It’s the fascinating tradition that us commoners struggle to get our heads around, but as bookies finalise bets on what Kate Middleton and Prince William will name their child, there’s one thing that’s for certain – and that’s the title their bub will be given.
While most of us simply know the family as the Kate Middleton, Prince William and their children Prince George, four, and two-year-old Princess Charlotte, there’s actually more to their titles than meets the eye.
Unless you’re a diehard royal fan who knows facts like what surname the family uses (FYI, it’s Mountbatten-Windsor) chances are you wouldn’t know there’s a history behind what titles they’ve been allocated.
Tradition dictated that under the Act of Settlement of 1701, male born royals would leapfrog ahead of their female counterparts when it came to the line of succession, no matter what their birth order was.
This, thankfully, was changed by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013, who enabled the Sucession of the Crown Act with absolute primogeniture (that is, succession stays with birth order, not gender).
Enter Princess Charlotte who was the first female born into the royal family who managed to keep her birth right when it came to the throne.
So whether Kate and Wills welcome a baby boy or girl, their title is still going to be the same.
They’ll be known as a prince or princess, and officially be fifth in line to the throne, after Prince Charles, William, George, Charlotte… and bumping Uncle Harry down to sixth.
What will depend on the new baby’s gender, is the title of their own children.
Experts reveal royal titles are passed along the male side of the family.
"Royal titles are inherited through sons, so if Princess Charlotte has children they would not automatically inherit the titles HRH, Prince, or Princess," etiquette expert Lucy Hume told Town & Country.
If you think back through the last few decades of the royal family, it appears that the tradition has been upheld religiously.
The Queen's daughter, Princess Anne, has two children, Zara Tindall and Mike Phillips, don't have official royal title.
However her brother, Prince Andrew's two daughters - Beatrice and Eugenie - both have Princess titles.
It's also possible for the royal family to ask for their offspring to be exempt from taking on a HRH title.
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