- British prince
This is a list of British princes from the accession of George I in 1714. The title of prince is at the will of the sovereign, who can both grant and revoke the title. Individuals holding the title of prince will usually also be styled His Royal Highness (HRH) or formerly His Highness (HH). The sovereign grants the titles of prince and styles of HRH or HH through the use of Letters Patent, Orders in Council, or by another expression of the royal will. The wife of a British prince will usually take the title and style of her husband.
Prior to 1714, the title of prince and the style of HRH was not customary in usage. Sons and daughters of the sovereign were not automatically or traditionally called a prince or princess. An exception was the Prince of Wales, a title conferred on the eldest son of the sovereign since the reign of Edward I of England. While in the Kingdom of Scotland, even though an honorific principality was created by James I, the heir-apparent was only referred to as Duke of Rothesay. Some others include John, brother of Richard the Lionheart and later King John, who is sometimes called Prince John.
After the accession of George I, it became customary for the sons of the sovereign and grandsons of the sovereign in the male line to be titled Prince and styled His Royal Highness (abbreviated HRH). Great-grandsons of the sovereign were princes styled His Highness (abbreviated HH). This was not a legal creation, but more an adoption of German royal custom in line with George I's Hanoverian background. It also allowed the creation as the Royal Family of those in immediate line of succession to the throne, with royal titles and living in close proximity.
- The first male line great grandchild of a British sovereign was not born until 1776. In keeping with tradition he was given the style of His Highness Prince William of Gloucester. On 22 July 1816 when he married his cousin and daughter of King George III, he was granted the style His Royal Highness. Prince William died in 1834 before the accession of Queen Victoria.
- The second male line great grandchild of a British sovereign was born on 21 September 1845 as Prince Ernest Augustus. He was granted the style of His Royal Highness because he was a male line grandson of the King of Hanover, and heir to the heir of that Kingdom. He was also born a Prince of the United Kingdom but the question of using HH for his British title and HRH for his Hanoverian title was not an issue.
Just three weeks after the birth of her 4th grandchild, but first male line grandson, Queen Victoria issued letters patent in 1864 which confirmed in law the practice regarding of calling children and male-line grandchildren by His Royal Highness and with their titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names. The letters patent did not specifically address the style of calling great grandchildren or further descendants from being styled as His/Her Highness and Prince or Princess. However, the only living person of this type, was Prince Ernest Augustus (age 19). Prince Ernest's Kingdom of Hanover was abolished in 1866, but he was made a Duke of the United Kingdom and a Knight of the Garter in 1878, a major general in the British Army in 1886 and promoted him to lieutenant general in 1892 and general in 1898. At no point was his status as a British Prince based on being a great grandson questioned until WWI.
Subsequent to 1864 some amendments regarding princes were made, with the issuance of specific letters patent changing the title and style of the following groups:
- In 1898, the children of Prince George, Duke of York, the eldest living son of The Prince of Wales, were customarily titled princes, with the style of Highness, as great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria in the male line. With letters patent dated 28 May 1898, the Crown granted the children of the eldest son of any Prince of Wales the style of Royal Highness.
- In 1914, the children of Prince Ernst August III of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick, a great-great-grandchild of George III, were granted the title of prince and the style Highness by George V, in letters patent dated 17 June 1914.
- In 1917, George V issued a royal proclamation, altering the name of the Royal House from the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to the House of Windsor. Later that year, new letters patent altered the rights to the title prince and the style Royal Highness. These second letters patent, dated 30 November 1917, stated that "the children of any Sovereign of these Realms and the children of the sons of any such Sovereign (as per the above Letters Patent of 1864) and the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales (a modification of the Letters Patent of 1898) shall have and at all times hold and enjoy the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness with their titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names or with their other titles of honour". It was also decreed in these letters that "grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line ... shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes of these Our Realms" (i.e., Lord or Lady before their Christian name). In addition the letters stated save as aforesaid the style title or attribute of Royal Highness, Highness or Serene Highness and the titular dignity of Prince or Princess shall not henceforth be assumed or borne by any descendent of any Sovereign of these Realms. With this clause, King George V attempted to remove the ambiguity from the earlier letters patent of 1864, and all British princes or princesses who were further than grandchild of a monarch lost their right to be called prince or princess. The total royals affected were 7 princes and 7 blood line princesses, and 3 spouses who had assumed the style of princess through their marriage.
- Both the proclamation and the letters patent of 1917 remain in force today, excepting a few amendments and creations noted.
