Princess Charlotte heartbreak: Little royal’s challenges revealed

Princess Charlotte is reportedly facing a life full of challenges and responsibility as a result of a landmark change to royal protocol, which took place a few years before her birth.

The spritely four-year-old is fourth-in-line to the throne after her brother Prince George, a title which wouldn’t have been bestowed had the Crown Act not been revised in 2013.

Up until the recent review, the line of succession was given preference to regal sons, which meant Charlotte’s little brother Louis would have been next in line.

As a result of the changes, Charlotte is now what has been dubbed the royal “spare” – a role that is notoriously hard to fulfill – following George, who is the “heir” to the throne.

While the role is an honour, traditionally it has presented its fair share of challenges for those who navigate its strict responsibilities and expectations, Express reported.

As the publication stated, a classic example of the royal “spare” is Prince Harry, who has seemingly lived in his brother’s shadow and long been considered the “rebel” of the family.

Over the years, Harry’s outgoing personality, choice of girlfriends and partying ways have been the subject of public scrutiny, and most recently his relationship with Meghan Markle.

Harry reportedly also felt “sidelined by William” in his youth, and as they got older, he apparently felt as though his brother was the favourite in the Royal Family.

Other notable “spares” include the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret, who became known for her romances and wayward behaviour at parties, and Prince Charles’ brother Andrew.

But with Harry and Meghan stepping down as senior members of the royal family, royal expert Katie Nicholl believes the move may have set a new “blueprint” for younger royals.

Speaking on The Spectator’s podcast ‘The Edition’ last month, Katie said Harry and Meghan’s actions could be beneficial for the new royal family.

“This could be 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,” she said.

“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,” she said.