King of the Romans

King of the Romans (Latin: Rex Romanorum; German: König der Römer) was the title used by the German king following his election by the princes from the reign of Henry II (1002–1024, emperor from 1014) onward. The title predominantly amounted to being the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, a title long dependent upon coronation by the pope.

The royal Throne of Charlemagne in Aachen Cathedral

The title originally referred to any elected German king who had not yet been granted the imperial regalia and title of emperor at the hands of the pope. Later, it came to be used solely for the heir-designate to the imperial throne between his election (during the lifetime of a sitting emperor) and his succession upon the death of the emperor. The title became functionally obsolete with the abolition of the requirement for emperors to be crowned by the pope in 1508 but continued to be used as part of the emperor's formal titles until the end of the Empire in 1806.

The actual title varied over time. During the Ottonian period, it was King of the Franks (German: König der Franken, Latin: Rex Francorum), from the late Salian period it was Roman King (Römischer König) or King of the Romans (German: König der Römer, Lat.: Rex Romanorum). In the Modern Period, the title King in Germania (German: König in Germanien, Lat.: Germaniae Rex) came into use. Finally, modern German historiography established the term Roman-German King (Römisch-deutscher König) to differentiate it both from the classical Roman emperor as well as from the modern (1871-1918) German emperor. The title "King of Germany" occasionally appears in English texts, but seldom in German sources as there was never a de jure Kingdom of Germany.[citation needed]


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