power behind the throne

Idioms & Phrases

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]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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