Laird is a generic name for the owner of a large, long-established Scottish estate equivalent to an esquire in England, yet ranking above the same in Scotland. In the Scottish order of precedence, a laird ranks above a gentleman; this rank is only held by those lairds holding official recognition in a territorial designation by the Lord Lyon King of Arms. They are styled of, are traditionally entitled to place The Much Honoured before their name. Although the UK Government deems that "for Scottish lairds it is not necessary for the words Laird of to appear on any part of a passport, requests from applicants and passport holders for manorial titles and Scottish lairds to be included in their passports may be accepted providing documentary evidence is submitted, recorded in the passport with the observation e.g.: THE HOLDER IS THE LORD OF THE MANOR/LAIRD OF....... ". The Lord Lyon, Scotland's authority on titles, has produced the following guidance regarding the current use of the term laird as a courtesy title:The term ‘laird’ has been applied to the owner of an estate, sometimes by the owner himself or, more by those living and working on the estate.
It is a description rather than a title, is not appropriate for the owner of a normal residential property, far less the owner of a small souvenir plot of land. The term ‘laird’ is not synonymous with that of ‘lord’ or ‘lady’. Ownership of a souvenir plot of land is not sufficient to bring a person otherwise ineligible within the jurisdiction of the Lord Lyon for the purpose of seeking a grant of arms; the term bonnet laird was applied to rural, petty landowners, as they wore a bonnet like the non-landowning classes. Bonnet lairds filled a position in society below lairds and above husbandmen, similar to the yeomen of England; the word "laird" is known to have been used from the 15th century, is a shortened form of laverd, derived from the Old English word hlafweard meaning "warden of loaves". The word "lord" is of the same origin, would have been interchangeable with "laird". In the 15th and 16th centuries, the designation was used for land owners holding directly of the Crown, therefore were entitled to attend Parliament.
Lairds reigned over their estates like their castles forming a small court. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the designation was applied to the head chief of a highland clan and therefore was not personal property and had obligations towards the community; the laird may possess certain feudal rights. A lairdship carried voting rights in the ancient pre-Union Parliament of Scotland, although such voting rights were expressed via two representatives from each county who were known as Commissioners of the Shires, who came from the laird class and were chosen by their peers to represent them. A certain level of landownership was a necessary qualification. A laird is said to hold a lairdship. A woman who holds a lairdship in her own right has been styled with the honorific "Lady". Although "laird" is sometimes translated as lord and signifies the same, like the English term lord of the manor "laird" is not a title of nobility; the designation is a'corporeal hereditament', i.e. the designation cannot be held in gross, cannot be bought and sold without selling the physical land.
The designation does not entitle the owner to sit in the House of Lords and is the Scottish equivalent to an English squire, in that it is not a noble title, more a courtesy designation meaning landowner with no other rights assigned to it. A laird possessing a Coat of Arms registered in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland is a member of Scotland's minor nobility; such a person can be recognised as a laird, if not a chief or chieftain, or descendant of one of these, by the formal recognition of a territorial designation as a part of their name by the Lord Lyon. The Lord Lyon is the ultimate arbiter as to determining entitlement to a territorial designation, his right of discretion in recognising these, their status as a name, dignity or title, have been confirmed in the Scottish courts. Several websites, internet vendors on websites like Ebay, sell Scottish lairdships along with minuscule "plots of land" – one foot squared; the Court of the Lord Lyon considers these particular titles to be meaningless because it is impossible to have numerous "lairds" of a single estate at the same time, as has been advertised by these companies.
A contemporary popular view of Lairdship titles has taken a unique twist in the 21st century in millions of sales of souvenir land plots from buyers who show no interests in the opinions of the Registry of Scotland or of the Court of Lyon. They see their contract purporting to sell a plot of Scottish souvenir land as bestowing them the informal right to the title Laird; this is despite the fact that the buyer does not acquire ownership of the plot because registration of the plot is prohibited by Land Registration Act 2012, s 22. As ownership of land in Scotland requires registration of a valid disposition under Land Registration Act 2012, s 50 the prohibition on registration of a souvenir plot means the buyer does not acquire ownership, accordingly has no entitlement to a descriptive title premised on landownership. A study in 2003 by academics at the Universities of Edinburgh and Aberdeen concluded that:"The modern Scottish Highland sporting estate continues to be a place owned by an absentee landowner who uses its 15-20,000 acres for hu
The word lady is a term of respect for a woman, the equivalent of gentleman. Once used to describe only women of a high social class or status, now it may refer to any adult woman. Informal use of this word is sometimes euphemistic or, in American slang, condescending. "Lady" is a formal title in the United Kingdom. "Lady" is used before the family name of a woman with a title of nobility or honorary title suo jure, or the wife of a lord, a baronet, laird, or a knight, before the first name of the daughter of a duke, marquess, or earl. The word comes from Old English hlǣfdige; the second part is taken to be from the root dig-, "to knead", seen in dough. The primary meaning of "mistress of a household" is now obsolete, save for the term landlady and in set phrases such as "the lady of the house." This meaning is retained in the southern states of the United States. The term is used in titles such as First Lady and Lady Mayoress, the wives of elected or appointed officials. In many European languages the equivalent term serves as a general form of address equivalent to the English Mrs.
