From the moment of his birth, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s child will be bumping some royals down in the line of succession.
Harry, 34, is currently sixth in line to the British throne — behind his older brother Prince William‘s three young children: Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 1. Harry’s son, due early on May 6, will be just behind their father in the seventh position. And any future children Harry and Meghan may have will follow their older brother.
Thanks to the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, birth order determines who will become the next king or queen of the U.K., regardless of whether they are male or female. Princess Charlotte was the first to be affected by the change — had the act not been in place, she would have lost her spot to baby brother, Prince Louis. The legislation was first passed while Kate was pregnant with Prince George.
This means that Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth‘s second son who is currently seventh in line, will be bumped to the eighth spot. His two daughters, Princess Beatrice and newlywed Princess Eugenie, will also move down a spot along with the rest of the heirs.
Since Harry and Meghan were named the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their wedding day, it’s tradition for the eldest son of a duke to eventually inherit his father’s title. If their baby is a boy, he could be known by the title Earl of Dumbarton, the secondary Sussex title, before inheriting the dukedom, Bortrick explains. A baby girl, however, would not inherit a duchess title.
Any younger sons will be known as Lord (His Name) Windsor, while daughters will be called Lady (Her Name) Windsor — or Meghan and Harry could chose to forego royal titles for their children completely.
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The baby will also be one of the first ever heirs of mixed race in the British royal family. (Queen Charlotte in the 1800s was believed to be of mixed race and went on to have 15 children.)
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