As if Princess Charlotte wasn’t already adorable enough! When Prince William and Kate Middleton welcomed their third royal baby (it’s a boy!) on Monday, April 23, their two-year-old daughter made history — she’s officially the first female member of the British monarchy to retain her place in the line of succession regardless of the gender of her younger sibling.
Before the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013 was passed a few years back, male members of the royal family would automatically usurp an older female member in the line of succession simply because of their gender. So, it didn’t really matter if Kate, 36, and William, 35, welcomed a baby boy or a baby girl — Charlotte remains fourth in line to take over the crown!
However, now that the new royal baby is born, his uncle Prince Harry will be bumped down in the line of succession. Harry was fifth to be King but since his latest nephew joined the royal family, he’s been moved down to sixth in line. And, if Kate and William decide to have more kids, he’ll get bumped again!
As aforementioned, before the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013 came into effect, male members of the monarchy bumped female members regardless of their birth order. Such was the case when Prince Charles and Princess Anne‘s younger brothers, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, were born. Before Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip welcomed their third and fourth children into the family, Anne was second in line to the throne, but her two younger brothers bumped her to fourth in line.
Today, Princess Anne is 12th in line to take over the monarchy behind her eldest brother Prince Charles, his son Prince William, and his grandchildren, Prince George, Charlotte, and the new royal baby. Because the line of succession follows Charles’ direct lineage, Kate and William’s newest baby (and any others they may have in the future) forced other members of the monarchy to be continuously moved down the line. Fascinating, right?!