Edward Tudor, Prince of Wales The main character, the prince referred to in the title of the novel. Having spent his entire life in the confines of the royal apartments, he has daydreamed about the freedom experienced by boys such as Tom Canty.
Tom Canty The other main character of the novel; as a pauper's son, he has been brought up in one of the most disreputable parts of London and has spent much time daydreaming about living the life of royalty.
King Henry VIII The loving father of Edward, Prince of Wales; he is anxious to see his son installed as the heir apparent before it is discovered that the prince is mad.
John Canty The unloving and harsh father of Tom Canty; he keeps his son in tow solely so that young Tom can beg money for him.
Bet, Nan, and Mother Canty The sisters and mother of Tom Canty, who try to protect him from John Canty's brutality.
Father Andrew The good, retired priest who teaches Tom how to read and write and also teaches him a bit of Latin, a talent which he later uses at court.
The Lady Jane Grey, The Lady Elizabeth, and the Lady Mary Half-sisters to Edward, Prince of Wales. At various times, they are kind or sarcastic to Tom Canty, who they believe to be the real prince.
The Lord Hertford and The Lord St. John Two lords of the realm in charge of overseeing the welfare of the Prince of Wales.
Miles Hendon A "diamond in the rough," so to speak; he is a good friend of young Edward Tudor, and he represents the best of Englishmen; he thinks that the young prince is ill, and because he feels sorry for him, he becomes his protector as they wander throughout the English countryside.
Hugo A ruffian vagabond member of the troop which holds the prince captive; later, he is beaten by the prince in a contest of skill.
Hugh Hendon Miles's brother who usurps Miles's rightful place in the family and also marries the woman Miles loves. He pretends not to recognize Miles, and he is responsible for Miles' and the young prince's being imprisoned.
Blake Andrews The old retainer of Miles Hendon's father; he comes to jail and explains the various events that have transpired since Miles Hendon has been away.
Sir Humphrey Marlow (deceased) An old friend of Miles's father, Miles hopes that the old fellow will help him regain his rightful position as a recognized member of the Hendon family.
Humphrey Marlow A young boy who is hired to take the prince's whippings. He helps young Tom Canty adapt to his role as prince.
The Hermit A mad old man who takes young Edward in and pretends to be kind to him; however, when he hears that Edward is the son of Henry VIII, the hermit is almost successful at killing the lad.