Talk:Heir apparent

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Old discussions[edit]

I have added the general meaning of heir apparent. The specific case given until now was for a monarchy.

I cannot see that an Heir Apparent has to be a direct descendant. This seems to be the case but that is because of the rules of succession, not because of the definition of Heir Apparent. Examples:

  • Would the brother of a King who happened to be a eunuch not be the Heir Apparent?
  • If the rules of succession were such that the monarchy always went to the next oldest brother of the King (I think there are tribal chiefdoms like this) before the oldest son then the King's brother is the Heir Apparent before and after the birth of the King's son. And the King's son would be Heir Presumptive awaiting the possible birth of an uncle.
  • What if the title could be willed? Property certainly can. Who is the heir apparent then?

Maybe these changes could be criticised on the basis that Heir Apparent (capitalised) is only an official title in certain states. If so then this article should be changed to say: "This article refers to HA, the official title - please refer to heir apparent."

But this does introduce the question of capitalisation and Wikipedia's weird case (in-)sensitivity.

Psb777 07:13, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)

It seems to me that the current definition, "an heir apparent is one who will in all reasonably foreseeable circumstances, save his/her own death, inherit a title or property" is less accurate than "an heir apparent is one who cannot be prevented from inheriting by the birth of any other person." It is entirely foreseeable, for example, though astronomically unlikely, that The Prince of Wales could become a Papist and cease to be heir apparent. And it is not "reasonably forseeable" that, say, a 90-year-old queen could bear a child, but the current system of reckoning in Britain considers that she could. M-W's def is that the heir apparent is "an heir whose right to an inheritance is indefeasible in law if he survives the legal ancestor" which may be why the legal fiction in Britain is that someone in the line of succession who becomes a Papist or marries one is treated as if "legally dead". - Nunh-huh 03:52, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

That sounds fine to me. The current definition was just weird (I especially liked the pre-me version's assertion that the person's own death might not prevent them from succeeding to the throne). john k 03:59, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Yes, the Pre-U version was nothing-if-not-punctilious-to-a-fault<g>. - Nunh-huh 04:10, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Is is properly heir apparent or Heir Apparent? -[[User:Aranel|Aranel ("Sarah")]] 21:49, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

From what I've seen it is heir apparent. –– Constafrequent (talk page) 02:30, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Article states a growing number of Monarchies now allow the eldest child as heir. This seems a touch strong as they still represent the exception.


Why is this lowercased (yet again)? Wikipedia has a weird preoccupation with lowercasing things even when they patiently obviously should be uppercased. Heir Apparent means the person destined to inherit a crown whose status cannot be changed by virtue of the birth of someone else, whereas heir apparent is the person destined in law to inherit a title, property or other such item. The capitals make it specific, just as a capitalised Heir Presumptive refers to inheritance of a crown, lowercased refers to general legal inheritance.

Wikipedia is generally a superb source, but it does itself immense damage with the pre-occupation of some people on it with lowercasing everything in sight. The whole point with uppercasing is that it is used to distinguish between the specific and the general. So we have president and President of the United States, church and Church, the former dealing with a building, the latter in a specific religion (an article on the Church of England should talk of the Church meaning the Church of England, or whatever). But everytime someone writes Church one of a small number of people here will lowercase it, completely changing the meaning. This article's title was deliberately uppercased for a reason, but everytime it was, someone would come along and lowercase it, meaning that the article name implied this article is about heir apparent in the broad sense, while the text makes it clear that it is about Heir Apparent in the specific sense of inheriting thrones.

I'll correct it yet again and try to make it clear in the article why it is uppercased. But it will be changed back again by one of the 'lowercase everything' brigade. FearEIREANN 23:12, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I'm moving the debate here, where it belongs. Let's agree that it's not for you or me to decide this issue, but rather that we should look at what is common usage. I appreciate the need to differentiate between inheritance of a throne vs. inheritance of anything else, but that doesn't make one a proper noun and the other one something else. To me, "heir apparent" is not a title, since all heirs apparents to thrones have distinct proper titles (e.g., Duke of Rothesay, Crown Prince of Norway) - "heir apparent" helps to explain what the titles mean, but it is not the title itself. I've tried to see what's common elsewhere and found several examples that agree with me. Look here [1], [2], [3], and many others. What I do notice, however, is that when the term is used as a qualifier to another title, e.g., Heir Apparent Crown Prince Haakon, it is capitalized. But if you look at the home page for royal families, you'll see "heir" lowercased[4], [5], etc. On the other hand, Prince Charles refers to himself as Heir to the Throne, all capitalized [6], somehow making it clear that it is a specific role within the British monarchy, but on another official British royal family website heir apparent is in lowercase[]. Perhaps you can point us to a source about royal etiquette that documents the rule you are talking about. --Leifern 17:12, Apr 28, 2005 (UTC)

