British prince

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HRH The Prince of Wales, first son and heir apparent of the Queen.
HRH The Duke of Cambridge, grandson of the Queen and elder son of the Prince of Wales.
HRH Prince Harry, grandson of the Queen and younger son of Prince of Wales.
HRH The Duke of York, second son of the Queen.
HRH The Earl of Wessex, third son of the Queen.

The title of prince of the United Kingdom is granted by its sovereign, the reigning king or queen, who is the fount of all honours. The title prince is conferred through the issuing of Letters Patent, as an expression of the royal will. Individuals holding the title of prince will usually also be granted the style His Royal Highness (HRH). When a British prince is married, the title princess is not granted to his wife. She gains the privilege of sharing in her husband's princely title and the right to be known as princess in his name. For example, the wife of Prince Michael of Kent is known as Princess Michael of Kent.

History[edit]

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).

  • 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 (later Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh). On 22 July 1816 when he married his cousin and daughter of King George III, he was granted the style His Royal Highness. His only surviving elder sister, Princess Sophia of Gloucester, was also elevated to Her Royal Highness style the following day. Prince William died in 1834 before the accession of Queen Victoria.
  • The first of the second set of male line great grandchildren 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 fourth grandchild but first male line grandson, Queen Victoria issued letters patent in 1864[1] which confirmed in law the practice of calling children and male-line grandchildren His Royal Highness with their titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names. The letters patent did not address the styling of great grandchildren or further descendants as His/Her Highness or Prince or Princess. However, the only living male 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, a lieutenant general in 1892 and general in 1898. At no point until WWI was his status as a British prince, based on being a great grandson of the sovereign, questioned.

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 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". 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).[5] 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 seven princes and seven blood line princesses, and three spouses who had assumed the style of princess through their marriage.[who?]
  • Both the proclamation and the letters patent of 1917 remain in force today, excepting a few amendments and creations noted.
  • However, the former reigning Duke of Brunswick, 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 his 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. Since, however, the Hanovers are born in the male-line of George II of Great Britain they are bound by the Royal Marriages Act 1772. Thus, before his marriage to Princess Caroline of Monaco, Ernst August requested, and Elizabeth II issued on 11 January 1999, an Order in Council: "My Lords, I do hereby declare My Consent to a Contract of Matrimony between His Royal Highness Prince Ernst August Albert of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg and Her Serene Highness Princess Caroline Louise Marguerite of Monaco..." Without the Royal Assent, the marriage would have been void in the United Kingdom. The British court has, unsuccessfully, tried to convince the former Hanoverian royal family to stop using the British princely title.[citation needed]
  • 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 Queen Elizabeth II. Thus the current Prince of Wales was styled HRH Prince Charles of Edinburgh until his mother's accession. Otherwise the children would have been styled Charles Mountbatten, Earl of Merioneth, and The Lady Anne Mountbatten, respectively.
  • Queen Elizabeth II issued letters patent, dated 22 February 1957, creating Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.[8] Prince Philip had been born a Prince of Greece and Denmark, titles he renounced upon going through the naturalization process, unaware that he was already a British subject by virtue of the Sophia Naturalization Act 1705.

Styles of British Princes[edit]

Sovereign's heir apparent if Prince of Wales – HRH the Prince of Wales.

Sovereign's sons (not Prince of Wales) with peerage title – HRH the Prince X, Duke of Y (with Y being the territorial designation of their highest peerage), e.g., HRH the Prince Andrew, Duke of York.

Sovereign's sons without peerage title – HRH the Prince X, e.g., HRH the Prince John.

Sovereign's male line grandsons with peerage title – HRH Prince "X", Duke of "Y" (with Y being the territorial designation of their highest peerage), e.g., HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.

Sovereign's male line grandsons without peerage title – HRH Prince "X" of "Y" (with Y being the territorial designation of their father's highest peerage), e.g., HRH Prince Michael of Kent and HRH Prince Henry Harry of Wales (for Prince of Wales, as a sovereign title, ranks above all peerage titles).

Sovereign's great-grandsons whose father is the oldest son of the heir apparent – HRH Prince "X" of "Y" (with Y being the territorial designation of their father's highest peerage), e.g., HRH Prince George of Cambridge.

