British RoyalsFeaturesInsight

The British Line of Succession: the first 20 people


Photo: Matt Porteous

This summer, Royal Central is taking a look at the lines of succession across Europe and this latest installment looks at the first twenty with a claim on the British throne.

Elizabeth II has achieved much in her long reign and from a dynastic point of view she has another success to celebrate. For the line to the throne under the Queen is as about as secure as it could be. In fact, so solid and strong does it stand that the first twenty people in the succession are all descendants of the longest reigning monarch in British history. Here’s a look at the line to the British throne.

The current monarch is Elizabeth II who ascended the throne on February 6th 1952. She was born on April 21st 1926 and married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on November 20th 1947. On September 9th 2015, she became the longest reigning monarch in British history.

The line of succession to the throne of Elizabeth is as follows:

  1. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales

The longest serving heir to the throne in British history, Charles Philip Arthur George is the eldest child of Elizabeth II. He was born on November 14th 1948 at Buckingham Palace, London in the reign of his maternal grandfather, King George VI. He became heir to the throne on the accession of his mother as Queen on February 6th 1952. He has two sons from his first marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales and has been married to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall since 2005.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales
By Northern Ireland Office, CC BY 2.0, Wiki Commons

2. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge

William Arthur Philip Louis was born on June 21st 1982 at St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, the first child of Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales. He is the third grandchild and second grandson of Elizabeth II. He was made Duke of Cambridge on April 29th 2011 on his marriage to Catherine Middleton.

William, Duke of Cambridge
By Northern Ireland Office – https://www.flickr.com/photos/niogovuk/47279400251/, CC BY 2.0, Wiki Commons

3. Prince George of Cambridge

The first child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, George Alexander Louis was born on July 22nd 2013 at St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington. He is the third great grandchild of Elizabeth II.

Duchess of Cambridge/PA Wire

4. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge

Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, second child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge holds a special place in royal history. She is the most senior royal so far to be affected by the changes to succession laws which stopped girls being demoted in the line to the throne by younger brothers. She was born on May 2nd 2015 at St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington and is the fifth great grandchild of Elizabeth II.

EMBARGOED UNTIL 2230 BST WEDNESDAY MAY 1, 2019.   Copyright: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. NEWS EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO COMMERCIAL USE. NO MERCHANDISING, ADVERTISING, SOUVENIRS, MEMORABILIA or COLOURABLY SIMILAR. NOT FOR USE AFTER 31 DECEMBER, 2019, WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION FROM KENSINGTON PALACE. This photograph is provided to you strictly on condition that you will make no charge for the supply, release or publication of it and that these conditions and restrictions will apply (and that you will pass these on) to any organisation to whom you supply it. There shall be no commercial use whatsoever of the photographs (including by way of example only) any use in merchandising, advertising or any other non-news editorial use. The photographs must not be digitally enhanced, manipulated or modified in any manner or form and must include all of the individuals in the photograph when published. All other requests for use should be directed to the Press Office at Kensington Palace in writing. MANDATORY CREDIT: The Duchess of Cambridge.   Undated handout photo of Princess Charlotte taken by her mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, at their home in Norfolk in April, to mark her fourth birthday on Wednesday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday May 1, 2019. See PA story ROYAL Charlotte. Photo credit should read: Duchess of Cambridge
Photo Credit: HRH The Duchess of Cambridge

5. Prince Louis of Cambridge

The third child and second son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Louis Arthur Charles was born on April 23rd 2018 at St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington. He is the sixth great-grandchild of Elizabeth II.

Photo: HRH The Duchess of Cambridge

6. Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex

Henry Charles Albert David, always known as Harry, was born on September 15th 1984 at St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddingtonis. He is the second child of Charles and Diana and was made Duke of Sussex on May 19th 2018 on his marriage to Meghan Markle. He is the fourth grandchild and third grandson of Elizabeth

Harry, Duke of Sussex
By Office of the Governor-General – GG.Govt.nz, CC BY 4.0, Wiki Commons

7. Archie Mountbatten-Windsor

The first child of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born on May 6th 2019 at the Portland Hospital in London. He is the eighth great-grandchild of Elizabeth II.

Sussex Royal/ Chris Allerton

8. Prince Andrew, Duke of York

Andrew Albert Christian Edward was born on February 19th 1960 at Buckingham Palace, London as the third child and second son of Elizabeth II and second in line to the throne. He married Sarah Ferguson on July 23rd 1986 and they had two daughters before divorcing in 1996.

