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Princess Royal is a style customarily (but not automatically) awarded by a Britishmarker monarch to his or her eldest daughter. 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 in total. Currently Princess Anne is the Princess Royal.

This title 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." The style is granted by Royal Warrant.

Princess Mary (later Queen Mary II of England) (1662-1694), eldest daughter of King James II, 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.

List of Princesses Royal

The following is a complete list of women officially styled as "Princess Royal":

  1. 1642-1660 − Princess Mary (1631 - 1660): eldest daughter of King Charles I (d. 1649); wife (1641) of William II, Prince of Orange (1626 - 1650)
  2. 1727-1759 − Princess Anne (1709 - 1759): eldest daughter of King George II (d. 1760); wife (1734) of William IV, Prince of Orange (1711 - 1751)
  3. 1789-1828 − Princess Charlotte (1766 - 1828): eldest daughter of King George III (d. 1820); wife (1797) of Frederick I, King of Württemberg (1754 - 1816)
  4. 1841-1901 − Princess Victoria (1840 - 1901): eldest daughter of Queen Victoria (d. 1901); heiress presumptive 1840-1841; wife (1858) of Frederick III, German Emperor and King of Prussia (1831 - 1888)
  5. 1905-1931 − Princess Louise (1867 - 1931): eldest daughter of King Edward VII (d. 1910); wife (1889) of Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife (1849 - 1912)
  6. 1932-1965 − Princess Mary (1897 - 1965): only daughter of King George V (d. 1936); wife (1922) of Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood (1882 - 1947)
  7. 1987-Present − Princess Anne (born 1950): only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II; wife firstly (1973-1992) of Mark Phillips (born 1948) and secondly (1992) of Timothy Laurence (born 1955)


Eldest daughter of the King

Even before the title of Princess Royal was granted, the eldest daughter of the King 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; 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.

The eldest daughters of the reigning monarch of England, Great Britain, or the United Kingdom were:

  1. 1066 or 1067-1087 Adela of Normandy (1062 or 1067-1137?), daughter of William I of England and wife (1083?) of Stephen II, Count of Blois (1045-1102)
  2. 1102-1135 Empress Matilda (1102-1167), daughter of Henry I of England and wife (1114) of Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor (1086-1125) and later (1128) to Geoffrey V of Anjou (1113-1151), mother of Henry II of England, named as her father's heir 1127-1135, briefly (1141) ruler of England
  3. 1136-1154 Marie of Boulogne (1136-1182), daughter of Stephen of England and wife (1160-1170) of Matthew of Alsace, Count of Boulogne (c. 1130-1173)
  4. 1156-1189 Matilda, Duchess of Saxony (1156-1189), daughter of Henry II of England and wife (1168) of Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony (1129-1195)
  5. 1210-1216 Joan of England (1210-1238), daughter of John of England and wife (1221) of King Alexander II of Scotland (1198-1249)
  6. 1240-1272 Margaret of England (1240-1275), daughter of Henry III of England and wife (1251) of King Alexander III of Scotland (1241-1286)
  7. 1272-1298 Eleanor of England (1269-1298), daughter of Edward I of England and wife (1293) of Henry III of Bar (1259-1302). Died 1298.
  8. 1298-1307 Joan of Acre (1272-1307), daughter of Edward I of England and wife (1290) of Gilbert de Clare, 7th Earl of Hertford (1243-1295) and (1297) of Ralph de Monthermer, 1st Baron Monthermer (c. 1270-1325). As her sister died during their father's reign, Joan became the eldest daughter of the king then living.
  9. 1307 Margaret Plantagenet (1275-1333?), daughter of Edward I of England and wife (1290) of John II, Duke of Brabant (1275-1312). She was very briefly the eldest living daughter of Edward I between her sister's death in April 1307 and her father's death in July 1307.
  10. 1318-1327 Eleanor of Woodstock (1318-1355), daughter of Edward II of England and wife (1332) of Reginald II of Guelders (1295-1343)
  11. 1332-1377 Isabella de Coucy (1332-1379 or 1382), daughter of Edward III of England and wife (1365) of Enguerrand VII, Lord of Coucy (1340-1397)
  12. 1399-1409 Blanche of England (1392-1409), daughter of Henry IV of England and wife (1402) of Louis (1378-1436), son of King Rupert of Germany
  13. 1409-1413 Philippa of England (1394-1430), daughter of Henry IV of England and wife (1406) of Eric of Pomerania (1382-1459), King of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. As her sister had died during their father's reign, she became the eldest daughter of the king then living.
  14. 1466-1483 Elizabeth of York (1466-1503), daughter of Edward IV of England and wife (1486) of Henry VII of England (1457-1509), heiress presumptive 1466-1470
  15. 1489-1509 Margaret Tudor (1489-1541), daughter of Henry VII of England and wife (1503) of King James IV of Scotland (1473-1513), heiress presumptive 1509-1511, 1511-1516
  16. 1516-1547 (but declared illegitimate 1533) Mary (1516-1558), daughter of Henry VIII of England and wife (1554) of Philip II of Spain (1527-1598), heiress presumptive 1516-1534 and 1547-1553, and later Queen of England and Ireland in her own right as Mary I 1553-1558
  17. 1603-1625 Elizabeth of Bohemia (1596-1662), daughter of James I of England and wife (1613) of Frederick V, Elector Palatine (1596-1632), heiress presumptive 1625-1630
  18. 1631-1649 Mary, Princess Royal (see above)
  19. 1685-1689 Mary (1662-1694), daughter of James II of England and wife (1677) of William III of Orange (1650-1702), heiress presumptive 1685-1688, later Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland in her own right as Mary II 1689-1694
  20. 1714-1727 Sophia Dorothea of Hanover (1687-1757), daughter of George I of Great Britain and wife (1706) of Frederick William I of Prussia (1688-1740); she had already become Queen in Prussia before her father became King
  21. 1727-1759 Anne, Princess Royal (see above)
  22. 1766-1820 Charlotte, Princess Royal (see above)
  23. 1841-1901 Victoria, Princess Royal (see above)
  24. 1901-1910 Louise, Princess Royal (see above)
  25. 1910-1936 Mary, Princess Royal (see above)
  26. 1936-1952 Elizabeth (1926-present), daughter of George VI of the United Kingdom and wife (1947) of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (1921-), heiress presumptive 1936-1952 and later Queen of the United Kingdom in her own right as Elizabeth II, 1952 to present. Throughout her time as eldest daughter of the king, there was a living Princess Royal (Mary, Countess of Harewood)
  27. 1952-present Anne, Princess Royal (see above)


In fiction



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