An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person who is first in line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting, except by a change in the rules of succession.
An heir presumptive or heiress presumptive, by contrast, is someone who is first in line to inherit a title but whose claim can be displaced at any time (in legal terms, is "subject to divestiture") upon the occurrence of one or more events or sets of events for which the system of inheritance allows, such as the birth of a more eligible heir.
Today these terms most commonly describe heirs to hereditary titles, particularly monarchies. They are also used metaphorically to indicate an "anointed" successor to any position of power, e.g., a political or corporate leader.
The phrase is only occasionally found used as a title, where it usually is capitalized ("Heir Apparent"). Most monarchies give (or gave) the heir apparent the title of Crown Prince or a more specific title, such as Prince of Orange in the Netherlands, Prince of Asturias in Spain, or Prince of Wales in the United Kingdom. See crown prince for more examples.
This article primarily describes the term heir apparent in a hereditary system regulated by laws of primogeniture—as opposed to cases where a monarch has a say in naming the heir.
Other articles related to "heir apparent, heirs, heir":
... Heir apparent Country HRH Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa Bahrain HRH Prince Philippe, Duke of Brabant Belgium HRH Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah Brunei HRH Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales ...
... All heirs in this period were nominated by the reigning monarch, rather than holding the position by right of inheritance ... his two immediate successors ever nominated an heir, and Catherine I, Peter II, and Anna were all chosen irregularly, after the death of their predecessor ... Heir Status Relationship to Monarch Became heir Reason Ceased to be heir Reason Monarch Grand Duke Ivan Antonovich Crown heir grand nephew 1740 proclaimed ...
... Sir Filmer Courtenay William Honywood, 11th Baronet (born 1930) The heir apparent to the baronetcy is Rupert Anthony Honywood (born 1957), eldest son of ... The heir apparent's heir apparent is his only son, Samuel Thomas Courtenay Honywood (born 1996) ...
... In the United Kingdom, a noble's heir apparent may use his parent's most senior subsidiary title as a courtesy title, provided that it causes no confusion ... For example, the Duke of Norfolk's heir apparent is known as the Earl of Arundel, although the son does not technically become Earl of Arundel until his father's death and is legally still a commoner ... For example, the Duke of Manchester is also Earl of Manchester, but his heir is styled "Viscount Mandeville" ...
... It was thus unclear whether the heir-apparent was Robert's eldest son by his first wife, John, or his eldest son by his second wife, David ... On 27 March 1371, Parliament acknowledged John, as Robert's heir and subsequently on 4 April 1373 passed an Act specifically stating the order of succession to the throne ... The heir apparent was now indisputably John Stewart, the King's eldest son by his first wife, who had been created Earl of Carrick in 1368 ...
Famous quotes containing the words apparent and/or heir:
“Philosophic argument, especially that drawn from the vastness of the universe, in comparison with the apparent insignificance of this globe, has sometimes shaken my reason for the faith that is in me; but my heart has always assured and reassured me that the gospel of Jesus Christ must be Divine Reality. The Sermon on the Mount cannot be a mere human production. This belief enters into the very depth of my conscience. The whole history of man proves it.”
—Daniel Webster (17821852)
“Tis the curse of service,
Preferment goes by letter and affection,
And not by old gradation, where each second
Stood heir to th first.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)