A queen regnant (plural: queens regnant) is a female monarch, equivalent in rank to a king, who reigns in her own right, in contrast to a queen consort, who is the wife of a reigning king, or a queen regent, who is the guardian of a child monarch and reigns temporarily in the child's stead. An empress regnant is a female monarch who reigns in her own right over an empire. A queen regnant possesses and exercises sovereign powers, whereas a queen consort shares her husband's rank and titles, but does not share the sovereignty of her husband. The husband of a queen regnant traditionally does not share his wife's rank, title or sovereignty. However, the concept of a king consort is not unheard of in both contemporary and classical periods. A queen dowager is the widow of a king. A queen mother is a queen dowager who is also the mother of a reigning sovereign.
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