A prince consort is the husband of a monarch who is not a monarch in his own right. In recognition of his status, a prince consort may be given a formal title, such as prince. Some monarchies use the title of king consort for the same role.

Usage in Europe

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, the title "Prince Consort" is unique to Prince Albert, although the term applies as a description to other British princes consort. The title was awarded to him in 1857 by his wife, Queen Victoria. Before Prince Albert, there had only been five English, Scottish, or British male consorts, being the husbands of Mary I of England, Queen Anne, and Mary, Queen of Scots, the last of whom was married three times during her long reign. The remaining queens regnant before Victoria sidestepped the question of the proper title for a male consort, Elizabeth I having died without marrying, and Mary II's husband William III having been explicitly made king in his own right.

The titles of the five pre-Victorian male consorts varied widely. Mary I of England's husband Philip was declared king jure uxoris and given powers equal to his wife while she reigned, but Queen Anne's husband Prince George of Denmark received no British titles other than the Dukedom of Cumberland (his princely title being Danish). Meanwhile, the official title of the three husbands of Mary, Queen of Scots was never fully resolved. At least one (Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley), was declared king consort, and both he and his predecessor Francis II of France sought recognition as king jure uxoris (under a proffered theory of the "Crown Matrimonial of Scotland"), but the title and powers of the consort were a constant issue during Mary's reign and remained unresolved when Mary was captured and executed.

The only male consort since Prince Albert's death, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the consort of Elizabeth II, was made a peer in advance of his marriage to then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947. After Elizabeth's accession in 1952, there was debate in royal circles and among senior politicians (both in Britain and in other Commonwealth Realms, particularly Canada) about her husband's proper title. Some leaders, including the Prime Minister of the day, Sir Winston Churchill, suggested reviving Prince Albert's title of "Prince Consort". Others put forward other styles, including "Prince of the Realm" and "Prince of the Commonwealth" (the latter of which was suggested by John Diefenbaker, at the time a member of the Canadian Opposition front bench). In 1957, Elizabeth created Philip a prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the same title borne by sons of the sovereign.[1][2]

The distinction between the positions of prince consort and king is important in the British patriarchal hierarchical system. Within this hierarchy, the king holds a higher position in the British social hierarchy than any other, and so more power is attributed to him. In cases where the hereditary monarch is female, such as Queen Victoria, who ascended to the throne in 1837, power is attributed to the queen, for she holds the highest position in the absence of a king.[3]

Other countries

Jacques I was the prince consort of Monaco in 1731 while married to the ruling princess, Louise Hippolyte.[4]

In 2005, Prince Henrik, the spouse of Margrethe II of Denmark, was awarded the title. In 2016, he announced that upon his retirement, he would revert to the title of prince that he had received at their marriage in 1967.[5][6]

Usage in Asia

Imperial China

The imperial Chinese title of fuma (simplified Chinese: 驸马; traditional Chinese: 駙馬; pinyin: fùmǎ), and its Manchu equivalent e'fu (simplified Chinese: 额驸; traditional Chinese: 額駙; pinyin: é'fù), are sometimes translated as "prince consort". This was originally an office of the imperial household, later evolving into the title reserved for husbands of imperial princesses. These princes consort could hold other offices and titles in their own right.


Princes and princesses consort are called "Myauk Thar Daw". Burmese: မြောက်သားတော်). Because the consorts live in "North House". This word mean: "North" for Myauk. House for Ain Thar Daw

King consort

A king consort or emperor consort is a rarely used (or disputed) title to describe the husband of a queen regnant. Examples include:

See also


  1. ^ Bousfield, Arthur; Toffoli, Gary (2002). Fifty Years the Queen. Toronto: Dundurn Press. p. 12. ISBN 1-55002-360-8.
  2. ^ Velde, François. "Title of Prince: HRH Philip Duke of Edinburgh". Royal styles and titles: Files from the UK National Archives. Retrieved 3 November 2022.
  3. ^ Klein, P. (2017). Kings & Queens. Library Journal, 142(8), 37-39.
  4. ^ "Prince Jacques I of Monaco: Prior Owner of Matignon, the French Prime Minister's Residence in Paris". HelloMonaco. 2017-12-03. Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  5. ^ "Dronningen i sin nytårstale: Prins Henrik går på pension". Politiken.dk (in Danish). 31 December 2015. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  6. ^ "Denmark's Prince Henrik renounces title as Prince Consort". Xinhuanet, China-Europe. 15 April 2016. Archived from the original on April 19, 2016. Retrieved 2017-09-06.
  7. ^ Anonymous (1558). Discours du grand et magnifique triumphe faict au mariage du tresnoble & magnifique Prince Francois de Valois Roy Dauphin, filz aisné du tres-chrestien Roy de France Henry II du nom & de treshaulte & vertueuse Princesse madame Marie d'Estreuart Roine d'Escosse (in French). Paris: Annet Briere.
  8. ^ Teulet, Alexandre (1862). Relations politiques de la France et de l'Espagne avec l'Écosse au XVIe siècle (in French). Vol. 1. Paris: Renouard. pp. 302–311.
  9. ^ Weintraub, Stanley (1997). Albert: Uncrowned King. London: John Murray. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-7195-5756-9.