Lord Protector
Lord Protector is a title used in British constitutional law
Constitutional law
Constitutional law is the body of law which defines the relationship of different entities within a state, namely, the executive, the legislature and the judiciary....

 for certain heads of state at different periods of history. It is also a particular title for the British Heads of State in respect to the established church. It is sometimes used to render in English other posts of temporary regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

, acting for the absent monarchic head of state.

Feudal royal regent

The title of Lord Protector was originally used by royal princes or other nobles exercising an individual regency
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 (i.e., not merely member of a collegial regency council) while the English monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

 was still a minor
Minor (law)
In law, a minor is a person under a certain age — the age of majority — which legally demarcates childhood from adulthood; the age depends upon jurisdiction and application, but is typically 18...

 or otherwise unable to rule.

Notable cases in England are:
  • John, Duke of Bedford
    John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford
    John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford, KG , also known as John Plantagenet, was the third surviving son of King Henry IV of England by Mary de Bohun, and acted as Regent of France for his nephew, King Henry VI....

     and Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester
    Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester
    Humphrey of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Gloucester, 1st Earl of Pembroke, KG , also known as Humphrey Plantagenet, was "son, brother and uncle of kings", being the fourth and youngest son of king Henry IV of England by his first wife, Mary de Bohun, brother to king Henry V of England, and uncle to the...

     were (5 December 1422–6 November 1429) jointly Protectors for Henry VI
    Henry VI of England
    Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, and disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. Until 1437, his realm was governed by regents. Contemporaneous accounts described him as peaceful and pious, not suited for the violent dynastic civil wars, known as the Wars...

  • Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York
    Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York
    Richard Plantagenêt, 3rd Duke of York, 6th Earl of March, 4th Earl of Cambridge, and 7th Earl of Ulster, conventionally called Richard of York was a leading English magnate, great-grandson of King Edward III...

     was twice (3 April 1454–February 1455 and 19 November 1455–25 February 1456) Protector for the same Henry VI.
  • Richard, Duke of Gloucester
    Richard III of England
    Richard III was King of England for two years, from 1483 until his death in 1485 during the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty...

     was 'Lord Protector of the Realm' (30 April 1483–26 June 1483), during the nominal reign of Edward V
    Edward V of England
    Edward V was King of England from 9 April 1483 until his deposition two months later. His reign was dominated by the influence of his uncle Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who succeeded him as Richard III...

     (one of the 'Princes in the Tower
    Princes in the Tower
    The Princes in the Tower is a term which refers to Edward V of England and Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York. The two brothers were the only sons of Edward IV of England and Elizabeth Woodville alive at the time of their father's death...

    ') before claiming the throne for himself.
  • Edward Seymour
    Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset
    Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, 1st Earl of Hertford, 1st Viscount Beauchamp of Hache, KG, Earl Marshal was Lord Protector of England in the period between the death of Henry VIII in 1547 and his own indictment in 1549....

    , Duke of Somerset
    Duke of Somerset
    Duke of Somerset is a title in the peerage of England that has been created several times. Derived from Somerset, it is particularly associated with two families; the Beauforts who held the title from the creation of 1448 and the Seymours, from the creation of 1547 and in whose name the title is...

     was 'Lord Protector' (1547–1549), during the early years of the reign of the young Edward VI
    Edward VI of England
    Edward VI was the King of England and Ireland from 28 January 1547 until his death. He was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine. The son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Edward was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty and England's first monarch who was raised as a Protestant...


Cases in Scotland:
  • John Stuart, Duke of Albany (c.1481–1536) was Governor and Protector of the Realm (12 July 1515–16 November 1524) for James V of Scotland
    James V of Scotland
    James V was King of Scots from 9 September 1513 until his death, which followed the Scottish defeat at the Battle of Solway Moss...

  • James Hamilton, Earl of Arran (c.1517–1575) (from 8 February 1548, Duke of Châtelherault) was Governor and Protector of the Kingdom (3 January 1543–12 April 1554) for Mary, Queen of Scots

Cromwellian Commonwealth

The Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland was the title of the head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 during the Interregnum
English Interregnum
The English Interregnum was the period of parliamentary and military rule by the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell under the Commonwealth of England after the English Civil War...

, following the first period of the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of England
The Commonwealth of England was the republic which ruled first England, and then Ireland and Scotland from 1649 to 1660. Between 1653–1659 it was known as the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland...

 under Council of State
English Council of State
The English Council of State, later also known as the Protector's Privy Council, was first appointed by the Rump Parliament on 14 February 1649 after the execution of King Charles I....

 government. It was held by Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

 (December 1653–September 1658) and his son and designated successor Richard Cromwell
Richard Cromwell
At the same time, the officers of the New Model Army became increasingly wary about the government's commitment to the military cause. The fact that Richard Cromwell lacked military credentials grated with men who had fought on the battlefields of the English Civil War to secure their nation's...