You are completely missing the point. Like many official definitionary titles, in different contexts you can uppercase or lowercase - so different contexts you can have Prime Minister or prime minister, King or king, etc. What you don't do is mix capitalisation. You no more write Heir apparent than you write Prime minister or United states. As all article titles here have for technical reasons to have a capitalised first word, then you have to capitalise the full Heir Apparent unless you want to look semi-literate. It is elementary, and the links above show it. Dependent on context, the title is upper or lower cased, but never mixed, as it is in the category under discussion. FearÉIREANN 23:19, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I wish you could make up your mind - is it your objection that it's a proper noun, or that it's mixed capitalization, or what? There are lots of article headings that use mixed capitalization - why would this one be different? After all, you would never make an article heading "heirs apparent" with all lowercase, either. Since you have failed to cite a single credible source for your position, I'm going to assume that this is just an opinion of yours that has no basis in rules of style, grammar, or anything else. What looks semi-literate is when People Capitalize for No Good Reason. --Leifern 01:25, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC)

If you really need information on how to capitalise, try studying the basics of English. What I said is elementary enough for a reasonably intelligent 8 year old to understand. Proper nouns, depending on context, can either be capitalised, when used as formal terms, or lower cased, when talking generically. So one writes of prime ministers but the British Prime Minister, US president but President of the United States, Irish president but President of Ireland. Heir Apparent is used in precisely the same way. When writing generically it can be either uppercased or lowercased; the former is the standard in British English, the latter the standard in American English. (As this article is written in British English, and wikipedia says that articles should be written in the form of English (BE or AE) most relevant, which in this case is BE and Britain and the users of BE have heirs apparent (there's an example, BTW, of a place where it would be lowercased) and the US obviously doesn't, then this article should follow the rules and casing of BE.) If writing formally about a title in a definitionary or descriptive form, one uppercases it.

If you don't know the basics of English capitalisation, then that is your problem. I'm not on wikipedia to teach elementary English to people who should know it by now. FearÉIREANN 01:54, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Spare yourself the insults. My point is that it's not a proper noun. You keep changing the reason why you want it this way. That's the same in American and British English. And even if it were, there's no inherent reason why this article has to follow British English. --Leifern 02:09, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC)
If you had bothered to read the guidelines we all follow (well, most of us) you would see that because there are users on here who use different forms of English here, there is an agreed approach to what form of English is used where.
  • If an article is clearly a British topic or is written about a topic of concern to British English users primarily, then we should use BE
  • If an article is clearly an American topic or is written about a topic of concern to American English users primarily, then we should use AE
  • If it is an international topic, then the form of English used should be the form used by the original creator of the article. If it was written in BE, everyone should write it in BE. If it was written in AE, then everyone should write it in AE.
The rest of us follow that rule. (I have written plenty of times in articles about a Fetus, color, etc if it so happens that the article is either on an American topic or was originally written in AE. We all do so. Obviously you don't know the rules in the Manual of Style and the various Naming Conventions. Maybe it is time you study them. Any more attempts by you to force wrong capitalisation here and AE language structure on a topic that is (a) not an American topic, and (b) was written originally in BE, will be treated as vandalism and will be reported as such. Or do you somehow believe that the rules of the English language and the rules of wikipedia don't apply to you? FearÉIREANN 02:29, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
First, this is definitely neither an American nor a British topic - it is an international one, so the third category applies. If my purpose had been to rewrite the article in American English, I would have made other changes as well, so you we're limited to a disagreement about one point of usage. All I've asked you to do is to refer me to the specific rule in the relevant manual of style that supports your argument, and all you have done is come up with one unsubstantiated reason after another for your strange use of capitalization. I have found multiple websites that support my point of view, so your abusive tirades fail to convince me. I will give you over the weekend to show me the sources that definitely establish your proposed usage. If you don't, I'll revert again. In that case you can a) be an adult and admit you were wrong; b) submit the issue for arbitration; or c) report me for vandalism, which imho will only make you look foolish. It's up to you. --Leifern 11:31, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC)
Oh, and here are some British sources that use heir apparent the way I've proposed in my edits to the article: The BBC [7], [8], [9], etc.; Reuters: [10]; The Economist [11], etc., etc. It is only in those very rare cases when people write "Heir Apparent Charles" that they capitalize, but they will all write: "Prince Charles, who is heir apparent to the throne." --Leifern 11:50, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC)

