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We already know that Kate Middleton will (likely) eventually become Queen consort, but what about her children? In particular, could Princess Charlotte become queen (in the very distant future, of course)?

While the answer is yes, there are several factors that could stop this from happening, despite the fact that Charlotte is fourth in the British line of succession. The biggest obstacle is her brother, Prince George, who is third in line.

In order for Princess Charlotte to become queen, he would need to abdicate the throne. Since Prince William has pretty much been training Prince George since the day he was born, that’s highly unlikely. Not to mention, Prince George’s future children (should he have any) will precede Princess Charlotte in the order of succession.

This means that in addition to stepping down, Prince George would need to refrain from having kids if Char wants a shot at becoming queen. (This is reminiscent of Prince Harry’s situation, as he was pushed down in the queue when Prince William became a dad.)

Princess Charlotte walking with flowers
Karwai Tang/Getty Images

Still, if Prince George decides (for some reason) that royalty isn’t for him, Princess Charlotte is currently next up. This might surprise some royal aficionados, since her baby brother, Prince Louis, should’ve bumped her down in the royal line of succession. But thanks to the revocation of a dusty old rule called the Act of Settlement of 1701, Char’s claim to the British royal throne is completely secure.

Confused? OK, let’s start from the beginning. An old royal rule stated that boys born into a royal family could jump ahead of their sisters in the line of succession because, ya know, sexism. This decree directly impacted Queen Elizabeth II’s second born, her only daughter, Princess Anne. At the time of her birth, Anne was third in line for the throne, after her mother and older brother Prince Charles. When Anne’s brothers Prince Andrew and Prince Edward were born, however, she was pushed down to fifth in line to the throne. So not cool.

Thankfully, in April 2013, someone pitched the Succession to the Crown Act to put the kibosh on the outdated paradigm and it was ruled into law in March 2015—just two months before Charlotte’s birth. Now, Princess Char and all royal gals born after October 28, 2011, will uphold their right to the throne regardless of any little brothers. Wondering why that was the date decided upon? Us, too. At any rate, phew.

This concludes your royal lesson for the day. Class dismissed.

RELATED: What’s the Name of Prince William & Kate Middleton’s Royal Baby Boy? Here’s What We Think

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