A regent, from the Latin regens, "[one] reigning", or regency council is a person or group of persons selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated.[1] The period of rule of a regent or regents is referred to as a regency.

In a monarchy, a regent usually governs due to one of these reasons, but may also be elected to rule during the interregnum when the royal line has died out. This was the case in Finland and Hungary, where the royal line was considered extinct in the aftermath of World War I. In Iceland, the regent represented the King of Denmark as sovereign of Iceland until the country became a republic in 1944.

In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569–1795), kings were elective, which often led to a fairly long interregnum. In the interim, it was the Lithuanian Roman Catholic Primate who served as the regent, termed the "interrex" (Latin: ruler "between kings" as in ancient Rome).

In the small republic of San Marino, the two Captains Regent, or Capitani Reggenti, are elected semi-annually (they serve a six-month term) as joint heads of state and of government.

Occasionally, the term regent refers to positions lower than the ruler of a country. In the Dutch republic of the United Provinces, the members of the ruling class, not formally hereditary but de facto patricians, were known collectively as regenten (the Dutch plural for regent). In the Dutch East Indies, a regent was a native prince allowed to rule de facto colonized 'state' as a regentschap (see that term). Consequently, in the successor state of Indonesia, the term regent is used in English to mean a bupati (local government official).

The term may be used in the governance of organisations. Some university managers in North America are called regents and a management board for a college or university may be titled the "Board of Regents". The term "regent" is also used for members of governing bodies of institutions, such as the national banks, in France and Belgium. Again in Belgium and France, (Régént in French, or in Dutch) Regent is the official title of a teacher in a lower secondary school (junior high school), who does not require a college degree but is trained in a specialized écôle normale (normal school). In the Philippines, specifically, the University of Santo Tomas, the Father Regent, who must be a Dominican priest and is often also a teacher, serves as the institution's spiritual head. They also form the Council of Regents that serves as the highest administrative council of the university.

Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu.

See also

  • List of regents


  1. ^ The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term as "A person appointed to administer a State because the Monarch is a minor, is absent or is incapacitated."

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  • régent — régent, ente [ reʒɑ̃, ɑ̃t ] n. • 1316; régent d université 1261; lat. regens, p. prés. de regere « diriger » 1 ♦ Personne qui gouverne une monarchie pendant la minorité ou l absence du roi, du souverain. Le régent était choisi parmi les membres… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • régent — régent, ente (ré jan, jan t ) adj. 1°   Qui exerce la régence. Le prince régent, la reine régente.    Substantivement. Le régent, la régente du royaume. •   Après avoir fait sentir aux ennemis durant tant d années l invincible puissance du roi, s …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Regent — (lat. regere „regieren, lenken, leiten“) steht für: den amtierenden, regierenden Monarchen, siehe Herrscher den Stellvertreter eines Monarchen, wenn dieser die Herrschaft nicht ausüben kann, siehe Regentschaft Regent von Amsterdam, ein… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • regent — REGÉNT, Ă, regenţi, te, s.m. şi f. Persoană care guvernează provizoriu o monarhie, ţinând locul monarhului în timpul unei regenţe. – Din fr. regent, lat. régens, ntis. Trimis de IoanSoleriu, 12.03.2008. Sursa: DEX 98  REGÉNT s. (înv.) caimacam,… …   Dicționar Român

  • Regent TS — Régent TS Pour les articles homonymes, voir Régent. Le Régent TS est un insecticide commercialisé par la société BASF pour le traitement des semences de maïs. La substance active de ce produit est le fipronil. Très controversé en France, où il… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • regent — Regent, [reg]ente. adj. Qui regit, qui gouverne l Estat pendant une minorité, une absence du Souverain. Le Prince Regent. la Reine Regente. Regent, est aussi, Une qualité qu on donne à tous les Docteurs en Droit ou en Medecine qui enseignent.… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Regent — (cépage) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Régent. ... Fichier:... ... Caractéristiques phénologiques Débourrement ... Floraison …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Regent — Re gent, n. [F. r[ e]gent. See {Regent}, a.] 1. One who rules or reigns; a governor; a ruler. Milton. [1913 Webster] 2. Especially, one invested with vicarious authority; one who governs a kingdom in the minority, absence, or disability of the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Regent — Re gent (r? jent), a. [L. regens, entis, p. pr. of regere to rule: cf. F. r[ e]gent. See {Regiment}.] 1. Ruling; governing; regnant. Some other active regent principle . . . which we call the soul. Sir M. Hale. [1913 Webster] 2. Exercising… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Regent — Regent, ND U.S. city in North Dakota Population (2000): 211 Housing Units (2000): 126 Land area (2000): 0.546876 sq. miles (1.416403 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.546876 sq. miles (1.416403… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Regent, ND — U.S. city in North Dakota Population (2000): 211 Housing Units (2000): 126 Land area (2000): 0.546876 sq. miles (1.416403 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.546876 sq. miles (1.416403 sq. km) FIPS …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

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