That is exactly what I have been saying. Depending on the context it is uppercased or lowercased. When used generically it is lowercased. When used specifically it is uppercased. This article is defining a term, therefore in elementary english as when one is defining a specific rather than a generalised term one capitalises it. It is elementary english. Your idea that it is always lowercased is disproved by your own links. BE and AE use capitalisation differently. (Most BE users regard AE as semi-literate, BTW!) In AE things are rarely capitalised. In BE a specific term is, with only generic terms lowercased. So the generic term heir would by definition be lowercased. But the specific categories within heir which are clearly defined concepts, Heir Apparent and Heir Presumptive are, just as president is lowercased but specifically definitions of president, President of the United States, President of Ireland etc, are uppercased. That is elementary BE.

You simply don't seem to understand (a) the difference between BE and AE, (b) when which is used on wikipedia, and (c) the reason why some things are capitalised and some things are not. You would save yourself a lot of grief if you understood the principles. You are applying the US standard rules for AE, which you (understandably as you are based in the US) think as the 'normal' rules. They are for people who use AE. But hundreds of millions worldwide do not use AE, in fact dismiss it out of hand, and follow different rules that uppercase far more words than AE does. Please do understand, Leifern, that I am not saying that if this was an AE topic your lowercasing would not be correct. It may well be. But this is not an AE article. First of all, neither the US nor the vast majority of countries who use AE have monarchies and so don't have heirs presumptive or heirs apparent. In contrast the terms are of direct relevance to many countries who either use BE or its variants (and there are many forms of English close to BE in the Commonwealth and in Europe). Secondly the article was originally written in BE. So for two reasons, it is an atricle largely used by BE not AE readers, and it was originally written in BE, it should use BE-style capitalisation. You may not understand the BE capitalisation rules, Leifern, but they do exist. For hundreds of millions worldwide they are not 'strange', they are normal. Specific as opposed to generic terms are capitalised when being defined, and are treated as proper nouns because they are understood as being the formal name of something. An 'Heir Apparent' is a clearly defined, narrow definition, in contrast to 'heir' which is not. It is that simple.

BTW please stop relying on web links as evidence of anything. They aren't. Most weblinks insist that surname of the Prince of Wales is 'Windsor'. It actually is 'Mountbatten-Windsor'. Most links on everything to do with Ireland are wrong, as are most google hits on the Kennedy assassination. I gave up relying on web-links as evidence of anything when a series of websearches on a talk page about a prime minister showed that, according to the internet, the man died a year after his was buried, was the wrong religion, was married to a woman with a name spelt differently to the actual spelling, had a different number of children to the actual number, etc. Historians on wikipedia, when they saw that, almost universally stopped quoting google searches and relied on hard text that was not as prone to be littered with the facts and fiction blurred together. FearÉIREANN 18:06, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

You'll note that my links are all to newspapers and other real publications. Of course, they can make mistakes, too. Please spare me your patronizing tone. It is obnoxious and does you no credit. I have written English in three varietes: Canadian, British, and American (as well as several other languages not relevant to this topic), so I feel pretty comfortable in my awareness of the differences. If I didn't, you'd see a lot more edits in the article than you do. Having said that, the United Kingdom does not have a monopoly on monarchies, so the subject matter is not inherently more British than American. Doesn't matter, because the difference isn't between AE and BE. The Wikipedia:Manual of Style is actually pretty clear on this topic: We should write "Heir Apparent Prince Charles" (hardly ever occurs, since he has an official title that suffices just fine) but "Charles, the heir apparent." With that standard, the article as it stands is riddled with incorrect capitalization. I'll edit it if you don't want to. The encyclopedic entry should not be about the title; it should be about the meaning of the term. So it should read "Heir apparent," and the category should be "Heirs apparent." --Leifern 18:19, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC)

