Royal family line of succession: Who is heir to the throne?
In a matter of weeks, the new monarch King Charles III will be officially crowned alongside his wife, Camilla, who will become Queen Consort.
His mother Queen Elizabeth II, who was the longest-reigning British monarch in history, died at her Balmoral estate in Scotland on September 8, 2022.
Technically, Charles became king the moment his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, passed away. However, monarchs traditionally wait a number of months following the death of their predecessor to be crowned.
The King’s coronation will take place on Saturday, May 6, with the Archbishop of Canterbury conducting the ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
But who will be next in line to the throne after King Charles III’s reign?
Find out below how the British monarch is chosen, as well as the full Royal Family line of succession.
How is the heir to the British throne chosen?
The rules used to state that the oldest son would inherit the throne, following the system of male primogeniture. This would allow a younger brother to inherit the throne before his older sister.
However, in 2011, following William and Kate’s wedding, the rules changed to allow the first-born child to be the heir to the throne, even if she were a girl. The leaders of the 16 Commonwealth countries unanimously approved the changes in October 2011.
The Succession to the Crown Act (2013) amended the provisions of the Bill of Rights and the Act of Settlement. It meant that the new rules would apply to anyone born after October 28, 2011.
The Act also changed the rule that previously disqualified those who married Roman Catholics from the line of succession.
The line of succession is also regulated by Parliament, and a sovereign can be deprived of their title due to misgovernment.
Who is the next heir to the throne?
After the Queen’s passing, her eldest son Charles became the King of England and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla, became Queen Consort.
After Charles, Prince William is next in line to the throne, as he is Charles’s eldest son. When William becomes king, the Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine, will become Queen Consort.
Following William, his eldest son Prince George is next in line for the throne, as the first-born child.
Royal family line of succession full list
The full line of succession is the following:
1. Prince William, The Prince of Wales
Prince William is the eldest son of King Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales. His Royal Highness is married to the present Princess of Wales, Catherine, with whom he has three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. The family’s official residence is Kensington Palace. He undertakes a number of charitable activities and projects, and carries out public and official duties in support of the King, in the UK and overseas.
2. Prince George of Wales
Prince George of Wales is the eldest son of Prince William and the duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge, Kate Middleton. He currently attends Lambrook school in Berkshire, alongside his siblings, Charlotte and Louis. He will make history at the King’s coronation by being the youngest heir, and first heir to the throne, to participate in a coronation.
3. Princess Charlotte of Wales
Princess Charlotte of Wales is the second child of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge. Currently, she is a fan of unicorns. During her family’s visit to the King Power Royal Charity Polo Day in 2019, the Princess was spotted holding a glittery unicorn purse, and then, just a few months later on her very first day of primary school, a sparkly pink unicorn keychain could be seen on her backpack.
4. Prince Louis of Wales
Prince Louis is the third and youngest child of prince William and Kate. In June 2022, during his great-grandmother’s Platinum Jubilee celebration weekend, Louis and his siblings made their debut in the Trooping the Colour carriage procession. Afterwards, during the noisy flypast, Louis’s cheeky and amusing behaviour was widely commented on, with viral videos shared on social media.
5. Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
The Duke of Sussex is the younger son of the Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales. He spent 10 years working in the Armed Forces, ending operational duties in 2015. During his service, he conducted two tours of duty to Afghanistan with the British Army. Having taken a step back from royal life, he now lives in Montecito, California, with his wife, Meghan Markle, and their children. He published his memoir Spare in January 2023.
6. Prince Archie of Sussex
Prince Archie of Sussex is the son of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. In September and October 2019, Archie accompanied his parents on a Southern African tour to Malawi, Angola, South Africa, and Botswana. To mark his first birthday in 2020, he appeared in a storytime video with his mother as a part of the Save with Stories campaign, a project aimed at supporting children and families affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
7. Princess Lilibet of Sussex
Princess Lilibet of Sussex is the daughter of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Her nickname is Lili. Lilibet met her great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II and grandfather King Charles III, then the Prince of Wales, in-person for the first time when the family travelled to London for the Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II in June 2022.
8. Prince Andrew, The Duke of York
Prince Andrew, Duke of York, is the second son and third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Andrew was accused of sexual abuse by Virginia Giuffre, who claims that she was trafficked by convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, but the duke has vehemently denied the allegations and claimed he never met Giuffre. The late Queen decided to remove the Duke of York’s HRH and military titles following his settlement of a lawsuit over the alleged sexual abuse.