 (September 1658–May 1659) during what is now known as The Protectorate
The Protectorate
In British history, the Protectorate was the period 1653–1659 during which the Commonwealth of England was governed by a Lord Protector.-Background:...


The 1653 Instrument of Government (republican constitution) stated that;

Oliver Cromwell, Captain-General of the forces of England, Scotland and Ireland, shall be, and is hereby declared to be, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland, and the dominions thereto belonging, for his life.

The replacement constitution of 1657, the Humble Petition and Advice
Humble Petition and Advice
The Humble Petition and Advice was the second, and last, codified constitution of England after the Instrument of Government.On 23 February 1657, during the sitting of the Second Protectorate Parliament, Sir Christopher Packe, a Member of Parliament and former Lord Mayor of London The Humble...

, gave ‘His Highness the Lord Protector’ the power to nominate his successor. Cromwell chose his eldest surviving son, the politically inexperienced Richard. This was a non-representative and de facto dynastic mode of succession, with royal connotations in both styles awarded, even a double invocation 16 December 1653 - 3 September 1658 "By the Grace of God
By the Grace of God
By the Grace of God is an introductory part of the full styles of a monarch taken to be ruling by divine right, not a title in its own right....

 and Republic
Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland" and many other monarchic prerogatives, such as awarding knighthood.

The younger Cromwell, who succeeded on his father's death in September 1658, held the position for only eight months before resigning in May 1659, being followed by the second period of Commonwealth rule until the Restoration
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

 of the exiled heir to the Stuart throne Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

 in May 1660.


Since that Restoration the title has not been used in either above manner. George, Prince of Wales
George IV of the United Kingdom
George IV was the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and also of Hanover from the death of his father, George III, on 29 January 1820 until his own death ten years later...

, appointed to the regency in 1811, was referred to as "His Royal Highness the Prince Regent
Prince Regent
A prince regent is a prince who rules a monarchy as regent instead of a monarch, e.g., due to the Sovereign's incapacity or absence ....

". George exercised the powers of the monarchy just as Lords Protector had done, but the title's republican associations had rendered it distasteful. It is not considered likely to be revived in the foreseeable future.

Protector of the church

Lord Protector has also been used as a rendering of the Latin Advocatus in the sense of a temporal Lord (such as a Monarch) who acted as the protector of the (mainly secular) interests of (a part of) the church; compare vidame
Vidame, a French corruption of the official Latin term vicedominus , was a feudal title in France...



In 1659, the royalist Anglican theologian (later bishop of Rochester) Thomas Sprat
Thomas Sprat
Thomas Sprat , English divine, was born at Beaminster, Dorset, and educated at Wadham College, Oxford, where he held a fellowship from 1657 to 1670.Having taken orders he became a prebendary of Lincoln Cathedral in 1660...

 made his witty and literary reputation with his satirical poem To the Happie Memory of the most Renowned Prince Oliver, Lord Protector, clearly mocking Cromwell's legal status.

In Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus . She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley...

's novel The Last Man
The Last Man
The Last Man is an apocalyptic science fiction novel by Mary Shelley, which was first published in 1826. The book tells of a future world that has been ravaged by a plague. The novel was harshly reviewed at the time, and was virtually unknown until a scholarly revival beginning in the 1960s...

, 21st century England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 is a republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

, which elects a 'Lord Protector' as the head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 and head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

 every three years.

In Prince Caspian
Prince Caspian
Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia is a novel for children by C. S. Lewis, written in late 1949 and first published in 1951. It is the second-published book in the Chronicles of Narnia series, although in the overall chronological sequence it comes fourth.-Plot summary:While standing on a...

, the second book in C. S. Lewis
C. S. Lewis
Clive Staples Lewis , commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis and known to his friends and family as "Jack", was a novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian and Christian apologist from Belfast, Ireland...

's fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia
The Chronicles of Narnia
The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven fantasy novels for children by C. S. Lewis. It is considered a classic of children's literature and is the author's best-known work, having sold over 100 million copies in 47 languages...

, the usurper Miraz
Miraz is a fictional character from C. S. Lewis's fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia. He is the main antagonist in the second book Prince Caspian, and is the uncle of the book's protagonist....

 begins his reign calling himself "Lord Protector".

In Orson Scott Card
Orson Scott Card
Orson Scott Card is an American author, critic, public speaker, essayist, columnist, and political activist. He writes in several genres, but is primarily known for his science fiction. His novel Ender's Game and its sequel Speaker for the Dead both won Hugo and Nebula Awards, making Card the...

