An emperor is the ruler of a large empire whereas a prince is the ruler of a smaller area or principality. The word "prince" is also used to describe the son of a king or emperor.

Comparison chart

Emperor versus Prince comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartEmperorPrince
Female ruler Empress is the female form, who can be the wife or mother of the emperor, or the ruler of the empire. The female form is the princess. She can be the daughter of the king & queen, or wife of the prince, or ruler of the principality.
Source of power Inheritance or by conquest Inheritance
Modern rulers Today the Emperor of Japan is the only remaining emperor on the throne in the world. The Prince of Wales is an example.
About An Emperor is the ruler of an empire. An emperor is a (male) monarch, usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm A ruler of a principality.
Divine status Emperors may be considered a God within their Empire (as with the Emperor of China), or their divine status may be appointed by the Grace of God, (as with the Holy Roman Emperor) Usually the son of an emperor, king, or ruling/crown prince.
Power The power of emperor is maximum, the whole empire is under his command. Most have lesser Kings as vassels, sworn to them. Historically the power of many Emperors was often less than that of contemporary Kings. The prince's power is restricted to his province.
Politics Many kingdoms with their different policies and politics form an empire, and the ruler i.e. the emperor is the ultimate ruler of all the kingdoms. Each principality has its boundary and it's own politics.

Share this comparison:

If you read this far, you should follow us:

"Emperor vs Prince." Diffen.com. Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 19 Jul 2018. < >