Princess is the feminine form of prince (from Latin princeps, meaning principal citizen). Most often, the term has been used for the consort of a prince or for the daughters of a king or sovereign prince.
For many centuries, the title "princess" was not regularly used for a monarch's daughter, who might simply be called "Lady" or a non-English equivalent. Old English had no female equivalent of "prince", "earl", or any royal or noble title aside from queen. Royal women, or women of the nobility, were simply addressed or referred to as "Lady" or "The Lady Firstname" for a particularly highborn woman.
As women slowly gained more autonomy and respect in European history, the title of princess became simply the female counterpart of prince; it does not necessarily imply being merely married to a prince. A princess may be a hereditary, sovereign, head of state in her own right.
The traditional meaning still applies in Europe in the sense that an untitled or at least non-royal woman who marries a prince will almost always become a princess with the possibility of eventually becoming Queen Consort, in nations where that title exists; but a man who marries a princess will almost never become a prince, unless his wife is expected to inherit the higher title of Queen regnant. If that is the case, then on her inheritance of that sovereign title, he will often become a prince (or remain one if he was already a prince).
In many of Europe's royal families, a king would grant his heirs actual or theoretical principalities to train them for future kingship or to give them social class. This practice has led over time to many people thinking that "prince" and "princess" are titles reserved for the immediate family of a king or queen. In fact, most princesses in history were not immediate members of a royal family but rather women who married into it.
Other articles related to "princess":
... The Ichie Anyaoku has been married to Princess Bunmi Anyaoku since 1962 ... Princess Anyaoku is an Omoba of Abeokuta, Nigeria ... was a wedding of one of Nigeria's most eligible bachelors and a beautiful young Princess educated in an English boarding school and Pitman College, London." ...
... Senior Princess - assists the Honored Queen in her duties ... Junior Princess - assists the Honored Queen in her duties ... Senior Custodian - assists the Marshal with paraphernalia, assists the Senior Princess during initiation, and performs any duties assigned by the Honored Queen ...
... On the Bravery of Women, Camma was a Galatian princess and priestess of Artemis ... of a play by Thomas Corneille, in which Camma is also a Galatian princess ... The Cup (1884), a tragedy by Tennyson, in which Camma is also a Galatian princess ...
... The Fund was co-founded by the Princess's lawyer, Anthony Julius, who was its first Chairman ... It was endowed with donations given in memory of the Princess by people around the world in the days and months following her death on 31 August 1997 ... Sarah McCorquodale, eldest sister of Diana, Princess of Wales ...
... Name Birth Marriage Issue Crown Prince Naruhito 23 February 9 ... June 1993 Masako Owada Princess Toshi Prince Akishino 30 November 29 ... June 1990 Kiko Kawashima Princess Mako of Akishino ...
Famous quotes containing the word princess:
“My generation had Doris Day as a role model, then Gloria Steinemthen Princess Diana. We are the most confused generation.”
—Erica Jong (b. 1942)
“We are eager to tunnel under the Atlantic and bring the Old World some weeks nearer to the New; but perchance the first news that will leak through into the broad, flapping American ear will be that the Princess Adelaide has the whooping cough.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“At the next town
the local princess was having a contest.
A common way for princesses to marry.
Fifty men had perished,
gargling the sea like soup.”
—Anne Sexton (19281974)