In those languages it is correct to address a woman whose name is unknown as Madame, Señora, etc. but in polite English usage "lady" has for centuries only been a "term of address" in the plural, the case for "gentleman". The singular vocative use was once common but has become confined to poetry. In some dialects it may still be used to address an unknown woman in a brusque manner in an imperative or interrogatory context, analogous to "mister" for an unknown male: e.g. "Hey, you aren't allowed in here!" In this usage, the word "lady" is seldom capitalized when written. The usual English term for politely addressing a woman is Ma'am. In British English, "lady" is but not always a courteous synonym for "woman". Public toilets are distinguished by signs showing "Ladies" or "Gentlemen". "Lady" has a formal and respectful quality, being used to describe a woman in old age such as "an old lady" or when speaking about a woman to a child It is used in the description of the female equivalent of a postman as a post lady.
It is used in such terms as "tea lady" and "sandwich lady" in office blocks. It may be used, however incongruously, in descriptions such as "the cleaning lady" or "a bag lady"; the American journalist William Allen White noted one of the difficulties in his 1946 autobiography. He relates that a woman who had paid a fine for prostitution came to his newspaper to protest, not against the fact that her conviction had been reported, but that the newspaper had referred to her as a "woman" rather than a "lady". After the incident, White assured his readers, his papers referred to human females as "women", with the exception of police court characters, who were all "ladies". White's anecdote touches on a phenomenon. In the late 19th and early twentieth century, in a difference reflected in the British historian Nancy Mitford's 1954 essay "U vs. non-U", lower class women preferred to be called "ladies" while women from higher social backgrounds were content to be identified as "women". These social class issues, while no longer as prominent in this century, have imbued some formal uses of "lady" with euphemism.
Commenting on the word in 1953, C. S. Lewis wrote that "the guard at Holloway said it was a ladies' prison!" It remains in use, for example, as a counterpart to "gentleman", in the phrase "ladies and gentlemen", is interchangeable with "woman". However, some women, since the rise of second wave feminism, have objected to the term used in contexts such as the last example, arguing that the term sounds patronising and outdated when used in this way. One feminist writer, Robin Lakoff, in her book Language and Woman's Place, notably raised the issue of the ways in which "lady" is not used as the counterpart of "gentleman", it is suggested by academic Elizabeth Reid Boyd that feminist usage of the word "lady" has been reclaimed in the 21st century. Formally, "Lady" is the female counterpart to higher ranks in society, from gentlemen, through knights, to lords, so on. During the Middle Ages, princesses or daughters of the blood royal were known by their first names with "Lady" prefixed, e.g. Lady Elizabeth.
Aside from the queen, women of royal and noble status carried the title of "Lady". As a title of nobility, the uses of "lady" in Britain are parallel to those of "lord", it is thus a less formal alternative to the full title giving the specific rank, of marchioness, viscountess or baroness, whether as the title of the husband's rank by right or courtesy, or as the lady's title in her own right. A peeress's title is used with the definite article: Lord Morris's wife is "the Lady Morris". A widow's title derived from her husband becomes e.g.. The Dowager Lady Smith; the title "Lady" is a
A viscount or viscountess is a title used in certain European countries for a noble of varying status. In many countries a viscount, its historical equivalents, was a non-hereditary, administrative or judicial position, did not develop into an hereditary title until much later. In the case of French viscounts, it is customary to leave the title untranslated as vicomte and vicomtesse; the word viscount comes from Old French visconte, itself from Medieval Latin vicecomitem, accusative of vicecomes, from Late Latin vice- "deputy" + Latin comes. During the Carolingian Empire, the kings appointed counts to administer provinces and other smaller regions, as governors and military commanders. Viscounts were appointed to assist the counts in their running of the province, took on judicial responsibility; the kings prevented the offices of their counts and viscounts from becoming hereditary, in order to consolidate their position and limit chance of rebellion. The title was in use in Normandy by at least the early 11th century.
