A prince regent (or prince-regent) is a prince who rules a monarchy as Regent instead of a Monarch, e.g., due to the Sovereign's incapacity (minority or illness) or absence (remoteness, such as exile or long voyage, or simply no incumbent). While the term itself can have the generic meaning and refer to any prince who fills the role of regent, historically it has mainly been used to describe a small number of individual Princes who were Regents.
Prince Regent in the United Kingdom
In the English language the title Prince Regent is most commonly associated with George IV, who held the style HRH The Prince Regent during the incapacity, by a stint of mental illness, of his father, George III (see Regent for other regents). Regent's Park and Regent Street in London are named after him.
This period is known as the British Regency, or just the Regency.
The title was conferred by the Regency Act on February 5, 1811. Subject to certain limitations for a period, the Prince Regent was able to exercise the full powers of the King. The precedent of the Regency Crisis of 1788 (from which George III recovered before it was necessary to appoint a Regent) was followed. The Prince of Wales continued as regent until his father's death in 1820, when he became George IV.
Prince Regent in Germany
In Germany, the title Prinzregent (literally prince regent) is most commonly associated with Prince Luitpold of Bavaria, who served as regent for two of his nephews, King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who was declared mentally incompetent in 1886, and King Otto of Bavaria (who had been declared insane in 1875) from 1886 until 1912.
The years of Luitpold's regency were marked by tremendous artistic and cultural activity in Bavaria, where they are known after the regencies as the Prinzregentenjahre or the Prinzregentenzeit. Numerous streets in Bavarian cities and towns are called Prinzregentenstraße. Many institutions are named in Luitpold's honour, e.g., the Prinzregententheater in Munich. Prinzregententorte is a multi-layered cake with chocolate butter cream named in Luitpold's honour.
At Luitpold's death in 1912, his son Prince Ludwig succeeded as Prince Regent. Ludwig held the title for less than a year, since the Bavarian Legislature decided to recognise him as king.
Prince Lieutenant in Luxembourg
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