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From Wikipedia:

A viceroy /ˈvaɪs.rɔɪ/ is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or city province (or state) in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king.

In Star Wars canon, the most famous holder of that rule was of course Princess Leia Organa's adoptive father, Bail Organa:

Formally styled as His Serene Highness, Prince Bail Organa, First Chairman and Viceroy of Alderaan - from "Bail Prestor Organa" Wookiepedia article

QUESTION: Given the fact that Bail Organa had, as one of his titles, "Viceroy Bail Organa", who was the King/Sovereign that he ruled in the name/place of?

This is especially puzzling since he was also a Prince Consort, ruling by virtue of being married to Queen Breha Organa of Alderaan. So the Viceroying wasn't on her behalf since Prince Consort is the title conveying that specific relationship.

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Please note that other uses of the title Viceroy in SW canon are less weird but also unclear - Viceroy Nute Gunray didn't seem to have a sovereign either, though he was supposedly reporting to "Trade Federation Directorate".

  • Since there is a translation convention (the language of SW is Basic, not English), it could always be that the words don't always have the same meanings. Out of universe - it just sounds like a good title, and probably not too deeply researched before it was applied (wouldn't be the only time - parsecs?) – HorusKol Jan 14 '12 at 21:38
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    @HorusKol - can we add a "lucas-sux" tag? :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 14 '12 at 21:46
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It was indeed his wife, Queen Regnant Breha Organa.

A couple sentences after what you quoted:

He was married to Queen Breha Organa of Alderaan and was, as Prince Consort, head of the royal house and ruler of Alderaan

"married to Queen Breha Organa" -> Prince
"ruler of Alderaan" -> Viceroy

Perhaps the confusion comes from the fact that "Prince Consort" is a descriptor, not a title. As you mention, his full formal title is "His Serene Highness, Prince Bail Organa, First Chairman and Viceroy of Alderaan". Note the absence of "Consort." Perhaps the "Viceroy" is there to make explicit that he was Prince by marriage and not blood, but still the ruler, and/or because not all Princes Consort are the ruler/viceroy (like in England).

  • As I specifically noted in the question, the Queen relationship part seems to explicitly come from "Prince Consort" title, not Viceroy one. I'm not exactly a royal title specialist, but it seems more correct. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 14 '12 at 18:53
  • @DVK I question your assertion that having a second title requires having a second sovereign. If you're around, come to chat and we can talk about it. – Kevin Jan 14 '12 at 19:11
  • @DVK and I've added another couple thoughts, perhaps those will help. – Kevin Jan 14 '12 at 19:45
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    I wish there was some expert on British Royal protocol to address this. I feel that "Prince Consort" is the correct title to explain the marriage part, but I'm not 100% convinced I'm right. +1 for the efforts anyway :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 14 '12 at 21:37
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    Prince Consort is correct in terms of a person married to the ruling Queen - but if Bail Organa is actually ruling in place of his wife, he could also be titled/styled as a Viceroy. The only two British Prince Consorts that immediately come to mind (Albert and Phillip) never held any executive (or even ceremonial) power in place of their Queens. For completeness, a women married to a King is properly styled Queen Consort. – HorusKol Jan 15 '12 at 6:45

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