Similar to the Carolingian use of the title, the Norman viscounts were local administrators, working on behalf of the Duke. Their role was to administer justice and to collect taxes and revenues being castellan of the local castle. Under the Normans, the position developed into a hereditary one, an example of such being the viscounts in Bessin; the viscount was replaced by bailiffs, provosts. As a rank in British peerage, it was first recorded in 1440, when John Beaumont was created Viscount Beaumont by King Henry VI; the word viscount corresponds in the UK to the Anglo-Saxon shire reeve. Thus early viscounts were normally given their titles by the monarch, not hereditarily, they were a late introduction to the British peerage, on the evening of the Coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838, the Prime Minister Lord Melbourne explained to her why: I spoke to Ld M. about the numbers of Peers present at the Coronation, & he said it was quite unprecedented. I observed that there were few Viscounts, to which he replied "There are few Viscounts," that they were an old sort of title & not English.
In Belgium a few families are recognised as Viscounts: Viscount of Audenaerde Viscount of Hombeke Viscount de Spoelberch Viscount Eyskens Viscount Frimout Viscount Poullet A viscount is the fourth rank in the British peerage system, standing directly below an earl and above a baron. There are 270 viscountcies extant in the peerages of the British Isles, though most are secondary titles. In British practice, the title of a viscount may be either a place name, a surname, or a combination thereof: examples include the Viscount Falmouth, the Viscount Hardinge and the Viscount Colville of Culross, respectively. An exception exists for Viscounts in the peerage of Scotland, who were traditionally styled "The Viscount of ", such as the Viscount of Arbuthnott. In practice, however few maintain this style, instead using the more common version "The Viscount " in general parlance, for example Viscount of Falkland, referred to as Viscount Falkland. A British viscount is addressed in speech as Lord, while his wife is Lady, he is formally styled "The Right Honourable The Viscount ".
The children of a viscount are known as The Honourable. The title of viscount was introduced to the Peerage of Ireland in 1478 with the creation of the title of Viscount Gormanston, the senior viscountcy of Britain and Ireland, held today by Jenico Preston, 17th Viscount Gormanston. Other early Irish viscountcies were Viscount Baltinglass, Viscount Clontarf, Viscount Mountgarret and Viscount Decies. A British custom is the use of viscount as a courtesy title for the heir of an earl or marquess; the peer's heir apparent will sometimes be referred to as a viscount, if the second most senior title held by the head of the family is a viscountcy. For example, the eldest son of the Earl Howe is Viscount Curzon, because this is the second most senior title held by the Earl. However, the son of a marquess or an earl can be referred to as a viscount when the title of viscount is not the second most senior if those above it share their name with the substantive title. For example, the second most senior title of the Marquess of Salisbury is the Earl of Salisbury, so his heir uses the lower title of Viscount Cranborne.
Sometimes the son of a peer can be referred to as a viscount when he could use a more senior courtesy title which differs in name from the substantive title. Family tradition plays a role in this. For example, the eldest son of the Marquess of Londonderry is Viscount Castlereagh though the Marquess is the Earl Vane. A viscount's coronet of rank bears 16 silver balls around the rim. Like all heraldic coronets, it is worn at the coronation of a sovereign, but a viscount has the right to bear his coronet of rank on his coat of arms, above the shield. In this guise, the coronet is shown featuring 9 silver balls; the island of Jersey still retains an officer whose function is purely to administer orders of the island's judiciary, whose position remains non-hereditary. The role of the Viscount of Jersey (French: V
The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire, or Electors for short, were the members of the electoral college that elected the Holy Roman Emperor. From the 13th century onwards, the Prince-Electors had the privilege of electing the Holy Roman Emperor who would receive the Papal coronation after assuming the titles of King in Germany and King of Italy. Charles V was the last to be a crowned Emperor. In practice, every emperor from 1440 onwards came from the Austrian House of Habsburg, the Electors ratified the Habsburg succession; the dignity of Elector carried great prestige and was considered to be second only to that of King or Emperor. The Electors had exclusive privileges that were not shared with the other princes of the Empire, they continued to hold their original titles alongside that of Elector; the heir apparent to a secular prince-elector was known as an electoral prince. The German element Kur- is based on the Middle High German irregular verb kiesen and is related etymologically to the English word choose.
