With the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s new son, Prince Louis , the order of succession to the British throne has once again changed.
The new Prince is now fifth in line to the crown, after his grandfather Prince Charles, dad Prince William, and his older siblings George and Charlotte.
But it is unlikely Louis will ever sit on the throne, as he will inevitably get bumped down the list when his older siblings have children.
The order of succession is actually dictated by an act of Parliament. The Bill of Rights and the Act of Settlement first laid down the rules.
More recently, 2013’s the Succession to the Crown Act amended certain aspects, allowing future females to keep their place in the line even if they have a younger brother.
The 2013 act also removed a rule which meant that royals who married a Catholic would be removed from the line of succession.
Here is the current order of succession…
1. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales
The Queen’s eldest son was born in 1948. He married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, and the couple had two sons, William and Harry.
Charles and Diana divorced in 1996, and Diana died in a tragic car accident in Paris the following year.
The Prince went on to marry again, to Camilla Parker Bowles.
2. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
William is the eldest son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and was born in 1982.
He met Kate Middleton while studying at university in 2003, and the pair married in 2011. On their wedding day the Queen granted William the dukedom of Cambridge.
They have three children – George, Charlotte, and recent arrival Louis.
3. Prince George of Cambridge
Prince George is the eldest son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and was born in 2013.
4. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge
Born in 2015, Charlotte is the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s second child and only daughter.
Charlotte is the first female in the line of succession not to be bumped down the order after the birth of a younger brother.
The order of succession favoured men over women until the rules were changed in the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013.
5. Prince Louis of Cambridge
The most recent Royal arrival is Prince Louis, who was born in 2018. He is the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s youngest child.
Without the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013, Louis would have been fourth in line to the throne, but is instead fifth after his sister Charlotte.
6. Prince Henry of Wales
Prince Harry is the younger son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
When he was born in 1984, he was third in line to the throne after his brother William, but has since been bumped down the order with the births of George, Charlotte and Louis.
He is engaged to marry American actress Meghan Markle .
7. Prince Andrew, Duke of York
The Duke of York is the second son of the Queen and Prince Phillip, and was born in 1960.
He is actually the third child of the sovereign, but is higher in the order of succession than sister Princess Anne because he is male.
When the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 allowed women to retain their place in the order, it did not change the rules retrospectively.
Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson in 1986, but they divorced in 1996. They have two children – Beatrice and Eugenie
8. Princess Beatrice of York
Princess Beatrice is the oldest daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York, and was born in 1988.
9. Princess Eugenie of York
Eugenie is the younger child of the Duke and Duchess of York, and was born in 1990.
She is due to marry Jack Brooksbank in October 2018 .
10. Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
The Queens third son, Prince Edward was born in 1964. At the time of his birth he was third in line to the throne, but has since dropped to tenth.
He married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999, and the couple have two children – James and Louise.
He was made an earl when he married, rather than a duke like his older brothers. It is expected that he will succeed to the title of Duke of Edinburgh when his father Prince Phillip dies.
11. James, Viscount Severn
James is the younger child of the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and was born in 2007. He appears higher in the order of succession than his older sister because of the old rules about male-heirs appearing higher than females.
He is the first in the royal line of succession not to have the title ‘prince’ or ‘princess’. When Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones married, they decided their children would be styled as the offspring of an earl rather than a prince.
As is customary for the son of an earl, he bears one of his father’s subsidiary titles, Lord Severn.
12. Lady Louise Windsor
Louise is the older child of the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and was born in 2003.
When she was born she was eighth in line to the throne, but has since dropped after the birth of her cousins, and her brother.
As with her brother James, she is styled as the daughter of an earl, not a prince, so has the title ‘lady’ rather than princess.
13. Princess Anne, the Princess Royal
The Queen’s second child, and only daughter, Princess Anne was born in 1950.
When she was born she was second in line to the throne, after Charles, but has since dropped down the order.
She has the title Princess Royal, a ceremonial title usually given by the monarch to their eldest daughter.
She married Captain Mark Phillips in 1973, but they separated in 1989 and divorced in 1992.
Phillips turned down the offer of an earldom when he married Princess Anne, so their two children, Peter and Zara, do not have any courtesy titles.
Princess Anne married again in 1992, to Timothy Laurence.
14. Peter Phillips
Peter Phillips was born in 1977 to Princess Anne and Mark Phillips, and is the oldest grandchild of the Queen.
He married Canadian Autumn Kelly in 2008. They have two children – Savannah and Isla.
15. Savannah Phillips
Savannah is the older child of Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly, and was born in 2010.
16. Isla Phillips
Isla is the younger child of Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly, and was born in 2012.
17. Zara Tindall
Zara is the younger child of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips and was born in 1981.
She married former England rugby union player Mike Tindall in 2011. The couple currently have one child – Mia – and are currently expecting a baby.
18. Mia Tindall
Mia is the child of Zara and Mike Tindall, and was born in 2013.
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