Royal Line of Succession
So just who is next in line for the throne? The answer to that isn’t always so easy to answer. The heir to the British throne, which is often referred to as the Crown Prince, is the eldest male child of the monarch, as long as he does not marry a Roman Catholic and was not born out of wedlock.
The law states that only protestant heirs of Princess Sophia, granddaughter of James I, may succeed to the British throne. Neither Catholics, nor those who marry a Catholic, nor those born out of wedlock, may remain in the line of success. The rules of succession is governed by the Act of Union of 1800, as well as the Act of Settlement of 1701 and the Bill of Rights first established in 1689.
That, however, has recently changed due to the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013. Now the crown does not depend on gender. It also removed the disqualification arising from a marriage to a Roman Catholic.
I originally started this blog just about the British monarchy, but that quickly led to members of the Romanian royal family, and that led to the Danish royal family, and so on and so on. Now I track several royal lines.
Succession To the British Throne
Succession to the British throne is determined by descent, sex, legitimacy, and religion. Under common law, the Crown is inherited by a sovereign’s children or by a childless sovereign’s nearest collateral line.
Queen Elizabeth II is the sovereign, and her heir apparent is her eldest son, Charles, Prince of Wales. Next in line after him is Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, the Prince of Wales’s elder son. Third in line is Prince George, the eldest child of the Duke of Cambridge, followed by his sister, Princess Charlotte, and his younger brother, Prince Louis. Sixth in line is Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, the younger son of the Prince of Wales. Under the Perth Agreement, which came into effect in 2015, only the first six in line of succession require the sovereign’s consent before they marry; without such consent, they and their children would be disqualified from succession.
The first four individuals in the line of succession who are over 21, and the sovereign’s consort, may be appointed Counsellors of State. Counsellors of State perform some of the sovereign’s duties in the United Kingdom while he or she is out of the country or temporarily incapacitated. Otherwise, individuals in the line of succession need not have specific legal or official roles.
No official, complete version of the line of succession is currently maintained. The exact number, in remoter collateral lines, of the people who would be eligible is uncertain. How we generate our list, is by pulling an old archival list and then updating it based on new births.