Prince vs. King
Difference Between Prince And King
Prince, a title derived from the Latin princeps, which means “chief person.” ( Princeps.) After the breakup of the Carolingian Empire in the 9th century, the title was assumed by feudatories who were in fact, if not in theory, sovereign, hereditary lords of their domains.
In Germany the title became official in the 12th century when the Estate of Princes of the Realm came into being. The German princes included, on the secular side, dukes, counts palatine, margraves, and landgraves; on the ecclesiastical, archbishops, bishops, some abbots, and heads of the military-religious orders.
In 1301, Edward I invested his heir with the title of Prince of Wales. The title has since then customarily been conferred on the male heir to the throne. The sovereign has also designated at various times which members of the royal family may bear the title of prince. In exceptional cases the sovereign has granted the title to others, as in the case of Queen Elizabeth II’s consort, Philip, who was created prince of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The term “princes of the blood” first appears in the 15th century in reference to the royal family. With the establishment of the royal Bourbon dynasty in 1589, these princes included members of collateral branches of the family with reversionary rights to the crown.
A king is a male ruler who reigns usually for life. Originally kings were often elected, although hereditary kingship generally became the rule. In some civilizations, such as in ancient Egypt, the king was believed to be a god. Christian kings during the Middle Ages considered themselves as representatives of God’s will. Absolute monarchs, such as those of the 16th to the 18th century in Europe, claimed to rule by divine right. Today the power of most kings is limited by constitutions, and they function mainly as symbols of national unity.
King, a title traditionally denoting a male ruler vested with sovereign power over a state, territory, or nation. A king ordinarily ruled for life—under a right considered to be divinely sanctioned and upheld by religious authorities—and his heirs succeeded to the throne. In 16th- and 17th-century Europe, kingship ordinarily implied nearly absolute powers.
Absolute monarchy tended historically to evolve into limited or constitutional monarchy, a system under which the ruler had little tangible power but retained a symbolic role as an embodiment of national traditions and values. The monarchies of Britain, Belgium, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Thailand are limited or constitutional. The rulers of Saudi Arabia are examples of the rare form of nearly absolute kingship. also Monarchy.