Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership
Heads of State of Germany/Deutschland

The Holy Roman Empire lasted 902-1806 and from about the Wesphalian Peace in 1648 until 1803, the Empire was divided into several thousand immediate (unmittelbar) territories, but only about three hundred of these had Landeshoheit (Sovereignty enjoyed by the states of the Empire), and had representation in the  Reichstag (Imperial Diet). 1806-66 the German Confederation consisted of a number of sovereign states, 1866 the North German Federation was established, becoming the Deutsche Reich, which lasted until 1945, as an Empire under a German Emperor 1871-1918 and as a Republic from 1918, known as The Weimar Republic until the Nazis took power in 1939 and created the “Third Realm”. Until the Reunification in 1990 the country was divided into the German Democratic Republic, Deutsche Democratische Republik and the Federal Republic of Germany, Bundesrepublik Deutschland.

See also German Substates and Ecclesiastical Territories

848-851 Consors Regni Empress Irmingard de Tours of The Holy Roman Empire
Even though her husband, Lothar I, was only Emperor in parts of the realm (Italy and Burgundy), she held the title of Consors Regni - co-ruler. She was mother of 9 children, and lived (circa 800-851).

851–875 Consors Regni Empress Angilberga de Spoleto of The Holy Roman Empire and Italy
As “consors regni” she officially acted as co–ruler of her husband, Emperor Ludwig II, especially after he was hurt in a hunting accident in 564. She was especially active in her native Italy, and very politically active in the effords to secure the succession to her husband, since their two daughters were barred from inheriting. After her husband's death, she became Abbess of San Sisto in Piacanzam and lived (circa 825-896/901).

929-46 Metropolitana Editha of England of Magdeburg (Germany)
She was given Magdeburg as her dorwy after the marriage to Otto I, Duke of Sachsen and Thuringen (936-73) and King of Germany (936-62), of Italy (961-73) and Emperor (962-73). Also known as Eadgyth/Edgith/Edgitha, and daughter of Edmund I of Wessex, King of England (939-46) and St. Elgiva, and mother of 2 sons and 1 daughter. (d. 946).

961-62 De-facto in charge of the Government Dowager Empress Mathilde von Sachsen
She had withdrawn to the convent of Quedlinburg which she founded after the death of her husband, King Heinrich I  in 936, but took over the reigns in Germany when her son, Otto I, went to Italy after having appointed his infant son, the later Otto II as regent. She had devoted her time to charity and founder of numerous convents and she was later declared a saint (Mathilde die Heilige). She was mother of 3 sons and 2 daughters (among whom Geberga was regent in the West-Frankish kingdom from 954), and lived (circa 895-968 in Quedlinburg)

984 Regent Dowager Empress Adelheid
890-? Regent
for son Otto II. Unexpected Otto II died young, leaving Theophano with a 3 year old son, Otto III. Immediately, both Empresses overcame their feelings of ill will and united to safeguard the child king's claims to power. When Theophano died, Adelaide took her place as Otto III's regent. She was now sixty years old. She lived (931-999)

983-90 Regent Dowager Empress Theophano
She was a Byzantine Princess who at the age of seventeen was given to the young Saxon emperor Otto II. Though elegant and a delicate beauty, she was high-spirited and a superb politician who brought with her an intimate knowledge of the intricacies of court life. When her husband died, leaving her with a three year old son, she took the title "Imperator Augustus" and defended her son Otto III’s title for seven years from those who challenged him. For seven years Theophano with tact and firmness administered the empire in her son's .

997-99 Regent Princess-Abbess Mathilde of Quedlinburg
She was regent for her brother

1002-24 Joint ruler Empress Kunigunde of Luxembourg
1012, 1016 etc. Regent
1024  Co-Regent Dowager Empress
She was her husband, Heinrich II’s closest advisor, and joint ruler. After his death,  she was regent together with her brother, Bishop Dietrich von Metz and Heinrich V of Bayern. She handed over the Royal Insignia, which she had held from July till September, to the new emperor Konrad II. She withdrew to a convent she founded herself and later became a saint. She lived (circa 980-1033)  

1015-.. Regent Dowager Duchess Gisela von Schwaben of Schwaben (Germany)
1024-39 Co-Regent of Germany
1026-39 Co-Regent of Italy
1027-39 Co-Regent of The Holy Roman Empire
1032-39 Co-Regent of Bourgogne

1056-62 Regent Dowager Empress Agnes de Pointou
She was Duchess Regnant of Bavaria 1055-61. Regent for her son, Heinrich IV (1050-?) She was not an experienced politician and was influenced by the nobility to part with the duchies of Bavaria and Carinthia, and entered into unwise alliances against the dominant reforming party in the Papacy. By 1062 discontent led to an uprising in which Anno, Archbishop of Köln, took over the regency. Agnes retired to a convent where she remained until her death. She lived (1024-77)  

1084-86 Consors Regni Bertha de Turino
Also known as Berthe de Maurienne, she married to Heinrich IV who was king of Germany from 1066 and attempted to divorce her two years later but the marriage was mended by the pope. After he was excuminated by Pope Gregor VII in 1076 she followed him around the realm, and and to Canosssa, where he performed the penance required to lift his excommunication, and ensure his continued rule. . When he was crowned as Emperor, she got the title of Consors Regni, co-ruler. She was daughter of Margravine Regnant Adelaide de Turino (Turin) (d. 1091) and Otto of Savoy, the mother of 5 children, and lived (circa 1048-86).

