It was pretty informal, at least up thru the Tudors.
Children of the King were generally titled Prince/Princess in formal declarations, especially when dealing with foreign royals, such as marriage contracts. Further generations not so much. Even then, Prince/ss was more a default to use if the person had no other title such as Duke or Earl. Otherwise the term prince was used more as a description rather a specific title ("Today we mourn the loss of this high and noble prince, the Duke of Whatever")
Sons of the King, and other male members of the royal family, usually got their titles while still children and were thereafter referred to by that title. Women married very young and took their husbands title after that. Also the term "royal family" was very nebulous until the Hanovers came to the Throne and began instituting German precision to all of this. Prior to that, the king's relatives were more likely to be considered "of royal blood"
Some specific notable uses:
King John was called Prince John prior to succeeding to the Throne. This was likely because he was the heir.
In Henry VIII's reign, he referred to his daughters as Princess or Lady depending on if he considered them legitimate at that moment, both going through periods where this changed.
The Stuarts began using prince/ss a little more regularly, but still informally.
I understand that the current method of styles and titles for members of the British Royal Family came with the reign of King George I of Great Britain.
I'm having a difficult time finding out what members of the Royal Family were called prior to this.
For example, George, Duke of Clarence, the brother of King Edward IV and King Richard III...was he considered or titled as a Prince of England or was he George Plantagenet and considered "simply" a nobleman and not "royalty?" What was the style for royal dukes in those days?
I've heard that after the future Edward II was created Prince of Wales all subsequent Prince's of Wales were the only ones considered a Prince or to actually be titled as a Prince in England.
I believe that the future Queen Mary I and her half sister Queen Elizabeth I were sometimes addressed as Princess and sometimes addressed as "Lady." Same goes for the future Queen Anne who was addressed as Lady Anne at her marriage to Prince George of Denmark.
Where titles of royalty less regulated and we're more informal prior to George I?
Message Thread | This response ↓
« Back to index