Kensington Palace announced on Monday morning that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child. The news of the pregnancy came earlier than planned because the Duchess of suffering from acute morning sickness, meaning she was forced to cancel pre-planned engagements. Although details of how far she is into her pregnancy have not been released, we can expect the new baby to arrive in Spring 2018. But the arrival of a new royal baby means major changed will occur in The Royal Family. Here are a few of them:
The Line of Succession
Naturally, as the royal baby will be the son or daughter of the future King, the line of succession will be altered significantly. Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George and Princess Charlotte will remain as they are in the line of succession.
In years gone by, if the new royal baby is a boy, he would overtake Princess Charlotte in the line of succession and would become fourth-in-line to the throne, bumping Charlotte down to fifth. However, in 2015 shortly before Charlotte was born, absolute primogeniture was introduced to the succession to the British Throne, abolishing the male-preference primogeniture of the past.
This is one step closer to gender equality in the institution of Monarchy and would ensure that Princess Charlotte wouldn’t keep being pushed down the order of succession in favour of her brothers. This is what happened to Princess Anne when in 1964 she went from third-in-line to fourth-in-line following the birth of her younger brother, Prince Edward.
Prince Andrew doesn’t need The Queen’s permission to marry
It is a well established constitutional convention that the first six heirs to the throne must have The Queen’s permission to marry. Prince Andrew, who is currently sixth-in-line, will soon become seventh-in-line meaning he no longer has to have his mother’s consent if he decides to marry.
This will further refuel rumours that The Duke and Duchess of York might get together again. They recently spent close to a month in Balmoral Castle together on holiday with The Queen, so nothing is out the realms of possibility.
On the other hand, Prince Harry will still have to ask his grandmother for permission if he wishes to get marries. This will be the case until (and if) the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have a fourth child when he no longer has to ask the Monarch for permission.
Going into the future
It is now becoming clear what the Monarchy will look like in 30-40 years time. As was the case with The Queen, the Cambridge family seem to be ensuring there will be a whole new generation of Princes and Princesses to take on royal duties in the future.
Prince Charles is known to have a vision of a slimmed down Royal Family, and according to courtiers is planning on only making his children and their children working royals when he is King.
One thing is for certain; the new royal baby will definitely have the title of Prince of Princess. It would be hard to imagine them having this title without playing an important part in shaping British society going into the future.