\'Regents' is ones who rule instead of nominal rulers. They are usually appointed in the case the rulers are absent, incapable or minority of the country's monarch or any other political situations.
In history of Japan, use of regents is a common style of governing. Typically, regents hold actual power while nominal rulers are pupets. This is not only seen in politics of national level but also in any other level of governments.
List of regents:
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7 United Kingdom