Prince George’s generation is the most immediate to be affected by the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013 — an act that abolished male preference primogeniture. This Act also points out why the third in the line of succession’s future daughter may take on the title of Princess of Wales but not Duchess of Cornwall.

Traditionally, the title of Princess of Wales is given to the spouse of the heir apparent, who is usually a male, as per the old laws of succession. Female heirs are only heirs presumptive, which can immediately change as soon as a male is born into the family.

As a result of the 2013 Act moving away from the male-centric law on succession, females may now be seen as heirs apparent rather than heirs presumptive. This means that a female born ahead of a male heir may retain her position in the line of succession should the monarch approve to do so.

It would also inadvertently lead to a female heir being given the title of Princess of Wales. Should Prince George’s eldest child be a girl, George may decide to give her the title Princess of Wales as his heir apparent. However, being given that particular honor would not entitle the princess from inheriting the Duchy of Cornwall.

The Duchy of Cornwall is a parcel of land that provides income for the royal household. It is traditionally handed off to the monarch’s eldest son and unfortunately is not touched by the 2013 change in the law of succession. Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, only has the title as an extension of Prince Charles but is not privy to the title on her own.

“This is a royal dukedom that traditionally is held by the eldest son of the reigning monarch, so will probably be passed to William and then George,” said Debrett’s peerage expert Wendy Bosberry-Scott. “The wife of the Duke is allowed to use the title but it’s not hers in her own right.”

The Duchy has been passed on to the eldest son of the monarch since 1337 and is not bound to change anytime soon. As such, the title Duke of Cornwall will only be passed to George’s eldest son, even with the presence of an older daughter. In that case, however, George’s heir apparent will still receive the revenues of the Duchy regardless of their gender.

Prince George of Cambridge
Britain's Prince George (C), accompanied by Britain's Prince William (L), Duke of Cambridge, arrives for his first day of school at Thomas's school. RICHARD POHLE/AFP/Getty Images

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