- Jeff Spicer/Getty
- Prince Harry’s official title is of Prince Henry of Wales.
- The real Prince of Wales is his father, Prince Charles, who has held the title since 1958.
- The title dates back to 1301, when it was created for Edward II, who was born in Caernarfon, Wales.
- It is normally passed on when the existing Prince of Wales takes the throne.
- There is no Prince of England, as the country’s monarchs rule all of Great Britain.
When Meghan Markle marries Prince Harry on Saturday, in keeping with tradition, she will be awarded the title Princess Henry of Wales – though it’s one she’s unlikely to ever use, as it dates back to days when royal spouses took their husband’s name.
Prince Harry’s name is actually Henry, and his full, official title is Prince Henry of Wales.
The official Prince of Wales is Prince Charles, who has held the title since 1958, but his sons, William and Harry, have also held versions of it. William was also Prince William of Wales until he married Kate Middleton and became the Duke of Cambridge.
Welsh princes used the title in the 12th and 13th centuries, according to Wales Online. It was then given by the English monarch after Edward I conquered Wales.
But the title in its existing format apparently dates back to 1301, when it was created for Edward I’s eldest son, Edward II, who was born in Caernarfon, Wales, and became the first of the current line of Princes of Wales.
While Edward II did not pass the title on to his son Edward III – it instead went to his grandson – it has since been held by the eldest surviving son of most kings and queens. The title isn’t automatically given but usually passed on when the existing Prince of Wales takes the throne.
Charles’ investiture as Prince of Wales took place at Caernarfon Castle on July 1, 1969.
Though the British royal family doesn’t really use last names, you may see Wales used as a surname from time to time, particularly for military purposes. Harry was known as Captain Wales during his time in the British army.
There is no Prince of England
Meanwhile, nobody has the title of Prince of England, because England does not have its own royal family.
The country’s monarchs rule all of Great Britain and have done so since the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland merged their crowns in May 1707.
More on the royal wedding:
- Meghan Markle will get a fancy new title when she marries Prince Harry – but it’s so weird that she’ll never use it
- Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Prince William, Kate, and 11 other royals all live in the same palace – here’s a breakdown of their lavish quarters
- Meghan Markle’s estranged family has arrived in London – despite not being invited to the royal wedding
- Meghan Markle is about to prove her dominance over Kate Middleton – and it could be worth up to $1.4 billion to the British economy