*Sigh* Oh come on. Do you ever actually pay the slightest attention to what anyone else says? No it should not be at Heir apparent (and if put there will be reverted). That would make wikipedia an international laughing stock. Readers would end up wondering what sort of illiterate plonkers actually write here. You cannot uppercase part of a term and lowercase the other without looking like you are to capitalisation what the current governor of California is to English pronounciation. Depending on the context you either uppercase in total or you lowercase in total. You do not do both. Your inability to grasp the elementary principles of BE, not to mention your rather weird idea that a topic on heirs apparent has anything to do with the US and so AE) is amazing. Obviously not that strange notion the article on John Kerry should be written in BE because his ancestors came from Europe, and the article on Richard Nixon should be written in Hiberno-English because he was decended from people from Ireland, and the article on Queen Elizabeth II (or in your concept of capitalisation, Queen elizabeth ii, should be in American English because she is queen of Canada and Canada is just the US with proper healthcare and no mad gun crime. FearÉIREANN 18:39, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

As Reagan would say, "there you go again." Stop being abusive - it's getting tedious! I am not proposing that we write "Heir apparent" in anything but the title to the article. BTW, The Economist (whose headquarters are on St. James's Street, and it doesn't get more English than that) agrees with me. I couldn't find my hardcover copy, but they have it online, here: [12]. Oh, oh, and I love this paragraph from the same Style Guide (or is it "style guide"), aptly reads:
A balance has to be struck between so many capitals that the eyes dance and so few that the reader is diverted more by our style than by our substance. The general rule is to dignify with capital letters organisations and institutions, but not people. More exact rules are laid out below. Even these, however, leave some decisions to individual judgment. If in doubt use lower case unless it looks absurd. And remember that “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”. (Emerson).
Gosh, I didn't know I could be so right!

--Leifern 19:09, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC)

How about we all calm down and point to the things we do agree on:

  • The use of mixed case - "Heir apparent" or "heir Apparent" is wrong. This is a fundamental tennet of grammar, so I hope we agree :-).
  • Thus the choice is betwixt "Heir Apparent" and "heir apparent".
  • The rôle of HA is not in an of itself a title (though HAs often have titles attached, such as the PoW, or subsidiary curtosey titles).
  • The concept of having an HA is not wholly British, but is most commonly used in British and other Commonwealth countries, and so following Commonwealth English (CE) would be more in line with current policy that other forms of English, such as American English (AE).

What James seems to be saying is that, as far as he is aware, when used in the Commonwealth the term HA is used as a proper noun, and that accordingly it should be accorded (ha!) capitalisation in CE.

What Leifern is countering with is that, in his experience, this is not true - the term HA is merely a description, not a proper noun, and so isn't capitalised. Further, he has shown that several informal publications, such as newspapers and magazines, believe this to be the case (or their sub-editors are sloppy, of course).

I think that the problem is that both of you are correct - in the right contexts. In more formal contexts, the term HA is IME used as a proper noun, and so capitalised, but in less formal contexts, such as the mass-media and so on, this is not observed. As we here at Wikipedia are rather significantly more formal that the kind of dross that gets printed in newspapers sometimes (sorry, James ;-)), I think we should go with full capitalisation.


James F. (talk) 20:09, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Here is the article on heir from Encyclopaedia Brittanica:

one who succeeds to the property of a person dying without a will or who is legally entitled to succeed by right of descent or relationship. In most jurisdictions, statutes of descent determine transfer of title to property if there is no will naming the legatee. In English common law, originally an heir was one who inherited real estate; next of kin inherited personal property. With important exceptions (titles of nobility, etc.) statutory law has all but abolished the distinction.
One may be either heir apparent or heir presumptive during the lifetime of the property holder. The heir apparent is one whose right to inherit is indefeasible as long as he or she outlives the property holder. The heir presumptive is one whose right may be defeated by the birth of a nearer heir. In Sweden, the eldest child of the sovereign is heir apparent to the crown. In Great Britain, the heir apparent of the sovereign is the eldest son. If there are no sons, the eldest daughter is heiress presumptive unless there is no possibility of the birth of a brother to replace her in the line of descent.

