Thanks To Her New Baby Brother, Princess Charlotte Is Making Royal History

The 2-year-old won't have to cede her place in the line for the throne.

The world is abuzz with the news of the birth of Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton's new baby boy. And the pair seems pleased to share their joy over their child's birth, it's also creating a bit of press around his older sister, Princess Charlotte, as his arrival allows her to achieve a significant royal first.


Up until 2015, the succession to the British throne was positioned in favor of male heirs — more specifically first-born sons. This is why Prince Charles is first in line after Queen Elizabeth II but his sister, Princess Anne, will only take the throne if her two younger brothers and Prince Charles' children and grandchildren are unable to fulfill their royal duties. However, thanks to the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013, the gender of any royal after born after October 28, 2011 won't be a determining factor in who will be the next in line to the crown. 

Not only does that mean that girls will have an equal shot at the royal throne for future generations, it also means that the newest royal heir, who is as yet unnamed, will not leapfrog over his sister, making Princess Charlotte the first princess in the history of Britain's royal family to retain her place in line for the crown.

While that's great news for Charlotte, her brother's birth does push back the standing of the rest of the royal family, with Prince Harry moving to sixth in line and the others of royal blood moving accordingly.

The Succession to the Crown Act could possibly provide an example of how other monarchies across the world can move forward and ensure that their royal line continues to thrive. In Japan, Emperor Akihito is set to abdicate the Chrysanthemum Throne in April of next year. Unfortunate, the male-only line of succession presents a problem as royal family has only 18 members, 13 of which are female. While there is a male heir available to succeed Akihito, the dwindling number of male heirs has forced officials to create a law to review ways to stabilize the line of succession, even following in the footsteps of the British and considering allowing for an empress in the future. 

Cover image via Lorna Roberts /


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