Grand Prince

The title grand prince or great prince (Latin: Magnus Princeps; Belarusian: Вялíкі князь, 'Vyaliki knyaz'; German: Großfürst; Finnish: Suuriruhtinas; Danish: Storfyrste; Russian: Великий князь, Velikiy knyaz; Swedish: Storfurste; Croatian: Veliki knez; Serbian: veliki župan/велики жупан; Lithuanian: Didysis kunigaikštis; Hungarian: Nagyfejedelem; Czech: Velkokníže; Polish: Wielki książę; Turkish: Büyük prens, Granprens, Ukrainian: Великий князь, Velykyi kniaz) ranked in honour below emperor and tsar and above a sovereign prince (or Fürst).

Grand duke is the usual and established, though not literal, translation of these terms in English and Romance languages, which do not normally use separate words for a "prince" who reigns as a monarch (e.g. Albert II, Prince of Monaco) and a "prince" who does not reign, but belongs to a monarch's family (e.g. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge). German, Dutch, Slavic and Scandinavian languages do use separate words to express this concept, and in those languages grand prince is understood as a distinct title (for a cadet of a dynasty) from grand duke (hereditary ruler ranking below a king).

The title of grand prince was once used for the sovereign of a "grand principality". The last titular grand principalities vanished in 1917 and 1918, the territories being united into other monarchies or becoming republics. Already at that stage, the grand principalities of Lithuania, Transylvania and Finland had been for centuries under rulers of other, bigger monarchies, so that their title of grand prince was "masked" by a royal title (king/tsar) or an imperial one (emperor). The last sovereign to reign whose highest title was grand prince was Ivan IV of Moscow in the 16th century, until he assumed the style Tsar of Russia. When Ivan IV's pre-tsarist title is referred to in English, however, it is usually as grand duke.

Velikiy knjaz is also a Russian courtesy title for members of the family of the Russian tsar (from the 17th century), although those grand princes were not sovereigns.

Read more about Grand Prince:  Medieval Use, Modern Use, Styles and Forms of Address

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Famous quotes containing the words prince and/or grand:

    For among other evils caused by being disarmed, it renders you contemptible; which is one of those disgraceful things which a prince must guard against.
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    We had heard of a Grand Fall on this stream, and thought that each fall we came to must be it, but after christening several in succession with this name, we gave up the search. There were more Grand or Petty Falls than I can remember.
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