The Royal Baby has arrived. Kate Middleton has just had her third child, a baby boy whose name is yet to be announced. Both the Duchess of Cambridge and her new child are said to be doing just fine and have left the hospital. While the arrival of the new prince is, of course, a massive event in England, the baby’s arrival marks another historic moment for Princess Charlotte: Thanks to her new baby brother, the two-year-old has become the first female member of the royal family to not lose her place in line for the throne following the birth of a younger male heir.
In 2013, England passed the Succession to the Crown act, which replaced what’s called male-preference primogeniture. Basically, it said that birth order was birth order and that males do not take preference over females in terms of inheriting the thrown. As Marie Claire points out, Charlotte, as the second-oldest child, is now able to maintain her spot in line for the throne behind her four-year-old brother Prince George, grandfather Charles, Prince of Wales, her dad Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and her older brother Prince George of Cambridge.
Though England’s sitting monarch is Queen Elizabeth, her father only had two daughters the older of which is Elizabeth. So even though the succession act wasn’t in place when she became queen, there was no younger male heir for her to compete with, so she became queen by default. The next in line for the royal throne is 69-year-old, so it’ll be a long time before Charlotte or her older brother could even discuss becoming king or queen, but this is still a huge step forward for the royal family.