Queen Elizabeth II reportedly automatically gets custody of the royal children if their parents suddenly pass away. But it seems that there is an exception to this rule.

While speaking with Express, Rachel Carrington-Matthews, a private client and inheritance protection solicitor at Hedges Law, said that if the parents of the royal children created a will stating the name of the family member they want to give their child’s custody to, this is what will most likely be followed.

The will should also include the reason for the choice of guardian for the royal children. If this is undertaken, the process becomes much simpler since the courts would only have to ensure that the guardian has a safe environment for the bereaved child.

However, if both parents of the royal children die, a child may also be placed in foster care while the court appoints a guardian of its choosing. But this is something that may never happen to royal children because they have tons of relatives that can take care of them.

According to Carrington-Matthews, the process of moving the bereaved child from foster home to another home may take a couple of months and it is also quite taxing.

But since there is a 1717 rule, things could be quite different from the Queen and her great-grandchildren.

“Although I’m not 100 percent sure about this, there is an old law from 1717 saying that the Queen ultimately has custody of all royal children. Whether or not this is correct, I have not been able to verify simply because the law is too old and does not exist in any legal research that you can carry out,” she said.

But there have been some claims suggesting that the law exists and that Her Majesty will have sole custody of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren if their parents die. When Prince Charles ascends the throne, he will inherit the custody of the royal children.

Queen Elizabeth, Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince George and Princess Charlotte
Pictured: Middleton, Princess Charlotte, Prince Harry, Prince George, Prince William and Queen Elizabeth II stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a fly-past of aircrafts by the Royal Air Force, in London on June 11, 2016. Getty Images/Justin Tallis