PRINCE GEORGE, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are the first generation of royals to be affected by the 2013 Succession to the Crown Act – but the law may place them in an “unfair” position in later life.
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William are now the proud parents of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. The 2013 succession act did away with male preference primogeniture, which means that Princess Charlotte is the first princess to come in front of her younger brother in the line of succession. It also means that the young Cambridge’s royal generation is the first ever to be able to marry a Catholic and retain their succession rights.
However, another change that was made by the act may see George, Charlotte, and Louis put in an “unfair” position.
One provision of the act was that only heirs up to the sixth-in-line to the throne now have to ask the Queen’s permission to marry.
Before this, any heir in the line of succession had to ask Her Majesty for permission.
The old rule would have seen latest royal bride-to-be Princess Beatrice having to ask her grandmother before becoming engaged – a step she did not have to take before saying yes to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi this week.
Princess Charlotte, Prince George, and Prince Louis (Image Getty)
Prince Louis, Prince George and Princess Charlotte with their mum Kate this summer (Image: Getty)
However, the new rules mean that Kate and William’s children could be in an unusual position where the siblings may all face different protocol requirements.
During the Committee Stage when the 2013 Act was being debated, MP Christopher Pincher asked: “Where did the number six come from? Why not three, five, or 12?”
He then said: “If we put in place a rule which says that the monarch can and must give consent to the marrying of the six persons nearest in line to the throne, imagine a scenario where a monarch has three children, who each have two or three children.
“The monarch will soon be in the invidious position where grandchild number four, who is fifth-in-line to the throne, must seek consent of the monarch to marry, but grandchild number six, who is seventh-in-line to the throne, need not seek that consent.
The Cambridge family all together at Trooping the Colour this year (Image: Getty)
“That does not seem fair.”
In this example, William, as a monarch with three children, would face the “unfair” situation.
He would potentially have to grant permission to some of Princess Charlotte’s children or not others, for example.
Or, he may have to grant permission to, for instance, Princess Charlotte to marry and not her brother Prince Louis.
Both William and Harry had to ask the Queen’s permisison to marry (Image: Getty)
Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice did not have to ask for their grandmother’s consent (Image: Getty)
Currently Prince George is third-in-line to the throne behind his father, Princess Charlotte is fourth and Prince Louis comes in at number five.
Prince Harry is currently sixth-in-line, but if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge decide on any more children, as has been rumoured they might, Harry’s place would slip further down the line.
As things stand, if Kate and William’s children grow up to have children of their own, or indeed if Kate and William decide to have more than four children, the Cambridge family would fall either side of the number six requirement.
Line of succession (Image: DX)
The monarch’s consent for marriages is particularly important because is ensures that any children issuing from that marriage may take their place in the line of succession.
The number six eventually became law in the 2013 Act because in modern times, the throne has never passed to anyone who was more than six steps away from the throne in the line of succession.
Queen Victoria was the most extreme example, as she was fifth-in-line to the throne at the time of her birth.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK