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Prince and Princess are the names for non-ruling descendants of certain families ( houses ) of the high nobility in the German-speaking world .


In Germany, princes or princesses were either born after members of royal houses or the members of such noble or ruling houses who already had the title of prince at the time of the Holy Roman Empire or rose to princely houses after 1806 (compare also differences: gender, House, family ). If the latter were mediatized , lordly counts' houses, their descendants mostly bore the title count or countess.

The first-born prince is referred to as the hereditary prince , in ruling imperial and royal houses as the crown prince (compare primogeniture ). Old France gave the highest nobility the title of Prince indiscriminately, but placed the “Princes of the Blood” (Princes de sang royal) or the agnates of the royal house at their head .

The prince's befitting wife receives the title "princess" with the marriage and is treated in the case of inheritance according to her husband.

There are special titles for presumptive heirs to the throne according to their meaning:

In addition, princes can fulfill special functions or have a special status:

The term prince or princess is no longer a nobility title in the German-speaking area - if at all permitted (different in Austria ) , but part of the name.

Origin; Differences to use abroad

The German word Prinz is borrowed from the French prince , from the Latin princeps "der Erste". This was first used by Emperor Augustus as a ruler designation.

It should be noted that foreign princes, such as those in France or Italy, can also be the sovereign or the executive committee of the house, who is often referred to in German as the prince . However, this birthright cannot be translated into Romance languages ​​or English. For this reason, the monarch of Monaco, in contrast to the subsequent princes and princesses, calls himself the Prince Souverain . The use of the term “prince” in German-speaking countries for the children of a prince differs from that in some other countries.


Web links

Wiktionary: Prinz  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Word entry: Pinz… princess. In: Brockhaus Konversationslexikon . Volume 13: Perugia - Rowing. Leipzig 1895, p. 442 ( online in the retro library).