What If Kate & Prince William Have Twins & Other Rules of Succession Explained

kate middletonNow that Prince William and Kate are expecting a royal baby, it is ALL WE CAN DO not to turn The Stir into Let'sTalkAboutTheRoyalPregnancy.com. There's so much to discuss! For example, this burning question: WHAT IF KATE HAS TWINS?

What are the rules for inheriting the throne? Who shall rule the UK if Kate is pregnant with twins and the girl is born first? Americans need to know now! So here's the 101 on the rules of succession for the crown. Where is my Masterpiece Theater music when I need it? Just imagine that part.


The current line of Succession: In order to be in line for the throne, you must be a male 21 years of age unless you are a daughter with no male brothers, as was the case for the current Queen. Currently the four heirs in line for the throne are as follows:

  • Charles, Prince of Wales
  • Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
  • Prince Harry of Wales
  • Prince Andrew, Duke of York

Reforms of Succession will change that: The custom of "male primogeniture," handing down the crown only to male heirs except when you have no sons, is on its way out. In October 2011, leaders of the 16 Commonwealth countries approved a measure giving daughters equal treatment in the laws of succession.

It's not a done deal: Parliament still has to debate and approve this reform and it would require amendments to several pieces of legislature including the Bill of Rights. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is seeing to it personally that these changes get expedited in light of the news that Kate and William are expecting

Long story short: As long as these reforms pass, if William and Kate have a daughter, when she turns 21, she will be third in line for the throne, after Prince Charles and Prince William.

What about TWINS? According to the new rules, whichever twin is born first would be third in line for the crown (again, after Prince Charles and Prince William). The second-born twin would be fourth in line for the crown (followed by Prince Harry). It's the same as if Kate had one child this year and another child two years later. Heaven help the Royal Obstetrician should Kate require a C-section and he has to decide which twin to pull out first. I imagine in most cases one twin is in graver danger or is closest to the incision.

Do you think Kate and William might be expecting twins?


Image via Pacific Coast News

Read More >