Prince William and Kate Middleton are proud parents of three children, though there might come a day when they are put in an awkward position with their grandchildren. A law called the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013 requires certain heirs to the throne to ask permission before they marry. Depending on how many grandchildren the couple has, Prince William will be required to grant some of them his blessing but not others.
Inside the Succession to the Crown Act
The Succession to the Crown Act was initiated in 2015, the same year that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed their daughter, Princess Charlotte.
Because of the new rule, Princess Charlotte is fourth in the line of succession, one spot above her younger brother, Prince Louis. In times past, Princess Charlotte would have been behind her male siblings when it comes to inheriting the crown.
She is now the first woman royal to be put ahead of a male in line to the throne – which is pretty amazing.
And that’s only one provision in the new law. According to Express, another part of the act requires the first six heirs to the crown to obtain permission from the head of the monarchy to wed.
Prior to the act, every person who was in the line of succession was required to get permission to tie the knot. Under the old rules, for example, even Princess Beatrice would have been required to get Queen Elizabeth’s blessing to marry Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.
While the new law makes things a little more manageable for the royal family, it could put Prince William in an awkward position when his children start families of their own.
Prince William to give his grandchildren permission to marry
Once Prince William is wearing the crown, it will be his duty to give his heirs permission to wed, at least the first six in line to the throne. But depending on how many children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis have, some of them will likely not have to ask permission to tie the knot.
If Prince George, for instance, has three children, then only one of Princess Charlotte’s kids would have to talk with Prince William before they get engaged. In the event that Prince George and Princess Charlotte have children before Prince Louis gets married, there’s a chance that he won’t even need to ask permission for himself.
This puts Prince William in an awkward position, which is why some members of parliament argued against adopting the rule in the first place. The act, of course, got the votes it needed to pass, and Prince William will have to deal with the consequences once he’s on the throne.
Luckily, Prince William has a few years to go before he inherits the crown. He is currently second in line to the throne behind his father, Prince Charles.
If Prince Charles has as much longevity as his mother, Queen Elizabeth, it could be twenty years before Prince William becomes the King of England. His children, who are currently the third, fourth, and fifth in line to the throne, could all be married off by then.
Why is getting permission important?
The Succession to the Crown Act might seem nothing more than a trivial formality, but there is a good reason why members of the royal family get permission to wed.
Receiving the consent of the ruling monarch means that all the children from that marriage are eligible to become an heir to the throne. So if Prince George has a lot of children, it’s possible that Prince Louis’ kids would not be a part of the line of succession.
The reason the law only includes the top six heirs is because the crown has not been passed down to anyone further than the sixth person in line – at least not in modern times.
Queen Victoria was the closest to hit the mark as the fifth person in line to the throne when she was born.
Prince William has not commented on the reports surrounding the Succession to the Crown Act.