's series of fantasy
Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common...

A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

s The Tales of Alvin Maker
The Tales of Alvin Maker
The Tales of Alvin Maker is a series of novels by Orson Scott Card that revolve around the experiences of a young man, Alvin Miller, who discovers he has incredible powers for creating and shaping things around him...

, set in an alternate early 19th century America, England continues to be ruled by the Cromwells as Lords Protector, while the Stuarts rule the "Crown Colonies" (roughly equivalent to the states
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 from Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 to Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

) from "Camelot" (Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is the second largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It was made the county seat of Charleston County in 1901 when Charleston County was founded. The city's original name was Charles Towne in 1670, and it moved to its present location from a location on the west bank of the...

). The references especially come into play in Heartfire
Heartfire is an alternate history/fantasy novel by Orson Scott Card. It is the fifth book in Card's The Tales of Alvin Maker series and is about Alvin Miller, the Seventh son of a seventh son...

, the fifth book in the series, where much of the story occurs in Camelot.

In Kim Newman
Kim Newman
Kim Newman is an English journalist, film critic, and fiction writer. Recurring interests visible in his work include film history and horror fiction—both of which he attributes to seeing Tod Browning's Dracula at the age of eleven—and alternate fictional versions of history...

's 1992 novel Anno Dracula
Anno Dracula (novel)
Anno Dracula is a 1992 novel by British writer Kim Newman, the first in the Anno Dracula series. It is an alternate history using 19th century English historical settings and personalities, along with characters from popular fiction...

, Count Dracula
Count Dracula
Count Dracula is a fictional character, the titular antagonist of Bram Stoker's 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula and archetypal vampire. Some aspects of his character have been inspired by the 15th century Romanian general and Wallachian Prince Vlad III the Impaler...

 takes the title of Lord Protector upon marrying Queen Victoria and becoming Prince Consort
Prince consort
A prince consort is the husband of a queen regnant who is not himself a king in his own right.Current examples include the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh , and Prince Henrik of Denmark .In recognition of his status, a prince consort may be given a formal...


In the 2007 Transformers film universe, the Prequel comic book states that before the Cybertronian Civil War over control of the All Spark, Optimus Prime and Megatron shared power, with Optimus Prime seemingly the political leader of the Cybertronians, and Megatron filling the role of the Lord Protector, the executor
An executor, in the broadest sense, is one who carries something out .-Overview:...

 of Cybertronian law and order. They are described as "one fair, the other firm".

In The Emberverse series
The Emberverse series
Emberverse, or Change World, is a series of post-apocalyptic alternate history novels written by S. M. Stirling. The novels depict the events following "The Change", which caused electricity, guns, explosives, internal combustion engines, and steam power to stop working...

, the character Norman Arminger takes the role of Lord Protector in his neo-feudalistic kingdom of Portland.


Alan B'Stard on the final episode of UK sitcom The New Statesman
The New Statesman
The New Statesman is an award-winning British sitcom of the late 1980s and early 1990s satirising the Conservative government of the time...

, suggested, seeking alternatives in case he was not made Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

, that he might proclaim himself Lord Protector of England.

In the Star Trek Voyager episode "Blink of an Eye" during which Voyager is trapped in orbit above a planet experiencing a rapid passage of time
Time is a part of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change such as the motions of objects....

, the first attempt shown by the people to contact Voyager was made during the planet's medieval period by a Lord Protector. By the end of the episode, the planet's technologically-advanced society was governed by the Central Protectorate, hinting that the planet's head of state was still called Lord Protector.

In the Stargate Atlantis
Stargate Atlantis
Stargate Atlantis is a Canadian-American adventure and military science fiction television series and part of MGM's Stargate franchise. The show was created by Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper as a spin-off series of Stargate SG-1, which was created by Wright and Jonathan Glassner and was itself...

episode "The Tower" (Season 2, Episode 15) the team come across a planet ruled by a Lord Protector from a city with the same dimensions as Atlantis
Atlantis (Stargate)
In the science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, the spin-off of Stargate SG-1, Atlantis is a city-sized starship originally located in the Pegasus galaxy. Atlantis serves as the base of operations for the main characters, from which they explore other planets through the Stargate...


Video games

In the Microprose
MicroProse was a video game publisher and developer, founded by Wild Bill Stealey and Sid Meier in 1982 as Microprose Software. In 1993, the company became a subsidiary of Spectrum HoloByte and has remained a subsidiary or brand name under several other corporations since...

 videogame Sid Meier
Sid Meier
Sidney K. "Sid" Meier is a Canadian programmer and designer of several popular computer strategy games, most notably Civilization. He has won accolades for his contributions to the computer games industry...

