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Do Scotland, England, and Northern Ireland Have Princes Like Wales does?

Amy Pollick
Updated May 23, 2024
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The whole concept of titles and royalty is as old as civilization itself. What is now known as Great Britain is comprised of England, Scotland, and Wales. Add Northern Ireland and you got what is known as the United Kingdom. The Republic of Ireland was once under English rule. England has always been a monarchy, which usually entails princes and a system of nobility.

England's kings and princes go back to the Saxon kings of the 800s. In short, England has rarely been without a monarch on the throne. However, the question remains: do these other countries have princes who hold the same position as the Prince of Wales? Not really. The Prince of Wales is something of a unique title. It once meant a man actually had a ruling position. However, when England conquered Wales in 1300, England's King Edward I named his infant son and heir, Prince Edward, the title. It has since been bestowed on the male heir apparent to the English throne.

The title is not hereditary, however, and cannot be passed down. The monarch must "invest" the heir with the title, as Britain's Queen Elizabeth II invested her son, Prince Charles, with the title. If Charles ever ascends to the throne, it will be at his discretion whether to invest his son, Prince William, with the title. Otherwise, it would remain vacant.

Princes are still known widely in England, but not in the other countries of Great Britain. Princes are generally direct relatives or descendants of the monarch: siblings, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc. While there are members of the nobility in Scotland and Wales, only royalty are princes. Queen Elizabeth has not chosen to create a title or style such as "Prince of Scotland" or "Prince of Ireland," nor is it likely that she would.

One interesting thing about princes and their titles is that princes may be dukes or earls, or hold other titles, but dukes and earls are not necessarily princes. The Prince of Wales, for instance, is also the Duke of Cornwall and the Baron Renfrew. This is why his wife, Camilla, is known as the Duchess of Cornwall. The title Princess of Wales still belongs to the late Diana, first wife of the Prince of Wales, and mother to the heir. She will always be known by that title, even when the next Prince of Wales marries and his wife acquires that title.

There are numerous excellent reference books on the subject of British royalty and nobility, as well as Internet sites devoted to it. One good place to begin looking for information is www.royal.gov.uk — the British royal family's official Web site.

CulturalWorld.org is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Amy Pollick
By Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick, a talented content writer and editor, brings her diverse writing background to her work at CulturalWorld.org. With experience in various roles and numerous articles under her belt, she crafts compelling content that informs and engages readers across various platforms on topics of all levels of complexity.
Discussion Comments
By anon307253 — On Dec 04, 2012

Scotland cannot have a prince. In 1603, King James VI of Scotland became James I of Great Britain in the Union of the Crowns. He was of the Stewart line; the English Tudor line to the throne had died out. Queen Elizabeth II's title is actually incorrect as there has never been a Queen Elizabeth I of Great Britain -- only Queen Elizabeth I of England. Therefore, our current Queen should be called Queen Elizabeth I of Great Britain. She also holds the tile Queen of England and Queen of Scots.

By aviva — On May 23, 2011

I have to say, I'm quite the royalist -- I think it's so romantic (in the literary movement sense of the word) to learn about all the different royal family members. For instance, most people know that Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark is the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, and that he renounced his royal titles when he announced his engagement to Elizabeth, who was at the time heir of King George VI.

But did you know that he converted from Greek Orthodox to Anglicanism and became a British Naturalist? After their marriage the give gave him the title, Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth later made him Prince of the United Kingdom.

I could go on forever about these people -- I guess it's just like others look at celebrities and learn about their lives. Well, my celebrities don't make movies, but I think they're fascinating just the same.

By leilani — On Jun 04, 2008

Ireland had kings sporadically until April 1949. but it hasn't had a king since then. One notable king was Henry VII who gave himself the title for a period in the 16th Century.

Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick, a talented content writer and editor, brings her diverse writing background to her work at CulturalWorld....
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