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The future queen who has to take second place to a younger brother in a different line of succession

She’s in line to be Queen of Norway one day, but Princess Ingrid Alexandra has to take a lower place in another line of succession thanks to different rules. She is one step behind her younger brother, Prince Sverre Magnus, in the line to the British throne.

Ingrid Alexandra is second in line to Norway’s crown. Her father, Crown Prince Haakon, is first in line and she is directly behind him. When he becomes King of Norway, she will become heir and will, in due course, succeed him to reign as queen.

Princess Ingrid Alexandra was born in January 2004 and, thanks to a change to succession rules in the late 20th century, she couldn’t be overtaken by any younger brothers. When her parents, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit, welcomed a son, Sverre Magnus, on December 3rd 2005, he was third in line, behind his sister.

However, he took a different place in the British line of succession. Norway’s current royal family is directly descended from King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. Their youngest daughter, Maud, became Queen of Norway in 1905. Five years later, Edward and Alexandra’s only surviving son became King George V on the death of his father.

George V’s great grandson now reigns as King Charles III. Queen Maud’s grandson, Harald, is the current King of Norway. And so the Norwegian Royal Family are also in the line of succession to the British throne, albeit a long way down.

When Ingrid and Sverre were born, the British rules around succession were still governed by absolute primogeniture. Until 2012, boys automatically overtook their elder sisters. And so, Sverre Magnus leapfrogged Ingrid Alexandra in the line to the British throne.

When the rules were changed in the UK, with succession determined by birth order not gender, they weren’t made retroactive. Anyone born before 2012 stayed where they were. And so Prince Sverre Magnus, who turned 18 on December 3rd 2023, remains one step ahead of his sister in the British succession even though she will, one day, reign in Norway.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.