Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, is the Queen’s beloved paternal cousin, and the royal stalwart has been by the Queen’s aspect all through her lengthy reign. Edward now stands at forty first in line to the throne following the births of the Queen’s many youngsters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, so the Duke of Kent’s youngsters all have a declare, albeit distant, to the throne too. But a couple of of Edward’s youngsters and grandchildren have renounced their place within the line of succession through the Queen’s reign on the grounds of religion.
The Duke of Kent and his spouse Katharine, Duchess of Kent, have three youngsters, George, Earl of St Andrews, Lady Helen Taylor and Lord Nicholas Windsor, and Nicholas forfeited his place within the line of succession beneath an outdated royal statute.
Nicholas was acquired into the Catholic Church in 2001, and he has been open about his non secular views previously. He confronted criticism for the hard-line feedback on abortion he made within the American non secular journal, First Things.
Under the Act of Settlement of 1701, Nicholas was not in a position to hold his spot as soon as he transformed to Roman Catholicism. As the road of succession presently stands immediately, Nicholas would have been forty fourth in line to the throne.
The Act of Settlement stipulates that solely Protestants are eligible to succeed to the throne of England, and Lord Nicholas will not be the one royal through the Queen’s reign to have been affected by the royal rule. The Duke of Kent’s eldest youngster, the Earl of St Andrews, has two youngsters who additionally transformed to Catholicism through the Queen’s reign.
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Edward Windsor, Lord Downpatrick, can be forty third within the line of succession had he not transformed, making him essentially the most senior particular person to be excluded from the road of succession for being a Roman Catholic. His sister Lady Marina Windsor additionally misplaced her place when she was confirmed into the Catholic Church.
Previously, members of the Royal Family who married a Roman Catholic would additionally lose their place within the line of succession, even when they themselves remained a Protestant.
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent married Katharine Worsley in 1961, and in 1994 she transformed to Roman Catholicism. Had the Duchess been Catholic on the time of her marriage, beneath the earlier guidelines, the Duke of Kent would have misplaced his place within the line of succession.
But the Succession to the Crown Act (2013) introduced in a number of modifications, together with the elimination of disqualification arising from marriage to a Roman Catholic.
Prince Michael of Kent, Edward’s youthful brother, did lose his place within the line of succession after marrying Baroness Marie-Christine von Reibnitz, who was a Roman Catholic in 1978. However, when the Succession to the Crown Act got here into power in 2015, Michael was restored to 51st in line.
The Succession to the Crown Act didn’t take away the stipulation that solely Protestants might take the throne. But it did take an enormous step in bringing the monarchy as much as step with gender equality.
Until the Act was handed, the British monarchy was nonetheless a male-primogeniture system, which means male heirs took precedence over females. But now a system of absolute primogeniture is in place, which implies folks born after October 28, 2011, aren’t entitled to priority within the line of succession primarily based on gender. However, the road of succession stays unaltered for anybody born earlier than this date.
The modifications got here only a few months earlier than the beginning of Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge’s first youngster, Prince George of Cambridge.
When George’s sister Princess Charlotte was born in 2015, she took her spot as fourth in line to the throne as Prince William’s second youngster. And when her little brother Prince Louis was born in 2018 he didn’t succeed her, as would have been the case in earlier years, and he presently stands in fifth place.
Despite being the Queen and Prince Philip’s second youngster, Princess Anne misplaced her spot as second in line to the throne when her brother Prince Andrew was born in 1960. She has since been displaced by Andrew and Prince Edward’s youngsters and grandchildren, leaving her within the seventeenth place as of 2022.