List of British Princes since 1714[edit]

Prince of Great Britain from birth
Prince of the United Kingdom from birth
Created Prince of Great Britain by the sovereign
Created Prince of the United Kingdom by the sovereign
(title restricted by George V) - In Letters Patent dated 20 November 1917, King George V restricted the title of Prince to the children of the sovereign, the children of the sovereign's sons, and the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales.
(title suspended by George V) - By an Order in Council dated 28 March 1919, as authorized by the Titles Deprivation Act 1917, King George V suspended the British peerage titles, princely dignities and honours of those who sided with Germany in World War I.
As it is the will of The Queen that the children of the Earl and Countess of Wessex be styled as the children of an earl, rather than as princes or princesses, their son, James is not included in this list. Also not included are the descendants of Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick, head of the House of Hanover and the senior male-line descendant of King George III, who bear the title Prince or Princess of the United Kingdom with the style of Royal Highness as a secondary title of pretense.
List of British Princes
Name Born Died Royal lineage Notes
George Augustus
later, King George II
1683 1760 Only son of King George I Duke of Cambridge – 1707; Created Prince of Great Britain by the sovereign – 1714; Duke of Cornwall & Duke of Rothesay – 1714; Prince of Wales – 1714; King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 11 June 1727 until his death. He was concurrently Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) and Archtreasurer and Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire.
Frederick Louis 1707 1751 1st son of King George II Created Prince of Great Britain by the sovereign – 1714; Duke of Edinburgh – 1726; Duke of Cornwall & Duke of Rothesay – 1727; Prince of Wales from 8 January 1729 until his death.
George William 1717 1718 2nd son of King George II Prince of Great Britain from birth (died age three months).
William Augustus 1721 1765 3rd son of King George II Prince of Great Britain from birth; Duke of Cumberland from 27 July 1726 until his death.
George William Frederick
later, King George III
1738 1820 1st son of Frederick Louis
& Grandson of King George II
Prince of Great Britain from birth; Duke of Edinburgh – 1751; Prince of Wales – 1751; King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of these two realms on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death. He was concurrently Duke and prince-elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg ("Hanover") in the Holy Roman Empire until his promotion to King of Hanover on 12 October 1814.
Edward Augustus 1739 1767 2nd son of Frederick Louis
& Grandson of King George II
Prince of Great Britain from birth; Duke of York and Albany from 1 April 1760 until his death.
William Henry 1743 1805 3rd son of Frederick Louis
& Grandson of King George II
Prince of Great Britain from birth; Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh from 19 November 1764 until his death.
Henry Frederick 1745 1790 4th son of Frederick Louis
& Grandson of King George II
Prince of Great Britain from birth; Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn from 22 October 1766 until his death.
Frederick William 1750 1765 5th son of Frederick Louis
& Grandson of King George II
Prince of Great Britain from birth (died age fifteen years).
George Augustus Frederick
later, King George IV
1762 1830 1st son of King George III Prince of Great Britain from birth; Duke of Cornwall & Duke of Rothesay from birth; Prince of Wales – 1762; Prince Regent – 1811; King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and king of Hanover from 29 January 1820 until his death.
Frederick Augustus 1763 1827 2nd son of King George III Prince of Great Britain from birth; Duke of York and Albany from 27 November 1784 until his death.
William Henry
later, King William IV
1765 1837 3rd son of King George III Prince of Great Britain from birth; Duke of Clarence and St Andrews – 1789; King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death.
Edward Augustus. 1767 1820 4th son of King George III
Also, Father of Queen Victoria
Prince of Great Britain from birth; Duke of Kent and Strathearn from 24 April 1799 until his death.
Ernest Augustus
Later, Ernest Augustus I, King of Hanover
1771 1851 5th son of King George III Prince of Great Britain from birth; Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale from 23 April 1799 until his death. Additionally, King of Hanover from 20 June 1837 until his death.
Augustus Frederick 1773 1843 6th son of King George III Prince of Great Britain from birth; Duke of Sussex from 17 November 1801 until his death.
Adolphus Frederick 1774 1850 7th son of King George III Prince of Great Britain from birth; Duke of Cambridge from 17 November 1801 until his death.
Octavius 1779 1783 8th son of George III Prince of Great Britain from birth (died age four years).
Alfred 1780 1782 9th son of King George III Prince of Great Britain from birth (died age twenty-three months).
William Frederick 1776 1834 Only son of William Henry
& Gt-grandson of King George II
