Princess Anne has dropped from third to 17th in the line of succession to the British throne since she was born and with the birth of Princess Eugenie‘s son, Ernest. His birth was announced on Monday by Anne’s niece who posted on Instagram that Ernest George Ronnie Brooksbank had been born on May 30, weighing 7.1lbs.
Ernest’s birth pushes Anne down from 16th to 17th behind her nephew Prince William, who is next in line to the throne, as well as Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and 12 other Windsors.
Anne’s descent down the line of succession is explained by her birth in 1950 when male heirs took precedence over female.
When Anne’s brothers Prince Andrew and Prince Edward were born on February 19, 1960, and March 10, 1964, respectively they overtook her.
A law change ended the priority of males over females but it only applies to royal children who were born after October 28, 2011, when it came into effect.
This meant when Charles’s sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, had children with their wives, Princess Kate and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Anne dropped further and further down the succession line.
Under the previous law of succession, the heir to the throne was always the monarch’s first-born son.
Elizabeth II became queen on the death of her father, King George VI, because he didn’t have a son.
It is because of the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 that William and Kate’s daughter, Princess Charlotte, eight, has not been leap-frogged by her younger brother, Prince Louis, five.
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As the newest member of the royal family, whose title is Master Brooksbank, takes his place as 13th in line to the throne, he also moves the Duke of Edinburgh down to 14th place.
With her Instagram post, Eugenie shared a sweet picture of Ernest, wearing a knitted blue and white hat, asleep in a Moses basket. One of August’s hands could also be seen tenderly stroking his brother’s head.
Ernest’s great-great-great grandfather was King George V who also had Ernest as a middle name – with his full name being George Frederick Ernest Albert.
The baby’s middle name is also a tender tribute to Mr Brooksbank’s father George who died in 2021.
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Eugenie’s father-in-law had been ill for some time and had previously been seriously unwell with Covid.
Ronnie is a nod to Sarah, Duchess of York’s father, the former royal polo manager Major Ronald Ferguson who died in 2003 and who was dubbed “the galloping major” after tabloid exposes of his private life. It was also a title he used for his autobiography.
Ernest is the first of the late Queen’s great-grandchildren to be born since her death last September.
When she was just weeks away from giving birth, Eugenie joked she would use her baby bump to clear a path through the busy crowds at a Coronation Big Lunch on Chalfont St Giles’s village green in Buckinghamshire during the celebratory weekend.
Eugenie wrote on her Instagram post: “Jack and I wanted to share the news that we had our little boy, Ernest George Ronnie Brooksbank on 30th May 2023 at 8.49 weighing 7.1lbs.
“He is named after his great great great Grandfather George, his Grandpa George and my Grandpa Ronald.
“Augie is loving being a big brother already.”
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