In Tangled and Tangled: The Series, Rapunzel is the sole heir to the crown as the only child of her father, Kind Frederic. Rapunzel’s position as a future queen seems to have raised many questions in the fandom. Because I’m a history enthusiast, I wanted to make some points clear for all fans and fanfiction writers.
Rapunzel will become a queen of her own right, a queen regnant. This means she will inherit her power and become the sovereign ruler of Corona. This differs greatly from her own mother, Queen Ariana. As king, King Frederic is the sovereign ruler of Corona. As his wife, Ariana is actually a queen consort, being the wife of a king. This means that Queen Ariana shares her husband’s rank and title but not his sovereign power. The series actually confirms this, as about all decisions this far have been made by Frederic alone; King came down hard on crime, King enacts a martial law that forbids Rapunzel from leaving Corona, King will decide what happens to Eugene after his confession to the queen…
But the biggest question in fandom seems to concern Eugene and his status after Rapunzel becomes queen. And no, he will not become a king. This is both a historical fact according to European tradition (while Corona is a fantasy land, it is definitely in Europe) and something Eugene himself points out at the end of Tangled, where he says that Rapunzel ruled her kingdom with wisdom and grace. Not they and their kingdom, Rapunzel and her kingdom.
Eugene becomes prince consort. This means that he will not have sovereign power. Husband of a queen is not called a king unless he has inherited sovereign right to rule himself. Husband of the queen will not share her rank and title. This is because of male primogeniture; male heirs are given privileges before females. King means a male ruler who has inherited his right to rule and so ideally, queen would actually be queen consort. However, Rapunzel is an only child so she will definitely become queen regnant instead. Eugene will not hold any royal power. Instead, he will most likely act as counsel and guide for his wife, Rapunzel.
I know it may seem strange for many fans that Eugene will not become king or hold any actual power. This is because traditionally, Western stories have loved to glorify male heroes by giving them power and titles. I don’t see many people wondering what Cinderella or Tiana will do after their princes become kings and I think that is because it’s just so easy to imagine a heroine as simply a wife but it’s harder to imagine a hero as simply a husband, with position depending completely on his partner. I personally take Tangled as a great opportunity to get used to and celebrate a heroine finally having power in her own right and becoming a great female ruler.
This has been some interesting historical and not so historical trivia for today. Rapunzel will become an amazing queen and Eugene will be there to support her all the way through.
As a sidenote, Rapunzel will never become Rapunzel Fitzherbert. Royalty in Europe do not need last names even today. And even so, Rapunzel is clearly higher in rank. It would be unwise to give up her father’s name after marriage as she will inherit his title and power. Actually, historically in such cases husbands could take their wife’s name instead. I think Eugene was either using his commoner thinking or simply making cute rhymes in Tangled Before Ever After when he sang about her becoming “Mrs Eugene Fitzherbert”. Modern fics are a different matter, of course. But taking your husband’s name is not the only way to be cute and romantic so I’m sure their marriage is just as sweet anyway.