• Princess Anne is the second child of the late Queen
  • She ranks quite far down in line to the throne
  • This old rule is to blame for her place in succession

One British royal who ranks curiously low in line to the throne is Princess Anne – currently in 17th place. Her number also gets lower almost every time a royal baby is born.

Now you might be wondering why that's the case, when Anne is the second child of the late Queen and Prince Philip. Meanwhile her only older sibling, Charles, is now the King.

Succession worked differently when Princess Anne was born

It all goes back to an old rule, which was only recently changed. For centuries, male heirs were given preference in succession over female heirs.

This meant that even if they were the first-born child, female heirs would lose that standing any time their parents had a son.

Also interesting:

This male-preference system was still in practice when Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were having children.

Second born Princess Anne, as a result, was surpassed when her younger brothers Prince Andrew and Prince Edward were born years later.

Descendants of each royal also take precedence over the next person in line. So Princess Anne, for example, follows her three brothers and all their children and grandchildren.

The rule changed before William and Kate

But with the future of the throne in mind, the monarchy elected to abolish this rule in 2011. That was just before future ruler Prince William started having kids.

William and his wife Kate ended up having a son first, Prince George, but if they'd had a baby girl, she would've kept her place as the likely future Queen...

See more in the video above!