Princess
Overview
 
Princess is the feminine form of prince
Prince
Prince is a general term for a ruler, monarch or member of a monarch's or former monarch's family, and is a hereditary title in the nobility of some European states. The feminine equivalent is a princess...

 (from Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 princeps
Princeps
Princeps is a Latin word meaning "first in time or order; the first, chief, the most eminent, distinguished, or noble; the first man, first person."...

, meaning principal citizen). Most often, the term has been used for the consort of a prince, or his daughters.

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
Old English language
Old English or Anglo-Saxon is an early form of the English language that was spoken and written by the Anglo-Saxons and their descendants in parts of what are now England and southeastern Scotland between at least the mid-5th century and the mid-12th century...

 had no female equivalent to "prince", "earl", or any royal or noble aside from the queen, and the women of nobility bore the title of "Lady".

As women have slowly gained more autonomy through European history
History of Europe
History of Europe describes the history of humans inhabiting the European continent since it was first populated in prehistoric times to present, with the first human settlement between 45,000 and 25,000 BC.-Overview:...

, the title of princess has become simply the female counterpart of prince and does not necessarily imply being controlled or owned by a prince.
Encyclopedia
Princess is the feminine form of prince
Prince
Prince is a general term for a ruler, monarch or member of a monarch's or former monarch's family, and is a hereditary title in the nobility of some European states. The feminine equivalent is a princess...

 (from Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 princeps
Princeps
Princeps is a Latin word meaning "first in time or order; the first, chief, the most eminent, distinguished, or noble; the first man, first person."...

, meaning principal citizen). Most often, the term has been used for the consort of a prince, or his daughters.

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
Old English language
Old English or Anglo-Saxon is an early form of the English language that was spoken and written by the Anglo-Saxons and their descendants in parts of what are now England and southeastern Scotland between at least the mid-5th century and the mid-12th century...

 had no female equivalent to "prince", "earl", or any royal or noble aside from the queen, and the women of nobility bore the title of "Lady".

As women have slowly gained more autonomy through European history
History of Europe
History of Europe describes the history of humans inhabiting the European continent since it was first populated in prehistoric times to present, with the first human settlement between 45,000 and 25,000 BC.-Overview:...

, the title of princess has become simply the female counterpart of prince and does not necessarily imply being controlled or owned by a prince. In some cases then, a princess is the female hereditary head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 of a province or other significant area in her own right. The ancient meaning applies in Europe still to the extent that a female commoner
Commoner
In British law, a commoner is someone who is neither the Sovereign nor a peer. Therefore, any member of the Royal Family who is not a peer, such as Prince Harry of Wales or Anne, Princess Royal, is a commoner, as is any member of a peer's family, including someone who holds only a courtesy title,...

 who marries a prince will almost always become a princess, but a male commoner who marries a princess will almost never become a prince, unless his wife has, or is expected to attain, a higher title, such as Queen regnant
Queen regnant
A queen regnant is a female monarch who reigns in her own right, in contrast to a queen consort, who is the wife of a reigning king. An empress regnant is a female monarch who reigns in her own right over an empire....

. The implication is that if the man held the equivalent masculine title, he would have rank over his wife without the necessary pedigree
Pedigree chart
A pedigree chart is a diagram that shows the occurrence and appearance or phenotypes of a particular gene or organism and its ancestors from one generation to the next, most commonly humans, show dogs, and race horses....

.

In many of Europe's royal families
Royal family
A royal family is the extended family of a king or queen regnant. The term imperial family appropriately describes the extended family of an emperor or empress, while the terms "ducal family", "grand ducal family" or "princely family" are more appropriate to describe the relatives of a reigning...

, a king
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

 would grant his heirs actual or theoretical principalities to train them for future kingship or to give them social class
Social class
Social classes are economic or cultural arrangements of groups in society. Class is an essential object of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, economists, anthropologists and social historians. In the social sciences, social class is often discussed in terms of 'social stratification'...

. 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 women who married into it; however, in many cases, a princess would choose someone outside of royalty to wed.

See also

  • Princess (disambiguation)
    Princess (disambiguation)
    -Fictional Characters:*Disney Princess*Kilala Princess*Tajik Princess Farahnoz*Rina Salinas-Books and Magazines:*Princess , a Japanese manga magazine*Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia, a book by Jean Sasson...

  • Damsel in distress
    Damsel in distress
    The subject of the damsel in distress, or persecuted maiden, is a classic theme in world literature, art, and film. She is usually a beautiful young woman placed in a dire predicament by a villain or monster and who requires a hero to achieve her rescue. She has become a stock character of fiction,...

  • Princess and dragon
    Princess and dragon
    Princess and dragon is a generic premise common to many legends and fairy tales. It is not a fairy tale itself, but along with Prince Charming, is a repeated cliché...

  • List of fictional princesses

  • :Category:Lists of princesses
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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