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She’s too young to know or care now, but when Princess Charlotte is older, if she happens to have children, they won’t be getting royal titles. But her brother, Prince George‘s, will — and it’s all because of an archaic, and all too predictable rule. (We think you know where we’re going with this.)

“Her children will not have titles because the royal titles go down the male line,” Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty, told People magazine. Charlotte inherited her title because she’s Prince William‘s daughter. So, basically, there are only two ways to become a princess: you either have to marry a prince (like Kate Middleton did), or be the daughter of one. So if Charlotte were ever to procreate, her daughter, or son, will not gain a royal title.

Don’t lose all hope for the little princess though, there have been exceptions to the rule. Queen Elizabeth II offered titles to the children of her one daughter, Princess Anne after offering to give her husband, Capt. Mark Phillips, a royal ranking. (They actually decided against it, and their children, Peter and Zara, were brought up title-less.)

“So history could repeat itself with Charlotte,” said Little.

The Queen’s niece and nephew also received special titles. Prior to Elizabeth’s sister, Princess Margaret, marrying Antony Armstrong-Jones, “the Queen made Tony an earl (of Snowdon), so that Margaret’s children would have a title,” said Little. The result? David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon and Lady Sarah Chatto.

“We were in a transitional period between the traditional times and the modern one and I think it would have felt inappropriate for the nephew and niece of the Queen to be Mr. and Miss,” explained Little.

We get that these rules and traditions have been in place for decades, but considering how long she’s reigned, perhaps it’s time for Her Majesty to update the rules to reflect the changing times. Who knows? If and when Charlotte does have kids, she might not even want them to have titles. But the princess should, at least, be given the choice. Hmm, while we’re at it, perhaps George should also be given that same consideration, though that would be opening up a whole new can of royal worms.

Getty Images
Getty Images