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What is Queen Elizabeth II’s line of succession and who is the heir to the throne of England?

After the death of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles is now King Charles III while Prince William is the heir to the throne, but who is next in line.

Update:
After the death of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles is now King Charles III while Prince William is the heir to the throne, but who is next in line.
Peter NichollsREUTERS

As soon as Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully at Balmoral in Scotland on Thursday afternoon, Charles, the Prince of Wales, became King. In Britain the throne passes immediately and automatically to the heir to the throne, meaning the it is always occupied. Charles will be known as Charles III, the first two being Charles I who ruled from 1625 till his execution in 1649, and Charles II, son of Charles I, who ruled England from the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660 till his death in 1685.

Who is the current heir to the throne of England?

With Charles becoming King, the new heir to the throne is his first-born child, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, who is now 40.

Rules on succession in Britain

Charles inherited the crown by reason of being Elizabeth II’s first-born son. Prior to 2011 males preceded their elder sisters in the line of succession, however the rules were changed to remove this rule of male primogeniture.

The order of succession is determined by descent, being inherited by a sovereign’s children. Once someone in line to the throne has had children those children take their place in the line of succession no matter whether their parent predeceases the monarch.

For example, had Prince Charles predeceased Queen Elizabeth, Prince William would have been first in line to the throne; the line of succession would not have moved to Prince Andrew as the Queen’s second son. Equally now, if Prince William dies before King Charles, William’s son Prince George of Cambridge will be next in line to the throne, not Prince Charles’ second son Prince Harry.

Queen Elizabeth’s line of succession

The rules mean that the first 23 people in line to the throne are the direct descendants of Queen Elizabeth II. She has four children, eight grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

The current British line of Succession

1. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge - King Charles’ eldest child

Prince William, heir to the throne, with wife Catherine, and their three children from left to right: Prince George (2nd in line), Prince Louis (4th in line) and Princess Charlotte (3rd in line)
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Prince William, heir to the throne, with wife Catherine, and their three children from left to right: Prince George (2nd in line), Prince Louis (4th in line) and Princess Charlotte (3rd in line) POOLREUTERS

2. Prince George of Cambridge - Prince William’s first child

3. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge - Prince William’s second child

4. Prince Louis of Cambridge - Prince William’s third child

5. Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex - King Charles’ second child

Prince Harry (fifth in line to the throne) and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
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Prince Harry (fifth in line to the throne) and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.BENJAMIN WESTHOFFREUTERS

6. Archie Mountbatten-Windsor - Prince Harry’s first child

7. Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor - Prince Harry’s second child

8. Prince Andrew, Duke of York - Queen Elizabeth’s third child

9. Princess Beatrice - Prince Andrew’s first daughter

Princess Beatrice, ninth in line to the throne.
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Princess Beatrice, ninth in line to the throne.Steve ParsonsGTRES

10. Sienna Mapelli Mozzi - Princess Beatrice’s first daughter

11. Princess Eugenie - Prince Andrew’s second daughter

12. August Brooksbank - Princess Eugenie’s first daughter

13. Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex - Queen Elizabeth’s fourth child

14. James Mountbatten-Windsor, Prince Edward’s second child

15. Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, Prince Edward’s first child (the rule of male primogeniture applies to the children of Prince Edward, being born before 2011)

16. Anne, Princess Royal, the second child of Queen Elizabeth (despite being Queen Elizabeth’s second born the rule of male primogeniture applies to the Princess Royal)

17. Peter Philips - the Princess Royal’s eldest child

18. Savannah Philips - Peter Philips’ eldest child

19. Isla Philips - Peter Philips’ second child

20. Zara Tindell (née Philips) - the Princess Royal’s second child

Zara Tindell, 21st in line to the thone.
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Zara Tindell, 21st in line to the thone.Shaun BotterillGetty

21. Mia Tindall - Zara Tindell’s first child

22. Lena Tindell - Zara Tindell’s second child

23. Lucas Tindell - Zara Tindell’s third child

At this point the line of succession leaves the direct descendants of Queen Elizabeth II. The line then moves to the descendants of Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowden, the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth. Her two children, David Armstrong-Jones and Lady Sarah Chatto are 24th and 27th respectively in line to the throne, with their children being 25th and 26, and 28th and 29th respectively.

Andrew, Duke of York, still in the line of succession

Despite being stripped of his royal highness title and honorary patronages, Andrew remains in eighth in line to the throne. Andrew, 62, settled a lawsuit with a US citizen Virginia Giuffre who said she was forced to have sexual encounters with him as a teenager having been trafficked by financierJeffrey Epstein.

What name would William take as King?

British monarchs have the option of choosing a name when they take over the throne, meaning William would not have to go by his given forename. If we were to decide not to take a different name he would be King William V.

The first William was William the Conquerer, the first Norman monarch of England. He died without leaving any male-line descendants, meaning the lineage to the current Royal family, while it exists, is loose. New King Charles is the great x28 grandson of William the Conquerer.

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