Only five crown princesses exist in the world today Image Credit: Thinkstock

 

Out of 27 royal families across all realms on the planet, only five princesses are next in line to sit on thrones as heads of state and reign as supreme monarchs. However, the arrival of the new British Princess, will see her as fourth in line to the throne.

1. Crown Princess Elisabeth of Belgium

Born on October 25, 2001 Princess Elisabeth is only 14 years old and is heir apparent to the Belgian throne. An heir apparent is someone who is first in line to the throne and cannot be trumped by the birth of another possible heir.Also owning the title Duchess of Brabant, Princess Elisabeth is the eldest child of the ruling King Philippe and Queen Mathilde and according to the absolute primogeniture act, puts her first in the line of succession because she is the eldest child with no regard for gender. Basically according to this act, she doesn’t have to be male to have a right to the throne. If she does indeed ascend the throne during her lifetime, she will go down in history as Belgium's first ever queen to rule in her own right.

 

2. Crown Princess Caroline of Monaco

Probably the most famous crown princess of all, Princess Caroline is the eldest child of the late Rainier III, Prince of Monaco and American movie star Grace Kellywhose fairytale wedding was the fascination of the world in the 50s.Officially titled Princess Caroline of Hanover, she was born on January 23, 1957 and turned 58 this year. She is also the elder sister of the ruling monarch Prince Albert II of Monaco. She is heir presumptive to the throne of Monaco, which basically means her position as heir to the throne can be displaced if another, more suitable, heir is born. But because Prince Albert has no legitimate children as yet, Princess Caroline is first in the line of succession according to the rule of male-preference cognatic primogeniture, which demands the throne pass to the next sibling and their descendants. Since Albert has no brother and only two sisters, with Princess Caroline being the elder of the two, the throne will pass to her if she outlives him.

 

3. Crown Princess Leonor of Spain

Nine years old, Princess Leonor is currently the youngest crown princess in the world and was born on October 31, 2005. Officially titled Leonor, Princess of Asturias, the infant princess is heir presumptive to the throne of Spain and the older of the two daughters to King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia. On 18 June 2014, King Juan Carlos abdicated the Spanish throne making way for Leonor's father Felipe VI to rule as King of Spain. The reason why Princess Leonor is only heir presumptive and not heir apparent is because Spain too follows the system of male-preference cognatic primogeniture. So under the current law if the king and queen bear a son, Leonor will be displaced in the line of succession and forfeit her right to the throne to a younger brother.

 

4. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden

Princess Victoria wasborn on July 14, 1977 and is heir apparent in the line of succession to the throne of Sweden by virtue of her being the eldest child to King Carl XVI Gustaf. Sweden follows the system of absolute primogeniture where both genders are treated as equals but the heir to the throne must be the eldest legitimate child of the monarch. She displaced her brother Prince Carl Philip when Sweden changed to this system of succession. From being crown prince, he went to being third in line to the throne after Princess Victoria’s daughter.

 

5. Crown Princess Catharina-Amalia of The Netherlands

Born on December 7, 2003, little Catharina-Amalia, also known as the Princess of Orange is the heir apparent to the throne of The Netherlands. The 12-year-old princess is the eldest child of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima. She earned her title of heir apparent only last year when her father ascended the throne.

 

Latest: Princess of Britain

Born on May 2, 2015, the UK’s little Princess was born to Prince William and Kate Middleton and is fourth in line to the British throne. Even though she is not the crown princess, she is the first princess born into the direct royal family in 25 years, the last being princess Eugenie in 1990.