The term “Princess” is most often used as the regal rank of a daughter or granddaughter of a king or queen, or the wife of a prince.
It is the feminine form of prince, derived from Old French meaning “noble lord” and from Latin princeps, meaning “first man, chief leader; ruler, sovereign”.
Old English had no female equivalent of “prince”, “earl”, or any royal or noble title aside from queen.
A monarch’s daughter would be called “the Lady” followed by her first name. For example, the Lady Elizabeth or the Lady Mary—both daughters of King Henry VIII.
The term Princess started to become popular in Britain in the 18th century.
George I’s children, grandchildren, and male-line great grandchildren were automatically titled “Prince or Princess of Great Britain and Ireland” and styled “Royal Highness” (in the case of children and grandchildren) or “Highness” (in the case of male-line great grandchildren).
In European countries, a woman who marries a prince will almost always become a princess, but a man who marries a princess will almost never become a prince.
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