When the Queen made Prince Harry a peer this morning did she limit succession to heirs male of his body as is usual for vast majority of British peerages or did she allow for female succession in light of the recent changes to the rules of succession for the Crown itself?
I can’t find details of the Letters Patent online yet. When the Dukedom of Cambridge was granted to William in 2011, remainder was to the heirs male of his body. There doesn’t seem to be any indication that a different approach will be adopted with Sussex.
Non-regal noble titles in Britain and most of Europe have always followed the Salic Law, AFAIK. But the Kingships in England, Scotland, Denmark and several other countries (and Duchies in France?) have followed cognatic primogeniture for many centuries — daughters inherit before brothers or nephews.
The change from cognatic primogeniture to absolute primogeniture is minor compared with abandoning Salic law on all other titles.
One more thing. Harry and Meghans kids will not be Princes/Princesses until Grandpa Charlie succeeds to the throne. The title of Prince/Princess extends to the grandchild of a monarch in the male line only, under the current letters patent issued by George V. Which is why Anne’s kids don’t have a title and Andrew’s daughter’s do.
Williams kids were also not entitled to be Princes/Princesses, the Queen specifically allowed them to be. I suspect they will do the same for Harry’s kids.
Or they could go the route of Edward and Sophie and ask that the children never be HRHs. There’s been a rumor for a while that Charles will eventually change it to children of the monarch and children of direct heirs only.
They are HRH, they have decided to use a lesser title in every day life. Like Camilla is the Princess of Wales, but uses Duchess of Cornwall instead.
I have heard the same about Charles changing it. It is ironic, as under the current rules neither he nor Anne would have been HRH, but George VI created them at birth.
The precedent seems to be that children who would in the ordinary course become HRH, are made so at birth like Charles, Anne and now Charlotte and Louis (I misspoke, George was automatically an HRH under the old rules).
It depends on the terms by which the monarch grants them. The monarch could grant titles which could also descend in the female line. This appears to have happened more frequently for Scottish peerages than for English or U.K. peerages, as far as I can tell. There are frequent references in Scots history to a woman holding a peerage “in her own right” rather than as the wife of the peer.
Even UK peerages can have special provisions allowing for descent via the female line.
One of Nelson’s peerages is an example. He was created Baron Nelson twice, as well as Viscount Nelson. The first barony and the viscounty both were granted to him with succession to his male heirs, in the normal way. Since he never had male heirs, those titles went extinct on his death.
However, by the time he was granted the second barony, it was pretty clear that he would not have legitimate male heirs, thanks to his relationship with “that Hamilton woman.”
So the second barony had an unusual line of descent. If Nelson died without a male heir, it went to his father, followed by his father’s other son and that son’s male heirs. If that other son had no male heirs, it went to the male issue of Nelson’s elder sister, followed by the male issue of his second sister.
When Nelson died, his own father was dead, so the second barony went to his brother, a country parson. That brother died without male issue, so he was succeeded by his and Nelson’s nephew, the eldest son of his older sister. The barony (and an earldom granted to Nelson’s brother after Nelson died at Trafalgar) have since descended from that nephew, who inherited it through the female line, although his mother did not inherit it.
Which, getting back to the question in the OP: it depends on the exact terms of the patent granted by HM to the new Duke. If it says “lawful male heirs of his body,” then it only goes to sons.
But if HM chooses, she could grant the peerage “to the lawful heirs of his body” without regard to gender, and then it could go to an eldest daughter.