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The British Royal Family’s Line of Succession Is a Bit Complex: See a Complete Guide

The British royal family‘s line of succession spans several generations. The birth of royal babies frequently changes the line of succession.  The late Queen Elizabeth took over the throne back in 1952 and was the longest-living and longest-reigning king or queen in British history.

Queen Elizabeth and her lineage weren’t originally supposed to ascend to the throne so easily. In 1936, her father, King George VI, took over the crown when his older brother, King Edward VIII, abdicated. In the present, that would be like Prince Harry and his family becoming next in the line of succession if his elder sibling, Prince William, decided to no longer be king. When King George VI took over the job, then Princess Elizabeth became the heir presumptive — and the rest is history.

Following her death on September 8, 2022, Queen Elizabeth’s eldest childKing Charles, took over the throne. His wife, Camilla, became Queen Consort and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — William and Catherine — have become The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall as well. The couple’s bio on their Twitter and Instagram pages was updated to confirm their new dual role status within hours of the queen’s death.

Harry and Meghan Markle‘s only son, Archie, and their daughter, Lilibet, have automatically become a prince and princess, as their grandfather will be the reigning sovereign. The little guy, whose full name is Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, wasn’t given a royal title when he was born in May 2019. At the time, his parents thought it’d be best if he just went by his first name, as they wanted to give him a “normal” upbringing. Their cousin, Prince George, automatically received his title at birth as the future king, and Queen Elizabeth granted similar titles to siblings Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis to keep the Cambridge children consistent.

However, now that Charles has become king, Archie has moved up the line of succession and is now sixth in line to the British throne. When he turns 18, the royal will also have a choice in whether he wants to be called His Royal Highness. His parents moved the family to Santa Barbara, California, after stepping back as senior members of the royal family in March 2020.

Scroll below to see the current line of succession to the British throne.