Şehzade (Ottoman Turkish: شاهزاده) is Turkish form of the Persian title Shahzade and refers to male descendants of Ottoman sovereign in the male line. This title equivalent with "prince" in English.


Şehzade is title derived from Persian origin shahzadeh or shahzada. In the realm of a shah (or a more lofty derived ruler style), a prince or princess of the blood was logically called shahzada as the term is derived from shah using the Persian patronymic suffix -zādeh or -zada, meaning 'son of', 'daughter of', 'descendant of', or 'born of'. However the precise full styles can differ in the court traditions of each monarchy. This title was used by the princes of the Mughal Empire in India and princesses called shahzadi.

Usage in Ottoman royalty

In Ottoman royalty, the title şehzade is used for male descendants of sovereigns in the male line. In formal address, this title is used with title sultan before their given name, reflecting the Ottoman conception of sovereign power as family prerogative.[1] Only şehzades had the right to ascend to the throne in Ottoman succession. Before the reign of Mehmed II, sons of sultans used the title Çelebi after their name.

The formal way of addressing a şehzade is Devletlû Najabatlu Şehzade Sultan (given name) Hazretleri Efendi. The style of consorts of şehzades are hanimefendi. Sons of şehzades also carried the same title as their fathers and daughters of şehzades hold the title sultan after their name. This all titles are still used by the Osmanoğlu family.

Ottoman Crown Prince

Ottoman used title "Vali Ahad" or "Veli Ahd" (Ottoman Turkish: ولایتعهد), meaning 'successor by virtue of a covenant', for crown prince. The full style of Ottoman crown prince was Devletlû Najabatlu Valiahd-i Saltanat Şehzade-i Javanbahd (given name) Efendi Hazretleri. Title for consort of Vali Ahad was "Vali Ahad Zevcesi". Full style of Vali Ahad's consort was Veliahd Zevcesi (given name) (rank) Hanımefendi Hazretleri.

Feminime equivalent

There is no feminime equivalent of şehzade or special title for princess in Ottoman royalti. In Persian, shahzade used for both male and female descendants of monarch, princes and princesses. Mughal royalti used the title shahzada for prince and feminime equivalent of this title, shahzadi, for princess.

Before 16th century, Ottoman princesses and sultan's consorts held the same title after their given name, hatun, Turkish form of the Mongolian title khatun, feminime equivalent of khan. By the beginning of the 16th century, in short way, Ottoman princesses just held the title sultan after their given name, title which also held by other prominent members of the Ottoman imperial family, emperor (together with khan), prince (together with title şehzade), emperor's legal mother (together with title valide), chief consort of emperor (together with title haseki), daughter of princess (together with title hanim), and son of princess (together with Persian patronymic suffix -zāde). This usage underlines the Ottoman conception of sovereign power as family prerogative.[1]

The formal way of addressing an Ottoman princess is Devletlû İsmetlu (given name) Sultân Aliyyetü'ş-Şân Hazretleri. The title of sons of princesses are sultanzade and daughters of princesses are hanimsultan. The title of princesses' husbands are damat. This all titles are still used by the Osmanoğlu family. Sultana, title which usually referred for sultan's women relative by Westerner, is not exist in Ottoman.

Example of Ottoman princes (şehzade sultans)

Example of Ottoman princesses (sultans)

See also


  1. 1 2 Peirce, Leslie P. (1993). The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc. ISBN 0-19-507673-7.

Further reading

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