1094 Participant in a Rebellion Empress Eupraxia of Kiev
She joined a rebellion against her husband, Emperor Heinrich IV, accusing him of holding her prisoner, forcing her to participate in orgies and attempting a black mass on her naked body. She lived (1067-1109).

1125-37 Joint Ruler Consors Regni Empress Richenza von Nordheim of the Holy Roman Empire

1136-37 Presided over the Hearings of the Royal Court
She took part in the Imperial Councils.

1155 Consors Regni Empress Beatrix of Upper Bourgogne of the Holy Roman Empire
Sovereign Countess of Upper Burgundy and Franche-Comté 1148-84 in succession to her father, Reinald III of Burgundy, and married Friedrich I Barbarossa (1122-90), who became Emperor in 1155. As Empress she devoted much of her time to Burgundy and ruled the realm rather independently, using the title of 'Domina Dux'. She was succeeded by son Otto I, and lived (1140-84).

1637-46 Politically Influential Empress Maria Anna de Austria of The Holy Roman Empire
Already by the time of her marriage to Archduke Ferdinand, she became very influential at court. In 1637 he succeeded his uncle as Emperor Ferdinand III, and she became involved in politics and was his closest aide. During the Thirty Years War, the imperial family moved to Linz, and here she died of poisoning during her last pregnancy, her daughter was still alive, and was born by a cesarean, but died soon after. Maria Anne was daughter of Felip III of Spain and Archduchess Margarete of Austria, and lived (1606-46). 

1705-1711 Politically Influential Empress Wilhelmine Amalie zu Braunschweig-Lüneburg of The Holy Roman Empire
During the reign of her husband Josef I von Habsburg, she sided with her mother-in-law, Eleonora Magdalena von Pfalz-Neuburg, and they even founded their own little court party. After her husband's death, she was no longer involved with politics, except for the promotion of her two daughters. Her brother-in-law, Emperor Karl VI, proclaimed the Pragmatic Sanction, which placed his own daughters before those of his deceased brother, Emperor Josef. At first she fought against this and counted on the support of their two sons-in-law, the Electors of Bavaria and Saxony, but gave up when the Austrian court did not support her. In 1740, after the sudden death of Emperor Karl VI, both her sons-in-law decided to claim the Imperial office. At first they had the support of Wilhelmine Amalie but, when the Bavarians started to prepare for war, she sided with her niece, Maria Teresa. She founded a convent, where she spend the rest of her life, having lived (1673-1742).  

1722-45 Politically Influential Electress Maria Amalia von Habsburg of Bavaria
1743-45 Influential in the Holy Roman Empire 
She was married to elector Karl Albrecht of Bavaria, and was a passionate hunter, loved parties and politics. She was daughter of Emperor Josef I and Amalie Wilhelmine von Braunschweig-Lüneburg and even though she had accepted the Pragmatic Solution, she did claim parts Habsburg Inheritance after the death of her uncle in 1740, but her cousin, Maria Theresia refused this. Maria Amalia's husband was elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, though, in 1742, as Karl VII. Maria Amalia supported her husband in the Austrian Succession-war, but after his death, she advised her son, Maximilian III Josef to make peace and compromise with Vienna. Her sister, Maria Josepha, was very influential as Queen of Poland from 1733. Maria Amalia lived (1701-56).

1888 Politically Influential Empress Victoria of United Kingdom of Germany
The daughter of Queen Victoria, she was also Princess Royal of United Kingdom. She was a very liberal person, and her husband, Friedrich shared her views, but he was already terminally ill with cancer when he became German Emperor in 1888, and only reigned for 99 days, but during his reign, she was very influential. She was hostile to the imperial chancellor, Otto von Bismarck and estranged from her son, Wilhelm III. After the death of her husband, she was generally known as Kaiserin Friedrich, and lived (1840-1901).

1972-76 3rd Deputy Head of State, President of the Bundestag Annemarie Renger
s Vice-President 1976-90. In 1979 she was candidate for the post of Bundespräsidentin. (b. 1926-)

1988-98 3rd Deputy Head of State, President of the Bundestag, Prof. Dr. Rita Süssmuth geb. Kickuth
Federal Minister of Youth, Family and Health
1984-88. (b. 1937-)

1990 Acting Head of State, President of the People's Chamber Dr. Sabine Bergmann-Pohl, The German Democratic Republic, DDR/GDR.
In 1990-91 Federal Minister without Portfolio for the New Bundesstates 1991-98, Parliamentary State Secretary of Health
and member of the Bundestag 1991-2002. (b. 1946-).

1994-2002 4th Deputy Head of State President of the Constitutional Court Dr. Jutta Limbach
She was Senator of Justice in Berlin 1989-94. In March 1994 she became Vice-President of  The Bundesverfassungsgericht and in September it’s President until 2002. In 2002 she became President of the Goethe Institute - the German Cultural Institution. (b. 1934-)

2010-11 Deputy Head of State, President of the Bundesrat, Minister President Hannelore Kraft
Member of the Landtag of NRW since 2000, Minister of Federal- and European Affairs 2001-05 and Minister of Science and Research in 2005, Parliamentary Leader of the Social Democrats 2005-20, State Chairperson of the party from 2007, Federal Vice-Chairperson from 2009 and 1. Vice-President of the Bundesrat 2011-12. (b. 1961-)

2016-17 Deputy Head of State President of the Bundesrat Malu Dreyer
Minister of Social Affairs and Family 2002-13 and Minister-President of Rheinland-Pfalz from 2013 and Vice-President of the Bundesrat 2015-16 and 2017-18 (Designated). (b. 1961-)


Last update 01.11.11