After Elizabeth II: Who is in the royal line of succession?

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September 8, 2022
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After Elizabeth II: Who is in the royal line of succession?

On September 8, 2022, Queen Elizabeth II passed away at the age of 96.

The passing of the Queen is a historic event that will surely reverberate and resonate well beyond the shores of Great Britain and the Commonwealth. Her reign of 70 years was the longest in British history, and her constant presence gave generations of Britons, as well as millions of people around the world, a sense of stability, continuity, and reassurance in times of both peace and turbulence.

Though her passing may have been inevitable, to millions of people in the United Kingdom and around the world it seemed unimaginable. Even as a young princess she was in the royal spotlight, and with her coronation on June 2, 1953, Queen Elizabeth II stepped onto the global stage and into history. Her image is recognized around the world, and now her memory and her legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of her devoted supporters and followers.

The memorial services, international tributes, ceremonial commemorations, and outpouring of public grief will surely be extraordinary. In due time, of course, the focus of the world's attention will eventually shift to the succession to the royal throne of Charles, Prince of Wales. 

Prince Charles has been heir to the throne for all of his 73 years, and when he becomes king, his eldest son, William, will become the next heir apparent. But the line of succession is long, and it continues to change as families grow and succession laws are revised.

Using information from the official website of the British royal family and various media sources, Stacker has compiled a list of 20 members of the royal family and their respective positions in the line of succession.  

 

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#1. The Prince of Wales

Title: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales
Full name: Charles Philip Arthur George
Father: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Mother: Queen Elizabeth II
Relation to Elizabeth II: Son
Born: Nov. 14, 1948, at Buckingham Palace, London

Seventy-three years is a very long time to wait to assume the reins of the position for which you have always been destined, and Charles has been waiting in the wings since the day he was born. Over time, his popularity has seen highs and lows, and his personal life has generated multiple cycles of scandal, scrutiny, and sympathy. Never was this more true than during his marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales, and its eventual unraveling. He has been both lauded and criticized for some of his public work and personal initiatives, and he has long expressed a desire to slim down the monarchy. When he finally does ascend to the throne, his second wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, whom he married in 2005, will be known as Queen Consort.

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#2. The Duke of Cambridge

Title: Prince William of Wales, Duke of Cambridge
Full name: William Arthur Philip Louis
Father: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales
Mother: Diana, Princess of Wales
Relation to Elizabeth II: Grandson
Born: June 21, 1982, at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London

Prince William is second in line to the throne. As the first child of Charles and Diana, the quiet prince was always destined for the spotlight and has never known life outside the royal fishbowl. He has held a special place in the hearts of Britons and royal followers since he was a child, and that emotional connection was only strengthened during his parents' very public divorce and the tragic death of his mother in 1997. In the years that followed, William emerged as a thoughtful and reserved young man with an understandable disdain for the tabloid media. His 2011 marriage to Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, was watched by billions of people around the globe, and when William eventually ascends to the throne, Catherine will become Queen Consort.

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#3. Prince George of Cambridge

Title: Prince George of Cambridge
Full name: George Alexander Louis
Father: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Mother: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Relation to Elizabeth II: Great-grandson
Born: July 22, 2013, at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London

As the eldest son of William and Catherine, Prince George of Cambridge now stands third in the line of succession. Like his father and grandfather before him, he is surely aware of his destiny at this point in his young life, though his parents have worked hard to keep their children grounded with a less formal and rigid lifestyle and a greater sense of normalcy than past royalty have experienced in their upbringing, much like George's grandmother Diana did for her sons, William and Harry.

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#4. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge

Title: Princess Charlotte of Cambridge
Full name: Charlotte Elizabeth Diana
Father: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Mother: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Relation to Elizabeth II: Great-granddaughter
Born: May 2, 2015, at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London

For William and Catherine's second child, Princess Charlotte, a legal change in succession law passed in 2011 helped secure her position in the line of succession. The Perth Agreement determined that all governments of the Commonwealth realms would amend their laws to replace "male-preference primogeniture" (in which males precede females) with "absolute primogeniture" (in which gender plays no part). Thus, when her younger brother was born, Charlotte retained her position as the fourth in line.

