With the accession of King Charles III on Thursday, 8 September 2022, there has been a considerable shift in the line of succession.

King Charles III and Queen Camilla during a royal visit to Sydney in 2015. Photo: © Carolyn M Cash

The order of succession is the order of members of the Royal Family where they currently stand in line to the throne.

  1. Prince William now Prince of Wales
  2. Prince George
  3. Princess Charlotte
  4. Prince Louis
  5. Prince Harry Duke of Sussex
  6. Master Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor
  7. Miss Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor
  8. Prince Andrew, Duke of York
  9. Princess Beatrice, Mrs Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
  10. Miss Sienna Mapelli
  11. Princess Eugenie, Mrs Jack Brooksbank
  12. Master August Brooksbank
  13. Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex
  14. James, Viscount Severn
  15. Lady Louise Windsor
  16. The Princess Royal
  17. Mr Peter Phillips
  18. Miss Savannah Phillips
  19. Miss Isla Phillips
  20. Mrs Zara Tindall
  21. Miss Mia Grace Tindall
  22. Miss Lena Tindall
  23. Master Lucas Tindall
  24. David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon
  25. Charles Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley
Prince William is now the Prince of Wales. Photo: The Royal Family

The Act of Settlement 1701

The succession to the throne is not only through descent but also by a Parliamentary statute, the Act of Settlement, which dates back to 1701.

A constitutional crisis arose in England following the death of Queen Anne’s heir, Prince William Duke of Gloucester, aged 11, in 1700.

The Act of Settlement stipulated that only Protestants could inherit the English throne so Electress Sophia of Hanover – a granddaughter of King James I through his daughter Elizabeth the Queen of Bohemia – became the heir.

Prince William Duke of Gloucester, aged 11, whose death sparked a constitutional crisis. Photo: After Godfrey Kneller – Art UK, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25618660

However, Sophia died two months before Queen Anne, so her son, George, ascended the throne as King George I.

The monarch must preserve the Church of England and the Church of Scotland, and uphold the Protestant succession.

Roman Catholics were barred from the succession.

Queen Anne – last of the Stuart Monarchs. Portrait by Michael Dahl, 1705

Any member of the Royal Family who married a Roman Catholic was also disqualified.

The Succession to the Crown Act (2013) amended the Act of Settlement to end male primogeniture (younger sons displacing older daughters) for those born after 28 October 2011.

Changes meant that anyone who did marry Roman Catholics was no longer disqualified from the line of succession.

These changes came into force in all sixteen Realms, including Australia, New Zealand and Canada, in March 2015. 

Prince William with his children (pictured in 2021), who will be known as Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and Prince George of Wales. Photo: The Royal Family

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.