In English, the "s"/"r" mix in the Germanic verb conjugation has been regularized to "s" throughout, while German retains the r in Kur-. There is a modern German verb küren which means'to choose' in a ceremonial sense. Fürst is German for'prince', but while the German language distinguishes between the head of a principality and the son of a monarch, English uses prince for both concepts. Fürst itself is related to English first and is thus the'foremost' person in his realm. Note that'prince' derives from Latin princeps, which carried the same meaning. Electors were reichsstände, they were, until the 18th century entitled to be addressed with the title Durchlaucht. In 1742, the electors became entitled to the superlative Durchläuchtigste, while other princes were promoted to Durchlaucht; as Imperial Estates, the electors enjoyed all the privileges of the other princes enjoying that status, including the right to enter into alliances, autonomy in relation to dynastic affairs and precedence over other subjects.
The Golden Bull had granted them the Privilegium de non appellando, which prevented their subjects from lodging an appeal to a higher Imperial court. However, while this privilege, some others, were automatically granted to Electors, they were not exclusive to them and many of the larger Imperial Estates were to be individually granted some or all those rights and privileges; the electors, like the other princes ruling States of the Empire, were members of the Imperial Diet, divided into three collegia: the Council of Electors, the Council of Princes, the Council of Cities. In addition to being members of the Council of Electors, several lay electors were therefore members of the Council of Princes as well by virtue of other territories they possessed. In many cases, the lay electors ruled numerous States of the Empire, therefore held several votes in the Council of Princes. In 1792, the King of Bohemia held three votes, the Elector of Bavaria six votes, the Elector of Brandenburg eight votes, the Elector of Hanover six votes.
Thus, of the hundred votes in the Council of Princes in 1792, twenty-three belonged to electors. The lay electors therefore exercised considerable influence, being members of the small Council of Electors and holding a significant number of votes in the Council of Princes; the assent of both bodies was required for important decisions affecting the structure of the Empire, such as the creation of new electorates or States of the Empire. In addition to voting by colleges or councils, the Imperial Diet voted on religious lines, as provided for by the Peace of Westphalia; the Archbishop of Mainz presided over the Catholic body, or corpus catholicorum, while the Elector of Saxony presided over the Protestant body, or corpus evangelicorum. The division into religious bodies was on the basis of the official religion of the state, not of its rulers, thus when the Electors of Saxony were Catholics during the eighteenth century, they continued to preside over the corpus evangelicorum, since the state of Saxony was Protestant.
The electors were summoned by the Archbishop of Mainz within one month of an Emperor's death, met within three months of being summoned. During the interregnum, imperial power was exercised by two imperial vicars; each vicar, in the words of the Golden Bull, was "the administrator of the empire itself, with the power of passing judgments, of presenting to ecclesiastical benefices, of collecting returns and revenues and investing with fiefs, of receiving oaths of fealty for and in the name of the holy empire". The Elector of Saxony was vicar in areas operating under Saxon law, while the Elector Palatine was vicar in the remainder of the Empire; the Elector of Bavaria replaced the Elector Palatine in 1623, but when the latter was granted a new electorate in 1648, there was a dispute between the two as to, vicar. In 1659, both purported to act as vicar; the two electors made a pact to act as joint vicars, but the Imperial Diet rejected the agreement. In 1711, while the Elector
A marquess is a nobleman of high hereditary rank in various European peerages and in those of some of their former colonies. The term is used to translate equivalent Asian styles, as in Imperial China and Imperial Japan. In the German lands, a margrave was a ruler of an immediate Imperial territory, not a nobleman like a marquess or marquis in Western and Southern Europe. German rulers did not confer the title of marquis; the word marquess entered the English language from the Old French marchis in the late 13th or early 14th century. The French word was derived from marche, itself descended from the Middle Latin marca, from which the modern English words march and mark descend; the distinction between governors of frontier territories and interior territories was made as early as the founding of the Roman Empire when some provinces were set aside for administration by the senate and more unpacified or vulnerable provinces were administered by the emperor. The titles "duke" and "count" were distinguished as ranks in the late empire, with dux being used for a provincial military governor and the rank of comes given to the leader of an active army along the frontier.