- However, the Duke of Brunswick, the head of the House of Hanover, refused to recognize the letters depriving his children of the British and Irish princely titles, and in 1931, he issued a decree, in the capacity of the head of the House of Hanover and senior male-line descendant of George III of the United Kingdom, stating that the members of the former Hanoverian royal family would continue to bear the title of Prince (or Princess) of Great Britain and Ireland with the style of Royal Highness. This title and style remains in use to this day by their descendants, including the current head of the House of Hanover, Ernst August, Prince of Hanover. The decree by the head of the House of Hanover is not legally recognized in the United Kingdom or Ireland, and the titles are used as titles of pretense. Lately, titles claimed by members of the House of Hanover have been recognized by the court of Monaco, due to their heiress presumptive being married to the head of the House of Hanover. The British court has, unsuccessfully, tried to convince the former Hanoverian royal family to stop using the British princely title.
- After the abdication crisis of 1936, George VI issued letters patent (dated 27 May 1937) retroactively regranting Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor his style as son of a Sovereign, whilst expressly denying the title of prince and style Royal Highness to his wife and descendants. The marriage, however, had no issue.
- On 22 October 1948, George VI issued letters patent allowing the children of his son-in-law and daughter, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, to assume princely titles and the style Royal Highness; they would not have been entitled to them ordinarily, as grandchildren in the female line, until their mother ascended the throne as Elizabeth II. Princess Elizabeth's lack of brothers and the advancing ages of the King and Queen, however, rendered her status as heir presumptive secure and her children's future status as children of a monarch a foregone conclusion. Thus the current Prince of Wales was styled HRH Prince Charles of Edinburgh until his mother's accession. Otherwise the children would have temporarily been styled Lord (Charles Mountbatten, Earl of) Merioneth, and The Lady Anne Mountbatten, respectively.
- Elizabeth II issued letters patent, dated 22 February 1957, creating Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a Prince of the United Kingdom. Prince Philip had been born a Prince of Greece and Denmark, titles he renounced upon marriage.
- On the wedding day of The Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones, it was announced by Buckingham Palace that it was the specific wish of the Earl and Countess of Wessex (and the will of the Queen) that their children would be styled as children of an earl, and not as Princes of the United Kingdom with the style Royal Highness. The children of the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn, may, theoretically, be prince and princess, and it is oft asserted that they may be styled as such when they reach majority. However, there is no official word on their status other than their parents' wish about how they should be addressed, so this is pure conjecture.
Styles of British Princes
- Sons of sovereigns - HRH The Prince "X"; e.g., HRH The Prince Edward.
- Grandchildren - HRH Prince "X" of "Y", where Y is the territorial designation of their father's peerages; e.g., HRH Prince Michael of Kent.
- Prior to Prince Albert Victor, a son of the Prince of Wales - HRH Prince "X".
- Great-grandchildren - Lord "X" "Z" (until 1917, it was HH Prince "X" of "Y").
- Except the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, HRH Prince "X" of "Y", where Y is the territorial designation of his father's peerage (if he has any; if not, Wales) and Z being the last name of the great grandchild.
- The Prince of Wales is normally styled HRH The Prince of Wales, aside from within Scotland where he is styled HRH the Duke of Rothesay.
- and royal peers, HRH The Duke/Earl of Y. Royal peers remain princes, however, the peerage being in addition to, not in lieu of the princely style..
Wives of British princes take on their husbands' titles. If the prince has a peerage, the wife will become HRH and the female equivalent of the peerage rank (e.g., HRH The Countess of Wessex). If the prince has no peerage, as in the case of HRH Prince Michael of Kent, the wife will become HRH and will take the title Princess with her husband's name (e.g., HRH Princess Michael of Kent).
Following the marriage of Charles, Prince of Wales to Camilla Parker Bowles on 9 April 2005 his new wife uses the style HRH The Duchess of Cornwall (Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland), using one of his peerage titles, instead of Princess of Wales.
These formal styles are not often used in the media or by the general public. The terms Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Princess Anne, and suchforth are most commonly heard, even though the persons involved may never have held that formal shorthand style.
