The Royal Family Lineage Is Important, Even if Someone Has Twins

Chrissy Bobic - Author

Mar. 11 2021, Updated 3:03 p.m. ET

British Royal Family
Source: Getty

One of the most important things to know and understand about the British royal family is its lineage and line of succession. Although the United Kingdom is also governed by a prime minister, the royal family maintains a certain important level of power, and whoever is born into the family as Queen Elizabeth II’s grandchildren has a chance of coming into power at some point. But what happens if twins are born into the royal family?

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Just because there aren’t any twins in either of Prince Charles’s sons’ respective families, it doesn't mean it’s impossible that there will be any at some point. And if that happens, you’d think the line of succession might get a little wonky. In truth, there have been twins in the British royal family before. It has just been quite a while since anyone has had to deal with figuring out how they factor into the power dynamics of the family.

prince harry and archie
Source: Getty
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If someone in the royal family has twins, the lineage is still important.

In any ordinary family, a twin, whether fraternal or identical, who is born first is technically older than the other twin. Even though they are typically born on the same day, barring any midnight and 11:59 p.m. scenario, twins exit the birth canal or are taken from the womb via Cesarean section one at a time. And, in the case of a member of the royal family giving birth to twins, whomever happens to be born first would be the next in line, followed by his or her twin.

Yes, even if that twin is born mere seconds after the other. When it comes down to it, in terms of the royal family, it really would be the luck of the draw. At this point, the line of succession to the throne is so long that any twins born now would likely never see themselves as the sole ruler of the U.K., but it’s still something to consider if it ever happens.

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It has been a long time since twins were born in the immediate royal family.

Twins have actually been born into the royal family before. They just haven’t been born into it for literally hundreds of years. In 1430, Queen Joan, the wife of James I of Scotland, gave birth to twin boys. One sadly died during the same year, however, and the other twin went on to rule as king eventually.

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In more recent years, a member of the Monaco royal family did have twins, though the country isn't ruled by a king or queen. In Monaco, however, the rules of a male succeeding a female are strict. So when Princess Charlene Of Monaco gave birth to twins in 2014, a boy and a girl, the son was the crown prince and will succeed the throne, even though the princess’s daughter was born minutes before.

royal babies
Source: Getty

What is the succession line to the British throne?

In 2020, the line of succession to the British royal family’s throne isn't determined by male heirs only, but by the order of birth with the females as well. Charles, Prince of Wales, is next in line behind Queen Elizabeth II. After him is his son, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and following Prince William in order are Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, is the sixth in line to the throne.

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