Princess Charlotte May Inherit A New Title When Her Father Becomes King

From the moment she was born seven years ago, Princess Charlotte has had an exciting destiny ahead of her. The only daughter of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is currently fourth in line to the British throne — not a bad position to be in. (That spot will drop, however, once big brother Prince George has children of his own). Thanks to a Commonwealth Nations decision in 2011 that overturned the traditional rule about male heirs, Charlotte would have been third in line if she had been born first, no matter how many brothers she had.

For now, Charlotte is just enjoying being a child. She's just finishing up year two at Thomas's Battersea Prep School, where students live by the rule "Be Kind." There, she's simply known as Charlotte Cambridge (via Town & Country). True, she does have a few more perks than the average 7-year-old student, such as a choice spot on the Buckingham Palace balcony to watch the Trooping the Colour tribute to granny Queen Elizabeth. Birthdays are another occasion on which the Cambridges are treated royally. For her last one, Charlotte got to invite all her school friends to a party at Anmer Hall featuring a burger and pizza lunch and a rainbow unicorn cake, per Us Weekly. Her big gift was one that most girls can only dream of: her very own pony.

As a royal, Charlotte can also expect to hold a title or two when she grows up — including a very special one.

Charlotte may join a select few women with this title

British royals often hold more than one title, depending on where they stand in the family, explains The Week. Some are automatically inherited; the children of a king or queen are always princes or princesses. Others are known as peerages, which are given by the monarch and which are ranked in hierarchy. Royal princes are usually given a dukedom upon their marriage, such as Prince William's title of Duke of Cambridge, per Debrett's. As oldest son, Charles was also given the title Prince of Wales by mum Queen Elizabeth, and it's lively that the honor will go to Prince William when Charles ascends the throne.

Barring any unforeseen tragedies, William will one day become Britain's king. When that occurs, he'll have the option of conferring titles on his own children. Most likely, all three children will be known as HRH — for His/Her Royal Highness — and George will probably be the next Prince of Wales. Louis may take the Duke of York title. As for Charlotte, she may have the distinction of being only the eighth person to be named the Princess Royal. The title, which dates back to 1642, is bestowed only on the oldest daughter of the reigning monarch, explains Hello! Magazine. Princess Anne, the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth, is the current Princess Royal. And since brother Charles only had sons, Charlotte is the next family member eligible for the honor.

A sad event has to occur for Princess Charlotte to take her new title

In order for Princess Charlotte to be promoted to Princess Royal, a sad family event has to occur first. Being Princess Royal is a lifetime honor, so Princess Anne will hold the title until her death, explains Independent. Even if her great-aunt has died by the time dad Prince William is king, Charlotte might still have to wait a while, because the reigning monarch gets to decide which titles to bestow and when (via Express). Although Anne was eligible to become Princess Royal following the death of her aunt Princess Mary in 1965, the queen waited until 1987 to do the honors. So William may do the same for Charlotte — or he might not give her the title at all.

Who would be Princess Royal after Charlotte? Remember the line of succession: Since Prince George will be king after William, his oldest daughter would be up for the title. If George has no daughters, then the first daughter of his oldest son would be eligible (confused yet?).

Royals also have the option of turning down a title from the monarch. Prince Andrew accepted the "Princess" title for his daughters Beatrice and Eugenie, but Anne kindly refused the same for her children Peter and Zara, per The Week. William has predicted that Charlotte might be a star soccer player one day, so she may prefer scoring goals to scoring a new name.