Line of succession to the British throne

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The line of succession to the British throne is the order in which members of the royal family would come to the throne if the reigning king or queen died.

At present the first in line is Charles, Prince of Wales, followed by his eldest son, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and then Prince William's son, Prince George of Cambridge.

Traditionally, males came before females in the line of succession. However, the law changed on 26 March 2015, so at present, for people born after 28 October 2011 the succession is decided only by age: older children come before younger children. This system of inheritence is called absolute primogeniture, as opposed to male-preference primogeniture. When someone who is in line to the throne has a child, that child comes after them and their older children, but before anyone else in the line of succession.

Excluded from the line of succession are Catholics and illegitimate children.

Line of succession[change | change source]

No official, complete version of the line of succession is currently maintained. Any person's actual position in the line of succession may change when people are born or when they die. This list shows only those people who are descended from the sons of George V.


Notes and sources:

XC Excluded as Roman Catholics. This exclusion will not be affected by the Succession to the Crown Act 2013.
MC These people were excluded through marriage to a Roman Catholic. This exclusion was repealed under s. 2(2) of the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, restoring them to the line of succession once it came into effect.
B listed by the official website of the British Monarchy, "Succession"
D listed on Debrett's website (as of 24 February 2021): "The Line of Succession to the British Throne"
W listed by Whitaker's Almanack 2013, London: Bloomsbury, ISBN 978-1-4081-7207-0, p. 21
D88 Listed by Debretts (1988).[1]
1952 Succession as published on the accession of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952[2]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Most sources, including Whitaker's Almanack, exclude her as a confirmed Catholic, but Debrett's includes her in line.
  2. Albert and Leopold Windsor were listed on The Official Website of the British Monarchy until 2015 and in the 2013 edition of Whitaker's Almanack as following Estella Taylor (b 2004) and eligible to succeed; MSN News, Debrett's and Whitaker's Almanack 2015 lists them after Lady Amelia Windsor and before Lady Helen Taylor. They were baptised as Catholics, and are not listed in line in editions of Whitaker's earlier than 2012.

Other websites[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Williamson, David; Ellis, Patricia, eds. (1988). Debrett's Distinguished People of Today. Debrett's Peerage. p. 61. ISBN 0905649990. First 25 in succession as listed - Viscount [David] Lascelles being the 25th
  2. "Line of succession to the Throne". The Sydney Morning Herald. 7 February 1952. Retrieved 24 June 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)