How Does the Royal Family Line of Succession Work?

The royal family line of succession is complicated

Senior royals Meghan, Harry, William and Kate, who are part of the royal family line of succession, are standing together.
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Prince William, and Kate Middleton in London in 2018 | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

It’s common knowledge that Charles, Prince of Wales is the first in line to succeed the Queen Elizabeth. Charles is Queen Elizabeth’s eldest son and the first in line to the throne. In 1981, Prince Charles married Princess Diana. The royal couple welcomed two sons, William and Harry, making William the next successor to the throne.

The British royal family line of succession clearly defines who is set to inherit the throne from Queen Elizabeth II, who has held the throne for nearly 70 years. Her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh died in April 2021 at 99, and he stood loyally by the queen’s side through the years. However, Philip wasn’t in line for the throne as he wasn’t born into royalty and only married into it. If you’ve tuned in to Netflix’s The Crown or stay updated on the real-life royal drama and would like to know about the royal family line of succession, read on to find out more about the royal hierarchy.

Immediately after Prince George, his sister Princess Charlotte of Cambridge falls fourth in line to the throne, followed by their baby brother Prince Louis of Cambridge. In the rare event that the Cambridges fail to ascend to power, Prince William’s younger brother Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex will assume the throne as he is sixth in line.

The Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex welcomed their firstborn son Archie in 2019. Archie became seventh in line, and his sister Lilibet Diana took the eighth spot in succession. Royal correspondents said that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to name their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor meant that they didn’t intend to bring up their son as a royal. Lilibet’s birth bumped her great uncle, Prince Andrew, Duke of York down a spot, and he currently sits at ninth in line.

When Prince Harry left royal family was he removed from the royal family line of succession?