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Succession to the British throne

Wales), the younger son of the Prince of Wales. The rst


four individuals in the line of succession who are twentyone years or older, and the sovereigns consort, may be
appointed Counsellors of State. Counsellors of State perform some of the sovereigns duties in the United Kingdom while he or she is out of the country or temporarily incapacitated. Otherwise, individuals in the line of
succession need not have specic legal or ocial duties
(though members of the royal family often do).
The United Kingdom is one of the 16 Commonwealth
realms. Each of those countries has the same person
as monarch and the same order of succession. In 2011,
the prime ministers of the realms agreed unanimously to
adopt a common approach to amending the rules on the
succession to their respective Crowns so that absolute primogeniture would apply for persons born after the date
of the agreement, instead of male-preference primogeniture, and the ban on marriages to Roman Catholics would
be lifted, but the monarch would still need to be in communion with the Church of England. After the necessary legislation had been enacted in accordance with each
realms constitution, the changes took eect on 26 March
2015.
The throne constructed in 1296, sometimes called the Coronation Chair or "King Edwards Chair" with the Stone of Scone
visibly placed beneath the seat, for 700 years used for the coronation of monarchs of England, of Great Britain, and of the
United Kingdom.

1 Current line of succession


The annotated list below of persons in line of succession
to the present Queen is limited to her descendants and
others in the nearest collateral lines, namely, the other
eligible descendants of the sons of George V. Persons
named in italics are known not to be in line to the throne
(birth year not italicised if living). Numbers 1 to 16 in the
list are the position in the line of the persons named, as
shown by the ocial website of the British Monarchy.[1]
Other list numbers are subject to the annotations (Notes
and sources) and Notes.

Succession to the British throne is determined by descent, gender (for people born before October 2011), legitimacy, and religion. Under common law, the crown
is inherited by an individuals children and by a childless individuals nearest collateral line. The Bill of Rights
1689 and the Act of Settlement 1701, both of them as
amended in March 2015, restrict the succession to the
legitimate Protestant descendants of Sophia of Hanover
that are in "communion with the Church of England"[1]
(while marrying to Roman Catholics no longer disqualies). Protestant descendants of those excluded for being
Catholics are eligible to succeed.[2]

King George V (18651936)

King George VI (18951952)

Queen Elizabeth II is the present sovereign and her heir


apparent is her eldest son, Charles, Prince of Wales. Next
in line after him is Prince William, Duke of Cambridge,
the Prince of Waless elder son. Third in line is Prince
George of Cambridge, the son of the Duke of Cambridge,
followed by his sister, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge.
Fifth in line is Prince Harry (formally Prince Henry of
1

Queen Elizabeth II (born 1926)


(1) Charles, Prince of Wales (b.
1948) B D W
(2) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (b. 1982) B D W
(3) Prince George of Cambridge
(b. 2013) B D W

1 CURRENT LINE OF SUCCESSION


(19) Charles Armstrong-Jones (b.
1999) D W
(20) Margarita Armstrong-Jones (b.
2002) D W
(21) Lady Sarah Chatto (ne
Armstrong-Jones; b. 1964) D W
(22) Samuel Chatto (b. 1996) D W
(23) Arthur Chatto (b. 1999) D W
Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester (1900
1974) 1952

Charles, Prince of Wales, has been rst in the line of succession


since 1952.

(4) Princess Charlotte of Cambridge (b. 2015) B D


(5) Prince Henry of Wales (Prince
Harry) (b. 1984) B D W
(6) Prince Andrew, Duke of York (b.
1960) B D W
(7) Princess Beatrice of York (b.
1988) B D W
(8) Princess Eugenie of York (b.
1990) B D W
(9) Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
(b. 1964) B D W
(10) James, Viscount Severn (b.
2007) B D W
(11) Lady Louise Windsor (b.
2003) B D W
(12) Anne, Princess Royal (b. 1950)
BDW

(13) Peter Phillips (b. 1977) B D W


(14) Savannah Phillips (b. 2010)
BDW

(15) Isla Phillips (b. 2012) B D W


(16) Zara Tindall (ne Phillips; b.
1981) B D W
(17) Mia Tindall (b. 2014) W
Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon
(19302002) 1952
(18) David Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley (b. 1961) D W

(24) Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester


(b. 1944) D W
(25) Alexander Windsor, Earl of Ulster (b. 1974) D W
(26) Xan Windsor, Lord Culloden
(b. 2007) D W
(27) Lady Cosima Windsor (b.
2010) D W
(28) Lady Davina Lewis (ne Windsor; b. 1977) D W
(29) Senna Lewis (b. 2010) D W
(30) Tne Lewis (b. 2012) W
(31) Lady Rose Gilman (ne Windsor; b. 1980) D W
(32) Lyla Gilman (b. 2010) D W
(33) Rufus Gilman (b. 2012) W
Prince George, Duke of Kent (19021942)
(34) Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (b.
1935) D W
(35) George Windsor, Earl of St Andrews (b. 1962) MC / D W
Edward Windsor, Lord Downpatrick (b. 1988) XC / D W
Lady Marina Charlotte Windsor (b.
1992) XC / W[n 1]
(36) Lady Amelia Windsor (b.
1995) D W
Lord Nicholas Windsor (b. 1970)
XC / D W

(37) Albert Windsor (b.

