The term principality describes the territory of a prince .
Until the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation in 1806, principalities were understood to mean the territories of the imperial estates with a prince as head. In ecclesiastical territories, the ecclesiastical head was also the secular one: one speaks of a bishopric or prince-bishopric or a prince- abbey . The ecclesiastical principalities were abolished in the course of secularization in 1803; the secular principalities were either mediatized in 1806 or gained their sovereignty in the Federation of the Rhine Confederation . Even before the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss those prince-bishoprics were named principalities whose rule was exercised by Protestant rulers (e.g. Principality of Minden ). In Prussia, these former ecclesiastical new parts of the country were only called principalities until the administrative reform of 1816 (e.g. Principality of Paderborn).
Nowadays, a principality is understood to be the legally independent ( sovereign ) territory (state) of a monarch with the rank of prince. These include the principalities of Andorra (one of which is a prince a president and the other prince is a bishop - see dual power ), Liechtenstein and Monaco .