Royal family fans have always been fascinated with the British line of succession, and they never run out of hypothetical scenarios involving Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle or any of their favorite royals. One of the recent what-ifs that caught their fancy is the question what happens to the line of succession should Queen Elizabeth suddenly decide to adopt children?

Someone recently posted a similar question on the question-and-answer website Quora — that should Queen Elizabeth II decide to adopt a child, whether the child will get a rank in the line of succession, just like regular royals, or whether the ranking system needs one to have royal blood to be included in the list.

According to Mickie Southam, the question actually raised “a very interesting legal point.” She wrote: “as the law stands at the moment, children can only be in the line of succession if they are legitimate ‘heirs of the body’ of a parent who is also in line.”

However, Southam also pointed out that “there are now laws that state that adopted children should have equal rights and access to the same opportunities, including rights of inheritance, as biological children.”

This means that a royal wanting to adopt a child will be facing one huge legal nightmare. The best compromise available is to raise the child like a member of the true family but not formally adopt him or her.

Meanwhile, Brent McKee is pretty certain that Her Majesty’s hypothetical adopted child will never be included in the line of succession. “Only blood,” was his concise answer on who has the qualifications to be included in the list.

“It holds true with every level of the nobility,” he added. “Jamie Lee Curtis and her husband Christopher Guest adopted their children. They cannot inherit his title Baron Hadon-Guest, and the title will go extinct on his death.”

Marlene Koenig, who is recognized as an expert in European royalty, agrees with McKee’s assessment. “Adopted children would not have succession rights or a title,” she explained.

The reason for this is that there is a very strict requirement for being a potential candidate for the throne. “To have succession rights, you have to be a Protestant descendant of the Electress Sophia,” Koenig added. When Queen Anne died in 1714, the throne was passed on to her cousin, Sophia of Hanover, because Anne had no heir.

But there is a way for Queen Elizabeth II’s hypothetical adopted child to get a spot in the line of succession. “It would take an act of parliament to pass a new law including adoptees as heirs to the throne,” royal commentator Eloise Parker said. However, she added that “so far, there hasn't been any need to make it happen.”

While the monarchy and the rules that govern it are trying to keep up with the changing modern times, progress has been slow. In fact, it was only a few years ago via the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013 that female royals were allowed a spot in the line of succession.

This means that while it may be possible for children adopted by royals to inherit their adoptive parents’ titles, it’s not likely going to happen soon. Given the complications, Cosmopolitan pointed out that “a member of the Royal Family is unlikely [to] adopt a child. [They’re] more like [sic] to adopt a Labrador retriever.”

Queen Elizabeth Queen Elizabeth II marks the centenary of GCHQ (Government Communications Head Quarters) at Watergate House on February 14, 2019, in London, England. Hannah McKay - WPA Pool/Getty Images