Princess Royal

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This article is about British Royal title. For the current holder, see Anne, Princess Royal.
The Princess Anne, the current Princess Royal
The Princess Mary, the inaugural holder of the title Princess Royal

Princess Royal is a style customarily (but not automatically) awarded by a British monarch to his or her eldest daughter.[1] The style is held for life, so a princess cannot be given the style during the lifetime of another Princess Royal. In particular, Queen Elizabeth II never held the title as her aunt, Princess Mary, was in possession of the title.

There have been seven Princesses Royal. Princess Anne is the current Princess Royal.[2]

The title Princess Royal came into existence when Queen Henrietta Maria (1609–1669), daughter of Henry IV, King of France, and wife of King Charles I (1600–1649), wanted to imitate the way the eldest daughter of the King of France was styled "Madame Royale".[3]

Princess Mary (later Queen Mary II) (1662–1694), eldest daughter of King James II & VII, and Princess Sophia Dorothea (1687–1757), only daughter of King George I, were eligible for this honour but did not receive it. At the time she became eligible for the title, Princess Mary was already Princess of Orange, while Sophia Dorothea was already Queen in Prussia when she became eligible for the title.

Princess Louisa Maria (1692–1712), the last daughter of King James II (d. 1701), born after he lost his crown in the Glorious Revolution, was given the title of Princess Royal during James's exile at Saint-Germain-en-Laye and was so called by Jacobites, even though she was not James's eldest living daughter at any time during her life.[3]

Even before the title of Princess Royal came into use in England, the eldest daughter of the King or Queen of England had a special status in law. For instance, according to Magna Carta, aids were due from the barons of the realm to finance the first wedding of the king's eldest daughter;[4] and by a statute of the 25th year of King Edward III, sleeping with the king's eldest daughter before her marriage constitutes an act of high treason punishable by death.[5]

List of Princesses Royal[edit]

The following is a complete list of women formally styled Princess Royal:

  Disputed
Order Name
dates
Portrait Princess Royal
from (date) to (date)
Parent Date married Husband
dates
1 Mary, Princess Royal
1631–1660
Marie Henriette Stuart.jpg 1642–1660 Charles I
1600–1649
1641 William II, Prince of Orange
1626–1650
Disputed Louisa Maria Teresa Stuart
1692-1712
François de Troy, Portrait of Princess Louisa Maria Stuart (c. 1705).jpg 1692-1712 James II
1633-1701
- -
2 Anne, Princess Royal
1709–1759
Accama Anna van Hannover.jpg 1727–1759 George II
1683–1760
1734 William IV, Prince of Orange
1711–1751
3 Charlotte, Princess Royal
1766–1828
Charlotte Mathilde von England.jpg 1789–1828 George III
1738–1820
1797 King Frederick I of Württemberg
1754–1816
4 Victoria, Princess Royal
1840–1901
Victoria, Princess Royal.jpg 1841–1901 Victoria
1819–1901
1858 Frederick III, German Emperor
1831–1888
5 Louise, Princess Royal
1867–1931
Louise Princess Royal.jpg 1905–1931 Edward VII
1841–1910
1889 Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife
1849–1912
6 Mary, Princess Royal
1897–1965
Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood.jpg 1932–1965 George V
1865–1936
1922 Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood
1882–1947
7 Anne, Princess Royal
1950–
Princesa Ana do Reino Unido.jpg 1987–present Elizabeth II
1926–
1973–1992 Mark Phillips
1948-
1992 Sir Timothy Laurence
1955–

In fiction[edit]

  • In the House of M alternate universe of Marvel Comics, Elizabeth Braddock is the elder twin sister of the British King and bears the title Princess Royal.
  • The novel The Lady Royal, by Molly Costain Haycraft, is a fictionalized account of the life of Isabella de Coucy. According to the narrative, Isabella was titled the Princess Royal and then later given the more 'adult' title of the Lady Royal by her parents. This is a fabrication; although Isabella, as the eldest daughter of Edward III, enjoyed the special privileges that came with her rank, she could not have been titled the Princess Royal because the title was not used in England until long after her death. The title of "the Lady Royal" has never existed.

Other uses[edit]

Princess Royal was one of the GWR 3031 Class locomotives that were built for and run on the Great Western Railway between 1891 and 1915. The LMS Class 8P "Princess Royal" 4-6-2 was a type of express passenger locomotive built between 1933 and 1935 by the London Midland & Scottish Railway

Princess Royal is an abandoned town in the Western Australian Goldfields, named for Victoria, Princess Royal, daughter of Queen Victoria.

In the Thai monarchy, the style of Maha Chakri for Princess Sirindhorn of Thailand is similar to the position of Princess Royal.

Five ships of the Royal Navy have been named HMS Princess Royal.

"The Princess Royal" is also the name of a folk tune from the British Isles, and of a morris dance performed to that tune.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Royal Titles: Style and Title of the Princess Royal". The British Monarchy. n.d. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "The Princess Royal". The British Monarchy. n.d. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Panton, Kenneth J. (2011). Historical Dictionary of the British Monarchy. Marlyand, USA: Scarecrow Press, Inc. p. 382. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  4. ^ Nullum scutagium vel auxilium ponatur in regno nostro.... nisi.... ad filiam nostram primogenitam semel maritandam[1]
  5. ^ si home violast la compaigne le roy, ou leigne file le roy nient marie, ou la compaigne leigne fitz et heire le roy.... doit estre ajugge treson a nostre Seigneur le Roi[2]
  6. ^ "Princess Royal". folkopedia.efdss.org. English Folk Dance and Song Society. 2 July 2007.