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A REGENT - usually a near relative of the child-king. Sometimes there is no suitable individual, so a COUNCIL OF REGENCY is appointed. Of course, in most ages of History, the answer has been 'whoever can grab the throne#.

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16y ago
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11y ago

One of the weaknesses of a hereditary monarchy is the possibility of having a monarch who is too young to rule, requiring a regency or protectorate to govern in his name. Whereas a monarch could stand above the factions of his subjects, anointed by God in his exalted position, a regent was a subject whose position could be aspired to by others. He faced the prospect of losing his position, and might be motivated to ensure his long-term power and status beyond the point of the rightful monarch coming of age.

The Anglo-Saxons avoided this problem by not having a strictly hereditary monarchy. The Witan, or Great Council, chose the new king from among his predecessors relatives. While the new monarch would typically be the old king's hereditary heir, he could be passed over if he was too young or deemed unsuitable in some other way.

The first underage King of England was Henry III who succeeded his father, King John, when he was nine. He inherited a country in conflict, and partly under the control of Louis of France, who had been invited to take the English throne by barons who were in conflict with King John. England was fortunate that the designated regent, William Marshal, was generally respected and able to command the support of the majority of barons. He was strong enough to defeat the rebellious barons and to persuade, or bribe, Louis to give up his pretensions to the crown and return to France. Marshal died in 1219, when Henry was 12 and power passed to the last great Justiciar of England, Hugh de Burgh. In addition to struggles with the barons, De Burgh faced a constant rivalry for power from Peter des Roches, Bishop of Winchester; a rivalry which continued beyond Henry's assumption of direct rule in 1227.

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14y ago

A Regent

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14y ago

the advisor

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Q: Who rules when a prince is too young?
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