Prince Harry and his two children experienced a change in their royal status following the death of Queen Elizabeth II aged 96 on Thursday.
Britain’s longest-reigning monarch died in her 70th year on the throne while staying at her estate of Balmoral Castle in Scotland, leaving the princes and Archie and Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor one step closer to the throne.
The Queen’s death was announced by Buckingham Palace at 6:30pm UK time, with her eldest children, Prince Charles (now King Charles III) and Princess Anne, reportedly by her side.
With her death, the shape of the British monarchy changed forever. King Charles III began his reign at the moment Elizabeth II ended, in keeping with the tradition that the throne should never be vacant.
With Charles’ accession to the throne, all members of the royal family moved up one position in the direct line of succession.
Succession is the official decree that members of the royal family would inherit the throne should those who come before them die or abdicate.
The official list is published on the Royal Family’s website up to the 23rd place and is updated with each addition and removal to the Royal Family blood. It was last updated in the hours after the Queen’s death to reflect the new positions.
The list acts as an optimized family tree, containing only the monarch’s blood relatives, reflecting how close they are by birth.
Royal spouses like Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle are not included in the line of succession as they cannot inherit the crown in their own right as they are not blood kings. The only way Kate and Meghan could become queens would be if their husbands became kings.
For Harry, his father’s accession to the throne will mean a double change in the lives of his children.
First, they have risen from their positions of seventh and eighth in line to the throne to sixth and seventh, but second, since their grandfather is now a king, they can both rightly be referred to as HRH (His/Her Royal Highness) Prince or Princess from Great Britain.
This is in line with King George V’s convention which states that only the children and grandchildren of a reigning sovereign can be referred to as Royal Highnesses and Prince or Princess of Great Britain.
During the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1, were the monarch’s great-grandchildren, so they didn’t automatically become prince and princess.
This rule does not apply to Prince William’s children, as the Queen extended the privilege to children of the second in line to the throne.
Whether Harry and Meghan wish their children to take on the titles (some royals have the right to use them but choose not to) remains to be seen.
Harry and his children’s new positions come despite reports of friction within the royal family after the Sussexes left the UK and assumed their senior royal roles in 2020.
The couple have only visited the UK together three times since moving to America; the first time for an undisclosed meeting with the Queen ahead of her 96th birthday in April; the second time for the monarch’s platinum jubilee celebrations in June; and the third in September when they attended charity events in Europe when news of the Queen’s deteriorating health broke.
Meghan did not accompany Harry as he flew to Balmoral Castle to be with the royal family on Thursday. The prince’s plane landed at Aberdeen International Airport minutes after the announcement of his grandmother’s death. He stayed at the castle overnight and left on Friday morning.
As the King’s second son, Harry is now fifth in line to the throne, behind his brother and nephews and niece George, Charlotte and Louis.
King Charles III
1. Prince William, the Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge
2. Prince George of Cornwall and Cambridge
3. Princess Charlotte of Cornwall and Cambridge
4. Prince Louis of Cornwall and Cambridge
5. Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
6. Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor
7. Miss Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor
8. Prince Andrew, the Duke of York
9. Princess Beatrice, Mrs. Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
10. Miss Sienna Mapelli Mozzi
11. Princess Eugenie, Mrs. Jack Brooksbank
12. Champion August Brooksbank
13. Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
14. Viscount Severn
15. The Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor
16. Princess Anne, the Princess Royal
17. Mr. Peter Phillips
18. Miss Savannah Phillips
19. Miss Isla Phillips
20. Mrs Michael Tindall
21. Miss Mia Tindall
22. Miss Lena Tindall
23. Master Lucas Tindall
https://www.newsweek.com/prince-harry-archie-lilibet-closer-throne-sussex-succession-1741566 Harry, Archie, Lilibet closer to the throne than ever despite Sussex departure