The British Royal Family has a very detailed list of exactly who would be next in line for the throne. This is called the order of succession. Despite what you may have read in fairy tales, or seen in Disney movies, there is a whole lot more involved with the order of succession than simply being the child of the current monarch.
Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen Mother, is the British monarch that is currently on the throne. She ascended to the throne in 1952, at the age of 25, after her father, King George VI died. The Queen Mother herself, her children, her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren are officially considered to be members of the Royal Family, and so are the spouses of these family members. Beyond that, it is less certain. Children are not included in the order of succession until they come of age, or perhaps after they have completed their education. Queen Elizabeth II recently celebrated her eighty-fifth birthday.
The next person in line for the British throne is properly referred to as The Heir to the Throne. Right now, that person is The Prince of Wales, who is also known as Prince Charles. He is the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II. He is also the father of Prince William and Prince Harry. Many of you may recall that Princess Diana of Wales was the mother of Prince William and Prince Harry. Prince Charles is currently sixty two years old.
Second in line is Prince William of Wales. He, of course, will be marrying Kate Middleton this week. As is tradition, he asked Queen Elizabeth II, (his grandmother), for permission to marry Kate. Permission was granted. Prince William is twenty eight years old right now. Third in line is his brother, Prince Harry, second son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Prince Harry is twenty six years of age right now.
The Duke of York, who is also known as Prince Andrew, is fourth in the order of succession. He has been the UK’s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment since 2001. Prince Andrew is the second son (and third child) of Queen Elizabeth II. He is currently fifty years old. He was once married to Sarah Ferguson, but the two of them divorced several years ago. Prince Andrew is the brother of Prince Charles, and the uncle of Prince William and Prince Harry.
Fifth in the order of succession is Princess Beatrice of York. She is the daughter of Prince Andrew, The Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson. Princess Beatrice is currently twenty two years old. She is a first cousin to Prince William and to Prince Harry. She is the niece of Prince Charles, and the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II. There are at least twenty people listed in the order of succession.
Image by Chris Brown on Flickr