Prince of Wales

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Prince of Wales
Coat of arms of the Prince of Wales
Prince's badge
Charles, Prince of Wales
Acting Prince
since July 26, 1958
Official seat Clarence House in London
Creation of office February 1, 1301
Appointment by queen
Last appointment July 26, 1958
Salutation Your Royal Highness

Prince of Wales [ pɹɪns əvˈweɪlz ], Welsh Tywysog Cymru (lit. 'Leader of Wales'), in German next to Prince of Wales also as Prince of Wales , has traditionally been - but not automatically - the title of heir to the throne since the 14th century most British monarchs , usually the eldest living son of the ruling British ruler (the Crown Prince ). The current 21st  Prince of Wales is Prince Charles , the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II .

History and meaning

The title Tywysog Cymru (translated into Latin as Princeps Walliae ) was the first to be carried by the Welsh ruler Llywelyn from Iorwerth , whose claims to rule passed to his son Dafydd ap Llywelyn and his grandson Llywelyn ap Gruffydd , the prince of Gwynedd (1246-1282). The English King Henry III. recognized the title and confirmed Llywelyn ap Iorwerth (1218) and Dafydd ap Llywelyn (1240) in office. In 1258, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd proclaimed himself Prince of Wales after years of armed conflict with his brothers. But between 1276 and 1283 the English King Edward I conquered Wales in two campaigns . Llywelyn ap Gruffydd fell in battle in 1282, and his brother and successor Dafydd ap Gruffydd was captured and executed as a rebel. Nineteen years after the conquest of Wales, King Edward bestowed the title of prince in 1301 on his son Edward of Caernarvon (who, according to legend, was born on the campaign in Wales) in order to bind Wales more tightly to England . The French (English was not spoken at the Anglo-Norman court at that time) name was Prince de Galles . The last Welshman to claim the title after that was the freedom fighter and national hero Owain Glyndŵr (1349 – around 1416), who wanted to restore Welsh independence. He was proclaimed Tywysog Cymru in 1400 , but his rebellion was put down by Henry V in 1409.

The title Prince of Wales falls like any other title back to the crown when the respective owner is king. Unlike other British titles , it is not inherited when the title holder dies. Whether and when it is reassigned depends entirely on the will of the monarch. The title does not confer any specific constitutional function on its holder. He is not the Head of State of Wales, nor has he ever held any particular role in the Government of the Principality of Wales .

In addition to the title of Prince of Wales, there are other titles of nobility that are traditionally awarded to the British Crown Prince, including the titles Duke of Cornwall (since 1337 in England) and Duke of Rothesay (since 1398 in Scotland ) as well , which are automatically carried by the heir to the throne the title of Earl of Chester expressly conferred by the monarch (common in England since 1237). Protocolary the Crown Prince with is Royal Highness ( HRH ) to style. The full title of the current Prince of Wales is: His Royal Highness The Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall and Earl of Chester, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, Prince and Great Steward of Scotland, Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter , Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle , Great Master and First and Principal Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath , Member of the Order of Merit , Knight of the Order of Australia , Companion of the Queen's Service Order , Honorary Member of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit , Chief Grand Commander of the Order of Logohu , Member of Her Majesty's Most Honorable Privy Council , Aide-de- camp to Her Majesty.

Princess of Wales ("Princess of Wales", Welsh Tywysoges Cymru ) was previously only used as a courtesy title due to the wife of the Prince of Wales . This was due to the fact that the title is only awarded to a person who can no longer lose the first rank in the line of succession through the birth of a child ( Heir Apparent ). Women would always have been ousted by a later-born son of the king. The title Princess of Wales was not awarded to women even if this possibility only existed theoretically (as in the case of the later Elizabeth II , for whom Heiress Presumptive was specially created as a salutation). Since the revision of the succession to the throne in 2015, which abolished male precedence in the succession to the throne, a woman can apparently and thus potentially in her own right be elevated to Princess of Wales.


