Royal family line of succession: who is next in line for the throne - and how Queen’s death changes things
Charles III has been crowned king months after the death of Queen Elizabeth III and Prince William has become heir to the throne
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King Charles III was crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Reverend Justin Welby during his coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey. This comes eight months after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. After she passed, the line of succession changed.
So, just when did the Queen ascend to the throne, how many children, grandchildren and great grandchildren did she have, and after King Charles III, who is now next in line to the throne? Here’s everything you need to know.
When was the Queen born and when did she die?
Queen Elizabeth II was born on 21 April 1926 to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. She was 96 years old when she died on Thursday 8 September. Her Majesty did, however, have two birthdays.
The Queen always had a second ‘official’ state birthday occurring on the second Saturday in June. But, in 2022, it was moved to Thursday 2 June to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend. Delaying the official celebration of the monarch’s birthday is a tradition dating back to Georgian times, under George II.
He began the tradition in 1748 as his birthday, in November, meant he could not have the big public celebration he wanted. King George II also decided to combine his celebration with Trooping the Colour, which is an annual military parade in June. Now, the Trooping the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British monarch for over 260 years.
When did Her Majesty become the Queen?
The late Queen Elizabeth II became the monarch of the UK in 1952. Her Majesty was crowned in 1953 in Westminster Abbey, but her accession took place the year earlier, in February 1952.
Princess Elizabeth acceded the throne at the age of 25 after her father, King George VI died on 6 February 1952. She was the eldest of the King’s two daughters, and so was the next in line to the throne.
The King’s death came after a prolonged illness, and he passed away during his sleep in the Royal Estate at Sandringham. The late Queen had been in Kenya during this time, and subsequently became the first Sovereign to accede while abroad in over 200 years. In 2022, the late Queen Elizabeth II marked 70 years on the throne and became the longest reigning British monarch.
Who is next in line to the throne?
Succession to the British throne is determined by many factors. Under common law, the Crown is inherited by a sovereign’s children or by a childless sovereign’s nearest collateral line, such as a sibling, niece, nephew or cousin. The Succession to the Crown Act (2013) amended the provisions of the Bill of Rights and the Act of Settlement to end the system of male primogeniture, under which a younger son can displace an elder daughter in the line of succession.
This means that males and females now both have equal rights to ascension to the throne, and the Act applies to those born after 28 October 2011. Now King Charles III has officially begun his reign, the next in line to the throne is his eldest son, Prince William. Prince William is the new Prince of Wales and he is also known as the Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge.
The second in line to the throne is Prince William’s eldest son, Prince George. This will be followed by Prince George’s sister, Princess Charlotte, and his younger brother, Prince Louis.
Fifth in line is Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, the younger son of the King Charles III.
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. If they do not obtain this consent, they and their children would be disqualified from succession.
How many children does the Queen leave behind?
The late Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip had four children. Their first child, Charles - who has now become King Charles III - was born on 14 November 1948. He is now 73 years old. Their first and only daughter, Anne, The Princess Royal, was born on 15 August 1950. She is 72 years old.
Prince Andrew, Duke of York, now aged 62, followed almost ten years later on 19 February 1960. The couple’s final child, Edward, Earl of Wessex, was born on 10 March 1964 and is now 58 years of age.
How many grandchildren does the Queen have behind?
The late Queen had eight grandchildren. King Charles III had two children with his late ex-wife Princess Diana; 40 year old Prince William and 37 year old Prince Harry. Princess Anne also had two children with her ex-husband Captain Mark Phillips. Peter Phillips is 44 years old and Zara Tindall is 41. This makes them the eldest grandson and granddaughter of the Queen.
Prince Andrew had two daughters with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York. Princess Beatrice is 34 and her sister Princess Eugenie is 32. Prince Edward also had a son and a daughter. Lady Louise Windsor was born in 2003 and James, Viscount Severn, was born 2007. They are the Queen’s youngest grandchildren.
How many great grandchildren does the Queen leave behind?
The late Queen had 12 grandchildren. Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton had two sons and a daughter. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are the parents of Prince George of Cambridge, age 9, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, age 7, and Prince Louis of Cambridge, age 4.
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, had two children; three year old Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor and 15 month old Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor. Peter Phillips has two daughters with his ex-wife Autumn Phillips; 11 year old Savannah Phillips and 10 year old Isla Phillips.
Zara Tindall also had three children with her husband Mike Tindall. Eight year old Mia Grace Tindall was born in 2014, followed by four year old Lena Elizabeth Tindall in 2018 and one year old Lucas Philip Tindall in 2021. Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi welcomed their first child, 11 month old daughter Sienna Elizabeth Mapelli Mozzi, in September 2021. Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank had their first child, August Philip Hawke Brooksbank, in February 2021.