Kate Middleton’s Baby, if a Girl, Will Be Called “Princess”

The Queen of England officially announced Wednesday that under a new formal decree, should Kate Middleton’s new baby be a girl, she will hold the title of Princess.

Under the old decree of King George V, should the firstborn be a boy he would be given the title of Prince and referred to as “His Royal Highness,” while a girl would be called “Lady.” The Prince would be first in line to the throne, even if he was not the firstborn.

The announcement reads, “The Queen has been pleased by Letters Patent under 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.”

This step towards gender equality in the royal line of succession echoes the recent—and heavily supported—push by Parliament to amend the law disallowing a firstborn girl to succeed the throne. The Succession to the Crown Bill, if passed, will allow Kate’s new baby, regardless of gender, to be the heir as well as enjoy all royal titles.

The good news comes after the Duchess was recently hospitalized due to complications with hyperemesis gravidarum, or severe morning sickness.

The palace has been keeping Kate’s due date under wraps, but by about week 18 she should find out whether she’s expecting a little Prince or Princess.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attending The Epsom Derby Meeting at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey. 4th June 2011. 05/06/2011 via Shutterstock.com

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