An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person who is first in a line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting by the birth of another person. An heir presumptive, by contrast, is someone who is first in line to inherit a title but who can be displaced by the birth of a more eligible heir. The term is also used metaphorically to indicate an "anointed" successor to any position of power, e.g. a political or corporate leader.

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  • An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person who is first in a line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting by the birth of another person. An heir presumptive, by contrast, is someone who is first in line to inherit a title but who can be displaced by the birth of a more eligible heir. Today these terms most commonly describe heirs to hereditary titles (e.g. titles of nobility) or offices, especially when only inheritable by a single person. Most monarchies refer to the heir apparent of their thrones with the descriptive term of crown prince but these heirs may also be accorded with a more specific substantive title, such as Prince of Orange in the Netherlands, Duke of Brabant in Belgium, Prince of Asturias in Spain, or Prince of Wales in the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. In France the title was le Dauphin, in Imperial Russia it was Tsesarevich. The term is also used metaphorically to indicate an "anointed" successor to any position of power, e.g. a political or corporate leader. 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. (en)
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  • An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person who is first in a line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting by the birth of another person. An heir presumptive, by contrast, is someone who is first in line to inherit a title but who can be displaced by the birth of a more eligible heir. The term is also used metaphorically to indicate an "anointed" successor to any position of power, e.g. a political or corporate leader. (en)
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  • Heir apparent (en)
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