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Royal line of succession: Who’s next in line to the throne after King Charles?

Changes to succession rules and the birth of new family members have made it hard to keep track of who is next in line. 

Sept. 8 marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. A few weeks after her passing, her death certificate was made public, listing the cause of death as old age.

The royal family commemorated the anniversary of her death in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

"In marking the first anniversary of Her late Majesty’s death and my Accession, we recall with great affection her long life, devoted service and all she meant to so many of us," her son King Charles III said in a voice-over while a pair of photos of the late queen appeared.

"I am deeply grateful, too, for the love and support that has been shown to my wife and myself during this year as we do our utmost to be of service to you all."

When Elizabeth passed away, her firstborn and eldest son had ascended the throne as King Charles III. His reign was formalized with all the pomp and circumstance with a coronation in London on May 6.

Since Charles' ascension, there have, of course, been shifts in the line of succession — plus, changes to rules and the births of new family members have affected who's in line.

Ever since the 17th century, the rules of order have been determined by both descent and Parliamentary statues, according to the royal family’s website. But the rules around succession have been altered over time.

The Perth Agreement passed in 2013 and was put into full effect in 2015. This agreement equalizes the rights of sons and daughters in the British royal line of succession, meaning male heirs are no longer entitled to pass daughters in line to the throne.

Here's a closer look at the royals and their current place in line to the throne.

King Charles III — monarch

Britain's Prince Charles views two alternative fuel green trains during visit to Glasgow Central Station
Jane Barlow / Pool via Reuters

Charles ascended as king after his mother died and a coronation ceremony was held in May 2023.

As Elizabeth's oldest child, Charles had been at the very front of the line of succession since his birth in 1948. After being named heir apparent in 1952 following his mother becoming queen, Charles obtained many titles. In addition to being the Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, and Duke of Rothesay, on April 9, 2021, he became the Duke of Edinburgh after the death of his father, Prince Philip. Shortly after his mother's death, a spokesperson for the king told TODAY that he would be King Charles III.

As a royal family member and son of the queen, Charles has spent a great deal of his life in the public eye. His marriage to Princess Diana — whom he married on July 29, 1981 — garnered international attention and then ire when his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles came to light.

Camilla, queen — monarch's spouse

Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla visit Jordan
Peter Nicholls / Reuters

In May, the official palace website changed Camilla's title from queen consort to queen.

It took time for the public to warm up to Camilla for her part in the dramatic royal love triangle that dominated headlines in the '80s and '90s. Nearly three decades after their affair first began, Charles and Camilla became official when he declared that their relationship was “non-negotiable.

It took time, but after Charles brought on a public relations executive to help win them acceptance, Camilla began to gain public approval. In April 2005, the two were married, and she became Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

Though she is not in the line of succession, Elizabeth determined in February 2022 that Camilla would become queen consort when Charles takes the throne. As mentioned, she is now listed as queen.

Prince William first in line of succession

William, The Duke of Cambridge
Tim Rooke / Pool via Reuters

Born on June 21, 1982, Prince William is Charles and Diana's firstborn child, which makes him first in line to the throne. His marriage to Kate Middleton, with whom he has three children, was an all-out royal event viewed live by tens of millions around the globe. Upon their marriage, William was made Duke of Cambridge and Kate became the Duchess of Cambridge.

Will and Kate's titles, however, changed following Elizabeth's death and Charles' ascension. They're now the Prince and Princess of Wales, titles held for the heir apparent.

Today, William performs various royal duties on behalf of the monarchy.

Prince George — second in line of succession

Image: England v Wales
Prince George is the oldest son of the Prince and Princess of Wales. Andy Rain / EPA

Born George Alexander Louis on July 22, 2013, the 10-year-old prince is the oldest child to William and Kate, making him second in line to the throne. His rank in the line of succession means that he will likely become head of the British monarchy one day.  

George has been hailed as a style icon for children. A 2017 piece by Vogue highlighted his influence on children’s clothing sales as a 4-year-old, noting how “anything Prince George wears, we will see demand for those items increase quite considerably.”

Princess Charlotte — third in line of succession

The Royal Family Attend Church On Christmas Day
Princess Charlotte became the first female in British royalty to not be passed over by a younger male sibling in the line of succession.Samir Hussein / Pool via WireImage

Named after her great-grandmother, the queen, as well as her late grandmother, Diana, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana was born on May 2, 2015. The young princess is third in line to the throne, and because of the Perth Agreement, she became the first female in the royal family to not be moved down the line of succession after the birth of her younger brother.  

Like her older brother, Charlotte, who enjoyed the coronation concert with her brother George, has become known as a style icon. According to a 2021 report by Reader’s Digest, Charlotte has the highest net worth out of the entire royal family. Thanks to her influence on fashion sales, her net worth is valued at $5 billion.

Prince Louis — fourth in line of succession

Prince Louis of Cambridge.
Prince Louis during the Platinum Pageant in London.AFP via Getty Images

Louis Arthur Charles was born on April 23, 2018, and is the youngest child of the Prince and Princess of Wales. As mentioned above, his rank in line of succession is a major milestone of the modern age and equality for women as he stands behind his older sister, Charlotte.

Louis has become known for making funny faces (even at the coronation) and made his first official royal appearance in May.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex — fifth in line of succession

Official launch of the one year countdown to the Invictus Games The Hague 2020
Prince Harry no longer lives full time in Britain.Patrick van Katwijk / Pool via Reuters

As the youngest son of Charles and Diana, Prince Harry, known as the Duke of Sussex on the royal family's official website, has slowly been moved down the line of succession with the birth of each of his oldest brother’s children. As of 2023, he was the fifth in line to the throne.

In 2018, Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding was a global sensation, with nearly 30 million American viewers tuning in. Meghan became the second American to ever marry into the British royal family, and after the wedding, she became the Duchess of Sussex.

Two years later, the increasing media scrutiny of Markle and the couple's every move came to a head. In January 2020, Harry and Meghan announced that they would “step back” from their royal duties, which they officially confirmed in February 2021. Today, they live in Montecito, California.

In May, the couple endured a "near catastrophic car chase," according to a spokesman for them, after the paparazzi followed them in New York City. Harry has also continued to speak out against the paparazzi.

Prince Harry with wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and their two children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.
Prince Harry with wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and their two children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.Alexi Lubomirski / Courtesy Archewell Foundation

Prince Archie — sixth in line of succession

Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, the eighth great-grandchild of Elizabeth, and son of Harry and Meghan, was born on May 6, 2019, and is sixth in line to the throne. At birth, he was named Master Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. In 2023, he and his younger sister, Lilibet, received prince and princess titles.

Princess Lilibet — seventh in line of succession

Archie's sister is the eleventh great-grandchild of Elizabeth. Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor was born on June 4, 2021, to Harry and Meghan. Like Charlotte, Lilibet’s name is a nod to both her great-grandmother and grandmother. Instead of “Elizabeth,” however, Lilibet’s name was inspired by the queen’s childhood nickname.