Princess Charlotte may only be two years old, but the royal toddler will make history when her parents welcome their third child later this year, becoming the first female royal whose succession to the throne of England will remain in place regardless of whether Duchess Kate gives birth to a boy or a girl.
Charlotte is currently fourth in line to the throne (following grandfather Prince Charles, father Prince William and brother Prince George), and won’t be knocked down the ladder by a baby brother, as the Daily Mail reminds.
That’s because of 2013’s Succession to the Crown Act, British legislation that states birth order alone determines the order of succession, not gender.
In the past, a male heir to the throne would automatically catapult over his older sisters in the order of succession simply by virtue of his gender; under the earlier law, if William and Kate were to have a baby boy, he would take Charlotte’s place while she would be bumped down to fifth place.
“Succession to the Crown not to depend on gender: In determining the succession to the Crown, the gender of a person born after 28 October 2011 does not give that person, or that person’s descendants, precedence over any other person (whenever born),” reads the pertinent portion of the act, which also states that members of the Royal family who marry a Catholic will no longer be disqualified.
We’ll find out the sex of Charlotte’s royal sibling when Duchess Kate and Prince William welcome their latest child, due to be born within the next few weeks.