Regalia are royal possessions in general, but in legal contexts those "temporalities" that were held by bishops and abbots as feudal dependents of the secular order, and in virtue of which secular rulers claimed by "regalian right" the patronage of bishopries and abbacies as well as the revenues of these during vacancies. Regalian rights originated in feudal conceptions and are seen first in France toward the end of the 10th century. Introduced into England by King william ii Rufus during the vacancy caused by the death of lanfranc (1089), they were later extended, despite papal opposition, to practically all English bishoprics. In Germany they were claimed and exercised by Emperor henry v (1106–25), but ceased in effect after the death of Frederick II (1250); in France they were an abiding source of friction between the king and powerful territorial lords. Regalia, whether lands, towns, castles, or cities, involved bishops in a double alliance; for bishops were in charge of the pastoral care, yet committed to various secular duties such as judgeships or military service. The problem, which was one of the main issues of the investiture struggle, was, if anything, made more acute by the Concordat of Worms (1122), since this countenanced an oath of fealty to the emperor as well as imperial investiture. A way out of the dilemma would have been, as Pope paschal ii (1099–1118) was convinced, for bishops to renounce temporalities altogether and live off their tithes; but this was difficult to implement in an era when benefices were no longer viewed solely in relation to the offices they were originally meant to support. In some modern states regalia are now in the hands of the state; in Italy regalian rights passed to the state by law in 1860, but were abolished in the Lateran Pacts of 1929.
Bibliography: eadmer, Historia novorum, ed. m. rule in Rerum Britannicarum medii aevi scriptores, 244 v. (New York 1964–) 81; 27. j. b. sÄgmÜller Die Bischofswahl bei Gratian (Cologne 1908). a. deeley, "Papal Provision and Royal Rights of Patronage in the Early Fourteenth Century," English Historical Review 43 (1928) 497–527. m. howell, Regalian Right in Medieval England (London 1962). c. j. campbell, "Temporal and Spiritual Regalia during the Reigns of St. Louis and Philip III," Traditio 20 (1964) 351–383.
[l. e. boyle]
J. A. Cannon
re·ga·li·a / riˈgālyə/ • pl. n. [treated as sing. or pl.] the emblems or insignia of royalty, esp. the crown, scepter, and other ornaments used at a coronation. ∎ the distinctive clothing worn and ornaments carried at formal occasions as an indication of status: the Bishop of Florence in full regalia. ∎ distinctive, elaborate clothing: young men, a few in gang regalia.