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#5. Prince Louis of Cambridge

Title: Prince Louis of Cambridge
Full name: Louis Arthur Charles
Father: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Mother: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Relation to Elizabeth II: Great-grandson
Born: April 23, 2018, at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London

Some might suspect that the youngest of William and Kate's children might be destined for a more comfortable and less stressful role than his older siblings. However, in the royal line of succession one can never assume anything. Just ask Louis' great-great-grandfather, King George VI, who was never expected to inherit the throne. He had planned to live a quiet life as the Duke of York with his family, but when his brother, King Edward, famously abdicated the throne in order to marry an American divorcee, the course of George's life was forever altered, as was that of his daughter, the future Queen Elizabeth II.

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#6. The Duke of Sussex

Title: Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex
Full name: Henry Charles Albert David
Father: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales
Mother: Diana, Princess of Wales
Relation to Elizabeth II: Grandson
Born: Sept. 15, 1984, at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London

At birth, Prince Henry was fourth in line to the British throne and often referred to as the "spare" to his brother, the heir. Better known as Harry, the prince exhibited a rebellious streak and a sense of independence—not unlike that of his mother, Diana. In recent years—despite strained relations with his brother and father, the 2020 drama the press deemed "Megxit," a relocation with his family to California, a tell-all book in the works, and he and his wife Meghan's now-infamous Oprah interview—he remains in the fold. This may be due in part to the very strong relationship he always enjoyed with the queen.

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Alexi Lubomirski/The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

#7. Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor

Title: None
Full name: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor
Father: Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex
Mother: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
Relation to Elizabeth II: Great-grandson
Born: May 6, 2019, at Frogmore Cottage, Windsor, England

Being raised in California, 3-year-old Archie may not yet understand his position within the complicated structure and traditions of the royal family from across the pond, but given his place in the seventh position, he'll find out soon enough. Archie is the first family member of mixed-race ancestry in the line of succession, and he has dual U.K. and U.S. nationality.

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#8. Miss Lillibet Mountbatten-Windsor

Title: None
Full name: Lillibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor
Father: Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex
Mother: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
Relation to Elizabeth II: Great grandchild
Born: June 4, 2021, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California

The latest addition to Harry and Meghan's family, Lillibet's name derives from the childhood nickname of Queen Elizabeth. She currently stands eighth in line to the throne and is the highest-ranked individual in the line to be born outside of the United Kingdom.

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#9. The Duke of York

Title: Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Full name: Andrew Albert Christian Edward
Father: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Mother: Queen Elizabeth II
Relation to Elizabeth II: Son
Born: Feb. 19, 1960, at Buckingham Palace, London

Next in line stands the Queen's second son and Charles' younger brother, Andrew. Though he enjoyed considerable popularity during his marriage to Sarah Ferguson, Andrew has since fallen from grace in a very sordid and public manner. After a messy divorce, multiple scandals and ongoing financial difficulties, Andrew is currently embroiled in several lawsuits and is facing serious allegations of sexual assault. Despite being stripped of his military titles and royal patronages by the Queen, Andrew still retains his place in the line of succession

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#10. Princess Beatrice, Mrs. Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi

Title: Princess Beatrice of York
Full name: Beatrice Elizabeth Mary
Father: Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Mother: Sarah, Duchess of York
Relation to Elizabeth II: Granddaughter
Born: Aug. 8, 1988, at Portland Hospital, London

Despite her mother's virtual banishment from the royal family and the scandals surrounding her father, Beatrice has retained her public popularity and position within the family as one of the Queen's beloved granddaughters. Her marriage in 2020 and a new baby born in 2021 made the usual headlines in Britain and abroad, and it also changed the line of succession once again.

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#11. Miss Sienna Mapelli Mozzi

Title: Contessa and Nobile Donna
Full name: Sienna Elizabeth Mapelli Mozzi
Father: Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
Mother: Princess Beatrice of York
Relation to Elizabeth II: Great-granddaughter
Born: Sept. 18, 2021, at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London

Though she was added to the British Royal line of succession without a royal title, as per royal protocol, Sienna's father descends from Italian aristocracy. He is the son of Count Alessandro Mapelli Mozzi, and he will eventually inherit the family's ancestral seat, thus giving Sienna her Italian titles.