Several marquesses lived in Belgium, still today this title exists. The Marquis of Beauffort; the Marquis of la Boëssière-Thiennes the Marquis of Trazegnies d'Ittre the Marquis du Parc. the Marquis Imperiali. The Marquis of Radiguès; the Marquis of Ruffo de Bonneval de la Fare the Marquis of Spontin the Marquis of Assche the Marquis of Yve. the Marquis of Saint-Floris the Marquis of Becelaere the Marquis of Wemmel the Marquis of Bergen op Zoom the Marquis of Rode the Marquis of Lede Currently in Spain the rank of Marquess/Marchioness still exists. 142 of them are Spanish grandees. A'marqués is addressed as "Illustrious Lord", or if he/she is a grandee as "Your Excellency". Examples include 10th Marquis of Villaverde; the honorific prefix "The Most Honourable" is an honorific that precedes the name of a marquess or marchioness in the United Kingdom. In Great Britain and in Ireland, the correct spelling of the aristocratic title of this rank is marquess. In Scotland the French spelling is sometimes used.
In Great Britain and in Ireland, the title ranks below a duke and above an earl. A woman with the rank of a marquess, or the wife of a marquess, is called a marchioness in Great Britain and Ireland, or a marquise elsewhere in Europe; the dignity, rank or position of the title is referred to as a marquessate. The theoretical distinction between a marquess and other titles has, since the Middle Ages, faded into obscurity. In times past, the distinction between a count and a marquess was that the land of a marquess, called a march, was on the border of the country, while a count's land, called a county was not; as a result of this, a marquess was trusted to defend and fortify against hostile neighbours and was thus more important and ranked higher than a count. The title is ranked below that of a duke, largely restricted to the royal family; the rank of marquess was a late introduction to the British peerage: no marcher lords had the rank of marquess, though some were earls. On the evening of the Coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838, the Prime Minister Lord Melbourne explained to her why: I spoke to Ld M. about the numbers of Peers present at the Coronation, & he said it was quite unprecedented.
I observed that there were few Viscounts, to which he replied "There are few Viscounts," that they were an old sort of title & not English. Like other major Western noble titles, marquess is sometimes used to render certain titles in non-Western languages with their own traditions though they are, as a rule unrelated and thus hard to compare. However, they are considered "equivalent" in relative rank; this is the case with: In ancient China, 侯 was the second of five noble ranks 爵 created by King Wu of Zhou and is translated as marquess or marquis. In imperial China, 侯 is but not always, a middle-to-high ranking hereditary nobility title, its exact rank varies from dynasty to dynasty, within a dynasty. It is created with different sub-ranks. In Meiji Japan, 侯爵, a hereditary peerage rank, was introduced in 1884, granting a hereditary seat in the upper house of the imperial diet just as a British peerage did, with the ranks rendered as baron, count and duke/prince. In Korea, the title of 현후, of which the meaning is "marquess of district", existed for the hereditary nobility in the Goryeo dynasty.
It was equivalent to the upper fifth rank of nine bureaucratic orders, was in the third rank of six nobility orders. In the Joseon dynasty, there was no title equivalent to marquess. In Vietnam's Annamite realm / empire, hầu
Gentry are "well-born and well-bred people" of high social class in the past. In the United Kingdom, the term gentry refers to the landed gentry, the majority of the land-owning social class who were armigerous, but did not have titles of nobility. Gentry, in its widest connotation, refers to people of good social position connected to landed estates, upper levels of the clergy, "gentle" families of long descent who never obtained the official right to bear a coat of arms; the historical term gentry by itself, so Peter Coss argues, is a construct that historians have applied loosely to rather different societies. Any particular model may not fit a specific society, yet a single definition remains desirable. Linguistically, the word gentry arose to identify the social stratum created by the small number, by the standards of Continental Europe, of the Peerage of England, of the parts of Britain, where nobility and titles are inherited by a single person, rather than the family, as usual in Europe.
Before creation of the gentry, there were analogous traditional social elites. The adjective patrician describes the governing elites in a medieval metropolis, such as those of the free cities of Italy, the free imperial cities of Germany and Switzerland, the Hanseatic League, which were different from the gentry; the Indo-Europeans who settled Europe and Western Asia and the Indian subcontinent conceived their societies to be ordered in a tripartite fashion, the three parts being castes. Castes came to be further divided as a result of greater specialisation; the "classic" formulation of the caste system as described by Georges Dumézil was that of a priestly or religiously occupied caste, a warrior caste, a worker caste. Dumézil divided the Proto-Indo-Europeans into three categories: sovereignty and productivity, he further subdivided sovereignty into two complementary sub-parts. One part was formal and priestly, but rooted in this world; the other was powerful and priestly, but rooted in the "other", the supernatural and spiritual world.
