power behind the throne


Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.

power behind the throne

Fig. the person who actually controls the person who is apparently in charge. Mr. Smith appears to run the shop, but his brother is the power behind the throne. They say that the vice president is the power behind the throne.
See also: behind, power, throne

power behind the throne

A person with great influence who stays behind the scenes and has no apparent authority. For example, Harry may be the CEO, but it's obvious that his wife is the power behind the throne. [Mid-1800s]
See also: behind, power, throne
References in periodicals archive ?
But when a political leader's partner is a full-time journalist -- or a full-time lifestyle guru -- one's fears of a power behind the throne diminish: The woman, presumably, is too busy to meddle excessively in the affairs of state.
I'm not sure King George is really that apt, as it appears that Vice President Dick Cheney is the real power behind the throne.
The real power behind the throne," he reveals, "are the Rulers who created the system that consistently draws the human, intellectual and natural resources of a nation.
Cheney, like DeLay, has been the power behind the throne.
Figures in the education sector would mention the name Andrew Adonis as the power behind the throne.
Their power behind the throne in Washington, Grover Norquist, recently explained to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo:
Second, he plays up Cheney as the power behind the throne.
Why the Canadian Episcopate of the Eastern region decided on this man as a suitable person to address priests and laity alike, I am in the dark as to the power behind the throne.
And the power behind the throne is the labor unions, whose base are the employees, teachers and others employed by the numerous government agencies which engulf society.
It surely proves who is really "the power behind the throne.
The military, which has been the power behind the throne in this country, has stayed on the sidelines over the past one and a half years, largely because of the negative implications any interventionist role would have on the country's economic and geopolitical prospects.
Montesinos, spymaster for President Alberto Fujimori throughout the 1990s and often called the real power behind the throne, now has a price on his head, offered by the same business-backed organization, Fuerza de la Ley, that once paid out for information leading to the arrest of terrorist leaders.
Over the last two decades, Diouf has stamped his personality on virtually all aspects of Senegalese life that he is still likely to be the real power behind the throne.
TSE:ATY,NASDAQ:ATYT) today announced that ATI's RAGE 128 Pro(TM) graphics chip and the newly-announced 32MB RAGE FURY PRO(TM) graphics add-in board will be the power behind the throne as PC games enthusiasts from around the world square off in the first official Quake III Arena tournament, to be held August 6 to 8, 1999 in Mesquite, Texas.