2013 is going to be the year the world meets a new Princess— or Prince!
Queen Elizabeth II made a surprising announcement on Jan. 9 – the same day as Kate Middleton’s 31st birthday – that if Kate and Prince William welcome a baby girl, she will be referred to as “princess.”
And why is it so surprising? The Queen is changing a 96-year-old decree, made by her grandfather, King George V, that states all daughters would be referred to as “lady,” but never “princess.”
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Sons, on the other hand, would be called “prince.”
"The Queen has been pleased by Letters Patentunder the Great Seal of the Realm dated 31 December 2012 to declare that all the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales should have and enjoy the style, title and attribute of royal highness with the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their Christian names or with such other titles of honor,” it reads.
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This means if Kate and William have a daughter, she will have rights to the throne. The Queen’s legal decision is a major step toward removing gender discrimination from the line of succession. If voted into law by Parliament, it will apply to any and all of the couple’s future kids.
It seems the royal baby has made quite an impact on his or her family already! Earlier this week, William’s father, Prince Charles, vowed to help make the earth a greener place for his future grandchild.
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“I’ve gone on for years about the importance of thinking about the long term in relation to environmental damage, climate change and everything else,” the 64-year-old heir to the throne told ITV’s This Morning show on Jan. 7. “We don’t, in a sensible world, want to hand on an increasingly dysfunctional world to our grandchildren, to leave them with the real problem.”
Regardless of the baby’s sex, we’re just counting down the days until we get to meet Will and Kate’s little one!