's Civilization II
Civilization II
Sid Meier's Civilization II is a turn-based strategy computer game designed by Brian Reynolds, Douglas Caspian-Kaufman and Jeff Briggs. Although it is a sequel to Sid Meier's Civilization, neither Sid Meier nor Bruce Shelley was involved in its development.Civilization II was first released in...

, the term Lord Protector (or its corresponding female form Lady Protector) is applied to the leader of the English civilization under the "Republic"
Republicanism is the ideology of governing a nation as a republic, where the head of state is appointed by means other than heredity, often elections. The exact meaning of republicanism varies depending on the cultural and historical context...

 type of government.

In the Sony MMORPG
Massively multiplayer online role-playing game is a genre of role-playing video games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual game world....

EverQuest, often shortened to EQ, is a 3D fantasy-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game that was released on the 16th of March, 1999. The original design is credited to Brad McQuaid, Steve Clover, and Bill Trost...

, Paladin
The paladins, sometimes known as the Twelve Peers, were the foremost warriors of Charlemagne's court, according to the literary cycle known as the Matter of France. They first appear in the early chansons de geste such as The Song of Roland, where they represent Christian martial valor against the...

s who attain the 65th level are given the title of "Lord Protector"

In Europa Universalis III
Europa Universalis III
Europa Universalis III is a grand strategy computer game by Paradox Interactive. The main game was released for Windows on January 2007, and was later ported to Mac OS X by Virtual Programming on 2 November 2007....

by Paradox Interactive
Paradox Interactive
-External links:*...

, Lord/Lady Protector is applied to a country's head of state under the Republican Dictatorship form of government, the first natural occurrence being Oliver Cromwell's formation of the Commonwealth of England , Scotland and Ireland.

Rendering other temporarily acting monarchic head of state

The title is still in use in some constitutional monarchies and designates the temporarily acting head of state, while the monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

 is abroad.


In Denmark, when the present Queen
Margrethe II of Denmark
Margrethe II is the Queen regnant of the Kingdom of Denmark. In 1972 she became the first female monarch of Denmark since Margaret I, ruler of the Scandinavian countries in 1375-1412 during the Kalmar Union.-Early life:...

 is abroad, the heir apparent Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark
Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark
Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, Count of Monpezat, is the heir apparent to the throne of Denmark. Frederik is the elder son of Queen Margrethe II and Henrik, the Prince Consort.-Name and christening:...

 is regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...


If the heir apparent is also abroad, lord protector is either:
  1. Prince Joachim of Denmark
    Prince Joachim of Denmark
    Prince Joachim of Denmark, Count of Monpezat, , is a member of the Danish Royal Family. He is the younger son of Queen Margrethe II and Henrik, Prince Consort of Denmark....

  2. Princess Benedikte of Denmark
    Princess Benedikte of Denmark
    Princess Benedikte of Denmark, Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, , , is the second daughter of King Frederick IX of Denmark and Ingrid of Sweden...


In Sweden, per The Instrument of Government in the constitution
Constitution of Sweden
The Swedish Constitution consists of four fundamental laws :* The 1810 Act of Succession * The 1949 Freedom of the Press Act * The 1974 Instrument of Government * The 1991 Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression...

, when the present King
Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
Carl XVI Gustaf is the reigning King of Sweden since 15 September 1973, succeeding his grandfather King Gustaf VI Adolf because his father had predeceased him...

 is abroad, the next in the line of succession
Line of succession to the Swedish Throne
The line of succession to the Swedish throne is determined by the Swedish Act of Succession. In 1980 Sweden adopted equal primogeniture, meaning that the eldest child of the monarch, regardless of gender, takes precedence in the line of succession...

 (as defined by the Swedish Act of Succession
Swedish Act of Succession
The Act of Succession is a part of the Swedish Constitution. It was adopted by the Riksdag of the Estates on September 26, 1810, and it regulates the right of members of the House of Bernadotte to accede to the Swedish throne...

) becomes lord protector :
  1. Crown Princess Victoria, Duchess of Västergötland
    Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden
    Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, Duchess of Västergötland is the heiress-apparent to the Swedish throne. If she ascends to the throne as expected, she will be Sweden's fourth queen regnant .-Early life:...

  2. Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland
    Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland
    Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland , is the second child of three children and only son of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden. Born Crown Prince of Sweden, he retained his title and first place in succession for seven months until 1 January 1980...

  3. Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland
    Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland
    Princess Madeleine of Sweden, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland is the youngest child and second daughter of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden...

Sources and references

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.