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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.

Contents

History

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 a honorific principality was created by James I, the heir 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 customary, and 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 titles of prince and princess for members of the Royal Family were used until Queen Victoria issued letters patent in 1864[1] which confirmed the practice regarding children and male-line grandchildren. Subsequently some amendments regarding princes were made, with the issuance of specific letters patent changing the title and style of the following groups:

  • 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[4]. 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". Also decreed in these letters was 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)[5] – as collateral damage resulting from this decree, the Duke of Brunswick and his children were denied the title of prince. Both 1917 letters patent remain in force today, excepting a few amendments and creations noted.
  • 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[7]; 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 presumtive 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.
  • Elizabeth II issued letters patent, dated 22 February 1957, creating Philip, Duke of Edinburgh a Prince of the United Kingdom [8]. He had been granted the style Royal Highness in 1947 by George VI prior to his wedding to Princess Elizabeth[9].
  • On the wedding day of The Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones it was announced by Buckingham Palace on the specific order of Earl and Countess of Wessex 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[10]. However, there is no official word on their status, so this is pure conjecture.

Styles of British Princes

  • Sons of sovereigns - HRH The Prince "X", eg HRH The Prince Edward
  • Grandchildren - HRH Prince "X" of "Y", where Y is the territorial designation of their father’s peerages, eg HRH Prince Michael of Kent
  • 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
  • and royal peers, HRH The Duke/Earl of Y. Royal peers remain princes, however.

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, eg 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, eg HRH Princess Michael of Kent.

Following the marriage of the 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," "Princess Diana" and suchforth are most commonly heard, even though the persons involved may never have held that formal shorthand style, or in the lattermost case, the title at all.

List of British Princes since 1714

Title at birth Other titles held Year of birth Year of death 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 Cornwall; Prince of Wales 1707 1751 son of George II
Prince George William 1717 1718 son of George II
Prince William The Prince William; Duke of Cumberland 1721 1765 son of George II
Prince George Duke of Edinburgh; Prince of Wales 1738 1820 son of Frederick, Prince of Wales, succeeded as George III
Prince Edward Duke of York and Albany 1739 1767 son of Frederick, Prince of Wales
Prince William Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh 1743 1805 son of Frederick, Prince of Wales
Prince Henry Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn 1745 1790 son of Frederick, Prince of Wales
Prince Frederick 1750 1765 son of Frederick, Prince of Wales
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 Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale; King of Hanover 1771 1851 son of George III
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
Prince William of Gloucester Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh 1776 1834 great-grandson of George II, son of HRH Prince William, Duke of Gloucester
The Prince Octavius 1779 1783 son of George III
The Prince Alfred 1780 1782 son of George III
Prince George of Cambridge Duke of Cambridge 1819 1904 grandson of George III, son of Prince Adolphus
Prince George of Cumberland 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
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[11] and then the style of "Prince Consort", on 29 June 1857[12].
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
Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover and Cumberland Crown Prince of Hanover; Duke of Cumberland; titular King of Hanover 1845 1923 great-grandson of George III, son of George V of Hanover
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, later King Edward VII
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
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 1880 1912 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 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
Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover and Cumberland Duke of Brunswick 1887 1953 great-great-grandson of George III, son of Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover
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[6]
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 The Prince John 1905 1919 son of George V
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, Hereditary Duke of Brunswick Prince of Hanover 1914 1987 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
Prince George William of Hanover 1915 2006 great-great-great-grandson of George III, son of Prince Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick
Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark The Prince Philip; Duke of Edinburgh 1921 husband of Elizabeth II, styled HRH upon marriage in 1948[9], and created Prince of the United Kingdom in 1957[8]
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 and heir apparent of Elizabeth II
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 1982 son of Charles, Prince of Wales
Prince Henry of Wales 1984 son of Charles, Prince of Wales
Viscount Severn (James)* 2007 Grandson of Elizabeth II, son of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
*styled as Viscount Severn per his parents' wishes

Common names

Several names have been used repeatedly:

See also

Notes and references








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