With the tragic news of the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, 2022, questions are being raised about the current line of succession. After the marriage of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle in 2018, they’ve since welcomed 2 children to the world, Archie and Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor.
But given the recent proclamation of King Charles III, the line of succession has changed and some people are starting to wonder whether this means Meghan Markle can ever become Queen of the United Kingdom.
The next King of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, King Charles III has been proclaimed and is due to be coronated.
The eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II has dedicated his whole life ins service to the crown and at 73, will become queen. His wife, Camilla, will take up the title of Queen Consort — a wish the late monarch expressed earlier this year. This is traditional for all wives of kings, but not of their husbands which is why this may be surprising to the public who have been used to the Queen’s husband going by the title ‘Prince’.
Therefore the line of succession begins with Prince William.
The eldest son of King Charles III is next in line for the throne, having recently been awarded the title of Prince of Wales (an honor held by his father up until the tragic death of his grandmother). William is heir apparent and will be expected to become king in the next few decades, with his wife Kate, the Duchess of Wales, thought to become Queen Consort.
Second in line for the throne is Prince George.
At just age 9, it might be hard to believe the elementary school-aged boy could one day be King, but as the eldest son of the heir apparent Prince George of Wales holds this significant place in the line of succession.
Princess Charlotte of Wales holds the third place in the line of succession.
In 2013, the Succession to the Crown Act was passed which meant that male primogeniture was abolished. So when Princess Charlotte was born to parents Kate and William, she was able to take her place in the line of succession and keep it, even after the birth of her younger brother.
Her brother, Prince Louis, is now fourth in line to the crown.
The youngest child of the heir apparent, Prince William, Prince Louis is only 4 years old. The Succession to the Crown act makes Prince Louis of Wales the first male royal to be ranked behind an elder sister in the line of succession.
Due to the birth of Prince William’s children, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex is now fifth in line to the British throne.
The youngest son of King Charles II and Diana, Princess of Wales, chose to step back from his role as a senior member of the Royal Family in 2020 and moved to California with his wife, former actress Meghan Markle.
While only 3 years old, Archie (son of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex) is sixth in line for the throne.
Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor is the current grandson of King Charles III. While traditionally this relation would dictate he was given the title of Prince, this has not yet been announced, and there are questions of whether this would be the case at all given Prince Harry’s step away from active duty in the Royal Family.
The late Queen Elizabeth’s namesake Miss Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor is placed in the line of succession after her brother.
Born in 2021, the Duke of Sussex’s daughter only met her great-grandmother for the first time in the summer of 2022 as she lives in America with her parents.
Prince Andrew is currently 8th in line for the throne.
Despite recent controversy and the lawsuit filed by Virginia Giuffre, the Duke of York is still in the line of succession as the third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
Despite being married to the Duke of Sussex who is fifth in the line of succession, Meghan Markle would not become queen.
This is because the wife of the ruling British monarch does not become the Queen, but is instead traditionally granted the title of Queen Consort. Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, will now take this title after Elizabeth II expressed this was her “sincere wish”, as The Independent reports.
So if Prince Harry was ever to become King of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth, Meghan may be known as the Queen Consort, but not the Queen.
The Queen Consort does not hold any kind of formal position in Parliament, or see official papers, but rather serves to provide moral support and companionship for the monarch.
But due to the current line of succession, there’s little chance Prince Harry will ever become king.
While his father’s coronation is due to take place soon, it’s been said he’d like to dedicate the rest of his life to the role, before Prince William is to become King. William currently has 3 children who all have a place in line to the throne before Harry does.