Royal News

Kate Middleton heartbreak: Outdated law stops Princess Charlotte from inheriting title

Princess Charlotte, five, has shown herself to be a leader in the making in several sweet appearances during the current crisis. Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge’s daughter stole the show in a recent clip that captured her leading the way as her family clapped for the NHS from their doorstep at Anmer Hall.

Charlotte celebrated her fifth birthday on May 2 and to mark the milestone Kate shared a new series of photographs in which Charlotte was pictured helping distribute care packages to vulnerable community members.

In one new portrait, Charlotte looked directly at the camera with a confident air.

Even at her young age Charlotte seems well-suited to public duty and wowed fans at Christmas when she hugged a member of the public who gifted her an inflatable flamingo after attending church in Sandringham.

However, despite Charlotte’s apparent flair for royal life, she is at a disadvantage to her two brothers Prince George, six, and Prince Louis, two, because of a discriminatory law.

Male primogeniture still exists in the UK and means that hereditary titles can only be passed onto sons and not daughters.

This means that while Prince George and Prince Louis may inherit dukedoms from their male royal relatives in future, Princess Charlotte will not be able to.

The Queen traditionally gifts her sons and grandsons dukedoms on their wedding day which is how Prince William and Kate became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

When Prince William becomes king it is expected the title will be joined to the crown rather than being passed down to Prince George or Prince Louis.

However, when Prince Charles becomes king Prince William will inherit the Dukedom of Cornwall title which will automatically pass to George when Prince William becomes king.

There is also a chance Prince Louis could inherit the Dukedom of York from Prince Andrew in future because male primogeniture means it cannot pass to either of Prince Andrew’s daughters Princess Beatrice, 31, or Princess Eugenie.

A campaign called Daughter’s Rights is working to put an end to male primogeniture in the UK and make it possible for daughters to inherit peerages.

Daughter’s Rights founder Campaigner Charlotte Carew Pole explained there is a case in the European Court of Human Rights challenging the Government because only sons can inherit titles.

Ms Carew Pole told Express.co.uk: “It’s hard to see how the government can continue to object, it’s keeping enough pressure on them to see that it’s a matter that won’t go away.”

She added: “More than anything if we could bring this to an end it sends a very simple but powerful message that nowhere is it OK to treat girls differently, with less importance, than sons.

“It doesn’t matter where you are in society, whether you’re a princess is beside the point, prejudice against girls in favour of boys shouldn’t be allowed.

“It is hugely symbolic legislation but Parliament must do as it says and end the last state-sanctioned gender discrimination.”

While Princess Charlotte may not be able to inherit a peerage the laws around succession were changed ahead of her birth.

In 2011, the laws of succession were updated so that sons and daughters had an equal right to the throne.

This meant that when Prince Louis was born he did not leapfrog his older sister Charlotte in the line of succession but that she kept her place behind her big brother George.

Charlotte is currently fourth in line to the throne while Prince Louis is fifth.

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