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An heir presumptive is the person provisionally scheduled to inherit a throne, peerage, or other hereditary honor, 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 another 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 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 most senior person in the Line of Succession who is not a direct male descendant of the monarch is not described as heir presumptive.

For more detailed information, and a comparison between the positions of heir presumptive and heir apparent, see heir apparent.

Several simultaneousEdit

Main article: Abeyance

In the English common law of inheritance, there is no seniority between sisters; where there is no son to inherit, any number of daughters share equally. Therefore certain hereditary titles can have multiple simultaneous heiresses presumptive. Since the title cannot be held by two people simultaneously, two daughters (without a brother) who inherit in this way would do so as co-parceners and before they inherit, both would be heirs presumptive. In these circumstances, the title would in fact be held in abeyance until one person represents the claim of both, or the claim is renounced by one or the other for herself and her heirs, or the abeyance is ended by the Crown. There are special procedures for handling doubtful or disputed cases.

Heirs presumptive as of 2010Edit

Examples of heirs presumptive who inherited thronesEdit

Albert I Koning der Belgen

Albert I, King of the Belgians

Examples of heirs presumptive who did not inherit thronesEdit

Example in filmEdit

In the Disney animated film The Lion King, Scar is the heir presumptive of the Pride Lands, his inheritance being displaced by the birth of Simba, the heir apparent, thus sparking the entire plot of the film.

See alsoEdit