What Kate Middleton and Prince William Having a Boy Means for the Royal Line to the Throne

The happy news is official: the British royal family has grown by one!

Kate Middleton and Prince William had a newborn baby earlier this week, and the little tyke already has a big title that prioritizes him over Prince William's brother. The unnamed baby boy is now fifth in line to the throne, ahead of Prince Harry and right behind his big brother Prince George and big sis Princess Charlotte. Up until recently, though, that wasn't guaranteed to be the case.

Kate Will royal baby succession line lead
James Devaney

While the current British royal line does go by birth order, until less than a decade ago, boys were favored over girls. This means that the new baby would have skipped Princess Charlotte in line for the throne, despite being the younger sibling.

A new 2011 law fixed that. It stated that any daughter of a future U.K. monarch had equal right to the throne, and it passed four years later after being approved by all 16 Commonwealth countries where Queen Elizabeth is head of state and the U.K. Parliament, according to Fortune.

“The idea that a younger son should become monarch instead of an elder daughter simply because he is a man … is at odds with the modern countries that we have become,” the then-Prime Minister of the U.K. David Cameron said at the time.

As of right now, the line of succession is as follows: Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, William and Kate's brand-new baby, and lastly Prince Harry. If Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have any kids, they will follow after Prince Harry, and further removed family members will fall down the line.

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