Heir Presumptive

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(Redirected from Heiress presumptive)

An Heir Presumptive (capitalised) is the person provisionally scheduled to inherit a throne but whose position can be displaced by the birth of an Heir Apparent or of a new Heir Presumptive with a better claim to the throne. When lowercased, heir presumptive can refer generally to someone who is provisionally scheduled to inherit a title, position or possession, unless displaced by an heir apparent or other heir presumptive. In both cases, the position is however subject to law and/or conventions that may alter who is entitled to be heir presumptive.

Depending on the rules of the monarchy in question, the heir presumptive might be the daughter of a monarch (if males take priority over females and the monarch has no sons), or the senior member of a collateral line (if the monarch is childless).

If an heir apparent is born, he becomes first-in-line to the throne, with all of his descendants taking priority over the heir presumptive in the Line of Succession. In the event of there being an heir apparent, the title "heir presumptive" lapses and is not used to describe the most senior person in the Line of Succession who is not a direct male descendant of the monarch. A woman who is in the same position is sometimes called the heiress presumptive but many monarchies increasingly choose to use heir presumptive irrespective of the sex of the holder.

For more detailed information, and a comparison between the positions of Heir Presumptive and Heir Apparent, see Heir Apparent.


Examples of current heir presumptive

It could be argued that nearly any royal who sits 2nd in line to the throne is an Heir or Heiress Presumptive, for they are eligible to inherit the throne at any time. This then, would mean that:

Examples of heirs presumptive who inherited thrones

Examples of heirs presumptive who didn't inherit those thrones

See also


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