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If a prince becomes a king, and a princess becomes a queen, what is the term for someone who becomes an emperor/empress?

I've found some answers for this in other languages, such as Japanese or Russian, but is there such a term in English?

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    In English you'd commonly use the term of the country whose empire it was, such as Tsarevich. Note that Prince/Princess historically did not mean the child of a king; and also that most emperors were not hereditary (e.g. Holy Roman Empire). Is there someone in particular you want to refer to? Are you looking for a word for the eldest son of a hereditary emperor, or the person appointed to succeed a non-hereditary emperor, a candidate for an elected position, or something else?
    – Stuart F
    Commented Apr 5, 2023 at 16:31
  • No one in particular; I was just thinking about the general concept, and then realized that I didn't know what to call them. What do you mean about using the name of the country? If for example Canada became an empire, you're saying that the Canadian "prince"-analog's title would be what? Also, I did not know that prince/princess were not the children of kings. What were they then? That's a lot of questions. maybe making an answer would be good? I'll upvote you. :-)
    – Yurelle
    Commented Apr 5, 2023 at 16:42
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    In some countries (but not Britain), Prince was the highest rank of the nobility, not necessarily a royal title. e.g. the French Prince de Conti. Commented Apr 5, 2023 at 16:55
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    Right. "Prince of Wales" was the title used by Owain Glyndŵr, the ruler of independent Wales, before the English defeated Owain in battle and took over the title for use as eldest son of the English Monarch.
    – GEdgar
    Commented Apr 5, 2023 at 17:23
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    @KateBunting There are still places, like Liechtenstein and Monaco, where the prince is subordinate to no one. Commented Apr 5, 2023 at 18:43

2 Answers 2

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If a prince becomes a king, and a princess becomes a queen, what is the term for someone who becomes an emperor/empress?

The title of the heir to a throne is Prince/Princess. It does not matter if the throne controls a country, countries, colonies, dominions, or an empire.

Queen Victoria ruled as Empress over India - her son and heir was Edward Prince of Wales

On his accession to the throne, he became King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India.

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  • Interesting, so what does the "of Wales" bit indicate? I would have assumed that "Prince of Wales" meant that he was the "Prince" of the place of "Wales". But, given your description, I assume that he's the "Prince" of the whole of the UK. So, why isn't his title: "Prince of The UK"?
    – Yurelle
    Commented Apr 5, 2023 at 21:03
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    Wales is a principality within the United Kingdom. A principality requires a prince - Charles III was that prince. The rank of Prince(ss) applies throughout the UK to the Monarch's children and "of Wales" is given to the heir to the throne. The current holder of the title is William Prince of Wales. So, why isn't his title: "Prince of The UK"? probably because the UK is not a principality, but this is more a question for the history forum as the origins of the title are quite complex.
    – Greybeard
    Commented Apr 5, 2023 at 23:15
  • Ah, so, I guess what @StuartF said applies here, "Prince/Princess historically did not mean the child of a king". So, from what you're saying, a prince is just the ruler of a principality, and it's just that historically, principalities were underneath kingdoms, and often the heir to the throne of the Kingdom would often be given authority over one of the principalities, either for practice, or for status? And thus, we developed the association of a prince being the child of a king? Even though that's not technically what it is? Interesting.
    – Yurelle
    Commented Apr 6, 2023 at 3:28
  • The British Crown Prince has the title Prince of Wales for historical reasons - see G. Edgar's comment above. Commented Apr 6, 2023 at 7:56
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According to Wikipedia "crown prince/princess" is used for both royal and imperial monarchies:

A crown prince or hereditary prince is the heir apparent to the throne in a royal or imperial monarchy.

Different monarchies also have titles which have become tied to the heir apparent to the imperial throne such as Prince of Wales and Tsesarevich

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    A "Crown Prince" is defined in OED as "A male heir apparent or designate to a throne, originally of a country in northern continental Europe (also as a prefixed title)." It is not specifically connected to an empire.
    – Greybeard
    Commented Apr 5, 2023 at 19:09

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