The Princesses Royal

The Princesses Royal

Very few women in history have held the title Princess Royal, which is a style usually given to the eldest daughter of the monarch. It is the highest honour that can be given to a female member of the Royal Family.

It was first used in 1642 when Charles I, who wanted a rank equivalent to that given to the eldest daughter of the King of France, Madame Royale, gave the title to his eldest daughter, Princess Mary.

Princess Royal is awarded at the discretion of the monarch and is held for life, even after the death of the monarch. This means that Princess Anne will continue to be known as Princess Royal until her death, at which point the style will remain unused until, perhaps, the next possible candidate, Princess Charlotte, who will be eligible when her father become king.

The Princesses Royal

MARY, daughter of Charles I and Henrietta Maria (daughter of Henry IV, King of France); b 1631; Princess Royal, Princess of Orange, Countess of Nassau: m 1641, William II, Prince of Orange, and d 1660 leaving issue, one son.

ANNE, daughter of George II and Queen Caroline; b 1709; Princess Royal, Princess of Orange: m 1734, William IV of Orange; d 1759 leaving issue, three children.

CHARLOTTE, daughter of George III and Queen Charlotte; b 1766; Princess Royal, Queen Consort of Würtemberg: m 1797, Frederick I of Würtemberg; d 1828 leaving issue, one daughter

VICTORIA, daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert; b 1840; Princess Royal, German Empress, Queen Consort of Prussia: m 1858, Frederick III, German Emperor; d 1901 leaving issue eight children.

LOUISE, daughter of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra; b 1867; Princess Royal, Duchess of Fife: m 1889, Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife; d 1931, leaving issue three children.

MARY, daughter of George V and Queen Mary; b 1897; Princess Royal, Countess of Harewood: m 1922, Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood; d 1965, leaving issue two sons.

ANNE, daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh; b 1950; Princess Royal: m 1st, 1973 (m diss), Mark Phillips; 2ndly, 1992, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence

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