On Monday, April 23, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge and wife of Duke of Cambridge Prince William, on Monday gave birth to a son, the royal couple’s third child — after son Prince George (2013-) and daughter Princess Charlotte (2015-).
Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip Mountbatten have four children, the eldest being Prince Charles, followed by Princess Anne, whose title is the Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, and Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex. Significantly, until 2013, the Succession to the Crown Act mandated a system of male preference, giving precedence to the Princes over their elder sisters in the claim to the throne. However, since that is no longer the case, the new baby boy now comes in fifth-in-line of succession, after elder sister Princess Charlotte. He also bumped down uncle Prince Harry from fifth to the sixth position in the line to the crown.
In 2015, Princess Charlotte became the first royal princess to be born within the direct line of succession (fourth after her grandfather Prince Charles, father Prince William and elder brother George) after her great-aunt Princess Anne (The Princess Royal) and the birth of her younger brother, the new baby prince, would not change this order.
Here is a family tree of the House of Windsor, with numbers indicating the current line of succession to the British throne after the birth of the new prince:
Queen Elizabeth II, who turned 92 this weekend, is Britain’s longest reigning monarch and has been ruling for a whopping 66 years. As the Family Tree indicates, among her children — it is her sons — Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and their heirs respectively who get priority in the order of seniority, and her only daughter, Princess Anne, and her heirs come last in spite of she being the second eldest child. The change of rules ending the male preference which came in 2013, only applies to those born after October 28, 2011 and hence does not apply to her.
Prince of Wales: After the Queen, first in order is the 69-year-old Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, who already holds the record for the longest-serving heir apparent in British history, having been in that position since 1952.
Members of the royal family attend numerous official royal engagements and among them Prince of Wales, as the heir apparent, is known to be the hardest working in supporting his mother, Her Majesty the Queen. He and his brothers often represent the Queen and the UK in welcoming dignitaries in the country as well as in marking their presence abroad during state and ceremonial occasions such as state funerals. His other royal duties include his work in the UK, for instance running numerous charitable trusts.
Prince will also be the oldest person to be crowned in British history when he eventually succeeds his mother. The next in line after him would be his eldest son, Prince William — the Duke of Cambridge — and his children, followed by his younger son Prince Harry.
Duke of York: Prince Andrew or the Duke of York (a title typically bestowed upon the second son of the British Monarchs) has chosen an economic and business focus in his work, i.e. promoting skills, technology, entrepreneurship and engineering. He also has a wide and varied portfolio of work which includes a number of charitable trusts and awards which he has founded, such as The Prince Andrew Charitable Trust and the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA) which aims to improve the digital and enterprise skills of one million young people.
Prince Andrew is seventh-in-line after Prince Harry in the line of succession, followed by his two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
Earl of Wessex: The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s youngest child is Prince Edward, also known as the Earl of Wessex. He too supports the Queen in her royal duties. He also runs a number of charities such as the Wessex Youth Trust, especially displaying passion for organisations providing opportunities to young people.
A keen sports fan, he is also on a number of official bodies such as the Paralympic Great Britain and the Commonwealth Games Federations. The Earl also supports the work of the Armed Forces both in the United Kingdom and abroad, holding a total of eight military appointments.
Prince Edwards and his two young children — Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and James, Viscount Severn are the heirs-in-line after Prince Andrew and his daughters.
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne is known to have a busy schedule of engagements and visits which involve a lot of traveling in the UK and abroad. Known for her love of horses and an equestrian career which took her to the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games as a competitor, the Princess Royal also runs a number of charities and organisations such as Save the Children and others that champion riding for the disabled.
As a former Olympian, she serves as a British member of the International Olympic Committee and was involved the the London bid for the 2012 Olympics Games. She was also a member of the London Organising Committee for the Olympics. She and her children and grandchildren are last among the Queen’s immediate family to be in the line of succession.
It is however the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge i.e. William and Kate, who as a family of five among themselves now and with four direct lines of succession after Prince Charles, seem to comprise most of the close royal family members.