Free choice of marriage

Prince George Could Be First Royal To Break This 350-Year-Old Rule

Prince George Is First Royal To Break This 350-Year-Old Rule

In the British Royal Family, tradition remains as important as ever. But the royals are slowly modernizing themselves. In fact, Prince George will have much more freedom when he gets married than his father Prince William did when he married Kate Middleton.

Like his father, Prince George will have to adhere to many royal rules and traditions throughout his life. But, come adulthood, the 7-year-old royal will have far more freedom than his ancestors in one respect: Prince George and his siblings Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis will be allowed to marry a Catholic partner.

British Royals: New Modern Laws

Until recently, marrying a Catholic was not permitted in the Royal Family. Such a wedding automatically meant exclusion from the line of succession. This was previously determined by a law from 1688.

But, in 2013, the law became obsolete. Since then, the Succession to the Crown Act has been in force, regulating various royal matters. When it was introduced, the act also determined that female descendants receive exactly the same treatment in the line of succession as males. So, Princess Charlotte stands fourth in line to the throne and ahead of her younger brother Prince Louis, since the system of male primogeniture was amended.

Prince George: 1st Royal Born With Right To Marry a Catholic

In addition, it was also determined that, if a royal marries a Catholic, there is no longer any exclusion from the line of succession. What is still firmly regulated, however, is the denomination of the children of an heir to the throne. They must continue to belong to the Church of England to ensure that this denomination is passed on to their descendants.

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Prince George is the first royal born with the right to marry a Catholic.

So, depending on whom Prince George marries, he could be the first royal to wed a Catholic. Regardless, he was the first to be born with the right to do so, as the first royal born after the Succession to the Crown Act in 2013.

The future king isn't the only one in his family breaking from royal tradition, however. See the centuries-old rule that Prince Louis has been breaking here.