Succession to the throne (United Kingdom)

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British throne

The rules of succession to the British throne are set out in the Bill of Rights of 1689, the Act of Settlement of 1701 and the Royal Marriages and Succession to the Crown (Prevention of Discrimination) Bill of 2009. The succession to the throne is subject to parliamentary legislation and can be changed by it. All legitimate (not excluded) descendants of Sophie von Hannover who are still alive are entitled to succession to the throne .


Until the most recent new regulation, all sons of the owner of the throne had the right to the British throne before their daughters in the order of their birth . All descendants of a person entitled to the heir to the throne were ranked directly after this person and before their siblings according to the same rules. The method still used today on the children and grandchildren of Elizabeth II is therefore comparable to depth-first search . For example, Elizabeth II's daughter Anne  (No. 14) and her children (No. 15, 18) are ranked behind Anne's younger brothers Andrew  (No. 8) and Edward  (No. 11) and their children. The daughters (nos. 9, 10) of the second son (nos. 8) of Elizabeth II stand in the line of succession before Elisabeth's third son (nos. 11) and his children (nos. 12, 13).

The following are excluded from the line of succession:

  • Catholics; for non-Catholic children of Catholics, the claim to the throne does not expire
  • Children of unmarried couples; even a subsequent marriage of the parents does not change this

gender equality

Following a resolution by the Commonwealth of Nations in October 2011 ( Perth Agreement ), the 300-year-old regulation of the succession to the throne has been changed: The only decisive factor is now the order of birth among the siblings, female descendants are no longer ranked after males born later. The equal succession of female descendants to the throne applies to those born after October 28, 2011 and thus does not lead to an advancement of Princess Anne and her descendants.

In addition, potential heirs to the throne may marry a Catholic partner without being excluded from the entitlement to the throne. As the future head of the English state church , however, an heir to the throne must still be an Anglican creed. The reform was decided in April 2013 in the British House of Commons; the decision has been in force since March 26, 2015, after it was ratified by all Commonwealth of Nations.

Current order of succession

  1. Charles Philip Arthur George (* 1948), Prince of Wales , eldest son of Elizabeth II.
  2. 00William Arthur Philip Louis (* 1982), Duke of Cambridge , eldest son of Charles, Prince of Wales
  3. 0000George Alexander Louis (* 2013), eldest child and first son of William, Duke of Cambridge
  4. 0000Charlotte Elizabeth Diana (* 2015), second oldest child and first daughter of William, Duke of Cambridge
  5. 0000Louis Arthur Charles (* 2018), youngest child and second son of William, Duke of Cambridge
  6. 00Henry Charles Albert David (* 1984), Duke of Sussex , youngest son of Charles, Prince of Wales
  7. 0000 Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor (* 2019), son of Henry, Duke of Sussex
  8. Andrew Albert Christian Edward (* 1960), Duke of York , second son of Elizabeth II.
  9. 00Beatrice Elizabeth Mary (* 1988), eldest daughter of Andrew, Duke of York
  10. 00Eugenie Victoria Helena (* 1990), youngest daughter of Andrew, Duke of York
  11. Edward Antony Richard Louis (* 1964), Earl of Wessex , youngest son of Elizabeth II.
  12. 00James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor (* 2007), Viscount Severn, son of Edward, Earl of Wessex
  13. 00Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor (* 2003), daughter of Edward, Earl of Wessex
  14. Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise (* 1950), Princess Royal , daughter of Elisabeth II.
  15. 00Peter Mark Andrew Phillips (* 1977), son of Anne, Princess Royal
  16. 0000 Savannah Anne Kathleen Phillips (* 2010), eldest daughter of Peter Phillips
  17. 0000 Isla Elizabeth Phillips (* 2012), youngest daughter of Peter Phillips
  18. 00Zara Anne Elizabeth Tindall b. Phillips (* 1981), daughter of Anne, Princess Royal
  19. 0000 Mia Grace Tindall (* 2014), eldest daughter of Zara Tindall
  20. 0000 Lena Elizabeth Tindall (* 2018), youngest daughter of Zara Tindall

These 20 people are direct descendants of Elizabeth II. The next places are given by the other descendants of Elizabeth's father, King George VI. proven that these are the descendants of Elisabeth's younger sister Margaret . This is followed by the other descendants of Elisabeth's grandfather King George V , her great-grandfather Edward VII and her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria . Because the latter was also the great-great-grandmother of Prince Philip , he is also in the line of succession.

After around 500 seats, heirs to the throne who do not descend from Queen Victoria are theoretically possible.

The close relationship of the European nobility enables other ruling monarchs to be potential heirs to the throne, including (as of January 1, 2011, exact placement uncertain) King Harald V of Norway (No. 73), King Carl XVI. Gustaf of Sweden (No. 283) and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark (No. 321). The first heir to the throne from a former German aristocratic house is ranked 159th and belongs to the House of Leiningen .

See also


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The Royal Family - Succession. In: Official website of the royal family. Retrieved July 13, 2017 .
  2. Your first child will definitely take the throne. In: Berliner Zeitung. October 29, 2011, accessed November 27, 2017 .
  3. Tim Shipman et al. Damien Gayle: If Wills and Kate have a girl first, she'll be queen! Commonwealth agrees historic change to give sex equality in Royal succession. In: Mail Online. October 29, 2011, accessed November 27, 2017 .
  4. Girls are now equal in succession to the throne. In: April 23, 2013, accessed November 27, 2017 .
  6. Persons eligible to succeed to the British Throne as of 1 Jan 2011