The birth of Prince William and Kate Middleton‘s son heralds a change in the line of succession.
Prince George, who made his grand debut on 22 June, is now third in line to the throne of Britain and 15 other Commonwealth nations.
The new baby is third in the line of succession followed by Prince Harry
All being well, he will reign sometime towards the end of this century as King George VII – after his grandfather Charles III and father William V.
Prince Harry, who earlier this year lamented the difficulty of finding a suitable bride because of his position, has now moved into fourth place.
The Princes’ uncle Andrew is now in fifth, followed by his daughters Beatrice and Eugenie in sixth and seventh. Their other uncle Edward goes into eighth; behind him are his children Viscount Severn and Lady Louise Windsor.
Even if William and Kate had had a girl she would automatically have been third because of a change to the law this April, overturning centuries of preference for male heirs.
In the past a little girl would have ceded precedence to her brother – even if he was younger. The current Queen only ascended the throne because she didn’t have any brothers. Had her sister Princess Margaret been an Edward, Henry or a George, we would never have had a Queen Elizabeth II.
Male primogeniture as it’s called also meant that the Queen’s daughter Princess Anne, came behind her younger brothers Andrew and Edward.
The Succession to the Crown Act 2013 changed all that. Although it isn’t retrospective, applying only to those born after 2011. So Anne and her heirs Peter and Zara Phillips remain behind her brothers and their children.
He will be the seventh King George after the Queen’s own father
In addition the Bill ends the bar on anyone in the line of succession marrying a Roman Catholic.
It also scraps the provision requiring royals to seek the sovereign’s permission to marry. Instead, the rule applies only to the first six people in line.
The legislation came about following a summit in October 2011 when the Commonwealth countries agreed to change antiquated rules favouring boys.
Britain has changed laws favouring male heirs bringing it in line with other countries like Sweden
The proccess is now taking place in all the nations where the Queen is head of state – Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Belize, St Christopher and Nevis, St Lucia, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Papua New Guinea.
The changes bring the Commonwealth into line with most European countries. Sweden introduced similar changes in 1980 meaning that their next two sovereigns will be Princess Victoria and her daughter Estelle.
George’s peers will also include Norway’s Queen Ingrid Alexandra, Queen Elisabeth of Belgium and Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands.
Denmark also has the new system but both their royal heirs are male. As does Luxembourg where the Hereditary Grand Duke and his new wife are yet to produce an heir. Only Spain, Liechtenstein and Monaco still favour males.