When it comes to the British royal family, one thing is almost always true: They have a pretty confusing set of official rules and protocols. For instance, here’s why the royal family doesn’t have a last name. And don’t forget the fact that Queen Elizabeth celebrates two birthdays every year.
If your head isn’t swimming yet, consider the tradition of royal titles. As per British custom, only the daughter of a prince or a prince’s wife may be considered a bonafide “princess.” The latter applies to Kate, who is both a princess and the Duchess of Cambridge thanks to her marriage to Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge. And their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, also bear official royal titles because their father is Prince William. (Confused as to who’s who? This chart explains the entire royal family tree.)
However, while Prince George’s future children will also carry their father’s royal status, any children that Princess Charlotte has will not automatically be considered princes or princesses. Why? Royal custom dictates that royal titles are passed down via sons, but not daughters.
“Royal titles are inherited through sons, so if Princess Charlotte has children they would not automatically inherit the titles [his or her royal highness] HRH, Prince, or Princess,” Lucy Hume, associate director of etiquette experts Debrett’s, told Town & Country.
Of course, exceptions can (and will!) be made. (Learn about every time the British royal family broke their own protocol.) The Queen has offered HRH status to other royal offspring in the past, including the children of Queen Elizabeth’s daughter, Anne. Although Princess Anne and her husband, Captain Phillips, declined, perhaps Princess Charlotte will be extended the same offer when her own children are born.
This isn’t the first time the Duke and Duchess’s children have shaken up royal tradition, either. Here’s how the third royal baby might completely change British royal succession history.
[Source: Daily Mail]