When the daughter of Prince William and Kate Middleton was 2 years old, a radical change happened in the British monarchy. Princess Charlotte, 7, unwittingly made history by having a privilege that no other woman in the royal house of Windsor had ever enjoyed.
Charlotte became the first royal woman to benefit from the Succession to the Crown Act in 2013. The Act states that girls born into the Royal Family would not be superseded by their younger siblings.
Princess Charlotte the first royal child to welcome her baby brother Louis into the world and not lose her line of succession.
Which line of succession is Princess Charlotte?
The passing law meant that Princess Charlotte made history, following the birth of her younger brother, Prince Louis, 4, in April 2018, so she remains third in the line of succession to the throne above her brother.
The Act only applies to those born after October 28, 2011, so other female royals, such as Princess Anne and Lady Louise Windsor, did not qualify for this benefit. The old rules dated back 300 years.
The rule was changed after the 16 Commonwealth countries led by Queen Elizabeth II agreed that birth order, not gender, would determine succession.
Because Princess Anne was born before the Act came into effect, she is much further down the line of succession than Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, her two younger brothers. The late queen’s only daughter is currently 16th in the line of succession.
Lady Louise, Prince Edward’s only daughter, was born in November 2003 so she was overtaken in the line of succession by her younger brother, James Viscount Severn, who was born in December 2007.
Had the Act been put in place in the 1950s, Anne’s sons Peter and Zara, who do not hold titles of Her Royal Highness, would be closer to the throne than Prince Andrew’s two daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie.
In monarchies, such as Sweden and Norway, the eldest son is the heir regardless of gender. In other royal houses, men have priority over women.