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The One Time Kate Middleton Ranks Higher Than Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie

If you’ve ever wondered where Kate Middleton stands in the British royal family, you should know that it’s far more complicated than meets the eye.

According to People magazine, Middleton is expected to follow the royal family’s rules of precedence, which date back to 1595, even though she’s the future Queen Consort.

“Women of the royal family who marry in like Kate and Meghan gain their titles by marriage and, therefore, are of a lower rank than those born into their titles,” Wendy Bosberry-Scott (royal expert and editor of Debrett’s) told People last month.  

As the mag points out, the rule “ranks blood relatives of the monarch above almost anyone else in the family.” This means that royals-by-marriage (like Middleton) must curtsy to blood-related relatives, like Princess Anne, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice.

Another Debrett’s spokesperson added, “Essentially, the hierarchy exists to ensure that the princesses who are born with royal blood, like Eugenie and Beatrice, aren’t kind of pushed to one side. As far as the public is concerned, the most visible representation of this tends to be the order in which they might stand at a public event, or the order in which they might enter or leave a room, or who curtsies to whom.”

Debrett’s also noted that there’s one exception to this rule, when Middleton ranks higher than blood-related princesses. It all has to do with her husband, Prince William. “When the wives are with their husbands, their status is elevated to reflect the fact that the men are present,” the spokesperson continued. “As the men have a higher rank than the princesses (Anne, Eugenie, and Beatrice) they have precedence, and this higher rank is reflected on their wives, so they are then moved ahead.”

The more you know.

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