Understand how the UK line of succession looks like after the death of Elizabeth II

Jardins do Palácio de Buckingham - Londres UK Diliff

First in line of succession in the United Kingdom, upon the death of Queen Elizabeth II, her firstborn, King Charles III, immediately became king.

The other members of the line of succession have moved up one position in the “ranking” that determines who will be the next monarch among the members of the Windsor family. Rules ensure that Prince Harry, even away from royal duties, remains among the heirs to the British throne.

Jardins do Palácio de Buckingham - Londres UK Diliff

The UK royalty follows the rule of primogeniture, which states that the first child of the monarch who has died or abdicated is entitled to the throne. That is why Prince William’s children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, appear on the list of succession before their uncle, Prince Harry.


Absolute Primogeniture

Until 2015, men had preference in the line of succession and were ahead of women on the list, even if they were born later. Since then, the country has implemented absolute primogeniture: the gender of the heirs is not a factor for exclusion from the list.

Queen Elizabeth II of New Zealand
Queen Elizabeth II (Image: Getty Images)

The rule, however, only affects those born after October 20, 2011. Thus, Princess Anne, born in 1950, the second daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, falls behind her two younger brothers in the ranking, while her great-niece, Princess Charlotte, born in 2015, has priority over her youngest, Prince Louis.

No one is excluded from the line of succession, even if they have committed crimes or asked for it. A member of the list only ceases to be heir to the throne if he dies, if he takes over as monarch and abdicates, or if Parliament creates a special law for the situation.

Surprisingly still in line

This is why Prince Andrew, Elizabeth II's third son, remains in the line of succession, even after his prosecution for a serious crime. Although he lost his honorific title in early 2022, the Briton is still heir to the throne of the United Kingdom.

Also remaining in the line of succession is Prince Harry, who in 2020 stepped down from his official royal duties. The second son of King Charles III and Princess Diana opted to step away from his royal duties after a series of disagreements between the House of Windsor and his wife, American Meghan Markle.


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