The Succession to the Crown Act of 2013 finally came into force on 26 March 2015. This means that a girl born into the British royal family is no longer overtaken in the line of succession by a younger brother. It also changes some other things; Royals can now marry Catholics without losing their place in the line of succession and only the first six people in line have to ask for permission to marry. From the time of the Act of Settlement 1701 (which settled the succession upon Sophia of Hanover), only two women were overtaken by a younger brother who later became king.These two are Princess Augusta of Great Britain, whose younger brother became George III and Victoria, Princess Royal, whose younger brother became Edward VII.
Princess Augusta of Great Britain was born on 13 July 1737 as the eldest child of Frederick, Prince of Wales and Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. She was overtaken in the line of succession by the birth of the future George III on 4 June 1738. She married on 16 January 1764 to Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. They had seven children of which two were considered ‘invalids’ though I’m not sure if they mean a mental or physical disability and one child lived for only six months. Her daughter, Caroline of Brunswick, became the jilted Queen of George IV and the mother of Princess Charlotte of Wales who tragically died in childbirth and is another Queen we’ve never had. Her marriage was rather unhappy, and she preferred to spend her time in England. She died there in 1813.
Victoria, Princess Royal was born on 21 November 1840 as the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. She was overtaken in the line of succession by her younger brother, the future Edward VII, on 9 November 1841. She married the future German Emperor, Frederick III on 25 January 1858. It was a happy marriage that produced many children. By the time her husband became emperor in 1888, he was already dying of throat cancer. He was emperor for just 99 days. She never got along with her eldest son, the new emperor. By 1899 Victoria was diagnosed with breast cancer that later spread to her spine and she finally died on 5 August 1901.
Although we’ll never know what kind of Queen they would have been, I’m glad this Act is finally in place. I think the next task should be doing the same for the nobility in the United Kingdom, but that is a whole other discussion!
You can read the entire act here.