Why Prince Harry had to get permission to marry Meghan but Princess Eugenie didn't

By Meaghan Wray

Fans of the Royal Family will remember the excitement of seeing the official document that granted Prince Harry and Meghan Markle permission to get married. And those who have followed the British monarchy for some time may also have noticed that bride-to-be Princess Eugenie and her fiancé Jack Brooksbank haven’t revealed such a document. This stems from the fact that, unlike her first cousin, Prince Andrew’s daughter doesn’t need her grandmother’s approval to wed her longtime love. But why?

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The answer is quite simple: Only those who are in the first five positions in line to the throne must ask for permission from Her Majesty to say “I do.” And while Prince Harry is currently in the sixth spot, he was fifth in line prior to his nephew Prince Louis’ birth. In fact, Prince Harry’s place in the line of succession has dramatically changed over the past five years, since the rules got a revamp. In 2013, the Succession of the Crown Act changed the course of royal history. Instead of men taking precedence over their older sisters, the women were now regarded as equals. So, when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed their adorable little girl, Princess Charlotte, Prince Harry was bumped from fourth to fifth in line to the throne.

Eugenie and Jack will be saying "I do" at St. George's Chapel. Photo: © Jonathan Brady, Alexi Lubomirski

Harry is now sixth in line since the birth of William and Kate’s third child Prince Louis in April, who takes precedent because his father is a future monarch and closer to the throne. As it stands now, Princess Eugenie is in the ninth spot, meaning she falls outside the scope of requiring permission from the Queen. The princess is preceded by her older sister, Princess Beatrice, her father Prince Andrew, Harry, Louis, Charlotte, Prince George, Prince William and his father, Prince Charles.

Jack joined the Royal Family for Easter this year. Photo: © Tolga Akmen - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Though Eugenie didn’t require formal permission, it’s quite likely that she offered the monarch the courtesy of letting her in on their future plans. After seven years of dating, Jack has been included in many family events, including the Easter service at St. George’s Chapel earlier this year and Royal Ascots in the past. It’s safe to say that the 31-year-old is already an honorary member of the royal clan, and their October nuptials – which will take place at Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel, like Meghan and Harry’s did – will be the cherry on top of a beautiful relationship.

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