If Prince George Is Gay, Then Who Becomes King After Him?

An interesting question here and one I don’t know the answer to. Imagine that Prince George does turn out to be gay, as the thought experiment from Prince William discusses. The wider world is going to discuss his taste in boyfriends just as it has gossiped about Princesses over the generations. But there becomes an interesting question – who becomes King after George?

The Duke of Cambridge has said he worries about the pressures his children may face if in future they came out as gay or lesbian. Prince William said he would be “absolutely fine” if they did, but had concerns about the persecution they may face, admitting he had discussed the subject with his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge.

I don’t suggest this is a problem. Just that I’m not entirely sure that all the rules and laws about this sort of thing have been updated.

Same sex marriage is now a thing. Excellent.

Primogeniture is a thing for who gets to inherit the Throne. Excellent.

The legal position of children born into a same sex marriage. Well? That’s the bit I don’t know. More specifically, would a child born to a surrogate mother, and by law entirely and wholly regarded as the child of that same sex couple (obvs, talking about a male couple here) inherit a title if one or other of those legal parents had one?

The usual rules for the inheritance of British titles not including adoption as a method of passing them on – rules which can be different in other place, German aristocratic titles, to the extent that they still exist and still mean anything, can be passed on through adoption.

We actually had a case where a Viscount lost his courtesy title and then the main one because it turned out the father was Georgie Fame, not the aristocrat married to the mother at the time.

So, Prince George turns out to be gay. Marries a bloke. Nation rejoices etc. And children? By definition the provider of at least half the gametes isn’t going to be the person George is married to. So, who inherits?

No kids isn’t a problem, we’ve a list running to hundreds of who inherits in that event. But what exactly is, if there is any at all, the clash between surrogate motherhood and inheritance of a title or Royal position?

I strongly suspect that the accurate answer is the usual English one, we’ll deal with that if it ever comes to pass and how we do will depend largely on what people feel about the issue at the time. But do we know already?

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The Mole
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The Mole

Taking a guess and based on your comment about adoption not being sufficient then I think the answer will already have been resolved.

If the George is biologically the child’s father then it would presumably follow the same rules as any other child born of a woman who is not the King’s wife. Going from my vague memory of history and fiction, if he legitimises the child (such as by the surrogacy agreement) then that child is an heir – being a bastard could be dangerous due to the potential threat if you become an alternative figurehead.

timworstall
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timworstall

Charles II acknowledged a number of bastards. Still James II who inherited.

Quentin Vole
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Quentin Vole

acknowledge ≠ legitimise. Only legitimate children can inherit titles. Could a surrogate child be legitimised? IANAL

Nixolaus
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Nixolaus

Won’t it matter if the mother of the child is not his legal wife because then she’ll be neither a princess nor even royal?

Q46
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Q46

It is an issue of Heir Apparent v Heir Presumptive. Illegitimacy opens up the field for other claimants.

Q46
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Q46

‘The Duke of Cambridge has said he worries about the pressures his children may face if in future they came out as gay or lesbian.’ And therefore is ignorant of social progress to date – gay children today face less pressure than children of their parents’ era. Lesbianism was never illegal, he seems not to know. And assumes there will be no further social progress. The issue of surrogacy is one of legitimacy. It was for this reason Henry VIII was so insistant on marriage to ensure legitimate Heir Apparent. The child will be born out of wedlock so excluded… Read more »

Jonathan Harston
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Jonathan Harston

Assuming whoever inherits from George will self-identify as a King is so patriarchally hetronomative!

literate3
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literate3

If George is GAY his successor will be Queen Charlotte, not a King at all (unless she predeceases him and Louis inherits but that would spoil my comment)

TD
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TD

I expect he’d just be pressured to have a child in the usual way, and to “just close his eyes and think of England”