[emphasis added]<duck/> Sympleko (Συμπλεκω) 20:46, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Maybe I'm just confused at this point. I am fine with using capitalization when the term is used as a title, but not when it is used as a description. When The Economist style guide - as British as it pretty much gets - argues that terms like "prime minister," "president," etc., should be in lowercase unless specifically used as a title, e.g., President Chirac, rather than "the president of France," the same must apply to heir apparent, especially since heir apparent so rarely is used as a title. The distinction made in the article - that heir apparent lowercase refers to someone about to inherit anything but a throne, whereas Heir Apparent is appropriate for someone who will inherit one - seems to have absolutely no usage outside of this article. Even the British Royal Family's website uses it this way. Meanwhile, my honorable opponent fails to find a single reference to strengthen his case aside from put-downs and seemingly deliberate misunderstandings pitched against me. I would go along with a compromise if there was a basis for one, but I simply can't find a case to move. --Leifern 20:54, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC)

But Leifern, every time you comment you just prove the point over and over again. Context decides capitalisation. James F is absolutely correct. (And yes, James, I may write for newspapers but I know just how ridiculous their dross is sometimes. Encyclopaedias do need higher standards than one gets in newspapers!!! I hope my editor doesn't read this. - Actually I hope she does. I forgot. She said once she agrees and plans to be ruthless in requiring capitalisation when required. In that case I hope the NUJ don't see it. It might let the cat out of the bag!) :-) FearÉIREANN 01:00, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I won't argue that context determines capitalization, but what is clear to me that the term only should be capitalized when it refers to a title, which it hardly ever does. We have here an entry from Encyclopedia Britannica that has the same usage I'm proposing; The Economist agrees with me; etc., etc. Even the British Crown's website uses it the way I'm proposing. --Leifern 22:50, May 2, 2005 (UTC)
This discussion, including Fear's remarks, seems to point to heir apparent as the thing this article is about, rather than a specific Heir Apparent. So the article title should be Heir apparent. The debate here is over a year old—maybe this should be sent to WP:MoS instead, together with similar issues like at prime minister? Arbor 08:02, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Uh, I moved the article before seeing this debate on the talk page. I'll refrain from fixing the double redirects in case someone wants it moved back (in my opinion, though, "apparent" should not be capitalized.)--Cúchullain t/c 20:13, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Revising article[edit]

  • There are a couple of errors that I corrected:
    • The legal definition of "heir" is not someone who is in possession of something through inheritance; strictly, speaking it is someone who will inherit something in the absence of a will. In common usage, it denotes someone who will inherit something, or in the context of the settlement of an estate, inherits something. Once it is in his/her possession, he/she is no longer an heir.
    • It may be worth distinguishing between an heir apparent of a throne from an heir apparent to something else, but it is not done through capitalization. Dictionaries (look 'em up) are very clear that an heir apparent is " An heir whose right to inheritance is indefeasible by law provided he or she survives an ancestor." This applies only to titles and such, and should in this article be extended to include heirs apparent to hereditary peers (in the UK).
  • As regards capitalization, the long discussion makes it pretty clear to me that the term Heir Apparent (uppercase) only applies when it refers to a title; as a descriptive term, it should be lowercase. Since Wikipedia should explain what the descriptive term means, it should be written in lowercase except when it clearly denotes a title. --Leifern 22:46, May 2, 2005 (UTC)

Now: Will someone argue for the proposition that heir apparent to the earldom of Emsworth is a title rather than a description? —Tamfang (talk) 04:21, 12 January 2010 (UTC)


According to the article

A Crown Princess of Sweden would lose her status if she

  • married without the approval of the monarch
  • married the heir to another throne, which is always contrary to Swedish law.

