region known as Greater Iran, comprising the area from Anatolia in the west to the borders of Ancient India and the Syr Darya in the east, and from the Caucasus and the Eurasian Step ...
, Asian and Pacific cultures, and in some European countries, female monarchs have been given the title ''king'' or its equivalent, such as ''
pharaoh Pharaoh (, ; Egyptian: '' pr ꜥꜣ''; cop, , Pǝrro; Biblical Hebrew: ''Parʿō'') is the vernacular term often used by modern authors for the kings of ancient Egypt who ruled as monarchs from the First Dynasty (c. 3150 BC) until th ...
'', when gender is irrelevant to the office, or else have used the masculine form of the word in languages that have
grammatical gender In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species of primate, characterized by bipedalism and exceptional cognitive skills due to a large and ...
as a way to classify nouns. The
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn R ...
Empress Irene sometimes titled herself ''
basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, ) is a Greek term and title that has signified various types of monarchs in history. In the English-speaking world it is perhaps most widely understood to mean "monarch A monarch is a head of state A head ...
'' (βασιλεύς), 'emperor', rather than ''basilissa'' (βασίλισσα), 'empress', and
Mary of Hungary Mary, also known as Maria of Anjou (, , ; 137117 May 1395), reigned as Queen of Hungary and Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = " Lijepa ...
was crowned as ''Rex Hungariae'', ''King of Hungary'' in 1382. Among the Davidic Monarchs of the
Kingdom of Judah The Kingdom of Judah ( he, , ''Yəhūdā''; akk, 𒅀𒌑𒁕𒀀𒀀 ''Ya'údâ'' 'ia-ú-da-a-a'' arc, 𐤁𐤉𐤕𐤃𐤅𐤃 ''Bēyt Dāwīḏ'', " House of David") was an Israelite kingdom of the Southern Levant during the Iron Age ...
, there is mentioned a single queen regnant,
Athaliah Athaliah ( el, Γοθολία ''Gotholía''; la, Athalia) was the daughter of either king Omri, or of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel of Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the Stat ...
, though the
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;"Tanach"
'' 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 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. The most typical succession in European monarchies from the
Late Middle Ages The Late Middle Ages or Late Medieval Period was the Periodization, period of European history lasting from AD 1300 to 1500. The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages and preceded the onset of the early modern period (and in much of Eur ...
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, like
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
,
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire was a political entity in Western, Central, and Southern Europe Southern Europe is the southern region of Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of ...
forbade succession by women or through a female line in accordance with the Salic law, and nine countries still do, such countries being
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally , ''Nihonkoku'') is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, while extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the n ...
,
Morocco Morocco (),, ) officially the Kingdom of Morocco, is the westernmost country in the Maghreb region of North Africa North Africa, or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no ...
, Jordan,
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), is a country in Western Asia. It covers the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and has a land area of about , making it the List of Asian countries by area, fifth-largest country in Asia ...
,
Bahrain Bahrain ( ; ; ar, البحرين, al-Bahrayn, locally ), officially the Kingdom of Bahrain, ' is an island country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion of the larger geographical regio ...
,
Brunei Brunei ( , ), formally Brunei Darussalam ( ms, Negara Brunei Darussalam, Jawi: , ), is a country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, ...
,
Liechtenstein Liechtenstein (), officially the Principality of Liechtenstein (german: link=no, Fürstentum Liechtenstein), is a German-speaking microstate located in the Alps The Alps () ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps ; sl, Alpe . are t ...
,
Bhutan Bhutan (; dz, འབྲུག་ཡུལ་, Druk Yul ), officially the Kingdom of Bhutan,), is a landlocked country in South Asia South Asia is the southern subregion of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable ...
. No queen regnant ever ruled
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
, 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 Sweden, formally the Kingdom of Sweden,The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's formal name is the Kingdom of SwedenUNGEGN World Geographical Names, Sweden./ref> is a Nordic country located on ...
,
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe, the mainland territory of which comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The remote Arctic island of Jan Mayen and ...
,
Belgium Belgium, ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Northwestern Europe. The country is bordered by the Netherlands ) , anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = , map_captio ...
, the
Netherlands ) , anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Kingdom of the Netherlands , established_title = Before independence , established_date = Spanish Neth ...
,
Denmark ) , song = ( en, "King Christian stood by the lofty mast") , song_type = National and royal anthem , image_map = EU-Denmark.svg , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Kingdom of Denmark , establish ...
,
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a small lan ...
and the UK amended their laws of succession to
absolute primogeniture Primogeniture ( ) is the right, by law or custom, of the firstborn legitimate child to inherit the parent's entire or main estate in preference to shared inheritance among all or some children, any illegitimate child or any collateral relativ ...
(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 the 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 have become heir apparent. In 2015,
Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; 21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022) was Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms from 6 February 1952 until her death in 2022. She was queen regnant of 32 sovereign states durin ...
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 until her
death Death is the irreversible cessation of all biological functions that sustain an organism. For organisms with a brain, death can also be defined as the irreversible cessation of functioning of the whole brain, including brainstem, and brai ...
on 8 September 2022.


