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Lord Protector is a title used in British constitutional law for certain heads of states 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, 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 (i.e., not merely member of a collegial regency council) while the English monarch was still a minor or otherwise unable to rule.

Notable cases in England are:

Cases in Scotland:

Cromwellian Commonwealth

The Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland was the title of the head of state during the Interregnum, following the first period of the Commonwealth under Council of State government. It was held by Oliver Cromwell (December 1653–September 1658) and his son and designated successor Richard Cromwell (September 1658–May 1659) during what is now known as The Protectorate.

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 pseudo-monarchical Humble Petition and Advice, gave ‘his Highness the Lord Protector’ the power to nominate his successor. Cromwell chose his eldest surviving son, the politically inexperienced Richard. This non-representative and de facto dynastic mode of succession, the royal connotations of both styles awarded, even a double invocation 16 December 1653 - 3 September 1658 "By the Grace of God and Republic Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland" and many other monarchic prerogatives, such as awarding knighthood, and the authoritarian traits of the whole militarized regime meant that the regicidal civil war, allegedly to uphold parliament against 'royal tyranny' and Protestantism against 'Stuart papacy', had in fact produced a repressive crowned republic, fatally unable to bring peace and prosperity back.

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 of the exiled heir to the Stuart throne Charles II in May 1660.

Since that Restoration the title has not been used in either above manner. George, Prince of Wales, appointed to the regency in 1811, was referred to as "His Royal Highness the Prince Regent". George exercised the powers of the monarchy just as medieval Lords Protectors had done, but the title's republican associations had rendered it distasteful. It is not considered likely to be revived in the foreseeable future. As the Lord Protector Cromwell was paid £100,000 a year.

References in culture

Literature

In 1659, the royalist Anglican theologian (later bishop of Rochester) Thomas Sprat 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 regal status.

In Prince Caspian, the second book in C. S. Lewis's fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia, the usurper Miraz begins his reign calling himself "Lord Protector".

In Orson Scott Card's series of fantasy novels The Tales of Alvin Maker, 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 from Virginiamarker to Georgiamarker) from "Camelot" (Charlestonmarker). The references especially come into play in Heartfire, the fifth book in the series, where much of the story occurs in Camelot.

In Kim Newman's 1992 novel Anno Dracula, Count Dracula takes the title of Lord Protector upon marrying Queen Victoria and becoming Prince Consort.

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

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

Television

Alan B'Stard on the final episode of UK sitcom The New Statesman, suggested, seeking alternatives in case he was not made Prime Minister, 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, 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 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.

Video games

In the Microprose videogame Sid Meier's Civilization II, the term Lord Protector (or its corresponding female form Lady Protector) is applied to the leader of the English civilization under the Fundamentalist type of government.

In the Sony MMORPG Everquest, Paladins who attain the 65th level are given the title of "Lord Protector"

In Europa Universalis III by Paradox Interactive, Lord/Lady Protector is applied to a country's head of state under the Republican Dictatorship form of government.

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.

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 is abroad.

Denmark

In Denmark, when the present Queen is abroad, the heir apparent Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark is regent.

If the heir apparent is also abroad, lord protector ( ) is either:

  1. Prince Joachim of Denmark or
  2. Princess Benedikte of Denmark


Sweden

In Sweden, per The Instrument of Government ( ) in the constitution, when the present King is abroad, the next in the line of succession (as defined by the Swedish Act of Succession) becomes lord protector ( ):

  1. Crown Princess Victoria, Duchess of Västergötland
  2. Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland
  3. Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland


Sources and references

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References




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