Royal babies: Have there been more girls or boys over the last 500 years?

Sarah Spickernell
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Prince George is third in line to the throne (Source: Getty)

The law of succession recently changed for the British royal family. These days, when a royal who is directly in line to the throne has a baby, that youngster will take over one day, whether it's a boy or a girl.

If this had always been the case, you might think Queens would have played a bigger part in the history of the United Kingdom than they did, but the figures state otherwise – looking back in time from when Henry VIII came to power, a much larger portion of first-born children to those in line to the throne have been male .
For all those who lived for 10 or more years, the graph below shows how just five out of 16 were female, while 11 were male.
The difference becomes even more unusual when you consider the number of royal babies that have been born altogether over the last 500 years. The number of girls born to those directly in line to the throne has been 56 – only marginally fewer than the 58 boys.
The current situation is a prime example of this – Queen Elizabeth II had a boy first, as did Price Charles, and now the Duke of Cambridge has, also. Going back a generation, the Queen's father George VI was one of six children, five of whom were boys.
Prince George will succeed the throne because he is older than his little sister. This means the first, second and third in line to the throne are all male, continuing the centuries-old tradition.

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