UK royal baby: Will England see a King Louis Arthur Charles?

Prince William and Kate Middleton have welcomed their third child to the royal family. Find out where the new royal baby falls in the line of succession to the throne.


Prince William and Kate Middleton — Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge for the posh and proper among us — have welcomed their third child to the royal family. At 8 pounds, 7 ounces, King Louis Arthur Charles’s arrival was announced to the world with the customary framed notice placed outside of Buckingham Palace, as well as the not-quite-as-customary Monday morning tweet (which happened this time around).

As is usual when a new royal arrives on the scene, people are wondering where the baby will fall in the line of succession to the throne of the United Kingdom. What are the chances that we’ll see the crowning of King Louis Arthur Charles?

A relatively straight line of succession


LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Photographers work as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, depart the Lindo Wing with their newborn son Prince Louis of Cambridge at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018, in London, England. The Duchess safely delivered a boy at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Thanks to the stability of the modern Monarchy, succession is a far less divisive process today than it used to be.

The current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II. At 92 years old, she has reigned an impressive 66 years, making her tenure the longest in the country’s history. The heir apparent is her firstborn son, Charles, Prince of Wales. Next in line is Charles’s firstborn son, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. After William comes his and Middleton’s firstborn son, Prince George of Cambridge.

As you can see, the line of succession traditionally follows sons. As Prince George’s younger brother, Louis Arthur Charles would traditionally be fourth in line for the throne, but he’s actually fifth. Here’s where things take a historic turn.

Breaking the habit


Formal portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, Public Domain.

For most of the United Kingdom’s history, daughters were passed over for succession to give preference to sons.

Sure, Britain has had its share of queens; Queen Mary I and Queen Elizabeth I both ascended to the throne in the 16th century. But they only received the position because Henry VIII’s sons, their brothers, died tragically young. His firstborn, Henry, died of an unrecorded disease at the tender age of 52 days. His second born son, Edward VI, became king at the age of 9, but died six years later of tuberculosis. Queen Victoria likewise reigned in no small part thanks to a string of Y-linked bad luck.

Jump forward a few centuries, Parliament finally changed the law to no longer favor gender with the Succession to the Crown Act 20135. This means Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, William and Middleton’s daughter, will retain her place as fourth in line to the throne. To give you an idea of how dated the laws of succession were, this legislation also removed the statute that automatically disqualified someone from the line of succession for marrying a Roman Catholic.

With no cutsies the official law of the land, Louis Arthur Charles will have to settle with fifth in line. If you’re curious, Prince Harry, Louis Arthur Charles’s uncle, is sixth in line, and Prince Andrew, Louis Arthur Charles’s great-uncle and Queen Elizabeth’s second son, is seventh.

So, the chances of Louis Arthur Charles ascending to the throne are pretty slim. With the days of bloody usurpation, rampant plague, and inbred haemophilia6 behind the royal family, he’ll have to make do with being a much-adored prince in one of the oldest and most respected monarchies in the world.

Tough break, kid.

The royal baby’s U.S. counterpart


Flickr, Greg Skidmore: Creative Commons 

To add some perspective, Louis Arthur Charles has about as much chance of becoming king as the Secretary of the Treasury has of becoming President of the United States. Like the newborn, the Secretary of the Treasury finds himself behind four others in the line of succession, in order: the Vice President, the Speaker of the House, the President pro tempore of the Senate, and the Secretary of State. The presidential succession is actually mapped all the way down to 17th place, with the Secretary of Homeland Security bringing up the rear. Of course, should that contingency ever come into play, we’ll probably have bigger problems on our hands.)

Still, the comparison isn’t quite apples to regal apples. The President serves as both the head of state and the head of government, while the British Monarch serves only as the head of state. The United Kingdom’s head of government is its Prime Minister, who wields political and executive powers similar to those of the President.

According to the Royal Family’s official website, the Monarch’s duties include constitutional and representational acts and serving “as a focus for national identity, unity, and pride.” The United States simply lacks an individual that performs this kind of role in public life. Well, except maybe Chris Pratt.

With the throne likely out of reach, only time will tell if Louis Arthur Charles becomes the United Kingdom’s Chris Pratt. Given the excitement surrounding announcement of his birth, he’s off to a good start.

Antimicrobial resistance is a growing threat to good health and well-being

Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.

Image courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
  • As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
  • If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
  • Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
  • By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
Keep reading Show less
Sponsored

22 months of war - condensed in a 1-minute video

No, the Syrian civil war is not over. But it might be soon. Time for a recap

Strange Maps
  • The War in Syria has dropped off the radar, but it's not over (yet)
  • This 1-minute video shows how the fronts have moved – and stabilised – over the past 22 months
  • Watching this video may leave you both better informed, and slightly queasy: does war need a generic rock soundtrack?
Keep reading Show less

Bespoke suicide pods now available for death in style

Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.

The Sarco assisted suicide pod
Technology & Innovation

Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco! 

Keep reading Show less

How to bring more confidence to your conversations

Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.

content.jwplatform.com
Videos
  • To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
  • Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
  • There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
Keep reading Show less