The second main division was connected with the use of force, the military, war. There was a third group, ruled by the other two, whose role was productivity: herding and crafts; this system of caste roles can be seen in the castes which flourished on the Indian subcontinent and amongst the Italic peoples. Examples of the Indo-European castes: Indo-Iranian – Brahmin/Athravan, Kshatriyas/Rathaestar, Vaishyas Roman – Flamines, Quirites Celtic – Druids, Plebes Anglo-Saxon – Gebedmen, Weorcmen Slavic – Volkhvs, Krestyanin/Smerd Nordic – Earl, Thrall Greece – Eupatridae, Demiurgi Greece – Homoioi, HelotsKings were born out of the warrior or noble class. Emperor Constantine convoked the First Council of Nicaea in 325 whose Nicene Creed included belief in "one holy catholic and apostolic Church". Emperor Theodosius I made Nicene Christianity the state church of the Roman Empire with the Edict of Thessalonica of 380. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century, there emerged no single powerful secular government in the West, but there was a central ecclesiastical power in Rome, the Catholic Church.
In this power vacuum, the Church rose to become the dominant power in the West. In essence, the earliest vision of Christendom was a vision of a Christian theocracy, a government founded upon and upholding Christian values, whose institutions are spread through and over with Christian doctrine; the Catholic Church's peak of authority over all European Christians and their common endeavours of the Christian community—for example, the Crusades, the fight against the Moors in the Iberian Peninsula and against the Ottomans in the Balkans—helped to develop a sense of communal identity against the obstacle of Europe's deep political divisions. The classical heritage flourished throughout the Middle Ages in both the Byzantine Greek East and Latin West. In Plato's ideal state there are three major classes, representative of the idea of the "tripartite soul", expressive of three functions or capacities of the human soul: "appetites", "the spirited element" and "reason" the part that must guide the soul to truth.
Will Durant made a convincing case that certain prominent features of Plato's ideal community were discernible in the organization and effectiveness of "the" Medieval Church in Europe: For a thousand years Europe was ruled by an order of guardians like that, visioned by our philosopher. During the Middle Ages it was customary to classify the population of Christendom into laboratores and oratores; the last group, though small in number, monopolized the instruments and opportunities of culture, ruled with unlimited sway half of the most powerful continent on the globe. The clergy, like Plato's guardians, were placed in authority... by their talent as shown in ecclesiastical studies and administration, by their disposition to a life of meditation and simplicity, and... by the influence of their relatives with the powers of state and church. In the latter half of the period in which they ruled, the clergy were as free from family cares as Plato could desire... Celibacy was
A queen regnant is a female monarch, equivalent in rank to a king, who reigns in her own right, as opposed to a queen consort, the wife of a reigning king, or a queen regent, the guardian of a child monarch and reigns temporarily in the child's stead. An empress regnant is a female monarch. 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 title or sovereignty. However, the concept of a king consort is not unheard of in both classical periods. A queen dowager is the widow of a king. A queen mother is a queen dowager, the mother of a reigning sovereign. In Ancient Africa, Ancient Persia and Pacific cultures, 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,'emperor', rather than basilissa,'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, though the Hebrew Bible regards her negatively as a usurper; the much Hasmonean Queen Salome Alexandra was popular. Accession of a queen regnant occurs as a nation's order of succession permits. Methods of succession to queendoms, tribal chiefships, such include nomination and ultimogeniture; the scope of succession may be patrilineal, or both. The right of succession may be limited to men only or to women only; 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. Many realms forbade succession by women or through a female line in accordance with the Salic law, some still do.
No queen regnant 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, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark and the UK amended their laws of succession to absolute primogeniture. In some cases, the change does not take effect during the lifetimes of people 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. In 2015, Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning queen regnant and female head of state in world history. In 2016, she became the longest serving head of state and longest reigning monarch. 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 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 to refer to themselves, using the title instead of wangbi, translated as "queen consort" and refers to the wife of a king or emperor. Although the Chrysanthemum Throne of Japan is barred to women, this has not always been the case. Again, the Japanese language uses the term josei tennō for the position which would be "empress regnant" in English, with kōgō 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 Queens regnant portal Monarch List of elected and appointed female heads of state and government Order of succession Queen consort Rani Regent Salic law Sultana Women in government Monter, William.
The Rise of Female Kings in Europe, 1300-1800. Yale University Press. P. 271. ISBN 9780300173277.. Media related to Queens regnant at Wikimedia Commons