What the third royal baby would mean for Prince Harry’s love life

By @chelean on
royal family
Members of the royal family, including Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge holding Princess Charlotte, Prince George, Prince William, Prince Harry, Queen Elizabeth, and Prince Philip stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony on Horseguards Parade in central London, Britain June 11, 2016. Reuters/Toby Melville

The announcement of a third royal baby for Prince William and Kate Middleton should be good news to Prince Harry. The upcoming niece or nephew would mean Uncle Harry would be bumped down from the British monarchy line of succession, and that’s a good thing for his love life.

Harry, 32, is currently the fifth in line to the throne after his father, Prince Charles; his brother, Prince William; his nephew, Prince George; and niece, Prince Charlotte. Once the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child is born, Harry will be relegated to sixth. His uncle, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, will be bumped to seventh.

For Harry, who previously said nobody from the royal family really wanted to be king or queen, this does not only mean that his chances of becoming a king have decreased once again, but also that he would be one person away from being free to marry without needing the permission of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

The previous law, which dates back to 1772, stated that all descendants of George II had to seek the monarch’s consent to marry. The monarch today is the Queen.

In 2015, however, the Succession to the Crown Act of the United Kingdom came into effect. Among other things, this changed the consent to marry rule for the royals. The first six persons next in line to the British throne are now the only ones who need the Queen’s consent to marry.

As Harry will become the sixth in line to the throne once William and Kate’s third child is born, he would still need the Queen’s permission if he wanted to marry girlfriend Meghan Markle. Nevertheless, that’s one person closer to getting married without the aforementioned permission.

This is perhaps good news to Harry, whose American actress girlfriend is a divorcee. Markle was married to Trever Engelson from 2011 until their divorce in 2013.

There doesn’t seem to be any conflict about their relationship behind the castle walls, with the royal family, including the Queen herself, even reportedly supportive of it. However, as the Queen is the head of the Church of England, she should not technically support her grandson’s marriage to someone who had been divorced before.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s new sibling

On Monday, it was announced that William and Kate are expecting their third child. The Kensington Palace said that Kate, just like her first and second pregnancies, is again suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, or extreme morning sickness. The Duchess is speculated to be less than 12 weeks pregnant.

When asked how he felt about the upcoming addition to the family, Harry replied to a reporter, “Fantastic, great. Very, very happy for them.”