- For the insecticide 'Regent', see Regent (insecticide)
A regent is an acting governor. In a monarchy, a regent usually rules due to the actual monarch's absence, incapacity, or minority. In the case of Finland and Hungary, military officers served as regents in the absence of a monarch, while in Iceland, the regent represented the King of Denmark as sovereign of Iceland until the country became a republic in 1944.
In San Marino, an independent republic surrounded within Italy, the 'Captains Regent', or Capitani Reggenti, are two officials elected as joint heads of state.
In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth kings were elected, which often led to relatively long interregna periods. It was the Polish primate (religion) who served as a regent, known at that time as an interrex (ruler between kings).
Occasionally, the term regent refers to positions lower than the ruler of a country; for instance, some university managers in North America are called regents. In Indonesia, the term regent is used in English to mean a bupati or local government official.
Examples of regents in various countries :
It should be noted that those who held a regency briefly, for example during surgery, are not necessarily listed, particularly if they performed no official acts; this list is also not complete.
Mary of Guise, during the minority of her daughter Mary Stuart
James Stuart, 1st Earl of Moray, during the absence of his half-sister Mary Stuart
- James Stuart, 1st Earl of Moray, then Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox, then John Erskine, 1st Earl of Mar then James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, all during the minority of James VI of Scotland
- Prince Kiril, during the minority of his dead brother (Boris III)'s son, Simeon II.