The Imperial Regent, sometimes also called the Regent of Terra or the Lord Regent, is a title of high nobility that has been used for a powerful official of the Imperium of Man several times during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras and throughout the Age of the Imperium.
The bearer of this title is extremely powerful, said to be second only to the Emperor of Mankind Himself in civil authority across the galaxy. The Imperial Regent is held to speak with the voice of the Emperor in anything they command.
The title's functional authority has sometimes overlapped with that of the similar post of the lord commander of the Imperium when that position is actually filled.
But the office of lord commander was ultimately a military rank intended to take supreme command of the Imperial armed forces and serve as chairman of the Senatorum Imperialis, while the Imperial Regent was expected to focus more on civil administrative tasks.
The title of Imperial Regent was one of the few positions that also warranted its holder receiving protection by the Adeptus Custodes due to their importance to the Imperium and Humanity. The office was first created for Malcador the Sigillite during the Great Crusade when the Emperor retreated after the Triumph of Ullanor to the Imperial Palace on Terra.
Determined to set in motion His Webway Project which would mark the next stage of His plan to begin a new Human golden age, the Emperor did not want to waste any of His time on matters of state, and left such affairs to his most trusted lieutenant Malcador.
Notable Imperial Regents
- Malcador the Sigillite - Malcador was the first Imperial Regent and was most often referred to as the "Regent of Terra." He also secretly held the position of Grand Master of Assassins. Malcador was the Imperial Regent from the time of the Great Crusade until his death at the end of the Horus Heresy during the Siege of Terra.
- Sanguinius — The primarch of the Blood Angels Legion served as the Imperator Regis, or emperor regent, of the short-lived Imperium Secundus during the Horus Heresy.
- Roboute Guilliman — The primarch of the Ultramarines Legion served as the Imperial Regent as well as the lord commander of the Imperium in the aftermath of the Horus Heresy until his mortal wounding at the Battle of Thessala by Fulgrim of the Emperor's Children in 121.M31. Ten thousand Terra years later, Guilliman took on both titles again following his resurrection and the birth of the Great Rift.
- Maximus Thane — Maximus Thane served as the Imperial Regent and the first among equals on the Senatorum Imperialis in the years following The Beheading and the War of the Beast in the mid-32nd Millennium.
- The Unremembered Empire (Novel) by Dan Abnett, Ch. 1
- Angels of Caliban (Novel) by Gav Thorpe, Ch. 21
- Dark Imperium (Novel) by Guy Haley, Ch. 6
- The Beheading (Novel) by Guy Haley, Ch. 12
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