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The Succession

Now much has been said about abolishing primogeniture which as Single Acts of Tyranny points out is like something from the Dark Ages. He of course goes further so read the whole thing. Good post.

But, yesterday, and before I read SAoT’s spot-on post, I clocked something. The extreme form of morning sickness that the Duchess of Cambridge has is frequently associated with a multiple pregnancy. Now being a monarch is very much a lottery of life thing at the best of times but if it is a case of twins born a couple of minutes apart it kind of focuses debate as to the arbitrariness of the order of succession.

Now, I’m a computer geek with no kids but I have a little knowledge of the mechanics and my understanding is that particularly for multiple births a C-section is often the delivery method of choice. I assume in such cases the order of succession is defined by which child is taken from the womb first. I assume this is down to the clinical decision of a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. A more obscure form of determining a future Head of State is beyond me.

Just a thought. At the risk of sounding vile both involve appraising entrails. Whether of a princess or a goat matters little.

Although, to be fair, if they are identical twins they can alternate the more tiresome duties, “It’s an even numbered day so you get to open the industrial park outside of Swindon!”. Nobody will know the difference. I can see an upside. Especially if it is the tiresome “spectacle” of the Royal Variety Performance with Joe Pasquale in his sodding bath-chair being as tedious as ever.

It goes without saying that I wish them all the best. The wife of a mate of mine had a tricky pregnancy recently. All worked out OK in the end but… For a while my mate didn’t look anywhere near 100%. Nor would you, nor would I. I never saw his wife at the time.

5 Comments

  1. John Galt says:

    In fairness can emergence from the womb, either through surgical means or natural birth be a distinguishing feature of primogeniture in the case of twins. If they are non-identical twins then it is possible to tell which foetus is older at a young stage.

    With identical twins though neither is the older as it is a cellular division of a single cell.

    Perhaps the Royal councillors will have a tiny Iron Mask made and draw lots?

  2. Mr Ed says:

    If mixed-sex twins, the PC Counsellors will insist that the girl is born first, just to rub noses in it.

    However, the change in the law enshrines age discrimination, so how is this ‘progress’?

    The Monarch could testate the succession, keeping the Monarch’s offspring guessing.

  3. NickM says:

    JG,
    Now I do not want to get into the abortion thing here…

    But AFAIK precedence is determined by birth, not conception. So in the case of identical twins where I’ll grant you conception is simultaneous it depends upon who get’s slapped on the ass by the midwife first.

    Mr Ed,
    I honestly don’t think so. The minute you tinker with tradition then tradition kinda goes out the window. As to your first point. I doubt it. Meddling with births, deaths and marriages is a serious thing and you’d probs need several docs and nurses in on it on pain of being stricken.

  4. John Galt says:

    But AFAIK precedence is determined by birth, not conception. So in the case of identical twins where I’ll grant you conception is simultaneous it depends upon who get’s slapped on the ass by the midwife first

    You English are just weird…

    So in the event of a caesarian section, we should remember that part of the determination as to which of the Royal twins becomes monarch is whether or not the operating surgeon is left-or-right handed.

    Beats voting I suppose…

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