Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle recently announced they are expecting their second child. In fact, not only did they announce their new family member but they did so on the same day that Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, announced she was pregnant with him 37 years ago. I’m not crying, you are.
Anyway, a new royal is coming our way. So, naturally, the question on everyone’s minds is: where will this new heir sit in the line of succession?
How the royal line of succession works
Even after watching four seasons of The Crown, it’s still hard to know who exactly is next in line for the throne.
According to the Royal UK website, the basis for succession is determined in the Bill of Rights from 1689 and the Act of Settlement (1701).
It lays out that only Protestant descendants of Princess Sophia, electress of Hanover and granddaughter of James I are eligible to succeed. There are some interesting conditions included in these bills, such as Roman Catholics being specifically excluded from the line of succession.
In 2013, The Succession to the Crown Act amended the previous bills to end the system of male primogeniture. This means that younger sons no longer take preference over elder daughters. It applies to all those born after 28 October 2011.
Who is in line for the throne?
The current reigning sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II, has held the throne since 1952. In the event of her death or abdication, the crown will then pass to the next eligible heir.
Here’s the current royal line of succession according to the Royal website:
- Charles, The Prince of Wales
- Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge
- Prince George of Cambridge
- Princess Charlotte of Cambridge
- Prince Louis of Cambridge
- Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
- Archie Mountbatten-Windsor
- Prince Andrew, Duke of York
- Princess Beatrice of York
- Princess Eugenie of York
- Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex
- James Mountbatten-Windsor, Viscount Severn
- Anne, The Princess Royal
- Mr. Peter Phillips
- Miss Savannah Phillips
- Miss Isla Phillips
Technically, the line keeps going long past number 16 but the odds of us ever needing that many successors are slim. Particularly as Prince William and Harry’s families (who will always receive precedence) keep growing.
After Harry and Meghan’s new baby is born it will sit eighth in line for the throne. That is after big brother Archie but before the Queen’s younger son Prince Andrew.