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Princess Royal


Princess Royal is a Cotswold Morris tune from Bampton-in-the-Bush, Oxfordshire.

Princess Royal was recorded several time by bands led by Ashley Hutchings:

  1. Their first recording was on Morris On in 1972.
  2. A BBC “Top Gear” show with the Albion Country Band recorded on 19 June 1792 included a set of Morris Dance Tunes: Morris On / Jockey to the Fair / Room for the Cuckoo / Princess Royal / Morris Off. This track was released on the Ashley Hutchings anthology The Guv’nor Vol. 2 and on the Mooncrest Ashley Hutchings anthology The Collection. Princess Royal from this set was also included in the anthology Burning Bright.
  3. A 1981 recording by the Albion Band with John Tams and Bill Caddick was released on The Guv’nor Vol. 3.
  4. Finally, Princess Royal was published on the Morris On Band’s live CD Morris On the Road.

Magpie Lane played Princess Royal on their 1993 Beautiful Jo album The Oxford Ramble and Magpie Lane members Mat Green and Andy Turner played Flowers of Edinburgh / Princess Royal on their 2024 WildGoose album Time for a Stottycake. This video shows Mat Green playing and dancing Princess Royal at Wigmore Hall Fiddle Days in July 2001:

Eliza Carthy and Nancy Kerr finished their recording of The Wanton Wife of Castlegate on their 1995 album Shape of Scrape with Princess Royal.

Martin Simpson played Princess Royal in 2001 on his Topic album The Bramble Briar. He noted:

I learned the Princess Royal from Mo Ogg, probably during a session at East Ferry. It is both a Morris tune and the melody for a splendidly verbose paean of praise for Lord Nelson.

Martin Carthy played Princess Royal live at the 23rd Annual Sea Music Festival at Mystic Seaport in 2002, at Ruskin Mill in December 2004, and live in studio in July 2006 on the DVD Guitar Maestros. He also played guitar on Martin Simpson’s recording of Princess Royal on The Bramble Briar.

Jon Wilks talked with John Spiers about Process Royal in January 2023 in Series 2, Episode 8 of his Old Songs Podcast.

The similarly named but unrelated song The Bold Princess Royal is a classic sea story which vividly recounts how a mercantile sailing ship rebuffed an attack by a pirate.