Famous Royal Princes of Europe

by | Apr 19, 2024 | Aristocracy, France, Germany, Italy, Kingdoms, Nobility, Noble Titles, Royal Titles

The royal princes of Europe have historically been a colourful collection of notable individuals and famous characters.

Many of the famous princes of history went on to become kings, making their name in the history books as sovereigns, rather than being renowned as princes. Yet there were a number of royal princes who secured their place in posterity, even though they never went on to become crowned rulers or kings. 

Here are some of the famous royal princes of Europe who made a significant impression during their lifetimes, as well as a noteworthy legacy beyond. 

Prince Albert

During the great Victorian Era – the period when Queen Victoria ruled the British Empire – Prince Albert was undoubtedly one of the most famous royal princes of Europe. 

Prince Albert was the husband of Queen Victoria. He was born the son of a duke, in a region that lies in present-day Germany. The lineage of this German aristocratic family would have a lasting legacy on the British Royal Family, as their noble line was known as the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha – the branch that would become the name of the British monarchy for generations. 

With his marriage to Queen Victoria, the family name was adopted as the name of the royal house, as the female monarch was not allowed to continue the previous royal house of Hanover. With this name change, a new era of British royalty and German nobility joined together to establish one of the most famous royal houses in Europe or indeed the world. 

The name of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, brought to the British people by the famous Prince Albert, the much-loved Prince Consort of the early Victorian reign, would endure from his marriage in 1840, up until the time of the First World War. In 1917, the name of the British Royal Family was changed to the House of Windsor, as a political move to mitigate the enmity between the warring nations of England and Germany. 

Though Prince Albert’s name would not last, and his time as Prince Consort was cut tragically short when he died at the age of 42, the legacy of this famous prince would live on much longer. 

Among the many legacies of Prince Albert, and his wife’s devotion and extended period of mourning, include a great many enduring tributes that we know today. Perhaps the most famous example is the Royal Albert Hall in London, an iconic and world-famous concert hall that was built to commemorate the life and work of Prince Albert and his British legacy. 

Of course, his most significant role in history is as the father, grandfather, and great-great-grandfather to the future kings and queens of England, as well as the many royals and nobles across Europe who can count his name among their ancestors. 

Prince Philip

Another famous royal prince who would never become king was also a Prince Consort. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was the beloved and devoted husband of Queen Elizabeth II, the legendary monarch of Great Britain. 

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh – Allan Warren, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Although Prince Philip was famous for much of his life due to his royal wife, he was in fact a royal prince even before they met. Philips was the son of a Danish prince, the grandson of a Greek king, and his mother was a Hessian Princess, the child of a couple who connected the famous Mountbatten lineage with the granddaughter of Queen Victoria. 

So Prince Philip’s royal credentials were impressive, even before he set eyes upon the young girl that would become his wife and eventually take her place on the English throne and become one of the world’s longest-reigning monarchs. 

Much like Prince Albert, it’s widely believed that Prince Philip often struggled with the duty and restriction of living under his famous wife’s shadow. Yet, like his ancestral Prince Consort before him, he would find his own way to make the role his own, and spend his life devoted to a number of personal projects and charitable endeavours. 

Perhaps the most lasting legacy of Prince Philip, beyond his children, of course, is the initiative he founded in 1956 called the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. This programme was designed to support young people, in particular those interested in outdoor pursuits and innovation – two passions that Prince Philip enjoyed and championed for much of his life. 

Prince George, Duke of Kent

Another royal prince who would not become king was the fourth son of King George V of England. Although he held, for a time, a high-ranking position in the line of succession for the British throne, the story of Prince George would not play out as it did for his two famous older brothers – Edward and George (nicknamed Bertie) who both enjoyed a period of royal rule during their lifetimes. 

Prince George was ultimately nudged down the line of succession as new children arrived, most significantly, the two little princesses born to his older brother George, the princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, the eldest of which would go on to reign as the Queen of England for over seventy years.

Like many royal princes before him, Prince George’s career unfolded along a military path. He served in both the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, and during his lifetime he was a famous and much-admired face on the high society social scene of the 1920s and 1930s. His marriage to the beautiful Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark helped to establish the couple as famously stylish and glamorous European royals, in demand at every social gathering and exclusive soirée. 

Yet the military connections would spell the end of Prince George’s dazzling lifestyle, as he died in an air crash aged just 39 years old. 

These famous royal princes of Europe each lived their lives in the limelight, enjoying the highest social advantages as prominent members of one of the greatest royal families in the world. 

While these men may have lived in the shadow of the crown in one way or another, they each chartered their own courses through the challenges and privileges of royal living at the highest level. 

If learning about these famous royal princes has made you curious about acquiring a prestigious Noble Title of your own get in touch using the enquiry form in the sidebar or you can contact our Geneva office directly between 10.00-19.00, Monday to Friday on +41 225 181 360.

Enquiry Form