Queen Consort - Role of The Queen Consort

Role of The Queen Consort

In general, the consorts of monarchs have no power per se, even when their position is constitutionally or statutorily recognized. However, often the queen consort of a deceased king (the queen dowager or queen mother) has served as regent while her child, the successor to the throne, was still a minor — for example:

  • Anne of Kiev, wife of Henry I of France
  • Marie de Medici, mother of Louis XIII of France
  • Mary of Guise, mother of Mary, Queen of Scots
  • Maria Christina of Austria, mother of Alfonso XIII of Spain
  • Helen of Greece, mother of King Michael of Romania
  • Marie Antoinette, mother of Louis XVII of France (disputed)
  • Munjeong, mother of King Myeongjong of Korea
  • Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont, mother of Wilhelmina of the Netherlands
  • Lakshmi Bai, the Rani of Jhansi and mother of Damodar Rao

Besides these examples, there have been many cases of queens consort being shrewd or ambitious stateswomen and, usually (but not always) unofficially, being among the king's most trusted advisors. In some cases, the queen consort has been the chief power behind her husband's throne; e.g. Maria Luisa of Parma, wife of Carlos IV of Spain, and Alexandra Feodorovna (Alix of Hesse), wife and Empress Consort of Nicholas II of Russia.

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