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

All the Rage 13

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

feminism, in the news, kate middleton, royal couple, women's issues, twins & multiples, celeb moms


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jagam... jagamama0710

Anything's possible but why would anyone have any reason to think that they are?

purpl... purpleflower514

The Dukedom of Windsor has been extinct since it's first and only holder, the former Kind Edward VIII, died in 1972. William is the Duke of Cambridge.

quesrah quesrah

I have never heard this rule about someone having to be 21 to be in the line of succession.  Is that new?

purpl... purpleflower514

In the past the person would still rule but with a regent. This is probably still the case.

quesrah quesrah

Even then, they'd only have to be 18 to rule in their own right (like Queen Victoria), so I'm not sure where 21 came from!

purpl... purpleflower514

Considering that she couldn't even get William's title right I'm not surprised by other errors the writter makes.

DebaLa DebaLa

"unless you are a daughter with no male brothers"

Aren't most brothers male?

That said, I hope the heir-gender reform goes thru before the birth, regardless of the baby's/babies' sex.

Melis... Melissa1508

I'm not surprised by the "writter's" errors, either. 

chell... chellyelizabeth

With twins in utero the twin closest to the cervix is normally designated baby a, but at birth baby a is which baby is born first. Normally it's the same.

nonmember avatar Sara

Having just given birth to twins the Dr had told me baby a is the one closest to the cervix and is the one delivered first. If natural birth obviously the first out, if c section still first one out since still the closest.

If they pass the reform would it effect Prince Charles?

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