The British royal family tree and line of succession is going through some changes. Nearly a year after their marriage last May, Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, announced on Monday that they welcomed their first child, a baby boy. On Wednesday, they revealed his name: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
The news comes a few months after Princess Eugenie of York married Jack Brooksbank, and a little over a year since Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, welcomed their latest royal baby boy, Prince Louis, in April 2018.
While Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George are fairly easy to place in the rather complicated British royal family tree, where do royals like Princess Eugenie, Zara Tindall and Prince Edward come into the picture? If you can’t get your head around the head-scratch-worthy royal family tree, don’t be too hard on yourself. The most famous family in Britain is a notoriously complicated one, with a few divorces, second marriages and name repetitions.
To make matters even more complicated, the British royal line of succession is also pretty complex. Until fairly recently, the line of succession followed a system of male preference primogeniture — where princes took precedence over their older sisters. However, the 2013 Succession to the Crown Act amended the system so that males no longer take precedence over their older sisters. This is why, although Kate Middleton and Prince William’s third child is a boy, Princess Charlotte will remain fourth in line to the throne and won’t be bumped down to fifth place.
So, for those of you struggling to determine between your Prince Philips and your Peter Phillips, here is a complete look at the British royal family tree and the equally mind-muddling line of succession.
Queen Elizabeth II: On the throne
Queen Elizabeth II is the world’s longest-reigning monarch and has been on the throne for a whopping 66 years. She sits at the top of the British royal family tree, boasting four children, eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Many will be familiar with the Queen’s life story thanks to the popular Netflix series The Crown, which has so far chronicled her life from pre-coronation through her late 30s.
The Queen’s husband, Prince Phillip (also known as the Duke of Edinburgh), married into the royal family, therefore he’s next to Queen Elizabeth at the top of the royal family tree but not included in the royal line of succession.
Prince Charles: First in line to the throne
Prince Charles, who turns 70 this year, will inherit the crown when his 92-year-old mother, Queen Elizabeth, passes away. Charles, whose official title is the Prince of Wales, is the first child of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip on the royal family tree, and an older brother to Princess Anne (known as the Princess Royal), Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. He is also the father of Princes William and Harry, whom he had with his first wife, the late Princess Diana.
Prince William: Second in line to the throne
Thirty-five-year-old Prince William is second in line to the throne, under his father, Prince Charles, on the royal family tree. His mother was the late Diana Spencer (known as Diana, Princess of Wales), and he is married to the non-royal Kate Middleton. Following in the footsteps of his mother, Prince William is heavily involved with hundreds of charities, from his spearheading of the mental health initiative Heads Together to his work as a patron for Centrepoint, a charity which supports homeless young people. Since 2010, Prince William has been President of BAFTA (the British equivalent of the Oscars), supporting its award ceremonies and various charitable activities that include promoting emerging talent from black and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.
Prince George: Third in line to the throne
Cheeky Prince George is third in line to the throne, just under his father, Prince William, on the British royal family tree. Despite being only five years old, the young prince has already accompanied his parents on various royal duties including a three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia in 2014 and an official visit to Canada in 2016. George, known as Prince George of Cambridge, made headlines around the world when he began kindergarten in 2016.
Princess Charlotte: Fourth in line to the throne
Prince George’s younger sister Charlotte sits next to her brother George on the royal family tree, but just under him in the line of succession. Princess Charlotte is fourth in line to the throne, and even if her upcoming younger royal sibling is a boy, he will not replace her in the line of succession thanks to the new rules. Princess Charlotte, aged two, enjoyed her first family holiday in 2016 — when she went skiing and played in the snow in the French Alps.
Prince Louis: Fifth in line to the throne
Prince Louis, the third child of Prince William and Kate Middleton is fifth in line to the throne, bumping Prince Harry down to sixth position. Middleton gave birth to Louis Arthur Charles on Monday, April 23, 2018. Despite being a boy, Louis has not replaced elder sister Princess Charlotte thanks to the recent change in the rules of the line of succession.
Prince Harry: Sixth in line to the throne
It’s very unlikely that Prince Harry, 33, will ever be king, given his lowly sixth position in the line of succession behind George, Charlotte and Louis (though he’s next to his brother, Prince William, on the royal family tree). That said, he’s clearly got bigger things on his mind than ascending the throne. Harry is involved in several charitable initiatives, including mental health campaigns, The Invictus Games and conservation projects in Africa. He also married Meghan, Duchess of Sussex in last year’s fairy tale-worthy royal wedding (for which he also received the title Duke of Sussex from Queen Elizabeth).
Five months after their marriage last May, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced last October that they are expecting their first child. Like Harry, the child is unlikely to ever take the throne, with their cousins George, Charlotte and Louis sitting far ahead in the running order.
Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor: Seventh in line to the throne
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry welcomed their first child, a boy, on May 6. Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, who weighed in at 7 pounds, 3 ounces, is seventh in line to the throne, just after his father, Prince Harry. “The little thing is absolutely to die for,” Harry said shortly after his birth.
