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Now that I’ve examined the origins and usage of the titles of Prince, Duke, Earl and Baron, I’ll now begin to address the the history behind the specific Dukedoms Earldoms etc that the Prince of Wales has. I’ll start with the lowest titles and work our way up. Today I start with Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.

HRH Prince of Scotland and Great Steward of Scotland

Prince of Scotland

The title of Prince of Scotland originated in a time when Scotland was a kingdom separate from England. Prior to the House of Hanover which set in stone, or legislation, the usage of titles such as Prince wasn’t universally carried by male members of the Royal Family. Prince of Scotland was a title designated solely to the heir of the Scottish throne. Prior to the English and Scottish crowns being united under James VI of Scotland (James I of England and Ireland) the title Prince of Scotland was designed to be used in much the same way the title Prince of Wales was used to designate the heir-apparent to the English throne, although the Scottish heir-apparent was addressed only as Duke of Rothesay until that time.

Principality of Scotland

We tend to think of Scotland as a Kingdom rather than a Principality, so the natural question is, what is, or where is, the Principlality of Scotland? The designation “Principality of Scotland” implied (and implies) not Scotland as a whole but lands in western Scotland, in areas such as Renfrewshire, Ayrshire and Kirkcudbrightshire appropriated as patrimony of the Sovereign’s eldest son for his maintenance. This is similar to the Duchy of Cornwall which was established to be a source of income for the English heir. The title of Prince of Scotland originated from a charter granting the Principality of Scotland to the future James I of Scotland, the then heir apparent, granted on December 10, 1404, by Robert III. During the reign of James III, permanency was enacted to the title.

Historically there was a feudal aspect to the title. The Prince collected feudal duties and privileges for the principality while The Crown serves this role in the rest of Scotland. However, The Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc. (Scotland) Act 2000, abolished most remaining feudal duties and privileges attached to the Principality, leaving the Prince’s status as mainly titular. Before the 2000 Act the Principality was entirely feued out to tenants and brought in a small income. All title deeds in Ayrshire and Renfrewshire required to be sealed with the Prince’s seal. Revenue gained from feudal dealings were counted as income for the Duchy of Cornwall, a more substantial estate held by the monarch’s child who is heir apparent.


Great Steward

The Great Stewardship of Scotland was granted to Walter Fitz Alan by David I, and came to the Sovereign with the accession of the last High Steward, Robert Stewart, 7th High Steward of Scotland, who inherited the throne, as King Robert II of Scotland (1371-1390). Robert II was a grandson of Robert I via his daughter Marjorie and Walter Stewart, 6th Great Steward of Scotland.

Since that date it has been enjoyed by the Sovereign’s eldest son. Thereafter the title of High Steward of Scotland has been held as a subsidiary title by the heir-apparent to the Scottish throne, then the heirs to both the Kingdoms of Scotland, England and Ireland and later the United Kingdom.