British prince

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This is a list of British princes from the accession of King 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 in common or customary 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. Some others include John, brother of Richard the Lionheart and later John I of England, who is sometimes called Prince John.

After the accession of King 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 HRH. Great-grandsons of the sovereign were princes styled 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 which confirmed the practice. Subsequently some amendments were made, with the issuance of specific letters patent changing the title and style of the following groups:

  • In 1917, King 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. A few months later in that year, new letters patent altered the rights to the title prince and the style HRH. The letters patent stated that “the children of any Sovereign of the United Kingdom and the children of the sons of any such Sovereign (as per the 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”. The effect of this was that great-grandchildren of the sovereign were no longer titled prince or princess, and were instead styled as the children of a duke. Also the Duke of Brunswick and his children were denied the title of prince. The 1917 letters patent remain in force today, excepting a few amendments and creations noted.
  • In 1948 King George VI issued letters patent allowing the children of his son-in-law and daughter, TRH The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, to assume princely titles and the style HRH; they would not have been entitled to them ordinarily, as grandchildren in the female line, until their mother ascended the throne as Elizabeth II. Thus the current Prince of Wales was styled HRH Prince Charles of Edinburgh until his mother’s accession.
  • Elizabeth II made known her decision in 1999 that the children of her youngest son, HRH The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, would not have the title prince/princess or the HRH style but instead use the titles of the children of an earl. For reasons of her own, the Queen chose not to issue letters patent in connection with this change but to have her decision announced by her press secretary. Since the form used to announce the royal will is entirely a matter for the sovereign, there is no doubt that this determination is fully effective.

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- HH Prince ‘’X’’ of ‘’Y’’ (until 1917, as described above).
  • The Prince of Wales is normally styled HRH The Prince of Wales,
  • and royal dukes, HRH The Duke of Y. Royal dukes 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 Prince of Wales to Camilla Parker Bowles on 9 April 2005 his new wife uses the style HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, 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", "Princess Diana" "Prince Andrew", "Prince Edward", "Princess Anne" and suchforth are most commonly heard, even though the persons involved may never have held that formal style.

