On Monday morning of this week, Kensington Palace officials announced that Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, is expecting her third child.
Announced on the official Kensington Palace Twitter feed – a modern move for Royal communications – the statement reads: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their third child.
The news of the Duke and Duchess’ forthcoming arrival is believed to have broken earlier than initially planned, as Catherine was unable to attend official palace engagements due to suffering with acute morning sickness.
Due in the springtime of 2018, the arrival of Catherine and William’s third child will bring about some interesting changes to the dynamics of our Royal Family – think changes to the line of succession, the traditional rules of marriage and the future image of the royal family.
So, here’s everything you need know…
1. Changes to the line of succession
After the birth of the son or daughter of the future King of England, the line of succession will undergo a major alteration. However, this will not affect the succession in the same way that you might assume.
Historically, if the new arrival was a son, Princess Charlotte would have been moved down the line of succession, with her younger brother taking precedence.
However, due to the abolishment of male-preference in the Royal succession in 2015, Charlotte will remain secure in her position as fourth-in-line to the throne.
2. The royal rules surrounding marriage…
A well-established constitutional royal convention is that the first six heirs to the throne must have the Queen’s permission in order to marry.
But, with a new baby being added to the future Kind of England’s immediate family, Prince Andrew will be pushed down the line of succession – from sixth-in-line to seventh-in-line – meaning that he will no longer have to gain the permission of The Queen in order to wed.
3. The future faces of the Royal Family…
The new young Royals have ensured that there will be a whole new generation of Princes and Princesses to take on future royal duties.
According to Palace courtiers – although this is not yet confirmed – Prince Charles plans on making only his children and their children working royals when he is King. This would mean that a smaller number of the Royal Family will take on duties than currently – a group that will include the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s newest arrival.