The days are long gone, thankfully, when people cared enough about the successor to the British throne to hash out the details on the battlefield. Those now born into the royal lineage can look forward to a lifetime of pomp without power, fulfilling their duties as England’s tourist-attractions-in-chief.
Nevertheless, the arrival on May 2 of Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge, the second child of William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and the fourth in line to the throne, was greeted with the kind of fervor that actual world leaders rarely get to experience. Westminster Abbey’s bells pealed, national monuments were lit up in pink, taxis were emblazoned with her name, and even the occasional battle was joined among tabloids for exclusive photos and newsy tidbits.
Charlotte is the first royal daughter who would have been Queen had she been born before her brother, after a change to British law in 2011. Another British Princess Charlotte (1796–1817) could have reigned but instead had a deeply unhappy life and died before she could ascend to the throne, which was inherited instead by Queen Victoria, baby Charlotte’s great-great-great-great-great-grandmother.
There are three potential kings in line for the throne ahead of Charlotte, so her chances of becoming Queen are slim, but not nearly as slim as her chances of living a simple and unwatched life.
This appears in the May 18, 2015 issue of TIME.