Line of Succession

Succession to the British throne is determined by descent, sex (for people born before October 2011), legitimacy, & religion. Under common law, the Crown is inherited by a sovereign's children or by a childless sovereign's nearest collateral line.

The Bill of Rights 1689 & the Act of Settlement 1701 restrict succession to the throne to the legitimate Protestant descendants of Sophia of Hanover that are in "communion with the Church of England".

Spouses of Roman Catholics were disqualified from 1689 until the law was amended in 2015. Protestant descendants of those excluded for being Roman Catholics are eligible.

Queen Elizabeth II is the current sovereign, & her heir apparent is her eldest son, Charles, Prince of Wales.

Next in line after him is Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, the Prince of Wales's elder son.

Third in line is Prince George, the eldest child of the Duke of Cambridge, followed by his sister, Princess Charlotte & younger brother, Prince Louis.

Sixth in line is Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, the younger son of the Prince of Wales. Any of the first six in line marrying without the sovereign's consent would be disqualified from succession.

The first four individuals in the line of succession who are over 21, & the sovereign's consort, may be appointed Counsellors of State.

Counsellors of State perform some of the sovereign's duties in the UK while he or she is out of the country or temporarily incapacitated. Otherwise, individuals in the line of succession need not have specific legal or official roles.

The UK is one of the 16 Commonwealth realms. Each of those countries has the same person as monarch & the same order of succession.

The heir apparent is Elizabeth II's eldest son, Charles, Prince of Wales.

In 2011, the prime ministers of the realms agreed unanimously to adopt a common approach to amending the rules on the succession to their respective Crowns so that absolute primogeniture would apply for persons born after the date of the agreement, instead of male-preference primogeniture, & the ban on marriages to Roman Catholics would be lifted, but the monarch would still need to be in communion with the Church of England.

After the necessary legislation had been enacted in accordance with each realm's constitution, the changes took effect on 26 March 2015.

The Current Line of succession to the British throne as of 23 May 2019;

  1. Charles, Prince of Wales (born.1948)

  2. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (b.1982)

  3. Prince George of Cambridge (b.2013)

  4. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge (b.2015)

  5. Prince Louis of Cambridge (b.2018)

  6. Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (b.1984)

  7. Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor (b.2019)

  8. Prince Andrew, Duke of York (b.1960)

  9. Princess Beatrice of York (b.1988)

  10. Princess Eugenie of York (b.1990)

  11. Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (b.1964)

  12. James, Viscount Severn (b.2007)

  13. The Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor (b.2003)

  14. Anne, Princess Royal (b.1950)

  15. Peter Phillips (b.1977)

  16. Savannah Phillips (b.2010)

  17. Isla Phillips (b.2012)

  18. Zara Tindall (née Phillips; b.1981)

  19. Mia Tindall (b.2014)

  20. Lena Tindall (b.2018)

  21. David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon (b.1961)

  22. Charles Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley (b.1999)

  23. Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones (b.2002)

  24. Lady Sarah Chatto (née Armstrong-Jones; b. 1964)

  25. Samuel Chatto (b. 1996)

  26. Arthur Chatto (b. 1999)

  27. Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester (b. 1944)

  28. Alexander Windsor, Earl of Ulster (b. 1974)

  29. Xan Windsor, Lord Culloden (b. 2007)

  30. Lady Cosima Windsor (b. 2010)

  31. Lady Davina Lewis (née Windsor; b. 1977

  32. Senna Lewis (b. 2010)

  33. Tāne Lewis (b. 2012)

  34. Lady Rose Gilman (née Windsor; b. 1980)

  35. Lyla Gilman (b. 2010)

  36. Rufus Gilman (b. 2012)

  37. Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (b. 1935)

  38. George Windsor, Earl of St Andrews (b. 1962)

  39. Lady Amelia Windsor (b. 1995)

  • (37) Two of George Windsor's three children; Edward Windsor, Lord Downpatrick (b. 1988) & Lady Marina Charlotte Windsor (b. 1992) converted to & were confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church, making them still ineligible for the succession.

Other notable royals on the list are;

(47) Prince Michael of Kent (b. 1942)

(48) Lord Frederick Windsor (b. 1979)

(52) Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy (b. 1936)

Norwegian Royals;

78. HM King Harald V of Norway (b. 1937),

  • Queen Elizabeth II is his second cousin.

  • Harald is the first foreign monarch in the line of succession to the British throne, because of his descent from King Edward VII of the United Kingdom.

79. HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway (b. 1973)

80. HH Prince Sverre Magnus of Norway (b. 2005)

81. HRH Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway (b. 2004)

82. Princess Martha Louise of Norway (b.. 1971)

Queen Victoria's throne chair, Buckingham Palace

Pair of throne chairs, used by King George V & Queen Mary, 1911

Further reading.....

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