Royal baby – a small legal thought

The law provides that the eldest male takes priority over any female, even if born earlier than the male, in the line of succession to inheriting the throne. This is up for review but amending legislation requires to be passed by various legislatures where the Queen is head of state in order to have effect. It is intended that the legislation be retrospective.

An interesting legal conundrum may arise. Assume there are royal twins, a boy and a girl. The girl is delivered first – prior to the legislatures enacting the new rules on succession. The boy will be third in line to the throne, the girl fourth, but as a result of retrospective legislation this will be reversed. The effect will be that the boy will have a number of his property rights expropriated by the state retrospectively. Could he – on reaching the age of majority – take legal action to challenge the legislation as being contrary to the ECHR?


About loveandgarbage

I watch the telly and read when not doing law stuff and plugging my decade and a half old unwatched Edinburgh fringe show.
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8 Responses to Royal baby – a small legal thought

  1. basedrones says:

    But surely such twins would be royals rather than humans (divine right, and all that), and therefore don’t need to worry about such base things as human rights? (Yes, I am aware of the Greek Royal Family ECtHR jurisprudence.) (And yes, this post might be slightly tongue-in-cheek.)

  2. dnotice says:

    Maybe the Courts would say that it has been determined by family agreement?

    Of course, this question is not relevant if the various laws will be passed before they’re born.

  3. EdinburghEye says:

    Maybe the girl will be smuggled out and brought up in a small cottage miles from anywhere with just a nanny and a tutor?

    …too Dumas?

  4. Nick says:

    And if we’re playing hypotheticals, what if she has conjoined twins? Even if they can be separated, which one comes first?

  5. Ok, so this has started some discussion in the office. If said conjoined twins couldn’t be spearated, meaning it’s maybe unlikely they’d produce any offspring (trying not to be policitally incorrect here, but bear with me), and Harry fired blanks so couldn’t have any kids, would the succession then go down via Anne or Andrew? It’s a minefield!

  6. dnotice says:

    incognitolinda – that’s assuming that Billy & Kat don’t have any other kids…

  7. Well, yes. That’s true. Go ahead and assume that as well.

  8. maryeng1 says:

    just abolish monarchy and property and gender rights altogether and make everything equal and collectivized and shared already, hello?

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