Line of succession: How Prince William could become King ahead of Charles

Royal succession: Who is in line to the throne?

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The Royal Family’s line of succession “won’t change” in the unexpected event of Prince Charles passing away before his mother, Queen Elizabeth. Prince Charles’ eldest son Prince William would then resume the position of heir to the throne and would become King after the death of the Queen. 

The List explains, “Prince Philip’s death didn’t have any impact on the line of succession. If Queen Elizabeth had died before her husband, Prince Charles would still have been first in line because as Prince Consort, Philip was never in the line of succession.” 

“In the unlikely event that Prince Charles dies before Queen Elizabeth, the line of succession won’t change.” 

“As Prince Charles’ oldest child, Prince William is second in line for the throne right after his father.” 

“So if Prince Charles precedes Queen Elizabeth in death, she’ll remain on the throne until she dies or steps down – then Prince William will become king.” 

Prince William’s three children with Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, follow him in the line of succession. 

Prince George, 7, will inherit the throne from this father. His siblings Princess Charlotte, 6, and Prince Louis, 3, are fourth and fifth in line to the throne. 

Princess Charlotte is the first British royal to rank above a male sibling in the line of succession, after the monarchy and the Commonwealth agreed to change the rule of succession in the Perth Agreement. 

Following the Duke of Cambridge and his three children, Prince Harry is sixth in line to the throne. 

His children with Meghan Markle, Archie Harrison and Lilibet “Lili” Diana, are placed at seventh and eighth place respectively. 

The Queen’s other three children, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward are further down the line of succession. 

Queen Elizabeth succeeded her father King George VI to the throne in 1952 after his death at the age of 56. 

During her childhood, she had not presumed to be crowned Queen. Her uncle Edward VIII abdicated in 1936 in order to marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson, leaving his younger brother to take his place. 


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In June 2022, the Queen will be celebrating her Platinum Jubilee with a four-day Bank Holiday and a weekend of festivities. 

To mark seven decades on the throne, there will be a concert outside Buckingham Palace, street parties across the UK and a large carnival-style celebration around the streets of London. 

She was crowned on June 2, 1953 at the age of 27. 

In 2015, the Queen surpassed Queen Victoria to become Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. 

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