Traditional decree dictates that only the oldest male child of the Prince of Wales could have the title prince. Any female children would be called lady, per the doctrine set forth by George V. However, the Queen has declared that Kate and William’s daughter will be called princess. Her majesty wanted to guarantee that this child, and all future children in the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s family line, will receive the titular dignity of Prince or Princess. The Queen made the decision on New Year’s Eve, but it was popularly reported on January 9th by the London Gazette.
change, in light of the unborn child’s gender, goes along with propositions in the U.K. legislation that would allow the first-born child to take the throne, regardless of gender, and then gender of any following siblings. Thus, if a royal’s first child was a girl, even if she was followed by a boy, the female child would be the first in line for the throne. In current Commonwealth rules, the boy would be next in the line of succession.