25 Royals in the Line of Succession to the British Throne
Between the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge expecting their third child in April, the recent announcement that Prince Harry will marry Suits star Meghan Markle in the spring, and the second season of The Crown dropping on Netflix, the line of succession to the British throne has become a topic of interest all over the world. And the truth is, it’s complicated. Though Queen Elizabeth II, who turned 91 earlier this year, shows no signs of slowing down, here are the royals who could one day take her place on the throne—in one very specific order.
1. PRINCE CHARLES
As a direct result of his mother being the world's longest-reigning monarch, Prince Charles—the eldest child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip—is the longest serving heir to the throne; he became heir apparent in 1952, when his mother ascended to the throne.
2. PRINCE WILLIAM
At 35 years old, odds are good that Prince William, Duke of Cambridge—the eldest son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana—will ascend to the throne at some point in his lifetime.
3. PRINCE GEORGE
On July 22, 2013, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge welcomed their first child, Prince George of Cambridge, who jumped the line to step ahead of his uncle, Prince Harry, to become third in the line of succession.
4. PRINCESS CHARLOTTE
On May 2, 2015, William and Catherine added another member to their growing brood: a daughter, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge. While she’ll remain fourth in line when her parents welcome their third child in April, that’s only because of the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, which went into effect just a few weeks before her arrival, and removed a long-held rule which stated that any male sibling (regardless of birth order) would automatically move ahead of her.
5. PRINCE HARRY
As the second-born son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Prince Harry's place in the line is a regularly changing one. And it will change yet again in 2018, when his brother William's third child arrives.
6. PRINCE ANDREW, DUKE OF YORK
Prince Andrew is a perfect example of life before the Succession to the Crown Act 2013: Though he’s the second-born son of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, he’s actually their third child (Princess Anne came between him and Prince Charles). But because the rules gave preference to males, Prince Andrew would inherit the throne before his older sister.
7. PRINCESS BEATRICE OF YORK
Because Prince Andrew and his ex-wife, Sarah, Duchess of York, had two daughters and no sons, none of that male-preference primogeniture stuff mattered in terms of their placement. But with each child her cousin Prince William has, Princess Beatrice moves farther away from the throne. If Beatrice looks familiar, it might be because of the headlines she made with the Dr. Seuss-like hat she wore to William and Catherine’s wedding. (The infamous topper later sold on eBay for more than $130,000, all of which went to charity.)
8. PRINCESS EUGENIE OF YORK
Though she’s regularly seen at royal events, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s youngest daughter spends the bulk of her time indulging her interest in fine art. She has held several jobs in the art world, and is currently a director at Hauser & Wirth’s London gallery.
9. PRINCE EDWARD, EARL OF WESSEX
Like his older brother Andrew, Prince Edward—the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip—jumps the line ahead of his older sister, Princess Anne, because of the older rule that put males ahead of females.
10. JAMES, VISCOUNT SEVERN
James, Viscount Severn—the younger of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex’s two children, and their only son—will turn 10 years old on December 17, and celebrate it as the 10th royal in line of succession.
11. LADY LOUISE MOUNTBATTEN-WINDSOR
Because the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 wasn’t enacted until 2015, Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor—the older of Prince Edward’s two children—will always be just behind her brother in the line of succession.
12. PRINCESS ANNE, THE PRINCESS ROYAL
Princess Anne, the Queen and Prince Philip’s second-born child and only daughter, may never rule over the throne in her lifetime, but at least she gets to be called “The Princess Royal.”
13. PETER PHILLIPS
The eldest child and only son of Princess Anne and her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips, stands just behind his mother in line. Interesting fact: Had Phillips’s wife, Autumn Kelly, not converted from Roman Catholicism to the Church of England before their marriage in 2008, Phillips would have lost his place in line.
14. SAVANNAH PHILLIPS
On December 29, 2010, Peter and Autumn Phillips celebrated the birth of their first child, Savannah Anne Kathleen Phillips, who is also the Queen’s first great-grandchild. She’s currently 14th in line.
15. ISLA PHILLIPS
Less than two years after Savannah, Peter and Autumn Phillips had a second daughter, Isla, who stands just behind her sister in line. It wasn’t until earlier this year that Savannah and Isla made their Buckingham Palace balcony debut (in honor of their great-grandmother’s 91st birthday).
16. ZARA TINDALL
Not one to hide in the background, Zara Tindall—Princess Anne’s second child and only daughter—has lived much of her life in the spotlight. A celebrated equestrian, she won the Eventing World Championship in Aachen in 2006 and was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year the same year (her mom earned the same title in 1971). She’s also Prince George’s godmother.
17. MIA TINDALL
Zara Tindall’s daughter Mia may just be 3 years old, but she’s already regularly making headlines for her outgoing personality. And though she’s only 17th in line to the throne, her connection to the tippity top of the royal family is much closer: Prince William is her godfather.
18. DAVID ARMSTRONG-JONES, 2ND EARL OF SNOWDON
David Armstrong-Jones, the eldest child of Princess Margaret, isn’t waiting around to see if the British crown ever lands on his head. The 56-year-old, who goes by David Linley in his professional life, has made a name for himself as a talented furniture-maker. His bespoke pieces, sold under the brand name Linley, can be purchased through his own boutiques as well as at Harrods.
19. CHARLES ARMSTRONG-JONES, VISCOUNT LINLEY
David Armstrong-Jones’s only son, Charles, may be 19th in line to the throne, but the 18-year-old is the heir apparent to the Earldom of Snowdon.
20. LADY MARGARITA ARMSTRONG-JONES
Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones, the youngest child of David Armstrong-Jones and his only daughter, is also the only granddaughter of Princess Margaret. Now 15 years old, Lady Margarita made headlines around the world in 2011 when she served as a flower girl at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.
21. LADY SARAH CHATTO
Lady Sarah Chatto, Princess Margaret and Anthony Armstrong-Jones’s only daughter, is the youngest grandchild of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. In addition to serving as a bridesmaid to Princess Diana, she is Prince Harry’s godmother.
22. SAMUEL CHATTO
The first-born son of Lady Sarah Chatto and her husband, Daniel, has a long way to go to reach the throne: He’s currently 22nd in line.
23. ARTHUR CHATTO
For better or worse, Sarah and Daniel Chatto’s youngest son Arthur has become a bit of a social media sensation. Over the past several months, he’s regularly posted selfies to Instagram—some of them on the eyebrow-raising side, at least as far as royals go.
24. PRINCE RICHARD, DUKE OF GLOUCESTER
At 73 years old, Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester is the youngest grandchild of King George V and Queen Mary. Formerly, he made a living as an architect, until the 1972 death of his brother, Prince William of Gloucester, put him next in line to inherit his father’s dukedom. On June 10, 1974, he officially succeeded his father as Duke of Gloucester, Earl of Ulster, and Baron Culloden.
25. ALEXANDER WINDSOR, EARL OF ULSTER
As the only son of Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, 43-year-old Alexander Windsor, Earl of Ulster is 25th in the line of succession, but the heir apparent to his father’s dukedom of Gloucester.