The British Royal Family has undergone another major change this week, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II's husband, Prince Philip, on Friday, April 9. Philip, who was the longest-living male member of the British royal family in history, was 99. His death does not impact the British Line of Succession though, as Philip was never King, only the Queen's Consort. The Queen's eldest son, Prince Charles, has always been second in the line.
The Succession of the Crown Act, passed by the U.K. Parliament in 2013, went into effect in 2015, giving the line a modern update. According to the BBC, the act made sure that Princess Charlotte would not be overtaken in the line by a future brother because of her gender. It also made it possible for a member of the Royal Family to marry a Roman Catholic, although a Roman Catholic still cannot become king or queen. The act also had some below-the-line changes. Only the first six people in the line of succession need Queen Elizabeth II's permission to marry. So, Harry did need her approval to marry Markle.
The act did make some retroactive changes to the line, meaning the Queen's daughter Anne, Princess Royal, is now all the way at number 15 on the list. She is behind Prince Andrew's daughters and their children, as well as Prince William and Prince Harry's children. Scroll on for a look at the British line of succession to find out who comes next after Queen Elizabeth II.
1. Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales
Thanks to his mother's unprecedented longevity, Prince Charles has had to wait more than 60 years to become king. Back in 2012, he even raised eyebrows for admitting he was getting impatient.
“Impatient? Me? What a thing to suggest! Yes of course I am... I’ll run out of time soon. I shall have snuffed it if I’m not careful," Charles said, The Telegraph reported at the time. Prince Charles has been the longest-waiting heir to the throne in British history since 2008.prevnext
2. Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge
Prince William is second in the line of succession for the British throne. Back in 2010, after William announced his engagement to Kate Middleton, there were polls suggesting William's father would let him become the next King. However, sources told the Telegraph William had no interest in skipping over Charles.prevnext
3. Prince George of Cambridge
Prince Harry was third in the line, until Prince William and Kate's children were born. First Prince George knocked him down a rung in 2013. George has often been seen on royal tours with his parents. One day, George will likely become king. When that day happens, the new sovereign will be proclaimed by the Accession Council in St. James's Palace. After a proclamation, the new sovereign will take an oath to preserve the Church of Scotland. If the monarch is under 18 years old, a regent can be appointed for Royal functions.prevnext
4. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge
Prince Harry was bumped down again in 2015 when Princess Charlotte was born. At her birth, the Succession of the Crown Act went into effect for the first time. This meant that if William and Kate's next baby was a boy, she would not be moved down a rung because of her gender.prevnext
5. Prince Louis of Cambridge
Prince Louis of Cambridge might only be 2 years old, but he already has a Wikipedia page. Louis was born on April 23, 2018. He is the first Prince to be ranked lower than his sister on the line of succession thanks to the Succession of the Crown Act.prevnext
6. Prince Harry of Wales
Prince Harry, 36, is now sixth in the line of British succession, so the chances of him ever becoming king at this point are slim. He married former American actress Meghan Markle in May 2018. In 2020, the two stepped down from their senior royal family roles and they now live in Southern California. However, Harry was not removed from the line of succession.prevnext
7. Archie Mountbatten-Windsor
Harry and Markle's son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, will not be known as a Prince, but he is still seventh in the line of succession. When the couple's second child is born, the baby will be eighth in the line. During their interview with Oprah Winfrey, Harry and Markle revealed that a member of the family wondered how dark Archie's skin would be. Harry told Winfrey the person was not Queen Elizabeth or Prince Philip.prevnext
8. Prince Andrew, The Duke of York
Prince Charles' younger brother, 58-year-old Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is eighth in the line. Andrew is best known for his marriage to Sarah Ferguson, which ended in divorce in 1996. The Prince, who saw action in the Falklands War, is the father of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. Andrew has mostly retreated from the public view due to his ties to Jeffrey Epstein.prevnext
9. Princess Beatrice of York
Princess Beatrice of York is ninth in the line and the older of Prince Andrew's two daughters. They both made headlines for their famous hats at William and Kate's 2011 wedding. In July 2020, Beatrice married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.prevnext
10 and 11. Princess Eugenie of York and her son
Beatrice's younger sister, Princess Eugenie of York, is 10th in the line. In February 2021, Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank, welcomed their first child, August. Their son is now 11th in the line of succession.prevnext
12. Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex0comments
Prince Charles' youngest brother, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, is 12th in the line. He is married to 53-year-old Sophie, and has two children. Although Anne, Princess Royal, is older than Andrew and Edward, she did not jump in the line of succession after the recent changes because it was not retroactive.
Below is the rest of the line of succession:
- Viscount Severn
- The Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor
- The Princess Royal
- Mr. Peter Phillips
- Miss Savannah Phillips
- Miss Isla Phillips
- Mrs. Michael Tindall
- Miss Mia Tindall
- Miss Lena Tindall
- Master Lucas Tindall