Battle Royal – Carolyn’s Burning Question of the Day

This has been bugging me a for while so I’m turning to you, oh wonderful blog reader, for your thoughts and opinions on the subject.

Why are princes sexier than kings?

The Background and Examples

As Tessa Dare opines on Twitter there is a surfeit of dukes. How can historical romance up the stakes? I am vastly paraphrasing, by the way. Royalty is the obvious answer. But from there arises an interesting paradox; Princes are better than Kings (assuming both are single and available). Why?

Updated to add: For the purposes of this question please assume the king is single, available and smoking hot.

Prince Charming, not King Charming
Prince of Darkness, not King of Darkness
Prince of Thieves, etc.
Some day my Prince will come . . .
The artist formerly, once and now presently known as Prince didn’t name himself King. He picked Prince.

Why?? What do princes have that kings don’t?

Kings have scepters and really BIG crowns and they get to sit on a throne (leaning back looking bored yet sultry — one of my life goals by the way)
They get to make the rules
If you piss off the king, say good bye to your head.
If you piss of the prince, you should hire someone to taste your food.

Explain this in the comments.

Thank you.


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8 Responses to “Battle Royal – Carolyn’s Burning Question of the Day”

  1. Martha Flynn says:

    A Prince isn’t “man” enough to be King until a good woman is willing to vouch for him. 🙂

    But srsly, a Prince can still be figuring out who he is, and a heroine can help him do that.

    A King who is having an identity crisis? Not so sexy.

    That’s my first-off-the-cuff-impression.

  2. Jane George says:

    The King is the mature masculine archetype. He’s arrived. He’s no longer in a state of becoming. He may even be, oh horrors, old.

    The Prince is still in a state of transformation so the possibilities are wide open.

    And you didn’t mention the Kings of Pop and Rock, for which I am grateful.

  3. Sharon M says:

    I think Jane and Martha nailed it. A prince isn’t going to be held as accountable for the mistakes he makes while trying to figure out who he is. Once he’s shown he can commit to the one woman for him and she helps him see who he is to be (or can be), he’s then ready to be a king.

    Unless, you have a youngish king who lost his queen to some kind of tragedy and then you’ve got a second chance for him to find love trope. I guess that would be along the lines of the movie “The American President.”

    Otherwise, I think “prince” rolls off the tongue easier than “king” does. 🙂

  4. Timothea says:

    I think that it might be because princes can (at least pretend to) be footloose and fancy-free where kings have definite defined responsibilities to look after. How can you craft a story around kingly responsibilities and routines and rituals? (Though that might be a worthy ambition for you, Caroline)

    This is borne out by the few stories that involve kings who do not have kingdoms (and associated responsibilities) and/or incognito for some strange reason, thereby making them prince equivalents.

  5. My first instinct was with Timothea–Kings flat-out have too much to do.

  6. Jennifer says:

    I also wonder if this is in part because little girls (who grow up) more often dream of being princesess than queens. Dad’s often call daughters princess – and many of us grow up with the prince/white knight fantasy. Thus, we are looking for our prince. We aspire to be princesses so that we may one day be queens.

    By the way, when I think of princesses, beautiful, young Disney characters come to mind – ie Cinderella, Snow White, etc. The word queens evokes images of 50-60 year old matronly and serious looking women bogged down by heavy and unflattering queenly regalia.

    Thi is a fascinating question!

  7. On Twitter, the consensus seemed to be that Princes have it easy, Kings are weighed down by all the responsibility. And that Satan is a good time.

    Except your basic historical Duke is also weighed down by responsibility. Dukes don’t get to go around poisoning food, a decent Regency duke would chop off your head with one swing of his claymore.

    So why are Regency Dukes to die for, Satan is a fun date, and Kings are boring?

  8. Timothea says:

    Also, sorry Carolyn, brain slip on spelling your name!