We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more
Reference list

Princes of Wales (1301–2013)

Since 1301, the title prince of Wales, invariably coupled with the earldom of Chester, has usually been granted to the eldest son of the English or British sovereign, or occasionally the eldest son of a deceased eldest son. Neither title is hereditary and neither is automatically borne by the sovereign's eldest son, unlike the dukedoms of Cornwall and Rothesay, and other titles associated with the heir apparent to the throne of the United Kingdom.

The first English recipient of the title, the future Edward II, was created prince of Wales by his father, Edward I, in the Lincoln parliament of 1301. The story that the baby Edward was presented to the Welsh as their prince in 1284 reflects the possibility that Edward I may have chosen to have his wife give birth at Caernarfon to make political capital from the association of the site with imperial Rome in Welsh legend. As there is no record of the story earlier than the sixteenth century, nor of Edward being styled prince of Wales before the creation of 1301, the story must be regarded as a myth.

Three princes who were never formally created prince of Wales were referred to by the title. The future Henry VI was called prince of Wales in a codicil to the will of his father, Henry V; the future Charles II was known by the title at least from the formation of his household in 1638; and James Francis Edward was officially referred to as prince of Wales from his birth in 1688 until the deposition of his father, James II and VII. He continued to be regarded as prince of Wales by supporters of his father's claim to the throne until James II and VII died, when he assumed the title King James III and VIII. Charles Edward, son of James Francis Edward, was styled prince of Wales from his birth on 31 December 1720 until 1 January 1766 when he assumed the style of King Charles III on the death of James.
7 Feb 1301–8 July 1307Edward, later Edward II (b. 25 April 1284, d. 21 Sept 1327)
18 March 1333–8 June 1376Edward [Edward of Woodstock; known as the Black Prince] (b. 15 June 1330, d. 8 June 1376)
20 Nov 1376–22 June 1377Richard, later Richard II (b. 6 Jan 1367, d. 14 Feb 1400?)
15 Oct 1399–21 March 1413Henry, later Henry V (b. 16 Sept 1386, d. 31 Aug 1422)
Aug 1422Henry, later Henry VI (b. 6 Dec 1421, d. 21 May 1471); never formally created prince of Wales
15 March 1454–16 Dec 1461 [attainted]; 3 Oct 1470–11 April 1471Edward [Edward of Westminster] (b. 13 Oct 1453, d. 4 May 1471)
26 June 1471–9 April 1483Edward, later Edward V (b. 2 Nov 1470, d. July x Sep 1483)
24 Aug 1483–March 1484Edward [Edward of Middleham] (b. 1474×6, d. March 1484)
29 Nov 1489–2 April 1502Arthur (b. 19 Sept 1486, d. 1502)
18 Feb 1504–22 April 1509Henry, later Henry VIII (b. 28 June 1491, d. 28 Jan 1547)
4 June 1610–6 Nov 1612Henry Frederick (b. 19 Feb 1594, d. 6 Nov 1612)
4 Nov 1616–27 March 1625Charles, later Charles I (b. 19 Nov 1600, d. 30 Jan 1649)
c. 1638–30 Jan 1649Charles, later Charles II (b. 29 May 1630, d. 6 Feb 1685); never formally created prince of Wales
4 July 1688–11 Dec 1688James Francis Edward (b. 10 June 1688, d. 1 Jan 1766); never formally created prince of Wales
27 Sept 1714–11 June 1727George Augustus, later George II (b. 10 Nov 1683 NS, d. 25 Oct 1760)
8 Jan 1729–20 March 1751Frederick Lewis (b. 31 Jan 1707 NS, d. 20 March 1751)
20 April 1751–30 Oct 1760George William Frederick, later George III (b. 24 May 1738, d. 29 Jan 1820)
19 Aug 1762–29 Jan 1820George Augustus Frederick, later George IV (b. 12 Aug 1762, d. 26 June 1830)
8 Dec 1841–22 Jan 1901Albert Edward, later Edward VII (b. 9 Nov 1841, d. 6 May 1910)
9 Nov 1901–6 May 1910George Frederick Ernest Albert, later George V (b. 3 June 1865, d. 20 Jan 1936)
23 June 1910–20 Jan 1936Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, later Edward VIII (b. 23 June 1894, d. 28 May 1972)
26 July 1958–Charles Philip Arthur George (b. 14 Nov 1948)