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The Prince Primate presided over the Princes of the Rhine Confederation . The office was created at the instigation of Napoleon in 1806 and went under with the Rhine Confederation in 1813. Karl Theodor von Dalberg remained the only holder of the title of Prince Primate . He held the office from July 25, 1806 to October 19, 1813 and ruled the state of the prince from 1806 to 1813 as Prince Primate .

Since the Reichstag had its seat in Regensburg , it was decided in 1803 to also move the seat of the Imperial Chancellor to Regensburg. This office was tied to the archbishop of Mainz , so that at the same time the electoral dignity came to the prince-bishopric of Regensburg , which had been handed over to the imperial arch-chancellor. Since the city of Mainz had fallen to France , the metropolitan seat was also relocated from Mainz to Regensburg.

In the Rhine Confederation of 1806, the Imperial Arch Chancellor became the Prince Primate. Theoretically, the prince should become chairman of a Bundestag , but this was not realized. In 1807 the prince-primate moved his seat to Frankfurt .

As a primate he was supposed to be Archbishop of the German Church on the right side of the Rhine, excluding the sovereign territories of Prussia and Austria . Since there were no other archbishopric, he should also be the only metropolitan and archbishop of the Rhine Confederation. His territory consisted of the Principality of Aschaffenburg (previously Kurmainz ), the imperial city of Wetzlar and the Principality of Regensburg , consisting of the Principality of Regensburg , the imperial city of Regensburg and the areas of the three imperial monasteries located in Regensburg .

Since the bishop of Regensburg Joseph Konrad von Schroffenberg-Mös was still alive at the time of the establishment of the primate, the primate initially limited himself to the secular administration of the prince-bishopric of Regensburg. He did not claim the ecclesiastical administration in the area of ​​the diocese of Regensburg until his death, although he encountered bitter resistance from the Kingdom of Bavaria . Bavaria was able to convince Pope Pius VII skillfully that he had no powers in the territory of this kingdom. So it was only with the administration within the city of Regensburg.

In 1810 Napoleon gave the Principality of Regensburg to Bavaria and created the Grand Duchy of Frankfurt for Karl Theodor von Dalberg from the principalities of Aschaffenburg, Hanau and Fulda as well as the County of Wetzlar , which however no longer had anything to do with spiritual dignity.

The Archbishop of Gran (today Esztergom-Budapest) also held the title of Prince Primate (of Hungary) .