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This page discusses the words prince or princess, which refers in various ways to a member of an elite or ruling class. Other uses of the word Prince include:
A prince or princess may be:

  • The child of a king or queen-regnant, and in the direct line of succession also other members of the Royal family, styled a "royal highness", i.e. the successors to the throne; the precise rules for the succession are fixed by law. (A "Prinz" in German.)

  • A member of the higher nobility in certain countries and periods. Foreign-language titles such as Italian principe[?], German Fürst, Russian kniaz[?], etc., are often rendered as prince in English. For example, one can talk about Prince Bismarck (Ger. Fürst B.).

  • The term has also been used to describe the head of a feudal state; for example, it has been used as a synonym for duke at times.


On the European continent, notably in the German system, a prince is something more than a mere noble, but not necessarily royal, which makes comparing it with the British system difficult.

In the Russian system, "knyaz" (translated as "prince", e.g., Prince Potemkin) is the highest degree of nobility, and sometimes, represents a mediatization[?] of an older native dynasty which became subject to the Russian imperial dynasty. Rurikid branches used the knyaz title also after they were succeeded by the Romanovs as the Russian imperial dynasty.

See also: Grand duchy, Grand duke, Grand duchess, Fürst, Ranks of nobility and peerage and Titles of nobility



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