List of British Princes since 1714
Grandsons of monarchs must be by sons, not daughters Title of Prince eliminated by Letters Patent issued 30 November 1917 (i.e. great grandsons) Title of Prince eliminated by Titles Deprivation Act 1917 (they have adhered to Your Majesty's enemies during the present war, i.e. WWI) British Prince who resided in Germany as an adult after division of the crowns of Kingdom of Hanover and U.K. on 20 June 1837 with the accession of Queen Victoria British Prince who died a minor List of British Princes Title at birth Other titles held Birth Death lineage Notes Duke Georg August of Brunswick-Lüneburg. Prince Georg August of Hanover; Hereditary Prince of Hanover; The Prince George; Prince of Wales. 1683 1760 son of George I succeeded as George II Prince Friedrich Ludwig of Hanover. The Prince Frederick; Duke of Edinburgh; Duke of Cornwall; Prince of Wales. 1707 1751 son of George II. died before succeeding Prince George William. <------------- 1717 1718 son of George II. died minor Prince William. The Prince William; Duke of Cumberland. 1721 1765 son of George II. The Butcher; never married Prince George. Duke of Edinburgh; Prince of Wales. 1738 1820 grandson of George II son of Frederick, Prince of Wales, succeeded as George III. Prince Edward. Duke of York and Albany. 1739 1767 grandson of George II son of Frederick, Prince of Wales. Prince William. Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh. 1743 1805 grandson of George II son of Frederick, Prince of Wales. Prince Henry. Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn. 1745 1790 grandson of George II son of Frederick, Prince of Wales. Prince Frederick. <------------- 1750 1765 grandson of George II son of Frederick, Prince of Wales. died minor The Prince George, Duke of Cornwall. Prince of Wales; Prince Regent. 1762 1830 son of George III succeeded as George IV. The Prince Frederick. Duke of York and Albany. 1763 1827 son of George III The Prince William. Duke of Clarence and St Andrews. 1765 1837 son of George III succeeded as William IV. The Prince Edward. Duke of Kent and Strathearn. 1767 1820 son of George III father of Queen Victoria. The Prince Ernest Augustus. 1st Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale; King of Hanover. 1771 1851 son of George III Became King of Hanover on 20 June 1837 when Victoria ascended to throne in Britain The Prince Augustus Frederick. Duke of Sussex. 1773 1843 son of George III The Prince Adolphus. Duke of Cambridge. 1774 1850 son of George III The Prince Octavius. <------------- 1779 1783 son of George III died minor The Prince Alfred. <------------- 1780 1782 son of George III died minor Prince William of Gloucester. Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh. 1776 1834 great-grandson of George II son of HRH Prince William Prince George of Cambridge. Duke of Cambridge. 1819 1904 grandson of George III son of Prince Adolphus. Prince George of Cumberland. 2nd Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale; Crown Prince of Hanover; King of Hanover. 1819 1878 grandson of George III son of Ernest Augustus I of Hanover. Became Crown Prince on 20 June 1837 Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield. Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha; The Prince Consort. 1819 1861 husband of Queen Victoria, granted style of HRH on 6 February 1840 then the style of Prince Consort, on 29 June 1857. Prince Ernest Augustus II of Hanover and Cumberland. 3rd Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale; Crown Prince of Hanover; titular King of Hanover. 1845 1923 great-grandson of George III, son of George V of Hanover. The Prince Albert Edward, Duke of Cornwall. Prince of Wales; Emperor of India. 1841 1910 son of Queen Victoria succeeded as Edward VII. The Prince Alfred. Duke of Edinburgh, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. 1844 1900 son of Queen Victoria The Prince Arthur. Duke of Connaught and Strathearn. 1850 1942 son of Queen Victoria The Prince Leopold. Duke of Albany. 1853 1884 son of Queen Victoria Prince Albert Victor of Wales. Duke of Clarence and Avondale. 1864 1892 son of Prince Albert Edward. died before becoming Prince of Wales Prince George of Wales. Duke of York; Duke of Cornwall; Prince of Wales; Emperor of India. 1865 1936 son of Edward VII succeeded as George V. Prince (Alexander) John of Wales <------------- 1871 1871 son of Edward VII died minor Prince Alfred of Edinburgh. Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. 1874 1899 grandson of Queen Victoria son of Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Prince George William of Hanover and Cumberland. Crown Prince of Hanover. 1880 1912 great-great-grandson of George III son of Ernest Augustus Prince Charles Edward, Duke of Albany. Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. 1884 1954 grandson of Queen Victoria. Prince Christian of Hanover and Cumberland. <------------- 1885 1901 great great grandson of George III son of Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover. died minor Prince Ernest Augustus III of Hanover and Cumberland. Duke of Brunswick. On 29 August 1931, as head of the House of Hanover, declared the formal resumption, for himself and his dynastic descendants, of use of his former British princely title as a secondary title of pretense. 1887 1953 great-great-grandson of George III, son of Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover. Prince Arthur of Connaught. 1883 1938 grandson of Queen Victoria Prince Edward of York. Prince Edward of Wales; The Prince Edward; Duke of Cornwall; Prince of Wales; Emperor of India; Duke of Windsor. 