The Prince of Wales leads to the Heraldry no complete crest , but a badge , just from the crest is and where the coat of arms is missing.

The Zimier the Prince of Wales consists of three ostrich feathers, which in a simple crown stuck, including a banner with the motto Ich dien . There are two unsubstantiated theories: The young Edward of Woodstock , to whom the form of this coat of arms goes back, is said to have adopted the motto from the coat of arms of King John of Luxembourg (John the Blind). He died in the Battle of Crécy and was considered by many contemporaries to be the epitome of chivalrous valor. According to the other theory, the motto is based on the Welsh Eich Dyn ( something like "Your Man").

Translation of the title

The present Standard of the Prince of Wales used in Wales.

The word Prince (from Latin princeps , "the first"), which can be translated into German with either Prinz or Fürst , should be correctly translated here as Fürst . In general German usage, however, it is widely used to translate Prince of Wales (if at all) as "Prinz von Wales". This is understandable in view of the analogous word stem and the fact that the children of a monarch or prince are usually referred to in German as princes or princesses (for which the English language originally had no separate name) and the title Prince of Wales usually with the Position of the Crown Prince is connected, so that its bearer is consequently always also the Prince of the United Kingdom . Although the British heir to the throne in Wales does not have a special constitutional position, the translation "Prince of Wales" is to be regarded as more accurate due to the traditional territorial reference to the historical Principality of Wales. The term prince in the German sense for the children of the monarch was unusual in England and Great Britain until George I ascended the throne in 1714 and was introduced because the new king was so used to this because of his origin from Germany - he was already elector of Hanover , which he stayed until his death. The same phenomenon is also found with the title Príncipe de Asturias in relation to the Spanish royal family.

Princes of Wales since 1301

So far there have been 21 holders of the title since Edward of Caernarvon:

