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What Happens To Royal Succession If Kate Middleton Has Twins?

December 4, 2012

The Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton, is being treated for hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness, which is associated with a good chance of having twins.

Which raises the question, if that were to happen what is the process for acceding to the throne?

My in-house researcher, James, discovered that the last time twins were in question was at the time Joan Beaufort Queen Consort of Scotland gave birth to twins: Alexander Stewart, Duke of Rothesay and James II of Scotland.

Given that the constitutional process is still underway to allow for a female heir to ascend to the throne makes me think a formal statement about twins is never to be realized.

If you are pondering that tidbit about a woman, given that Queen Elizabeth has ably ruled for decades. consider the following.

Last year, leaders of Britain and the 15 former colonies that have the queen as their head of state informally agreed to establish new rules giving female children equal status with males in the order of succession — something that will require legal changes in each country.

“Put simply, if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were to have a little girl, that girl would one day be our queen,” Prime Minister David Cameron said at the time.

Months passed with little progress. But the prospect of a royal birth next year seems to have focused political minds, at least somewhat.

In Britain, implementing the new rule means changing bits of several key constitutional documents, including the Bill of Rights and Coronation Oath Act of 1688, the 1701 Act of Settlement and the 1706 Act of Union with Scotland.

Lacey said that if it is not done by the time the baby is born, uncertainty is bound to remain. What if Kate has twins? Experts say the firstborn will be heir — but even that could be open to question.

“Say they have twins and a girl comes out first and 20 years later the boy turns out to be the more attractive character,” Lacey said. “People will say that at the time the law meant the boy should have inherited.”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 5, 2012 9:50 AM

    Of course, Austria-Hungary had something called the dual monarchy.

  2. December 4, 2012 3:34 PM

    From the information I have seen, the firstborn of the twins follows Dad to the thone, bumping Prince Harry our of the line .

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