Question: What if the Crown Princess were to marry someone from another royal family who was not the heir. Let's say, she were to marry the second son of another king. However, if that person were to become heir, say, the first son died, would she then lose her status, since her husband was now heir? Would it be possible for her to retain her status if her husband were to renounce his succession rights? Nik42 05:49, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

As far as I can see, the only thing actually prohibited, in addition to marrying without the king's approval, is gaining regent status in another country, and even that (while unlikely of course, as consorts don't normally become regents) is possible if the king and the parliament approves it. § 8 of the Order of Succession reads, roughly translated: "Prince and princess of the Swedish Royal House may not, without the King's and the Riksdag's approval, become regent in a foreign state, either through election, inheritance or marriage. Should otherwise occur, be he or she with descendants not allowed to succeed to the Swedish Throne." -- Jao 08:51, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Why is Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden not on the list of Heirs apparent as of 2012. The article is about both Heirs & Heiress, and says she is the heir to the Swedish crown, so she should be included as well & call it Heirs & Heiress as of 2012. (talk) 05:47, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Update: someone added her while I was typing the above question, because I looked at the list three time before coming to this page. (talk) 05:52, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Duke of Rothesay[edit]

I have read that the title of Duke of Rothesay in Scotland, like the title of Duke of Cornwall in England, goes to the heir apparent. I will edit the article if I can find the reference. J S Ayer 06:21, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Black Prince[edit]

Should Edward of Woodstock, the Black Prince be included amongst the famous and well known heir apparent who never ascended to the throne? He even served as regent when Edward III was on campaign. Does this qualify him as heir apparent? Carillonatreides

Breaching of the legal qualifications of heirs apparent[edit]

This may be relevant:

The Belgian constitution explicitly forbids marriages between the royal house of Belgium and that of the Netherlands (Oranje-Nassau). Should it happen, all royal rights and privileges will be taken away (this could influence the succession, in theory). But please check because I'm not sure I have all the details right, W 20:02, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Case of Yinreng[edit]

Does Yinreng of Qing qualify as an heir apparent? Even though he was named the imperial heir, the succession law of the Qing Dynasty allows the heir to be changed any time, and Yinreng himself does not qualify for the throne more than his brothers apart from having the favor of the Emperor. o 15:34, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Correct--ALL Chinese princes should be removed from these lists, because they weren't heirs apparent. The Chinese imperial system didn't recognize heirs apparent.-- (talk) 06:41, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Possible situation[edit]

Does anyone know what would happen in the UK if the following situation were to happen. This is an example: In the future, we have King William and Queen Kate and they have one daughter Victoria who is an only child. Queen Kate is pregnant with a male child when King William dies. Does Victoria become Queen? Does the male child become King on birth? What happens? -- (talk) 00:51, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

An interesting scenario, which has been previously discussed (although hardly unambiguously answered) at the Line of succession to the British Throne talk archives. -- Jao (talk) 16:49, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
The male child becomes King on birth. That scenario actually happened in Spain (Spain follows male-preferance primogeniture, just like the UK): When King Alfonso XII of Spain died, Queen Maria Christina was pregnant, so the throne was in abeyancy, depending on whether Maria Christina's unborn child was a male or a female; a female would place her elder daughter, Infanta Maria Mercedes, on the throne. However, Mercedes was unlucky and she got a brother, Alfonso XIII of Spain. Surtsicna (talk) 12:42, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
yeah orright, so at the time the King died, it was known that his wife was pregnant and might have a son, so the throne was kept in abeyance. But suppose that it was no at all known that the queen was pregnant. Suppose she was only 1 week pregnant and nobody knew about it. So then Mercedes was proclaimed as Queen. If the previous queen then has a child 8 and a half months later, and it is a boy, then does that child bump Mercedes off the throne when she is already ensconced ? I don't think so. (talk) 09:57, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually, now I believe the child of King William V and Queen Kate would become Queen Victoria II automatically. That's how Queen Victoria (I) became queen. Had Queen Victoria (I)'s aunt given birth to a child after her husband's death, Victoria (I) would have lost her crown. So, Victoria II would be a monarch until the birth of her brother because the British throne can't be vacant. At the moment of her brother's birth, she would be succeeded by him as if she died and would instead become his heir presumptive. Surtsicna (talk) 23:34, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

United Kingdom[edit]

There is every reason to include the United Kingdom as the nation for which Prince Charles is the heir apparent. The firstly is because it is true. It is the only nation for which the Heir apparent acts directly as Head of State (ie without a represenative governor-general). -- (talk) 10:48, 5 October 2008 (UTC)


Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich of Russia (1904–1918) .... His body, and the bodies of one of his sisters, the rest of his family, and his servant were found in 2007.

