The Prince of Wales and The Duchess
of Cornwall

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Prince Harry

Open

Previous Princes of Wales

  • Henry (son of Henry IV and Mary de Bohun) Created Prince of Wales on 15th October 1399, aged 12, at Westminster.  Acceded as Henry V on 20th March 1413
  • The tomb and effigy of Edward, The Black Prince
  • An undated photograph of King Charles II
  • A portrait of King Edward V (c1470-1483), the son of King Edward IV

The Prince of Wales's Standard for Wales, the personal flag His Royal Highness uses during visits to the Principality, is based on the Arms of Llewelyn ap Gruffydd, the last native Prince of Wales.

Llewelyn the Last (1248-82) had declared himself Prince of Wales in 1258 as he tried to regain territories surrendered to the English after the death of Llewelyn the Great (1194-1240).

The title was recreated in 1301 for Edward of Caernarfon, the future Edward II. It was the first time the eldest son of the King of England was invested as Prince of Wales, making Edward II the first of the current line of Princes of Wales, of which His Royal Highness is the 21st.

Edward was born at Caernarfon in North Wales (where the Investiture of The Prince of Wales took place in 1969), but was in Lincoln when he was given the title in 1301 at the age of 16. He acceded as Edward II on 8th June 1307.

Edward did not pass his Welsh title to his son, Edward III. But his grandson, another Edward, the Black Prince, was created Prince of Wales at the age of 12 in 1343 at Westminster. Since then the title has been held by the eldest surviving son of most kings and queens of England.

There is no automatic succession to the title, but it is normally passed on when the existing Prince of Wales accedes to the throne. The title becomes merged in the Crown and is renewed only at the Sovereign's pleasure.

Six Princes of Wales died before they became king, including Prince Arthur, eldest son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. He was created Prince of Wales at the age of three in November 1489, and invested in February 1490 at Westminster. Prince Arthur died in 1502, and the title went to his brother, later to become Henry VIII.

Prince Henry, eldest son of James I and Anne of Denmark, was 16 when he was created Prince of Wales in June 1610 at Westminster. He died in November 1612 - and was succeeded as Prince of Wales by his brother, the future Charles I.

Prince Frederick, eldest son of George II and Queen Caroline, was created Prince of Wales in 1729, but died before his father. His son, the future George III, became Prince of Wales when he was 12.

Queen Victoria created her first son Prince of Wales in December 1841, four weeks after he was born; he had to wait until January 1901 before becoming King Edward VII.

Less than 10 months later, in November 1901, the future King George V was created Prince of Wales - at the age of 36. Prince Edward, son of King George V and Queen Mary, was created Prince of Wales on his 16th birthday, on 23rd June 1910.

He was invested on 13th July 1911, at Caernarfon Castle. Edward became King Edward VIII on 20th January 1936. On his abdication, on 10th December 1936, the throne passed to his brother, King George VI - grandfather of the present Prince of Wales.

Princes of Wales since 1301

  • Edward (son of Edward I and Eleanor of Castile)
    Created Prince of Wales on 1st February 1301, aged 16, in Lincoln.  Acceded as Edward II on 8th June 1307

  • Edward (son of Edward III and Philippa of Hainault)
    Created Prince of Wales on 12th May 1343, aged 12, at Westminster
    Died on 8th June 1376

  • Richard (son of Edward, Prince of Wales and Joan of Kent)
    Created Prince of Wales on 20th November 1376, aged nine, at Havering
    Acceded as Richard II on 22nd June 1377

  • Henry (son of Henry IV and Mary de Bohun)
    Created Prince of Wales on 15th October 1399, aged 12, at Westminster 
    Acceded as Henry V on 20th March 1413

  • Edward (son of Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou)
    Created Prince of Wales on 15th March 1454, aged five months
    Invested on 9th June 1454, at Windsor
    Died on 4th May 1471

  • Edward (son of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville)
    Created Prince of Wales on 26th June 1471, aged seven months, at Westminster
    Acceded as Edward V on 9th April 1483

  • Edward (son of Richard III and Anne of Warwick)
    Created Prince of Wales on 24th August 1483, aged 10
    Invested on 8th September at York Minster
    Died on 9th April 1484

  • Arthur (eldest son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York)
    Created Prince of Wales on 29th November 1489, aged three
    Invested on 27th February 1490, at Westminster
    Died on 2nd April 1502

  • Henry (second son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York)
    Created Prince of Wales on 18th February 1504, aged 12, at Westminster
    Acceded as Henry VIII on 22nd April 1509

  • Henry (eldest son of James I and Anne of Denmark)
    Created Prince of Wales on 4th June 1610, aged 16, at Westminster
    Died on 6th November 1612

 

  • Charles (second son of James I and Anne of Denmark)
    Created Prince of Wales on 4th November 1616, aged 15, at Whitehall
    Acceded as Charles I on 27th March 1625

  • Charles (son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria of France)
    Declared Prince of Wales c. 1638-41, in London, aged c.8-11
    Acceded as Charles II on 30th January 1649

  • James (son of James II and Mary of Modena)
    Created Prince of Wales c. 4th July 1688, aged three weeks, at St James's
    Forfeited title when James II was declared to have abdicated, on 11th December 1688

  • George (son of George I and Sophie Dorothea of Brunswick-Luneburg and Celle)
    Created Prince of Wales on 27th September 1714, aged 30, at Westminster
    Acceded as George II on 11th June 1727

  • Frederick (son of George II and Caroline of Brandenburg-Anspach)
    Created Prince of Wales on 8th January 1729, aged 21, in London
    Died on 20th March 1751

 

  • George (son of Frederick, Prince of Wales and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha)
    Created Prince of Wales on 20th April 1751, aged 12, in London
    Acceded as George III on 25th October 1760

 

  • George (son of George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz)
    Created Prince of Wales on 19th August 1762, aged one week, in London
    Acceded as George IV on 29th January 1820

 

  • Albert Edward (son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert)
    Created Prince of Wales on 8th December 1841, aged four weeks, in London
    Acceded as King Edward VII on 22nd January 1901

 

  • George (son of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra)
    Created Prince of Wales on 9th November 1901, aged 36, in London
    Acceded as King George V on 6th May 1910

 

  • Edward (son of King George V and Queen Mary)
    Created Prince of Wales on 23rd June 1910, aged 16. Invested on 13th July 1911, at Caernarfon Castle
    Acceded as King Edward VIII on 20th January 1936

  • Charles (son of Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh)
    Created Prince of Wales on 26th July 1958, aged nine; invested on 1st July 1969, at Caernarfon Castle.

 

Related News

More news