Sofia the First is one of Disney's television series. Sofia is a little princess. What does "the first" mean here?
closed as off-topic by TimLymington, Drew, Dan Bron, Glorfindel, Chenmunka Mar 27 '17 at 10:23
This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:
- "Please include the research you've done, or consider if your question suits our English Language Learners site better. Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic." – TimLymington, Drew, Dan Bron, Glorfindel, Chenmunka
'The First' is an expression of her Regnal Number
Regnal numbers are ordinal numbers used to distinguish among persons with the same name who held the same office. Most importantly, they are used to distinguish monarchs. An ordinal is the number placed after a monarch's regnal name to differentiate between a number of kings, queens or princes reigning the same territory with the same regnal name.
So the current British monarch is Elizabeth II, or Elizabeth the Second, because there was a previous Queen Elizabeth (for part of the UK at least). However, under most regnal numbering systems, 'the First' would be applied retrospectively rather than adopted as part of the regnal name, as it cannot be assumed during their reign that there will be a subsequent namesake.
It's an odd use of a (pseudo-) regnal number.
No direct explanation for this slightly unusual case is given in any of my daughter's Sofia books (but there are longer books aimed at an older age group). In particular Sofia has an older stepsister who doesn't have a regnal number. I suggest that in the context of rest of the stories (welcoming her into the royal family and making her feel part of it) she was given this to make her feel more royal.