Prince of Great Britain from birth; Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh from 22 July 1816 until his death.
George Frederick Alexander Charles Ernest Augustus
Later, George V, King of Hanover
1819 1878 Only son of Ernest Augustus
& Grandson of King George III
Prince of the United Kingdom from birth; Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale from 18 November 1851 until his death. Additionally, King of Hanover from 18 November 1851 until deposed on 20 September 1866.
George William Frederick Charles 1819 1904 Only son of Adolphus Frederick
& Grandson of King George III
Prince of the United Kingdom from birth; Duke of Cambridge from 8 July 1850 until his death. Additionally, Prince of Hanover from birth.
Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel 1819 1861 Husband of Queen Victoria Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Saafeld (later, Saxe-Coburg and Gotha) from birth; Prince Consort of the United Kingdom from 25 June 1857 until his death. Created Prince of the United Kingdom by the sovereign.
Albert Edward
Later, King Edward VII
1841 1910 1st son of Queen Victoria Prince of the United Kingdom from birth; Duke of Cornwall & Duke of Rothesay from birth; Prince of Wales – 1841; King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death.
Alfred Ernest Albert 1844 1900 2nd son of Queen Victoria Prince of the United Kingdom from birth; Duke of Edinburgh from 24 May 1866 until his death. Additionally, reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha from 23 August 1893 until his death.
Arthur William Patrick Albert 1850 1942 3rd son of Queen Victoria Prince of the United Kingdom from birth; Duke of Connaught and Strathearn from 24 May 1874 until his death.
Leopold George Duncan Albert 1853 1884 4th son of Queen Victoria Prince of the United Kingdom from birth; Duke of Albany from 24 May 1881 until his death.
Ernest Augustus William Adolphus George Frederick 1845 1923 Only son of George Frederick Alexander Charles Ernest Augustus
& Gt-grandson of King George III
Prince of the United Kingdom from birth until 20 November 1917(title restricted by George V); Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale from 28 March 1878 until 28 March 1919(title suspended by George V). Additionally, Prince of Hanover from birth; Head of the House of Hanover from 28 March 1878 until his death; heir to the title Duke of Brunswick from 18 October 1884 until 24 October 1913, when he renounced his succession rights.
Albert Victor Christian Edward 1864 1892 1st son of King Edward VII Prince of the United Kingdom from birth; Duke of Clarence and Avondale from 24 May 1890 until his death.
George Frederick Ernest Albert
Later, King George V
1865 1936 2nd son of King Edward VII Prince of the United Kingdom from birth; Duke of York – 1892; Duke of Cornwall & Duke of Rothesay – 1901; Prince of Wales – 1901; King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death.
Alexander John 1871 1871 3rd son of King Edward VII Prince of the United Kingdom from birth (died age one day).
Alfred Alexander William Ernest Albert 1874 1899 Only son of Alfred Ernest Albert
& Grandson of Queen Victoria
Prince of the United Kingdom from birth. Additionally, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
Arthur Frederick Patrick Albert 1883 1938 Only son of Arthur William Patrick Albert
& Grandson of Queen Victoria
Prince of the United Kingdom from birth.
Carl Eduard Georg Albert Leopold 1884 1954 Only son of Leopold George Duncan Albert
& Grandson of Queen Victoria
Prince of the United Kingdom from birth; Duke of Albany from birth until 28 March 1919(title suspended by George V). Additionally, reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha from 30 July 1900 until the 8 November 1918 abolition of the German monarchy.
Georg Wilhelm Christian Albert Edward Alexander Friedrich Waldemar Ernst Adolf 1880 1912 1st son of Ernest Augustus William Adolphus George Frederick
& 2xGt-grandson of King George III
Prince of the United Kingdom from birth. Additionally, Prince of Hanover from birth.
Christian Friedrich Wilhelm Georg Peter Waldemar 1885 1901 2nd son of Ernest Augustus William Adolphus George Frederick
& 2xGt-grandson of King George III
Prince of the United Kingdom from birth. Additionally, Prince of Hanover from birth.
Ernst August Christian Georg 1887 1953 3rd son of Ernest Augustus William Adolphus George Frederick
& 2xGt-grandson of King George III
Prince of the United Kingdom from birth until 20 November(title restricted by George V); heir to the title Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale from 30 January 1923 until his death(title suspended by George V). Additionally, Prince of Hanover from birth; Duke of Brunswick from 1 November 1913 until the 8 November 1918 abolition of the German monarchy; Head of the House of Hanover from 30 January 1923 until his death.
Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David
later, King Edward VIII
1894 1972 1st son of King George V Prince of the United Kingdom from birth until 20 January 1936 and again after 11 December 1936; Duke of Cornwall & Duke of Rothesay – 1910; Prince of Wales – 1910; King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 20 January 1936 until his abdication 11 December 1936; Duke of Windsor from 8 March 1937 until his death.