Was this last sentence mangled by multiple editors? It's peculiar to specify "one of his sisters" and "the rest of his family" separately like that. As I understand Shooting of the Romanov family, most of the bodies were found in 1991 but Alexei and one sister were missing until 2007. —Tamfang (talk) 19:06, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, you're correct. I'd assume this is multiple editor mangling. john k (talk) 19:34, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

How about...[edit]

What do we think about the King of Rome and Louis XVII for the list of heirs-apparent who never held the throne? john k (talk) 20:10, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Arguably, they did, however brief that time may have been... it's questionable. Seven Letters 00:00, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
Napoleon II was arguably emperor for a few weeks in 1815; he was in Vienna at the time, and had no authority, though. Louis XVII never reigned at all; he was proclaimed by monarchists, and I guess the monarchist flag was briefly raised in Toulon in 1793, but that's about it. There was never any government or administration of France that recognized Louis XVII as king. john k (talk) 02:28, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Does definition allow multiple heirs apparent?[edit]

The current definition at the top of the article says, "An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person who cannot be displaced from inheriting, except by a change in the rules of succession." Under this definition, it seems like multiple people could be heirs apparent -- e.g. the eldest son of the monarch (this is obvious), and also the eldest son of the eldest son, etc. The latter is because, even though the eldest son of the eldest son is not first in the line of succession, he still "cannot be displaced from inheriting" the monarchy eventually. He may not inherit it *directly* from the current monarch, but the current definition does not seem to require that to be the case.

However, from what I've read on the rest of Wikipedia and the Internet, the heir apparent seems to only indicate someone who inherits directly from the current position-holder, which would make the heir apparent unique. If this is the case, then the definition should be edited to more accurately reflect this. -- (talk) 06:52, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

How about "An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person who is first in line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting, except by a change in the rules of succession"? Surtsicna (talk) 10:34, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
I'd call Willy Cambridge a "second heir apparent", but agree that the phrase heir apparent on its own means only the first. —Tamfang (talk) 18:24, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
he's an heir presumptive.Ericl (talk) 18:22, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
He is neither heir apparent nor heir presumptive. He is simply in the line of succession. Surtsicna (talk) 18:38, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
Increasingly I've noticed used of the term heir eventual for someone who is not first in the line of succession to a crown, but also cannot be displaced and is expected to inherit the throne in the normal (chronological) course of events. FactStraight (talk) 02:12, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

Saudi Arabia[edit]

Is the Saudi Crown Prince really an heir apparent? I have the impression that he is appointed and removed at the whim of the king. —Tamfang (talk) 06:49, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Daughters in male-preference primogeniture[edit]

For example, Queen Elizabeth II was heiress presumptive during the reign of her father, King George VI, because at any stage up to his death, George could have fathered a legitimate son.

That is indeed an example of daughters in male-preference primogeniture. But the following part is not. If a son born to consort of George VI by him even few after few months from his dead, that particular person would succeed as king from birth. eg:-Alfonso XII of Spain was succeeded by his posthumous son Alfonso XIII.

Indeed, when Queen Victoria succeeded her uncle King William IV, the wording of the proclamation even gave as a caveat:

"...saving the rights of any issue of his late Majesty King William IV, which may be born of his late Majesty's consort." This provided for the possibility that William's wife, Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, was pregnant at the moment of his death—since such a (so-named posthumous) child, if born and regardless of the gender of the child, would have displaced Victoria from the throne. Adelaide was 44 at the time, so pregnancy was possible even if unlikely.

If a man was in place of Victoria, he would still have been replaced by the hypothetical posthumous son of William. --Flygon1509 (talk) 11:55, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

If a man was in place of Victoria, he would still have been replaced by any legitimate child(male or female) of King William IV


The person who is given as heir apparent seems to be the reigning monarch. Something is wrong. (talk) 17:20, 26 July 2013 (UTC)