Prince Andrew: Eighth in line to the throne
Prince Andrew, better known as the Duke of York, sits under Queen Elizabeth on the royal family tree as her second-eldest son. At the time of his birth, Andrew was second in line to the throne, but he’s since moved to eighth place. Prince Andrew was previously married to Sarah Ferguson, known as ‘Fergie’. In January 2015, Prince Andrew faced allegations of sexual impropriety, which Buckingham Palace has denied.
Princess Beatrice: Ninth in line to the throne
Princess Beatrice of York is the eldest daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson. The 30-year-old is widely known for her extravagant headwear (the hat she wore at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011 spawned its own Facebook page with thousands of likes.
Princess Eugenie: 10th in line to the throne
Princess Eugenie is the younger sister of Princess Beatrice. The 28-year-old married Jack Brooksbank, the former manager of an upper-class nightclub, whom she met on a skiing trip, in October at Windsor Castle, the same spot that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry tied the knot, though Eugenie’s nuptials were not be broadcast on the BBC but instead on ITV. Eugenie’s engagement ring featured a pink-hued padparadscha sapphire surrounded by diamonds. In an interview with the BBC, she said the proposal, which took place in Nicaragua, was a “complete surprise.”
Prince Edward: 11th in line to the throne
Prince Edward, also known as the Earl of Wessex, is the Queen and Prince Philip’s youngest child, sitting next to Princes Charles and Edward on the royal family tree. Edward takes precedence over his elder sister Anne in the line of succession because the new rules that could affect Princess Charlotte only apply to males born after October 28, 2011. Edward is married to Sophie Rhys-Jones, who worked in public relations. The pair have two children: James, Viscount Severn, and Lady Louise Windsor.
James, Viscount Severn: 12th in line to the throne
Just when you thought the names of the British royal family couldn’t get any posher, James, Viscount Severn comes along. The 10-year-old is the youngest child of Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones on the royal family tree, but takes precedence over his elder sister, Lady Louise Windsor in the royal line of succession. Because his father is an Earl, James has taken on the subsidiary title of Viscount Severn, rather than Prince.
Lady Louise Windsor: 13th in line to the throne
Fourteen-year-old Lady Louise Windsor is 13th in line to the throne, following her brother James, who she sits next to on the royal family tree. The teenager, who was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011, was born a month prematurely and delivered by emergency Caesarian section. In an interview with the BBC in 2016, her mother, the Countess of Wessex, revealed that Louise did not realize her grandmother was the Queen until it was pointed out to her at school.
Anne, Princess Royal: 14th in line to the throne
Anne, a keen and talented equestrian, is the second child of the Queen and Prince Philip, sitting next to her brothers, Princes Charles, Andrew and Edward on the royal family tree. She is known as the Princess Royal — a title often awarded by a British ruler to their eldest daughter. The 67-year-old is involved with more than 300 charities and has been President of Save the Children U.K. since 1970. Anne has two children, Peter and Zara, with her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips. She divorced Mark Phillips in 1992 and has been married to retired British naval officer Sir Timothy Laurence since the same year.
Peter Phillips: 15th in line to the throne
Peter Phillips, 40, has lived a fairly non-royal existence for one on the royal family tree. After graduating from a university in southern England, Phillips worked for Jaguar Racing, in the hospitality department. He has since held roles at Williams Grand Prix Engineering and the Royal Bank of Scotland. In 2008, he married a Canadian woman named Autumn Kelly at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married in May.
Savannah Phillips: 16th in line to the throne
Seven-year-old Savannah Phillips is the daughter of Peter and Autumn Phillips and the great-granddaughter of the Queen and Prince Philip. In June last year, Savannah made her debut appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to mark the Queen’s official 91st birthday.
Isla Phillips: 17th in line to the throne
Isla Phillips, 6, is the youngest child of Peter and Autumn Phillips on the royal family tree. Isla and her family live in London and the two young girls spend time with their cousins, George and Charlotte, who are close to them in age.
Zara Tindall: 18th in line to the throne
Zara Tindall (née Phillips) is the second child of Anne, the Princess Royal, and Mark Phillips on the royal family tree. She married the English former rugby player Mike Tindall in 2011 and the pair have two daughters: Mia Grace and Lena Elizabeth. Like her mother, Zara Tindall is a keen and successful equestrian. According to Country Life magazine, she is one of just three riders to have held both world and European eventing titles simultaneously.
Mia Tindall: 19th in line to the throne
Mia Tindall is the eldest child of Zara and Mike Tindall. The 4-year-old, who was born in January 2014, made headlines in 2016 when a portrait released of the Queen and her grandchildren showed Mia clutching at her grandmother’s purse — which looked enormous in her tiny arms.
Lena Tindall: 20th in line to the throne
Zara and Mike Tindall welcomed Lena Elizabeth Tindall in June 2018, almost two years after the couple announced they sadly suffered a miscarriage. Like her sister Mia, Lena carries her father’s surname and does not have a royal title.
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