New Zealand Woman’s Weekly

Charlotte the history maker


After welcoming a new prince into the family, it’s Princess Charlotte who has made history, by being the first royal in the direct line to be affected by new succession laws in the United Kingdom.

Before the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 was passed, men outranked women when it came to their spots in the order of succession – for example, when Princes Andrew and Edward were born, they leapfrogge­d Princess Anne in line to the throne.

Now, male-preference primogenit­ure has been replaced by absolute primogenit­ure, meaning women retain their places in the order of succession, no matter what – so despite the fact that Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a boy, Charlotte’s position of fourth in line to the throne is still safe.

However, she’s not the first young royal to be affected by this change in legislatur­e. The children of Lady Davina Lewis and her New Zealand-born husband Gary Lewis, Senna Kowhai (7) and

Tane Mahuta (5), had their places in the order of succession reversed.

Under the old law,

Tane, despite being younger, was ahead of his older sister. This was reversed, as Tane was the first royal baby born after October 28, 2011, the date chosen for the law change to take effect. With the new royal bub, Senna is now 30th in line, while

Tane is 31st.

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