Princess Charlotte compared to Princess Anne by royal expert
Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge’s daughter, five, is fourth-in-line to the throne after her brother Prince George. This makes George the ‘heir’ and Charlotte the ‘spare’, a notoriously hard role to fulfil. However, Charlotte is only in this position because the Succession to the Crown Act (2013) changed the rule that gave sons precedence in the line of succession.
If this law had not been passed, Charlotte’s younger brother Louis would have been above her in the line of succession.
Instead, Charlotte will have to navigate this difficult role, one which previous spares have found very difficult.
Robert Lacey, author of ‘Battle of Brothers’, argued that the ‘spare’ is treated “harshly” by the royal system, which prioritises the main bloodline.
Prince Harry has struggled with the role his whole life and it arguably contributed to his eventual decision to step down as a senior royal.
Harry and his wife Meghan announced a year ago that they would be leaving their royal life behind and soon moved to the US, where they settled in Montecito, California.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made their decision after struggling with intense public and press scrutiny for several years.
READ MORE: George ‘will never be King’ as prediction rocks Kate and William
Princess Charlotte is fourth-in-line to the throne
Princess Charlotte stands with her parents and brothers George and Louis
However, Harry has always been more of a rebel than his brother William, getting into trouble for drinking and smoking cannabis when he was 17 and was even sent to a drug rehabilitation clinic for a day by Prince Charles.
He stumbled into controversy again when he was pictured wearing a Nazi costume to a fancy dress party and later when he was photographed naked at a party in Las Vegas.
Harry was known to be a keen partier and regularly broke royal protocol with public displays of affection with his girlfriends.
His rebellious antics may have been down to the fact he had this difficult role, one that is vague and less-well defined than that of the heir.
Harry found himself someone who would never be monarch, but still had to endure the public interest and intrusion, while supporting his brother.
Harry reportedly felt “sidelined by William” growing up and felt that his brother was the favourite in the Royal Family.
Princess Margaret was the Queen’s ‘spare’
Even their mother Princess Diana felt like other members of the family would “concentrate on William”.
Harry complained to his mother “it’s not fair” that William was “made a fuss over” when visiting their great-grandmother, the Queen Mother, according to the Telegraph.
Robert Lacey, author of the book ‘Battle of Brothers’, claimed the two princes were treated differently their whole lives and that William was treated more “kindly”.
He said that Harry follows in the tradition of “spares” like Princess Margaret and Prince Andrew who were “treated harshly by the royal system that favours the main bloodline”.
In other words, these royals were close to the centre when they were young and gradually pushed outwards as they went down the line of succession.
Speaking to Ann Gripper on the podcast Pod Save the Queen, he said: “I try to show in the book the way in which the royal system has treated these two boys in different ways.
Sarah Ferguson’s tough decision in divorce ‘made books possible’ [INSIGHT]
Prince Edward’s fury with Diana exposed: ‘She changed Royal Family’ [QUOTE]
‘Spikey’ Sturgeon backlash as SNP urged Kate and Will to cancel trip [EXPERT]
Prince Andrew was Prince Charles’ ‘spare’
“I would say William has been more kindly treated than Harry has been, but that has always been the fate of the spare.
“Harry follows, sadly, in the tradition of Princess Margaret or Prince Andrew as number twos in the system, who are treated harshly by the logic of the royal system which actually favours the main bloodline.”
Prince Charles’ ‘spare’ was his younger brother Prince Andrew and Queen Elizabeth II’s ‘spare’ was her sister Princess Margaret.
Both Margaret and Andrew had their struggles and garnered plenty of controversy.
Both were known for their party lifestyles and numerous flings, as well as their failed marriages that ended in divorce.
Princess Margaret was also known for her struggle with alcoholism and for various self-made scandals such as the picture of her wearing a tiara in a bath.
Prince William ‘set Prince Harry up to fail’ claims Robert Lacey
Meanwhile, Prince Andrew has become the most controversial royal in many years amid the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.
Andrew stepped back from royal duties in 2019.
After the departure of Harry and Meghan, some have questioned whether Charlotte may not want to follow the traditional royal life when she is older.
The precedent set by ‘Megxit’ has, in a way, carved out an exit route for her if she decides she wants to take it.
Royal expert Katie Nicholl said on The Spectator’s podcast The Edition last year that Meghan and Harry may have created a “blueprint” for the younger royals.
She said: “I think if this all comes off well, this could be a very useful blueprint ‒ not for George because he is going to be King ‒ but for Charlotte and Louis, for the royals who are not in direct succession to the Crown, to have a life within the Royal Family.”
Princess Charlotte facts
She added: “You use the word ‘spare’ and I think that’s really interesting, because if you look historically, the role of the spare has always been a tricky one.
“Look at Margaret, look at Andrew, you can go further in history as well and pluck examples out.
“While the heir’s role is predestined, it’s mapped out, it’s the spare’s job to find a meaningful role.
“And actually I think Prince Harry has done a pretty good job at that, whereas historically others have failed, they’ve come off the rails.
“There were points, I think, when it looked like Harry might come off the rails.”
‘Battle of Brothers’ was written by Robert Lacey and published by HarperCollins in 2020. It is available here.
To subscribe to Pod Save the Queen or The Edition go to your normal podcast provider.
— to www.express.co.uk