  1. Edward of Caernarvon , son of Edward I and Eleanor of Castile , appointed in Lincoln on February 7, 1301 atthe age of 16, succeeded his father as Edward II on July 7, 1307.
  2. Edward of Woodstock , called the "Black Prince", son of Edward III. and Philippa von Hennegau , appointed at the age of twelve on May 12, 1343 in Westminster , died on June 8, 1376 (d. v. p. = decessit vita patris, dt. died during father's lifetime); the motto of the Prince of Wales “I serve” goes back to him.
  3. Richard Plantagenet , son of Edward of Woodstocks and Joan of Kent , appointed at Havering on November 20, 1376 atthe age of nine. Followed his grandfather Edward III on June 21, 1377 . as Richard II.
  4. Henry of Lancaster , also Henry of Monmouth , son of Henry, Earl of Derby d. i. the future King Henry IV , and the Mary Bohun , daughter of the Earl of Wessex. Appointed at Westminster on October 15, 1399, at the age of twelve, after his father's coronation. Followed his father as Heinrich V.
  5. Edward of Westminster , Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester, only son of Henry VI. and Margaret of Anjou , appointed at the age of five months on March 15, 1454, instituted June 9, in Windsor , d. v. p. May 4th 1471, murdered like his father, called "the crowned sheep", after the battle of Tewkesbury , with him the House of Lancaster died out.
  6. Edward V (1470–1483), son of Edward IV of the House of York and Elizabeth Woodville or Wydeville . Appointed at Westminster on June 26, 1471, at the age of seven months. Thus there was a second Prince of Wales for a short time, until the death of Edward of Westminster. In 1483 - at the age of twelve - he followed his father as Eduard V and was probably murdered in the same year (see also here ).
  7. Edward of Middleham (1473–1484), Earl of Salisbury, son of Richard III. and Anne Neville , daughter of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick , appointed Prince of Wales on August 24, 1483 at the age of ten, installed in York Minster on September 8, died the following year (d. v. p.).
  8. Arthur Tudor (1486–1502), eldest son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York , daughter of Edward IV, appointed Prince of Wales, Earl of Chester and Knight of the Order of the Garter on November 29, 1489 at the age of three. February 1490 at Westminster, died April 2, 1502 (dvp).
  9. Henry Tudor (1491–1547), second son of Henry VII and the Elizabeth of York, appointed at the age of twelve after the death of his brother Arthur on February 18, 1504 in Westminster, followed his father in 1509 as Henry VIII.
  10. Henry Frederick Stuart , eldest son of Jacob I and Anna of Denmark , appointed June 4, 1610 at the age of 16 in Westminster, d. v. p. November 6, 1612.
  11. Charles Stuart , second son of Jacob I, and Anna of Denmark, appointed four years after the death of his brother in Whitehall on November 4, 1616, aged 15, followed his father in 1625 as Charles I.
  12. Charles Stuart (1630–1685), son of Charles I and Henriette Marie de Bourbon , daughter of Henry IV of France, took the title of Prince of Wales around 1638–1641 in London at the age of 8–11 and succeeded him Father as Charles II in 1649
  13. James Francis Edward Stuart (1688–1766), "the Old Pretender" , was the son of James II and his second, Catholic wife, Maria di Modena ; Appointed on July 4, 1688 at the age of three weeks in St. James , he lost the title by the forced abdication of his father on December 11, 1688.
  14. Georg August von Hannover (1683–1760), Hereditary Prince of Hanover, Duke of Cambridge, Cornwall and von Rothesay, son of George I and Sophie Dorothea of ​​Braunschweig-Lüneburg and Celle ; appointed at Westminster September 27, 1714, age 30; British citizen since 1705, he followed his father in 1727 as George II of England and Hanover.
  15. Friedrich Ludwig von Hannover (1707–1751), “Poor Fred” , the outcast son, Duke of Braunschweig-Lüneburg , son of George II and Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach , appointed on January 8, 1729, at the age of 21, in London ; was the father of George III. ; d. v. p. March 31, 1751.
  16. Georg von Hannover (1738–1820), son of Friedrich Ludwig and Augusta von Sachsen-Gotha-Altenburg , appointed at the age of twelve in London on April 20, 1751 after the sudden death of his father; followed his grandfather as George III., lost the American colonies and ended in mental derangement.
  17. Georg von Hannover (1762-1830), "the Prince Regent", son and deputy of Georg III. and Sophie Charlotte von Mecklenburg-Strelitz , appointed August 19, 1762, one week after his birth; represented his father as Prince Regent from 1811and followed in 1820 as Georg IV.
  18. Albert Eduard von Sachsen-Coburg and Gotha (1841–1910), "Bertie", son of Queen Victoria and Prince Consort Albert , appointed on December 8, 1841 at the age of four weeks; still had to wait 59 years before he could succeed his mother as Edward VII on the throne.
  19. Georg von Sachsen-Coburg and Gotha (1865–1936), son of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra , appointed on November 9, 1901 at the age of 36 in London; followed his father as Georg V in 1910 and later called himself Windsor .
  20. Edward Windsor , b. von Sachsen-Coburg and Gotha (1894–1972), son of George V and Maria von Teck , appointed on June 23, 1910 at the age of sixteen, assigned to Caernarfon on July 13, 1911; followed in 1936 as Edward VIII and abdicated in the same year.
  21. Charles Mountbatten-Windsor (* 1948) ( Prince Charles ), eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh , appointed Prince of Wales on July 26, 1958 at the age of nine, installed on July 1, 1969 in Caernarfon Castle , Wales . He is the first and only on this list tospeak Welsh .

Individual evidence

  1. Wolf-Eckhard Gudemann (Red.): Lexicon of history. Orbis Verlag, Niedernhausen 2001, ISBN 978-3572012855 (830 pages, hardcover. Edition).

Web links

Commons : Princes of Wales  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files