9. Princess Beatrice, Mrs Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
Princess Beatrice is the elder daughter of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah, Duchess of York. She is a niece of King Charles III and a granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II. She married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, a property developer and English-born Italian noble, in 2020. Their daughter, Sienna Elizabeth, was born in September 2021.
10. Miss Sienna Mapelli Mozzi
Miss Sienna Mapelli Mozzi is the daughter of Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. Their daughter’s name, Sienna Elizabeth, is a tribute to Beatrice’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth. The choice of an Italian name that started with an S is also in honour of Sarah, Duchess of York.
11. Princess Eugenie, Mrs Jack Brooksbank
Princess Eugenie, Mrs Jack Brooksbank, is the younger daughter of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah, Duchess of York. She is a niece of King Charles III and a granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II. Princess Eugenie gave birth to her first child, a baby boy named August Philip Hawke Brooksbank, on February 9, 2021. In January 2023, she and Jack announced they are expecting their second child later this year.
12. Master August Brooksbank
Master August Brooksbank is the son of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank. He is the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s ninth great-grandchild. He does not have any royal titles. It is understood the couple chose the name August after Queen Victoria’s consort Prince Albert, who had Augustus as a middle name. Hawke is a Brooksbank family name and Philip is in honour of Eugenie’s grandfather and August’s great-grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh.
13. Prince Edward, The Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke of Edinburgh is King Charles’s brother and the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He dedicates much of his time as a full-time working member of the Royal Family to championing young people and promoting the benefits of non-formal education across the world.
14. The Earl of Wessex
James, the Earl of Wessex is the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh’s son. The youngest of Queen Elizabeth II’s eight grandchildren, the Earl of Wessex, 15, was understood to be a particular favourite of the Queen’s. He lives with his parents at the family home in Bagshot Park, Surrey, which is eleven miles from Windsor and conveniently close to Windsor Castle.
15. The Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor
Lady Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor is the elder child and only daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh, and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh. She is a granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and the youngest niece of King Charles III. In August 2022, it was confirmed that she would attend St Andrews University, where her cousin Prince William met Kate.
16. Anne, The Princess Royal
Anne, Princess Royal, is the second child and only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and the only sister of King Charles III. She has a busy schedule of engagements which see her travel widely across the UK and overseas. Known for her love of horses and an equestrian career that saw her compete in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, Her Royal Highness is involved with riding for disability organisations across the Commonwealth. Much of her time is also spent supporting the work of Save the Children, of which she has been president since 1970.
17. Peter Phillips
Peter Phillips is the son of Anne, Princess Royal, and Captain Mark Phillips. He is the eldest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II, and a nephew of King Charles III. Peter did not inherit a royal title at birth. In 2008, Peter married Canadian Autumn Kelly at Windsor Castle, although the pair have now separated.
18. Savannah Phillips
Savannah Phillips is the daughter of Peter Phillips and grand-daughter of Princess Anne. She does not have a royal title. During the Trooping the Colour in 2018, she was pictured laughing and clapping with Princess Charlotte and playfully telling Prince George to stop singing during the national anthem.
19. Isla Phillips
Isla is Savannah’s only sister. She is present at certain royal events, including Trooping the Colour most years. She made her debut at the Queen’s annual birthday parade in 2017. She and her sister stood near Prince George and Princess Charlotte on the Buckingham Palace balcony. Isla appeared on the balcony again for Trooping the Colour in 2018 and 2019.
20. Michael Tindall
Michael Tindall MBE is an English former rugby union player who married the Queen‘s eldest grand-daughter and Princess Anne‘s daughter, Zara Phillips. Tindall was a member of the England squad which won the 2003 World Cup.
21. Mia Tindall
Mia is Zara and Mike’s first child. She’s also Princess Anne’s third grandchild, and is the fourth great-grandchild of Queen Elizabeth. She loves sports and plays rugby, like her dad.
22. Lena Tindall
Lena is the younger daughter of Zara and Mike Tindallâ . She is the fourth grandchild of Princess Anne and the seventh of Queen Elizabeth’s 12 great-grandchildren.
23. Lucas Tindall
Lucas Tindall is the youngest child of Zara and Mike Tindall and made his first official appearance at his great-grandmother’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, when he had just celebrated his second birthday.