REGALE (Lat., "royal prerogative "): In Germany. The alleged right of the State to share in the administration of the Church, especially to enjoy the incomes of a diocese during a vacancy of the see and to appoint to all benefices falling vacant in the bishopric during this period, except to such as involve the cure of souls. The earliest allusions to the claim in Germany date from the reigns of Henry V. (d. 1125) and Conrad III. (d. 1152), and in 1166 Barbarossa expressly set forth his claims to regalia both of revenues and of service in regard to the archdiocese of Cologne, basing his demand on custom as well as on ancient imperial and royal law. It is evident, moreover, that at least toward the end of his reign, this emperor extended the term of the regalia to a year and a day after the enthronement of a new diocesan. The Curia, on the other hand, sought to do away with the regalia and to make the incomes in question its own, the result being the system, which still in part exists, of annates (see TAXATION, ECCLESIASTICAL). It was not, however, until the pontificate of Innocent III. that the German monarchs surrendered their claims to the regalia, Philip of Swabia, in 1203, being the first to do so. His example was followed not only by his rival, Otto IV. (1209), but also by Frederick II. (1213, 1219), the latter emphasizing his renunciation by the Würzburg privilege of 1216. Nevertheless, practise and profession did not harmonize, probably because the surrender of the regalia was construed to apply to the annates only. Accordingly, in 1238 a decision of a court of Frederick II. explicitly affirmed the imperial right to all incomes of a vacant see until the election of a new bishop, and similar prerogatives were implied by the sixth canon of the second council of Lyons (1274). It is clear that the regalia extended even to the smaller churches, and it is equally certain that the ultimate source of the system was the institution of patronage (q.v.), for the patron who received certain fees and service from the incumbent would naturally lay claim to the entire revenue during a vacancy. The custom had been in vogue long before it received the name of regalia in the twelfth century. Then, when the old principle of church control based on property rights had decayed, the claim of regalia was evolved from the earlier system as one of a number of usufructs, and it received its name as including all secular possessions and prerogatives granted as royal fiefs to bishoprics and abbeys after the concordat of Worms in 1122. The regalia no longer applied to the more humble churches, as had originally been the case, but to the imperial churches, probably because of their feudal relations since the rise of the house of Hohenstaufen. The name, but not the right involved, was later transferred to non-royal churches, The theory of regalia, like the closely related concepts of the right of spoils (see SPOILS, RIGHT OF) and Investiture (q.v.), proceeded from the idea that the diocese, abbey, or parish was the property of the patron, i.e., the temporal lord. The regalia must have been extended to the imperial churches at an early period. The initial stages may be traced in the Carolingian period, when, during the vacancy of a see, there was a double system of ecclesiastical and royal administration; and the later development of the law of regalia in France conclusively proves that similar usage regarding sees and abbeys in West Franconia had been fully evolved before the decay of the Carolingians and the rise of the Capets, probably, therefore, in the course of the tenth century.
In France and England. In France the institution of regalia, with its extension to a year after the enthronement of a new bishop, is mentioned by Bernard of Clairvaux in 1143 and by Louis VII. in 1147. Subsequent allusions are frequent, although all dioceses were not subject to the law of regalia, nor were the regalia the exclusive prerogative of the king. From Normandy the law of regalia was extended to England, where it was expressly declared by William II. in 1089, together with the right of spoils. This date serves to confirm the theory that the law of regalia was evolved during the period of private ownership of churches, and that it was not called into being by the termination of the investiture controversy or the recognition of the regalia as a fief. It long existed in England, with temporary limitations and abrogations, as is shown, for example, by the twelfth chapter of the Constitutions of Clarendon (1164). In France, until the union of the great fiefs with the crown, the right of regalia was possessed by the dukes of Normandy, Brittany, Burgundy, and others, as well as by the counts of Champagne, and, for a time, of Anjou. The entire situation during the rule of the Capets seems to indicate that it was inherited from the Carolingians. On the other hand, the ecclesiastical provinces of Bordeaux, Auch, Narbonne, Arles, Aux, Embrun, and Vienne were exempt. The right of regalia in France was administered by royal stewards and normally was restricted to the temporal emoluments of the see, while the rights of the deceased bishop's legatees were scrupulously recognized. At the same time the French kings held strenuously to the spiritual regalia, i.e., the appointment, during the vacancy of a see, to any benefice not involving pastoral care. This phase of the regalia is traceable to the feudal relation between the bishop and his clergy beginning with the ninth century; and it likewise gave the king the opportunity to put into office clergy devoted to his interests, and ultimately, through canons of this type, to influence episcopal elections. All this, however, gave rise to grave disputes, tried at first in the king's court, and after the thirteenth century before the parliament of Paris. The spiritual regalia, moreover, brought the kings of France into conflict with the papal claims to the general right of making ecclesiastical appointments. Boniface VIII. (q.v.), by his bull Ausculta fili (Dec. 5, 1301), vainly endeavored to compel Philip the Fair to modify his claims of regalia, and in 1375 Gregory XI. unreservedly admitted the royal rights of regalia.
The law of regalia received marked extension and intensification in France in the sixteenth century, when the power of the monarchy became absolute. The regalia, now construed by the jurists of the parliament of Paris to mean "royal laws" instead of "royal prerogatives," were made to include the entire kingdom. The clergy protested, but though, by his edict of Dec., 1606, Henry IV. restored the regalia to their traditional limits, the parliament refused compliance. A similar ordinance by Louis XIII., in 1629, was equally ineffectual, and finally the edict of Louis XIV., dated Feb. 10, 1673, bound the clergy to submit to the universal extension of the law. In two breves (Sept. 21, 1678, and Dec. 27, 1679) Innocent XI. required the French king to abrogate his edict, but the clergy of France, including such Jansenists as Antoine Arnauld (q.v.), and moved by a variety of motives, not the least of which was Gallicanism, were on the royal side, their attitude being voiced by the famous "General Assembly of the Clergy of France" at Paris in 1681-82 (see GALLICANISM, § 2). In an edict of Jan., 1682, the king repeated his claims on the regalia with due consideration for the requirements of canon law, but Innocent XI. (breve of Apr. 2, 1682) and Alexander VIII. (constitution Inter multiplices, Jan. 31, 1691) both condemned the measures adopted by the General Assembly, and on Sept. 14, 1693, the king and his clergy formally surrendered to Innocent XII., the decree of Mar. 22, 1682, being formally revoked. Nevertheless, there was little practical alteration in the royal attitude toward the regalia, and the laws in question were actually abrogated only by the confiscation of the property of the Church at the French Revolution. The regalia were, however, revived for a brief time by Napoleon in his decree of Nov. 6, 1813 (arts. 33-34, 45), and from 1880 until the separation of Church and State in France, which went into effect Jan. 1, 1906, the Third Republic again applied the law with increased exactions.