List of British Princes since 1714

Title at birth Other titles heldYear of birthYear of deathNotes. ,
HRH The Prince Adolphus Frederick Duke of Cambridge 1774 1850 son of George III
HH Prince Albert of York Duke of York 1895 1952 son of George V, succeeded as George VI
HSH Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha HRH The Prince Consort 1819 1861 husband of Victoria, granted style of HRH in 1840 and then style of "Prince Consort"
HRH Prince Albert Victor Duke of Clarence 1864 1892 son of Edward VII
HRH Prince Alfred Duke of Edinburgh, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha 1844 1900 son of Queen Victoria
HRH The Prince Alfred 1780 1782 son of George III
HRH Prince Alfred of Edinburgh 1874 1899 grandson of Queen Victoria, son of Prince Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
HRH The Prince Andrew Duke of York 1960 - son of Elizabeth II
HRH The Prince Arthur Duke of Connaught and Strathearn 1850 1942 son of Queen Victoria
HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught 1883 1938 grandson of Queen Victoria
HH Prince Alastair of Connaught Duke of Connaught 1914 1943 great grandson of Victoria, son of Prince Arthur of Connaught
HRH The Prince Augustus Duke of Sussex 1773 1843 son of George III
HRH Prince Charles of Edinburgh Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay 1948 - son of Elizabeth II, heir apparent
HH Prince Christian of Cumberland and Hanover 1885 1901 great great grandson of George III, son of Ernst August of Hanover, 3rd Duke of Cumberland
HRH Prince Albert Edward Emperor of India 1841 1910 son of Queen Victoria, succeeded as Edward VII
HH Prince Edward of York HRH Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor 1894 1972 son of George V, succeeded as Edward VIII, abdicated and resumed princely title
HRH The Prince Edward Earl of Wessex 1964 - son of Elizabeth II
HRH Prince Edward of Kent Duke of Kent 1935 - grandson of George V
HRH The Prince Edward Duke of Kent 1767 1820 son of George III, father of Queen Victoria
HRH Prince Edward Augustus of Wales Duke of York 1739 1767 son of Frederick, Prince of Wales
HRH The Prince Ernest Augustus King of Hanover 1771 1851 son of George III
HH Prince Ernst August (II) of Cumberland and Hanover King of Hanover 1845 1923 great grandson of George III, son of George V of Hanover
HH Prince Ernst August (III) of Cumberland and Hanover Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg 1887 1953 great great grandson of George III, son of Ernst August of Hanover, 3rd Duke of Cumberland
HH Prince Ernst August IV of Hanover and Brunswick-Luneburg 1914 1987 great great great grandson of George III, son of HH Prince Ernst August (III) of Cumberland and Hanover
Duke Friedrich Ludwig of Brunswick-Lüneburg HRH Prince Frederick of Wales, Prince of Wales 1707 1751 son of George II
HRH The Prince Frederick Augustus Duke of York 1763 1827 son of George III
HRH Prince Frederick William of Wales 1750 1765 son of Frederick, Prince of Wales
HRH Prince George of Wales Duke of York, Prince of Wales 1865 1936 son of Edward VII, succeeded as George V
HRH The Prince George Augustus HRH The Prince Regent, Prince of Wales 1762 1830 son of George III, succeeded as George IV
HRH Prince George of Wales Prince of Wales 1738 1820 son of Frederick, Prince of Wales, succeeded as George III
HSH George, Prince Elect of Hanover HRH The Prince George, Prince of Wales 1683 1760 son of George I, succeeded as George II
HRH Prince George of Cambridge Duke of Cambridge 1819 1904 grandson of George III
HRH Prince George of Cumberalnd King of Hanover 1819 1878 grandson of George III, son of Ernest I of Hanover
HRH Prince George of Wales Duke of Kent 1902 1942 son of George V
HH Prince George of Hanover and Brunswick-Luneburg 1915 great great great grandson of George III, son of HH Prince Ernst August (III) of Cumberland and Hanover
HRH Prince George William 1717 1718 son of George II
HRH Prince Henry of Wales Duke of Gloucester 1900 1974 son of George V
HRH Prince Henry of Wales "Prince Harry" 1984 son of Charles, Prince of Wales
HRH Prince Henry Frederick of Wales Duke of Cumberland 1745 1790 son of Frederick, Prince of Wales
HH Prince Hubertus of Albany 1909 1943 great grandson of Queen Victoria, son of Prince Leopold Charles, Duke of Albany
HH Prince Johan Leopold of Albany 1906 1972 great grandson of Queen Victoria, son of Prince Leopold Charles, Duke of Albany
HRH Prince John of Wales (I) 1871 1871 son of Edward VII
HRH Prince John of Wales (II) 1905 1919 son of George V
HRH The Prince Leopold Duke of Albany, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha 1853 1884 son of Queen Victoria
HRH Prince Leopold Charles, Duke of Albany Duke of Albany, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha 1884 1954 grandson of Queen Victoria
HRH Prince Michael of Kent 1942 grandson of George V
HRH The Prince Octavius 1779 1783 son of George III
Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh 1921 husband of Elizabeth II, styled HRH upon marriage in 1948, and created Prince of the United Kingdom in 1957
HRH Prince Richard of Gloucester Duke of Gloucester 1944 grandson of George V
HRH The Prince William Duke of Clarence 1765 1837 son of George III, succeeded as William IV
HRH Prince William of Wales 1982 son of Charles, Prince of Wales
HRH Prince William of Gloucester 1941 1972 grandson of George V, son of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester
HRH Prince William Augustus Duke of Cumberland 1721 1765 son of George II
HRH Prince William Henry of Wales Duke of Gloucester 1743 1805 son of Frederick, Prince of Wales
HH Prince William of Gloucester HRH Prince William, Duke of Gloucester 1776 1834 great grandson of George II, son of HRH Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester

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