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#12. Princess Eugenie, Mrs. Jack Brooksbank

Title: Princess Eugenie of York
Full name: Eugenie Victoria Helena
Father: Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Mother: Sarah, Duchess of York
Relation to Elizabeth II: Granddaughter
Born: March 23, 1990, at Portland Hospital, London

Beatrice's younger sister, Eugenie, married Jack Brooksbank in 2018 and the couple welcomed their first child, a son, in early 2021. Barring any further reshuffling ahead of her, Eugenie remains 12th in line, with her newborn son next in line behind her.

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#13. Master August Brooksbank

Title: None
Full name: August Philip Hawke Brooksbank
Father: Jack Brooksbank
Mother: Princess Eugenie of York
Relation to Elizabeth II: Great-grandson
Born: Feb. 9, 2021, at Portland Hospital, London

Still just a toddler, Master August became 13th in line to the British throne when he was born in early 2021.

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#14. The Earl of Wessex

Title: Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
Full name: Edward Antony Richard Louis
Father: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Mother: Queen Elizabeth II
Relation to Elizabeth II: Son
Born: March 10, 1964, at Buckingham Palace, London

Prince Edward is the Earl of Wessex and is the Queen's fourth and youngest child. He married his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, in 1999, and they have two children. Sophie has become a very popular member of the family, and was the member to whom the Queen delegated many key duties and engagements during her health concerns.

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#15. James, Viscount Severn

Title: Viscount Severn
Full name: James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor
Father: Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
Mother: Sophie, Countess of Wessex
Relation to Elizabeth II: Grandson
Born: Dec. 17, 2007, at Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey

James is the second child of Edward and Sophie, but because the Perth Agreement was not in place at the time of his birth, he ranks ahead of his older sister, Louise, in the line of succession.

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#16. The Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor

Title: Lady Louise Windsor
Full name: Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor
Father: Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
Mother: Sophie, Countess of Wessex
Relation to Elizabeth II: Granddaughter
Born: Nov. 8, 2003, at Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey

The eldest child of Edward and Sophie, Louise has often accompanied her mother on royal engagements and at the age of 7, she was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

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#17. The Princess Royal

Title: Princess Anne, Princess Royal
Full name: Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise
Father: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Mother: Queen Elizabeth II
Relation to Elizabeth II: Daughter
Born: Aug. 15, 1950, at Clarence House, London

Princess Anne is the second child and only daughter of the Queen. Because of the "male-preference primogeniture" that was in place when she was born in 1950, her place in the line of succession comes after her older brother Charles as well as her younger brothers, Andrew and Edward. She has two children from her first marriage: Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall.

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#18. Mr. Peter Phillips

Title: None
Full name: Peter Mark Andrew Phillips
Father: Mark Phillips
Mother: Princess Anne, Princess Royal
Relation to Elizabeth II: Grandson
Born: Nov. 15, 1977, at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London

The eldest of Princess Anne's two children, and the eldest of the Queen's grandchildren, Peter Phillips was fifth in line to the British throne until his cousin, Prince William, was born in 1982. When he was born his parents declined an offer of a title for him from the Queen. Phillips' Canadian wife, born Autumn Kelly, was born a Catholic but was received into the Church of England before their marriage. Had she not done so, Phillips would have lost his place in the line of succession. The couple divorced in 2021.

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#19. Miss Savannah Phillips

Title: None
Full name: Savannah Anne Kathleen Phillips
Father: Peter Phillips
Mother: Autumn Phillips
Relation to Elizabeth II: Great-granddaughter
Born: Dec. 29, 2010, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Gloucestershire

Like her cousins Archie and Lillibet, the Queen's first great-grandchild, Savannah, also has dual citizenship thanks to her Canadian mother. This makes her the first Canadian in the royal line of succession.

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#20. Miss Isla Phillips

Title: None
Full name: Isla Elizabeth Phillips
Father: Peter Phillips
Mother: Autumn Phillips
Relation to Elizabeth II: Great-granddaughter
Born: March 29, 2012, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Gloucestershire

In the 20th spot is Isla Phillips, the second daughter of Peter and Autumn Phillips, granddaughter of Princess Anne, and great-granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth.

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