Prince Harry set for 'intensive talks' with royals says expert
Prince Harry is currently sixth in line to the throne, behind his father Prince Charles, older brother Prince William and his three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. Since the Duke stepped down as a senior member of the Royal Family last year, there have been calls for him to lose his claim to the throne. But it is not just down to the Royal Family who succeeds the throne.
The British royal line of succession is regulated by family descent as well as by Parliamentary statute.
The line of descent was first laid down in law in 1701, with the Act of Settlement.
This stated that only Protestant descendants of Princess Sophia, the Electress of Hanover and granddaughter of James I, are eligible to succeed.
It determined that neither Roman Catholics, those who marry a Roman Catholic, nor those born out of wedlock, will appear in the line of succession.
The Act also established the succession to the throne can be regulated by Parliament and that a Sovereign can be deprived of his/her title through misgovernment.
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The Act of Settlement confirmed that it was for Parliament to determine the title to the throne.
The law also dictated the system of male primogeniture, whereby younger sons have precedence over their older sisters.
This is why Prince Andrew, 60, and Prince Edward, 56, are above their older sister Princess Anne, 70, in the line of succession.
But an amendment to the Succession to the Crown Act (2013) ended the system of male primogeniture and applies to those born after October 28, 2011.
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This enabled Princess Charlotte to become fourth in line, ahead of her younger brother Prince Louis.
The Act also ended the provisions by which those who marry Roman Catholics are disqualified from the line of succession.
Due to Parliament’s involvement in the line of succession, altering it would require new legislation.
As a result, for Prince Harry to be removed from the list, Boris Johnson’s Government would have to step in and propose a Bill outlining this.
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Historian and author Marlene Koenig told Royal Central: “Succession to the throne is based on legislation including the Succession to the Crown Act, which includes the Act of Settlement.
“It would take an act of Parliament to remove a person from the line of succession.”
This happened last century, during the crisis surrounding King Edward VIII’s abdication.
The royal ended up renouncing his claim to the throne in order to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.
This move had to be permitted by the Government and outlined in law.
His Majesty’s Declaration of Abdication Act 1936 recognised and ratified the abdication, and passed the line of succession to his brother, King George VI.
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