Prince Tonye Princewill was born in the UK to the family of the present King (Prof.) T.J.T. Princewill, the Amanyanabo of Kalabari Kingdom of the Amachree Dynasty of Rivers State. His father was a Professor of Medical Microbiology before he became a monarch. His mother, Ibiere Princewill, was an entrepreneur, notably successful in large scale Distribution and Farming. She passed away in 2000.
Tonye Princewill started his early education in the United Kingdom, before returning with his parents to Nigeria, where he enrolled at the Hillcrest High School in Jos from 1976–1980. He then attended Federal Government College (Port Harcourt) where he obtained his West African Senior Certificate/ General Certificate of Education O’Level in 1985. In 1990 he attained a BEng in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Port Harcourt and later returned to the UK to successfully complete a master’s degree in Mineral Resources Engineering at the Imperial College London in 1994.
He is married to Rosemary and has three children. Azariah, Teetee and Teepee.