Princess Charlotte won’t be Princess Royal automatically when Prince William becomes King

By @chelean on
Britain's Princess Charlotte
Britain's Princess Charlotte is seen in this undated handout photograph, taken at Anmer Hall in Norfolk, and released by Prince Willam and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge in London on May 1, 2017. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge/Kensington Palace via Reuters

When Prince William becomes King, his children’s standing in inheriting the throne goes up. Prince George will be the first in line to the throne, while Princess Charlotte will become Princess Royal, but not as soon as people might think.

Charlotte, the second child and only daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, is expected to be named Princess Royal in the future. The title is traditionally bestowed on the eldest daughter of the monarch, and the current titleholder is Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth’s second child and only daughter. But even when her father is crowned King, Charlotte will have to wait a while before she is bestowed the title.

Princess Anne Horse Racing - Cheltenham Festival - Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham, Britain - March 16, 2018 Princess Anne at Cheltenham Festival  Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

Duncan Larcombe, author of “Prince Harry: The Inside Story,” told TownandCountrymag.com that there is only one person who can hold the title at a time.

“It is a title that remains for life, so Princess Charlotte will have to wait at least until the death of the current Princess Royal,” he said.

It’s no guarantee that she would be called Princess Royal at that time as well. The title is not automatically inherited. Anne herself wasn’t bestowed the title until 1987 even though her mother had been the Queen for more than three decades and the title had been vacant since 1965.

The last person before Anne who was Princess Royal was Princess Mary, the third child and only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary. She held the title from 1932, more than two decades after her father was crowned, to 1965, her death.

It will be up to William to decide if and when his daughter gets to be called Princess Royal. Charlotte wouldn’t want to him to hurry, though. If she knew what responsibilities the title entails, she would perhaps want her father to delay further until she is married.

“Under ancient British law, any man who sleeps with the Princess Royal before they are married is guilty of high treason — punishable by execution!” Larcombe said. “Perhaps Princess Charlotte’s future boyfriends had better look out. At the very least, Wills and Kate are likely to wait until after Charlotte marries before giving her the title.”

Charlotte has made history when her younger brother, Prince Louis, was born in April. The Succession to the Crown Act 2013 has made it possible for Charlotte to retain her standing in the line of succession even though her younger sibling was born a male. It was the first time a daughter of the monarch was not bumped down by her younger brother.

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