Albert Frederick Arthur George
later, King George VI
1895 1952 2nd son of King George V Prince of the United Kingdom from birth; Duke of York – 4 June 1920; King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions 11 December 1936 until his death and Emperor of India from 11 December 1936 until title renounced 14 August 1947.
Henry William Frederick Albert 1900 1974 3rd son of King George V Prince of the United Kingdom from birth; Duke of Gloucester from 31 March 1928 until his death.
George Edward Alexander Edmund 1902 1942 4th son of King George V Prince of the United Kingdom from birth; Duke of Kent from 12 October 1934 until his death.
John Charles Francis 1905 1919 5th son of King George V Prince of the United Kingdom from birth (died age thirteen years).
Alastair Arthur 1914 1943 Only son of Arthur Frederick Patrick Albert
& Gt-grandson of Queen Victoria
Also a female-line 2xGt-grandson of Queen Victoria
Prince of the United Kingdom from birth until 20 November 1917(title restricted by George V); Duke of Connaught and Strathearn from 16 January 1942 until his death.
Johann Leopold William Albert Ferdinand Victor 1906 1972 1st son of Carl Eduard Georg Albert Leopold
& Gt-grandson of Queen Victoria
Prince of the United Kingdom from birth until 20 November 1917(title restricted by George V); heir to the title Duke of Albany from 6 March 1954 until his death(title suspended by George V). Additionally, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha from birth.
Dietmar Hubertus Friedrich Wilhelm Philipp 1909 1943 2nd son of Carl Eduard Georg Albert Leopold
& Gt-grandson of Queen Victoria
Prince of the United Kingdom from birth until 20 November 1917(title restricted by George V). Additionally, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha from birth.
Ernst August Georg Wilhelm Christian Ludwig Franz Joseph Nikolaus Oskar 1914 1987 1st son of Ernst August Christian Georg
& 3xGt-grandson of King George III
Also a female-line Gt-gt-grandson of Queen Victoria
Prince of the United Kingdom (created by the sovereign) from 17 June 1914 until 20 November 1917(title restricted by George V); heir to the title Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale from 30 January 1953 until his death(title suspended by George V). Additionally, Prince of Brunswick from birth; head of the House of Hanover from 30 January 1953 until his death.
Georg Wilhelm Ernst August Friedrich Axel 1915 2006 2nd son of Ernst August Christian Georg
& 3xGt-grandson of King George III
Also a female-line Gt-gt-grandson of Queen Victoria
Prince of the United Kingdom from birth until 20 November 1917(title restricted by George V). Additionally, Prince of Brunswick from birth.
Philip 1921 Husband of Queen Elizabeth II
Also a female-line Gt-gt-grandson of Queen Victoria
Prince of Greece and Denmark from birth until renounced title 18 March 1947; Duke of Edinburgh – 1947; Prince of the United Kingdom (created by the sovereign) since 22 February 1957.
William Henry Andrew Frederick 1941 1972 1st son of Henry William Frederick Albert
& Grandson of King George V
Prince of the United Kingdom from birth.
Richard Alexander Walter George 1944 2nd son of Henry William Frederick Albert
& Grandson of King George V
Prince of the United Kingdom from birth; Duke of Gloucester since 10 June 1974.
Edward George Nicholas Paul Patrick 1935 1st son of George Edward Alexander Edmund
& Grandson of King George V
Prince of the United Kingdom from birth; Duke of Kent since 25 August 1942.
Michael George Charles Franklin 1942 2nd son of George Edward Alexander Edmund
& Grandson of King George V
Prince of the United Kingdom from birth.
Charles Philip Arthur George 1948 1st son of Queen Elizabeth II Prince of the United Kingdom from birth; Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay – 1952; Prince of Wales since 26 July 1958.
Andrew Albert Christian Edward 1960 2nd son of Queen Elizabeth II Prince of the United Kingdom from birth; Duke of York since 23 July 1986.
Edward Antony Richard Louis 1964 3rd son of Queen Elizabeth II Prince of the United Kingdom from birth; Earl of Wessex since 19 June 1999.
William Arthur Philip Louis 1982 1st son of Charles Philip Arthur George
& Grandson of Queen Elizabeth II
Prince of the United Kingdom from birth; Duke of Cambridge since 29 April 2011.
Henry Charles Albert David 1984 2nd son of Charles Philip Arthur George
& Grandson of Queen Elizabeth II
Prince of the United Kingdom from birth.
George Alexander Louis 2013 Only son of William Arthur Philip Louis
& Gt-grandson of Queen Elizabeth II
Prince of the United Kingdom from birth.

Common names[edit]

Several names have been used repeatedly:

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Velde, 1864 Royal Styles and Titles – 1864 Letters Patent
  2. ^ Velde, 1898 Letters Patent
  3. ^ Velde, 1914 Letters Patent
  4. ^ Velde, First 1917 Letters Patent
  5. ^ Velde, Second 1917 Letters Patent
  6. ^ Velde, 1937 Letters Patent
  7. ^ Velde, 1948 Letters Patent
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 41009. p. 1209. 22 February 1957. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  9. ^ Velde, regarding the children of the Earl of Wessex
  10. ^ The London Gazette: no. 60384. p. 213. 8 January 2013.