Probably everyone knows by now that the Duchess of Cambridge – wife of Prince William – is pregnant.
For some time now, Britain and the Commonwealth heads of government have been talking about changing the law to allow a female baby to be next in line to the throne. At the moment, the law says it is the first male child of the King or Queen. This is Prince Charles. His first male child is Prince William.
A law change will probably happen very soon next year. The law will say that the first child of Prince William and his wife – girl or boy – will be next in line to the throne after his father or her father.
Queen Elizabeth became Queen after her father King George VI died, because she had no brothers.
The wife of a king is usually called queen but she is not the ruling monarch. However, the husband of the queen is not called king. Queen Elizabeth’s husband is Prince Philip, also called The Duke of Edinburgh.
After Britain changes the law, all the Commonwealth countries, including New Zealand, will need to do the same.
• pregnant – expecting a baby
• Commonwealth – To find out more about the Commonwealth countries, listen to November 24th 2007.
• next in line – There is a line of those people who will be the next king or queen: 1. Prince Charles 2. Prince William 3. Prince William’s first child
• throne – the chair where the King or Queen sits. It is a symbol of the King or Queen.
• ruling monarch – king or queen who has the highest position in the country, is the ruler