Two-year-old Princess Charlotte just became a big sister and made history in the process. The arrival of Prince William and Kate’s son on Monday (April 23) marks the first time the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 has come into play. In the past, sons took precedent over their sisters in the line of success to the throne, but the new law strips gender from the equation, meaning Charlotte remains fourth-in-line to the throne, while her younger brother is fifth.
The act, which for 300 years stated that the firstborn son of a King or Queen would be heir to the throne, was amended prior to Prince George’s birth in 2011. Speaking about the change at the time, former Prime Minister David Cameron said: "Put simply, if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were to have a little girl, that girl would one day be our Queen. The idea that a younger son should become monarch instead of an elder daughter simply because he is a man, or that a future monarch can marry someone of any faith except a Catholic – this way of thinking is at odds with the modern countries that we have become."
The British Royal Family isn’t the only monarchy enforcing equal rights to its heirs. Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway and Belgium also allow a firstborn daughter to hold the title, while Spain and Monaco have yet to make any changes to their laws.
News of Prince William and Kate's third child came viaKensington Palace on Twitter. The official statement read: "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 1101hrs. The baby weighs 8lbs 7oz. The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth. Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well." A second tweet read: "The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news." The announcement came just hours after it was confirmed that the Duchess, 36, had been admitted to the Lindo Wingat St Mary's Hospital, Paddington in the early stages of labour.