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In the DC universe, Wonder Woman is the Princess of the Amazons. Why is this? The Amazons are immortal so why would Hippolyta need an heir? Is there an in-universe explanation for this?

Answers relating to either the movies or the comics are welcome, as long as they're in-universe.

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    Is the purpose of being a princes only to be an heir? Could be a title for keeping order in a hierachy, a reward for being brave, etc... – Mixxiphoid Nov 25 '20 at 16:34
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    Even immortals need a leader. And even immortals can succumb to illness and injury. – Valorum Nov 25 '20 at 16:39
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    Sure. Nobody ever died by accident on an island. – Paul D. Waite Nov 25 '20 at 16:53
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    It's like asking "why does a ship need a first officer when there's a healthy captain?" I look at "princess" as a rank. And the queen need not be gone thru a Major Event (like dying or retiring). "The Queen has gone up to the mountains for a little fishing and general R&R. The princess is in charge" – Blaze Nov 25 '20 at 18:05
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    @Blaze I look at "princess" as a rank. It is a rank. A regal rank, not a military rank. If the Queen has gone fishing, then her Ministers or Privy Council would be in charge. – RonJohn Nov 26 '20 at 2:05
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  1. Queen Hippolyta isn't guaranteed to live forever.

    Amazons are immortal in the sense that they have greatly slowed (or possibly static) aging after they physically mature to a certain point, but they can still die from a severe enough injury.

    Wonder Woman Vol 2 #104

    enter image description here

  2. Why break with tradition?

    In the post-Crisis comics timeline at least, the Amazons apparently lived on Themyscira for over 3000 years before Diana was 'born', so as long as Hippolyta is around, Diana's role as princess doesn't seem to be strictly necessary.

    Wonder Woman Vol 2 #1

    enter image description here

    enter image description here

    However, simple tradition dictates that she -- as the queen's daughter -- would receive that title. Even if Hippolyta were guaranteed to live forever, and there was no genuine need for a princess, it doesn't follow that she'd wish to break with tradition and deny her daughter that title, unless there was a tangible benefit to doing so.

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After further deliberation and research, I have discovered the answer.

  1. Hippolyta can die in combat. Just as the previous answer mentioned, Hippolyta can die in a fight, though these fights aren't very likely, there is still a need for backup in case the island is attacked or something.

  2. A princess is needed for certain royal ceremonies/rituals. In an episode of Batman: Brave and the Bold, Wonder Woman was required to return to the island for an annual event where the warrior women of the island would participate in a tournament of sorts where the Hippolyta and Wonder Woman as queen and princess were required to judge the fights.

  3. Needed for potential political advantage. If the Amazons ever needed an alliance or treaty they could marry off the princess to "seal the deal" and make their agreement more ironclad. Now there was no example of this happening anywhere in-universe that I could find, but it is a concept that has been used before in history and is still a plausible reason.

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