Kate Middleton Pregnant: Why the Baby Announcement Is Bad News for Prince Harry

By: Celebuzz / December 4, 2012

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The prince visits his pregnant wife at a London hospital.
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Hollywood responds to Will and Kate's big baby news.
Talk about a baby bump!

While he may be celebrating his upcoming role as uncle, Prince Harry‘s path to becoming king of England is now facing even more roadblocks. The reason? The birth of Prince William and Kate Middleton‘s first child, be it a boy or girl, will push the royal further down the line to the throne.

And it’s partly thanks to a proposed change in succession rules by the U.K. government.

During an Oct. 2011 summit with Commonwealth leaders in Australia, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced the reform — which has yet to be passed — allowing the first-born child of a royal, regardless of age or gender, to take precedence as the heir to the crown, according to ABC News.

Past laws, which date back over 300 years, stated only males as the direct heirs — a rule that recently brought gender equality into the spotlight.

Harry is currently third in line to secure the thrown, after dad Prince Charles and his older brother. But now, it’s not only a baby boy that Harry needs to worry about: any first-born daughter will have first preference over any of the family’s younger brothers in succession — putting him in fourth place.

“Put simply, if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were to have a little girl, that girl would one day be our queen,” Cameron said in 2011.

Per the Daily Mail UK, the birth of the future royal also marks the first time in nearly 120 years that a still-serving monarch (Queen Elizabeth II, who took reign in 1963) will meet a great grandchild in line to the throne.

Keeping with tradition, the child would also head the British armed forces, govern the Church of England and oversee the Commonwealth (which spans 54 nations across the world, and putting him or her in charge of 16 countries.)

What do you think of the succession changes and its affect on Prince Harry? Sound off in the comments!

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