According to The Royal Order of Adjectives, 'two' should be before 'former'.
Not a teacher.
Interested in Language
Do we say "the 2 former presidents..." or "the former 2 presidents..."? Likewise "the above-mentioned 3 books..." Is there any rule?
I agree with Matthew.
Also, by analogy: 'the three above-mentioned books'.
(We normally write numerals under 10 as words.)
Let me offer a counterexample: "The last two presidents..." I would not say, "the two last presidents...". Is there much difference between 'former' and 'last'? I don't think so. I think you can change the word order here if necessary for emphasis of one word or the other.
Yes, good thinking. It can be a determiner as in "Last night ..." But not "Last two nights ..."
In any case, I am not offended by "the former two presidents" - that is to say, by the word order.
I was wondering what "royal" had to do with presidents for a second.
Anyway, I would interpret "the former two presidents" and "the two former presidents" differently in some cases.
I would say that George W Bush and Bill Clinton were the former two presidents. It says something about order and being the president most recently.
Now, you could say that Ronald Reagan and Herbert Hoover are two former presidents.