Before proposing to Kate, William had to ask Queen Elizabeth for her permission, according to a British law that has been on the books since the 18th century, WalesOnline reports.
Known as the Royal Marriages Act of 1772, it requires all descendants of George II to receive the sovereign ruler’s consent for the marriage to be considered valid. The law does not prohibit royals from marrying non-royals (Middleton is not royal), but another law does prohibit them from marrying Catholics. If Middleton were Catholic and William wanted to marry her, he would have to give up his claim to the throne.
If the queen doesn’t agree to the marriage, there is recourse – if the royal is older than 25, he can marry if both houses of Parliament do not disapprove within 12 months of the decision to get married.