FeaturesInsight

How many successors are there to the British throne?



One advantage of a monarch who reigns for a substantial period is you can potentially see a long line of succession stretching into the future. Prince Charles is heir apparent; he has a son, the Duke of Cambridge who has three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. But how far does the line of succession stretch, how long is a piece of string? We must remember in the time of Queen Victoria and her many children from there we had links to most of the European royal families.

But perhaps to be realistic, we should restrict ourselves to the children of George V, and let us not forget with Edward VIII’s abdication that was the last time the succession passed to a brother and not a son. That rule has, of course, changed and now sister and daughters come into the list, and even a later change – those married to Catholics! The line of succession passes down the oldest child, and then their children, now regardless of gender.

Hence the current head of the list of succession is Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth’s eldest son and then the line follows down to his eldest son, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and his three children, Prince George, Prince Charlotte and Prince Louis. We then go to Prince Charles’ other son Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, who is sixth in line to throne, and of course Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is currently expecting, and her child, when born will be seventh in line, and everybody below this will move down one as they have done with Prince William’s three children.

Now, there is a slight change to the order which you may have thought, as the law has only recently changed with regards to male and female heirs, next on the list is Prince Andrew, Prince Charles’ brother (you will see above Princess Charlotte comes before Prince Louis now), and his children Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, before in tenth place on the list, we have Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex – The Queen’s youngest son.

At the other end of this succession list are the two youngest children of The Queen’s uncle Prince George, Duke of Kent and their descendants. Prince Michael of Kent is forty-seventh in line with his son Lord Nicholas Windsor in forty-eighth, together with his daughters, Maud and Isabella in forty-ninth and fiftieth in line. Lord Nicholas’ sister, Lady Gabriella in fifty-first.

Finally, in the list, we come Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy at fifty-second, her son James at fifty-third and his children, Alexander and Flora at fifty-fourth and fifty-fifth. Then her daughter, Marina at fifty-sixth and her children; Christian and Zenouska Mowatt at fifty-seventh and fifty-eighth.

Of course, members of other European royal families are further down the list including the Danish, Swedish and Norwegian.