1894 1972 son of George V, succeeded as Edward VIII, abdicated and resumed princely title. Prince Albert of York. Prince Albert of Wales; The Prince Albert; Duke of York. 1895 1952 son of George V succeeded as George VI. Prince Henry of York. Prince Henry of Wales; The Prince Henry; Duke of Gloucester. 1900 1974 son of George V Prince George of Wales. The Prince George; Duke of Kent. 1902 1942 son of George V Prince John of Wales. <------------- 1905 1919 son of George V died minor John Leopold, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. 1906 1972 great-grandson of Queen Victoria son of Prince Charles Edward, Duke of Albany. Prince Hubertus of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. 1909 1943 great-grandson of Queen Victoria son of Prince Charles Edward, Duke of Albany. Prince Ernest Augustus IV, Hereditary Duke of Brunswick. Prince of Hanover. British Prince title as a secondary title of pretense after 29 August 1931 1914 1987 great-great-great-grandson of George III son of Prince Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick. Prince George William of Hanover. 1915 2006 great-great-great-grandson of George III son of Prince Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick. Prince Alastair of Connaught. Duke of Connaught 1914 1943 great-grandson of Queen Victoria, son of Prince Arthur of Connaught (only British child to lose style of Prince in 1917) Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark. The Prince Philip; Duke of Edinburgh. 1921 husband of Elizabeth II, styled HRH upon marriage in 1947, created Prince of the United Kingdom in 1957. Prince Edward of Kent. Duke of Kent. 1935 grandson of George V son of Prince George, Duke of Kent. Prince William of Gloucester. 1941 1972 grandson of George V son of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester. Prince Michael of Kent. 1942 grandson of George V son of Prince George, Duke of Kent. Prince Richard of Gloucester. Duke of Gloucester. 1944 grandson of George V son of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester. Prince Charles of Edinburgh. The Prince Charles; Duke of Cornwall; Duke of Rothesay; Prince of Wales. 1948 son of Elizabeth II. heir apparent The Prince Andrew Duke of York. 1960 son of Elizabeth II. The Prince Edward Earl of Wessex. 1964 son of Elizabeth II. Prince William of Wales Duke of Cambridge. 1982 grandson of Elizabeth II. son of Charles, Prince of Wales. Prince Harry of Wales 1984 grandson of Elizabeth II. son of Charles, Prince of Wales. Viscount Severn 2007 grandson of Elizabeth II Styled as an earl's son per his parents' wishes and the will of the Queen, Lord Severn is thought by some experts to nonetheless retain his princely status (see his titles and styles) Ernst August V Prince of Hanover. British Prince title as a secondary title of pretense from birth 1954 great X4-grandson of George III
Several names have been used repeatedly:
- George is used no fewer than twenty-one times—including six Kings George; Edward VII; Prince George, Duke of Kent and, currently, Charles, Prince of Wales and Prince Michael of Kent
- Frederick occurs twenty times—including Frederick, Prince of Wales; Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Kings George III, IV, V and VI
- William is borne by nineteen princes—Prince William, Duke of Cumberland; George III; William IV and, currently, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge among them
- No fewer than fifteen princes are named Albert, for the Prince Consort—including Edward VII and George VI, who were both known as Prince Albert; George V; Edward VIII; Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence, and, currently, Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Prince Harry of Wales
Notes and references
- ^ Velde, 1864 Royal Styles and Titles – 1864 Letters Patent
- ^ Velde, 1898 Letters Patent
- ^ Velde, 1914 Letters Patent
- ^ Velde, First 1917 Letters Patent
- ^ Velde, Second 1917 Letters Patent
- ^ a b Velde, 1937 Letters Patent
- ^ Velde, 1948 Letters Patent
- ^ a b Velde, 1957 Letters Patent
- ^ Velde, regarding the children of the Earl of Wessex
- ^ Velde, 1840 Letters Patent
- ^ Velde, 1857 Letters Patent
- ^ Velde, 1947 Letters Patent
British princesThe generations indicate descent from George I, who formalised the use of the titles prince and princess for members of the British Royal Family. 1st generation 2nd generation 3rd generation 4th generation
George IV · Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany · William IV · Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn · Ernest Augustus I of Hanover · Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex · Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge · Prince Octavius · Prince Alfred · Prince William, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh
5th generation 6th generation 7th generation
Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale · George V · Prince John of Wales · Alfred, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha · Prince Arthur of Connaught · Charles Edward, Duke of Albany and of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha · Prince George William of Hanover · Prince Christian of Hanover · Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick
Edward VIII · George VI · Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester · Prince George, Duke of Kent · Prince John · Alastair Windsor, 2nd Duke of Connaught and Strathearn · John Leopold, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha · Prince Hubertus of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha · Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover · Prince George William of Hanover
9th generation 10th generation 11th generation1 Not a British prince by birth, but created Prince Consort. 2 Not a British prince by birth, but created a Prince of the United Kingdom.
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