?ehzade (Ottoman Turkish: ) is the Turkish form of the Persian title Shahzade, and refers to the male descendants of an Ottoman sovereign in the male line. This title is equivalent to "prince of the blood imperial" in English.
?ehzade derives from the Persian word shahzadeh or shahzada. In the realm of a shah (or shahanshah), a prince or princess of the blood was logically called shahzada, the term being derived from "shah" using the Persian patronymic suffix -z?deh 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.
In Ottoman royalty, the title ?ehzade 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. Only ?ehzades had the right to succeed to the throne. Before the reign of Mehmed II, sons of sultans used the title Çelebi after their name.
The formal way of addressing a ?ehzade is Devletlû Najabatlu ?ehzade Sultan (given name) Hazretleri Efendi, i.e., Sultan Imperial Prince (given name) or simply Imperial Prince (given name). The style of consorts of ?ehzades are han?mefendi. Sons of ?ehzades also carried the same title as their fathers and daughters of ?ehzades hold the title sultan after their name. These titles are still used by the Osmano?lu family.
The crown prince used the title of Vali Ahad or Veli Ahd (Ottoman Turkish: ), meaning "the successor by virtue of a covenant", and the full style of Devletlû Najabatlu Valiahd-i Saltanat ?ehzade-i Javanbahd (given name) Efendi Hazretleri. The title for consorts of crown princes was "Vali Ahad Zevcesi", with the full style of Veliahd Zevcesi (given name) (rank) Han?mefendi Hazretleri.
There is no feminine equivalent of ?ehzade or special title for princesses in Ottoman royalty. In Persian, shahzade is used for both male and female descendants of a monarch. The royalty of the Indian Mughal Empire used the title shahzada for princes and the feminine equivalent of this title, shahzadi, for princesses.
Before the 16th century, Ottoman imperial princesses and consorts of the Sultan held the same title after their given name, hatun, the Turkish form of the Mongolian title khatun (the feminine equivalent of khan). By the beginning of the 16th century, Ottoman princesses held the title of sultan after their given name, titles that were also held by other prominent members of the Ottoman imperial family: the emperor (together with khan), princes (together with title ?ehzade), the emperor's legal mother (together with title valide), the chief consort of the emperor (together with title haseki), the daughters of princesses (together with title han?m), and the sons of princesses (together with Persian patronymic suffix -z?de). This usage underlines the Ottoman conception of sovereign power as family prerogative.
The formal way of addressing an Ottoman princess is Devletlû ?smetlu (given name) Sultân Aliyyetü'?-?ân Hazretleri, i.e., Sultana (given name). The title of sons of princesses are sultanzade and daughters of princesses are hanimsultan. The title of the consorts of princesses are called damat. Sultana, a title which usually referred to female sultans relative to Westerners, does not exist in the Ottoman language. Nevertheless, westerners often translated their official title, sultan, to sultana, possibly to distinguish them from the Ottoman sovereign.