Divine Right of Kings

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Related to Divine right monarchy: Cardinal Richelieu

Divine Right of Kings

The authority of a monarch to rule a realm by virtue of birth.

The concept of the divine right of kings, as postulated by the patriarchal theory of government, was based upon the laws of God and nature. The king's power to rule was derived from his ancestors who, as monarchs, were appointed to serve by God. Regardless of mis-conduct, a king or his heir could not be forced to forfeit the right to the obedience of subjects or the right to succeed to the throne. This concept was formulated to dispel any possibility of papal and ecclesiastical claims to supremacy in secular as well as spiritual matters.