Prince is a title held by the members of a ruling family, usually the royal family. Its female equivalent is princess. The title is usually held by all the children of a monarch. The heir to the throne, typically the oldest child of the monarch, or oldest male child in male-preference primogeniture, is sometimes referred to as the crown prince or crown princess.
If a monarch is newly crowned, be it through conquest, usurpation, or declaring independence, his or her children will typically become princes or princesses, but it varies if his or her siblings become princes and princesses. For example, after Robert Baratheon usurped the crown, his younger brothers, Stannis and Renly, were never given the title of prince. Instead, they gained lordship and respective positions on the small council. In contrast, when Robb Stark declared the North an independent kingdom again, he and his followers considered all of his younger siblings (with the exception of his bastard half-brother, Jon Snow) to be princes and princesses.
The title of prince or princess is sometimes used by monarchs, such as the Prince of Dorne when Dorne was an independent kingdom.
- 1 Known princes and princesses of the Seven Kingdoms
- 2 Known princes and princesses of the Kingdom of the North
- 3 Known princes and princesses of the Kingdom of the Iron Islands
- 4 Known princes and princesses of Dorne
- 5 Princes of other realms
- 6 References
Known princes and princesses of the Seven Kingdoms
Despite the fact that the Queen Mother, Cersei Lannister ascended to the throne following the legal extinction of House Baratheon, her twin brother Ser Jaime Lannister, who, as her closest living male relative, could be considered the heir apparent. Despite this, he is not referred to as a prince in any way. The reason for this is that Ser Jaime neither has Baratheon blood, nor did he ever marry a Baratheon. Cersei's only claim to the Iron Throne is through her marriage to Robert Baratheon.
During the reign of King Robert I, his three children, Joffrey, Tommen and Myrcella all hold the title of prince or princess respectively. When Joffrey becomes the King following Robert's death, Tommen and Myrcella are still considered to be a prince and princess.
When Stannis Baratheon learns that Robert's children are products of Cersei and Jaime Lannister's incestuous relations and declares himself to be Robert's heir, his daughter Shireen is granted the status of princedom. In Season 5, she is specifically referred to as "Princess Shireen of the House Baratheon".
Known princes and princesses of the Kingdom of the North
When Robb Stark was named the first King in the North in almost 300 years by his bannermen during the War of the Five Kings, his four younger siblings were officially considered to be princes and princesses of his new realm. Prince Bran Stark briefly ruled Winterfell in Robb's absence as his legal heir, alongside the youngest Stark child, Rickon Stark.
Though Robb's sisters were officially princesses, they were in practice rarely referred to in person by the title. Sansa Stark remained a hostage of the Lannisters in King's Landing, who did not acknowledge the independence of the North, and therefore would not encourage this by referring to Sansa as a princess, any more than they would acknowledge Robb Stark as a king. Arya Stark, in the meantime, escaped King's Landing with the Night's Watch but went on the run through the Riverlands under an assumed identity, and thus didn't insist that others call her by her real name, much less that she was a princess. Robb and his mother Catelyn, at the Stark camp, do refer to Sansa and Arya as "princesses" when discussing them, but this never occurs in face-to-face relations.
Known princes and princesses of the Kingdom of the Iron Islands
When Balon Greyjoy used the opportunity of the War of the Five Kings to declare the Iron Islands an independent kingdom once again, his two surviving children gain the title. The Kingship of the Iron Islands, however, has historically operated under a traditional elective monarchy. Even in times when the crown was hereditary, the exact system was often uncertain. Thus there was jockeying for position over who exactly is Balon's heir depending on what system they are using: whether it should be his eldest son (Theon), his eldest child (his daughter Yara), or if his younger brothers should be considered next in line of succession, ahead of his children.
Theon Greyjoy also stylized himself the ruling Prince of Winterfell after he captured and held the castle for a short period of time.
As claimants to the Iron Islands, neither Euron nor Yara Greyjoy use the title prince or princess, each stylizing themselves as king or queen. It is possible that Aeron Greyjoy, as the brother of two kings, could be considered a prince, but as a priest of the Drowned God, he has not used that title.
Known princes and princesses of Dorne
- See main article "Prince of Dorne"
House Martell ruled Dorne as princes even after bending the knee to the Iron Throne. The head of the family held the title of Prince of Dorne, or Princess in the case of a female head, while the rest of the family holds the titles of prince or princess.
While the title "Prince" in other parts of the Seven Kingdoms is typically used to indicate the heir to the throne, Dorne has ruling Princes (or ruling Princesses). This is a holdover from centuries ago when the Rhoynar ruled city-states along the Rhoyne River in Essos. Dorne had a ruling Prince when it was an independent kingdom, and only unified with the Targaryen realm one century ago; not through conquest but through marriage. As a result of this voluntary union, the Martell rulers of Dorne were allowed to continue to style themselves as "Princes" even though they were no longer the absolute sovereign.
With the assassination of Doran Martell and his heir, Prince Trystane, the status of this title was uncertain. It is unknown whether Ellaria Sand styled herself as Princess after assuming power in Dorne. After the imprisonment of Ellaria Sand in King's Landing, the title has been assumed by an unnamed Martell.