Princess Charlotte is a record-breaking royal princess who is now only five years old, the first woman to benefit from the repeal of the rules of male birthright. But why does an outdated rule mean that your romantic future could be fraught with peril due to a royal title you are destined to have someday?
Princess Charlotte is recognized in the annals of history as the first royal woman to be born after British succession rules were modernized in 2011.
This rule change spelled the end of the male-preferred birthright rules that prioritized brothers over sisters in the line of succession.
This means that Charlotte is the first real woman to overtake her younger brother in the line of succession.
She is fourth in line to the throne, while her younger brother, Prince Louis, is fifth in line.
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Charlotte’s older brother Prince George has the highest rank in the line of succession of his generation.
This means that George is more likely to one day become King, instead, Princess Charlotte is likely to contemplate the title of Princess Royal.
This title currently belongs to the Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne.
The title of Princess Royal is usually a substantive title, but the reigning British monarchy does not automatically grant it to its eldest daughter.
Altogether, seven royals have had the title of Princess Royal:
- Mary, royal princess, daughter of King Charles I: 1631 to 1660
- Anne, royal princess, daughter of King George II: 1727 to 1759
- Charlotte, royal princess, daughter of King George III: 1789 to 1828
- Victoria, royal princess, daughter of Queen Victoria: 1841 to 1901
- Louise, royal princess, daughter of King Edward VII: 1905 to 1931
- Mary, royal princess, daughter of King George V: 1932 to 1965
- Anne, Princess Royal, daughter of Queen Elizabeth II: 1987 to present.
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Only a royal member retains the title of Princess Royal at any given time.
This means that some royal women who might technically be destined to possess the title do not grant it to them, as the former holder is still alive.
Since Prince Charles has no daughters, the next royal princess is most likely Princess Charlotte.
Royal author Duncan Larcombe told Town and Country magazine: “The title of Princess Royal is traditionally awarded to the monarch’s eldest daughter.
“It is a title that remains for life, so Princess Charlotte will have to wait at least until the death of the current royal princess.”
But the rules and responsibilities of the role are probably too difficult for the five-year-old to consider now.
According to Mr. Larcombe, there are extremely strict old rules for dating the Royal Princess.
He told Town and Country magazine: “Under old British law, any man who sleeps with the Royal Princess before marriage is guilty of high treason, punishable by execution!
“Perhaps it is best that Princess Charlotte’s future boyfriends be careful.
“At the very least, Wills and Kate are likely to wait until Charlotte is married before giving her the title.”
Treason Law 1351 describes how high treason would be considered with respect to romantic relationships if a person:
- Rape the king’s companion
- Rape the king’s eldest daughter if she was not married
- He rapes the wife of the eldest son and heir to the king (after the entry into force of the Crown Succession Act of 2013, this takes effect as if the reference were to the eldest son only if he is also the heir).
Under the changes to the bill in 2013, this protection also applies to the wife of the older son “if he is the heir”, in this case Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, are also protected.
An heiress’s husband will not be covered, parliamentary documents reveal.
The death penalty for treason was abolished in 1998, but a convicted person could still face life in prison.