East Asia

Because there is no feminine equivalent to king and emperor in East Asian languages, different titles are used for female monarchs and female consorts. The titles of female monarchs in East Asia are translated directly as "female king" or "female emperor" and the titles of female consorts in East Asia are translated directly as "king's consort" or "emperor's consort". So, the titles of female monarchs in East Asia are the same as those of male monarchs, just indicating that they are women. In 
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population exceeding 1.4 billion, slightly ahead of India India, officially the Republic of India ...
, the term ''nǚhuángdì'' (女皇帝, "female emperor"), abbreviated as ''nǚhuáng'' (女皇), has been used for three empresses regnant to assume the title of  ''huángdì'': Daughter of Xiaoming, Chen Shuozhen and  Wu Zetian, because the title ''huánghòu'' (皇后, "emperor's consort") means only an empress consort. The term ''nǚwáng'' (女王, "female king") was also used for queens regnant of 
Sumpa The Sumpa () were a tribe living in northeastern Tibet Tibet (; ''Böd''; ) is a region in East Asia, covering much of the Tibetan Plateau and spanning about . It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people. Also resident on the pl ...
and it is different from the title ''wánghòu'' (王后, "king's consort") which means a queen consort. In Korea, the term ''yeowang'' (여왕, "female king") was developed to refer to three queens regnant of Silla: Seondeok, Jindeok and Jinseong, because the title ''wangbi'' (왕비, "king's consort") means only a queen consort. The term ''yeoje'' (여제, "female emperor") was also used for Yi Hae-won, the titular empress regnant of 
Korean Empire The Korean Empire () was a Korea Korea ( ko, 한국, or , ) is a peninsula A peninsula (; ) is a landform that extends from a mainland and is surrounded by water on most, but not all of its borders. A peninsula is also sometimes de ...
because the title ''hwanghu'' (황후, "emperor's consort") means only an empress consort. Although
Vietnam Vietnam or Viet Nam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,., group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia, S ...
is a country in Southeast Asia, it used the royal titles of East Asia. The title as a queen regnant of Trưng Trắc was ''Nữ vương'' ("female king") and the title as an empress regnant of Lý Chiêu Hoàng was ''Nữ hoàng'' ("female emperor"), and they are different from the titles of female consorts. In Japan, the title used for two queens regnant of Yamatai: Himiko and Toyo was ''joō'' (女王, "female king") and it is different from the title ''ōhi'' (王妃, "king's consort") which means only a queen consort. The term ''josei tennō'' (女性天皇, "female emperor") has been used for empresses regnant of Japan because the title ''kōgō'' (皇后, "emperor's consort") means only an empress consort. Although the Chrysanthemum Throne of
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally , ''Nihonkoku'') is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, while extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the n ...
is currently barred to women following the Imperial Household Law (
Emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife ( empress consort), mother ( ...
Naruhito has a daughter, Princess Aiko. She cannot accede to the Chrysanthemum Throne), this has not always been the case; throughout Japanese history, there have been eight empresses regnant. The Japanese imperial 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 (Naruhito's nephew) in 2006.


Current queen regnant


Living former queen regnant


List


Likely future queens regnant

The following women are expected to inherit a throne: *
Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, Duchess of Västergötland (Victoria Ingrid Alice Désirée; born 14 July 1977) is the heir apparent to the Swedish throne, as the eldest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf. If she ascends to the throne as expe ...
, heir apparent of
Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf (Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus; born 30 April 1946) is King of Sweden. He ascended the throne on the death of his grandfather, Gustaf VI Adolf, on 15 September 1973. He is the youngest child and only son of Prince Gustaf Adolf, ...
**
Princess Estelle, Duchess of Östergötland Princess Estelle of Sweden, Duchess of Östergötland (Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary; born 23 February 2012) is the elder child of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland. She is the eldest grandchild of King Carl XVI Gus ...
, eldest child of Victoria * Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant, heir apparent of Philippe of Belgium * Amalia, Princess of Orange, heir apparent of Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands * Princess Ingrid of Norway, eldest child of Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway * Leonor, Princess of Asturias, heir presumptive of Felipe VI of Spain * Princess Mangkubumi, heir presumptive of Hamengkubuwono X of the Yogyakarta Sultanate and the Special Region of Yogyakarta in
Indonesia Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It consists of over 17,000 islands, including Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, and parts of Borneo and New Gu ...


See also

* List of women rulers *
Monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state Foakes, pp. 110–11 " he head of statebeing an embodiment of the State itself or representatitve of its internat ...
* List of elected and appointed female heads of state and government * Order of succession * Queen consort * Rani *
Regent A regent (from Latin : ruling, governing) is a person appointed to govern a state '' pro tempore'' (Latin: 'for the time being') because the monarch is a minor, absent, incapacitated or unable to discharge the powers and duties of the monarchy ...
* Salic law * Sultana * Women in government * Matriarchy * Trưng sisters


Notes


References


Further reading

* ; studies 30 women who exercised full sovereign authority in Europe.


External links

* {{Authority control Positions of authority Terms for women Royal titles Matriarchy