Andrew, Duke of York
Northern Ireland Office [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

9. Princess Beatrice of York

The first child of Andrew and Sarah, Duke and Duchess of York, Beatrice Elizabeth Mary was born on August 8th 1988 at the Portland Hospital, London. She is the fifth grandchild and second granddaughter of Elizabeth II.

Princess Beatrice of York
By Web Summit – DSC_4716, CC BY 2.0, Wiki Commons

10. Princess Eugenie, Mrs Jack Brooksbank

Eugenie Victoria Helena was born on March 23rd 1990 at the Portland Hospital, London as the younger daughter of Andrew and Sarah, Duke and Duchess of York. She married Jack Brooksbank on October 12th 2018. Eugenie is the sixth grandchild and third granddaughter of Elizabeth II.

11. Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex

The fourth and youngest child of Elizabeth II, Edward Antony Richard Louis was born on March 10th 1964 at Buckingham Palace, London. He was made Earl of Wessex on June 19th 1999 on his marriage to Sophie Rhys-Jones and was created Earl of Forfar on his 55th birthday, in 2019.

By The_Earl_of_Wessex_in_2011.jpg: yatearmadilloderivative work: Surtsicna – This file was derived from: The Earl of Wessex in 2011.jpg:, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22539429

12. James, Viscount Severn

James Alexander Philip Theo, born on December 17th 2007 at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, is the second child and only son of the Earl and Countess of Wessex. He is the youngest grandchild of Elizabeth II.

Earl Countess Wessex Lady Louise James Viscount Severn
@RoyalFamily/Twitter

13. Lady Louise Windsor

The first child of the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary was born on November 8th 2003 at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey. Although older than her brother, the succession law changes don’t apply to her as she was born before their inception. Louise is the seventh grandchild and fourth granddaughter of Elizabeth II.

By Mark Jones – https://www.flickr.com/photos/rambomuscles/39291946201/sizes/l, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68194587

14. Princess Anne, Princess Royal

The second child and only daughter of Elizabeth II, Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise was born on August 15th 1950 at Clarence House in London in the reign of her maternal grandfather, King George VI. She was made Princess Royal in 1987. She married Mark Phillips on November 14th 1973 and the couple had two children before divorcing in 1992. She married Sir Tim Laurence in 1992.

Princess Anne, Princess Royal
By Government House, Falkland Islands, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wiki Commons

15. Peter Phillips

Born on November 15th 1977 at St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, Peter Andrew Mark is the first child of the Princess Royal and Captain Mark Phillips. The eldest grandchild of Elizabeth II, he married Autumn Kelly in May 2008 and the couple has two daughters.

Embed from Getty Images

16. Savannah Phillips

The eldest great-grandchild of Elizabeth II, Savannah Anne Kathleen was born on December 29th 2010 at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. She is the first child of Peter and Autumn Phillips.

Embed from Getty Images

17. Isla Phillips

Isla Elizabeth, the younger child of Peter and Autumn Phillips, was born on March 29th 2012 at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. She is the second great-grandchild of Elizabeth II.

Embed from Getty Images

18. Zara Tindall

Zara Anne Elizabeth was born on May 15th 1981 at St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington and is the second grandchild and first granddaughter of Elizabeth II. She married Mike Tindall in July 2011 and the couple has two daughters.

The Princess Royal, Zara Tindall
Stephen Lock/ i-images

19. Mia Tindall

The first child of Zara and Mike Tindall, Mia Grace was born on January 17th 2014 at the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. She is the fourth great-grandchild of Elizabeth II.

Embed from Getty Images

20. Lena Tindall

Lena Elizabeth was born on June 18th 2018 at Stroud Maternity Hospital in Gloucestershire, the youngest child of Zara and Mike Tindall. She is the seventh great grandchild of Elizabeth II.

Embed from Getty Images

The line of succession then moves to the descendants of George VI and George V before spreading out across the UK and Europe to those who count Edward VII and Queen Victoria among their ancestors. There will be more on the British line of succession on Royal Central over the summer. In the meantime, you can enjoy all the installments of our special series here.



About author

Lydia is a writer, blogger and journalist. She's worked in the media for over twenty years as a broadcast reporter, producer and editor as well as feature and online writer. As well as royals and royal history, she's a news junkie and podcaster.