2007)

D W[n 2]

(38) Leopold Windsor (b. 2009)


DW

(39) Louis Windsor (b. 2014) D W


(40) Lady Helen Taylor (ne Windsor; b. 1964) D W
(41) Columbus Taylor (b. 1994)
DW

(45)

(42) Cassius Taylor (b. 1996) D W


(43) Eloise Taylor (b. 2003) D W
(44) Estella Taylor (b. 2004) D W
Prince Michael of Kent (b. 1942)

MC / W

2.1

England
(46) Lord Frederick Windsor (b.
1979) W
(47) Maud Windsor (b. 2013) W
(48) Isabella Windsor (b. 2016)[3]
(49) Lady Gabriella Windsor (b.
1981) W
(50) Princess Alexandra, The Honourable
Lady Ogilvy (b. 1936) W
(51) James Ogilvy (b. 1964) W
(52) Alexander Ogilvy (b. 1996) W
(53) Flora Ogilvy (b. 1994) W
(54) Marina Mowatt (ne Ogilvy; b.
1966) W
(55) Christian Mowatt (b. 1993) W
(56) Zenouska Mowatt (b. 1990) W

3
rules governing succession to the throne. The individual could have relied on inheritance, statute, election (by
Parliament or by another body), nomination (by a reigning sovereign in his or her will), conquest or prescription
(de facto possession of the Crown). It was often unclear
which of these bases should take precedence; often, the
outcome depended not on the legal strength of the claims,
but on the political or military power of the claimants.
However, over time, the default rule became male primogeniture: later monarchs coming to the throne by exception to this rule went to great lengths to explain and
justify going against these rules, and to prove their rivals
illegitimate. Eventually, Parliament asserted control of
succession.

2.1 England

Notes and sources:


XC

Excluded as Roman Catholics. This exclusion is not aected by changes subsequent to the
Perth Agreement.
MC

These people were excluded through marriage to a Roman Catholic. This exclusion was
repealed on 26 March 2015, restoring them to
the line of succession, when the Perth Agreement
came into eect.
B

listed by the ocial website of the British


Monarchy, Succession, retrieved 13 May
2015.
D

listed on Debretts website (as of 20 June


2015): The Line of Succession to the British
Throne
W

listed by Whitakers Almanack 2015, London: Bloomsbury, ISBN 978-1-4729-0929-9,


p. 22
1952

Succession as published on the accession of


Queen Elizabeth II in 1952[4]
No ocial, complete version of the line of succession is
currently maintained. The exact number, in remoter collateral lines, of the persons who would be eligible is uncertain. In 2001 genealogist William Addams Reitwiesner compiled a list of 4,973 living descendants of the
Henry VII, King by right of Conquest
Electress Sophia in order of succession, but disregard[5]
ing Roman Catholic status. When updated in January
In 1485, Henry Tudor, a female-line descendant of a le2011, the number was more than ve thousand.[6]
gitimated branch of the royal house of Lancaster, the
House of Beaufort, assumed the English crown as Henry
VII, after defeating Richard III, who was killed at the
2 History
battle of Bosworth when leading a charge against Henrys
standard. Richard was the last king of the House of York,
The current succession law in the United Kingdom and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. Henry declared
evolved from succession law in both England and Scot- himself king retroactively from 21 August 1485, the day
land. Originally in both countries, there were no xed before his victory over Richard at Bosworth Field,[7] and

HISTORY

caused Richards Titulus Regius to be repealed and expunged from the Rolls of Parliament.[8] After Henrys
coronation in London in October that year, his rst parliament, summoned to meet at Westminster in November, enacted that the inheritance of the crown should be,
rest, remain and abide in the most royal person of the then
sovereign lord, King Henry VII, and the heirs of his body
lawfully coming.[9]

and refused to name an heir. Whilst previous monarchs


(including Henry VIII) had specically been granted authority to settle uncertain successions in their wills, the
Treasons Act 1571 asserted that Parliament had the right
to settle disputes, and made it treason to deny Parliamentary authority. Wary of threats from other possible heirs,
Parliament further passed the Act of Association 1584,
which provided that any individual involved in attempts
to murder the Sovereign would be disqualied from sucHenry VII was followed by his son, Henry VIII. Though
his father descended from the Lancastrians, Henry VIII ceeding (The Act was repealed in 1863).
could also claim the throne through the Yorkist line, as
his mother Elizabeth was the sister and heiress of Edward
2.2 Scotland
V. In 1542 Henry also assumed the title King of Ireland;
this would pass down with the monarchs of England, and
later Great Britain, until the Acts of Union 1800 merged
the separate crowns into that of the United Kingdom.
Henry VIIIs numerous marriages led to several complications over succession. Henry VIII was rst married
to Catherine of Aragon, by whom he had a daughter
named Mary. His second marriage, to Anne Boleyn, resulted in a daughter named Elizabeth. Henry VIII had
a son, Edward, by his third wife, Jane Seymour. An
Act of Parliament passed in 1533 declared Mary illegitimate; another passed in 1536 did the same for Elizabeth.
Though the two remained illegitimate, an Act of Parliament passed in 1544 allowed reinserting them, providing
further that the King should and might give, will, limit,
assign, appoint or dispose the said imperial Crown and
the other premises by letters patent or last will in writing. Mary and Elizabeth, under Henry VIIIs will, were
to be followed by descendants of the Kings deceased
sister Mary Tudor, Duchess of Suolk (he however excluded his niece Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suolk).
This will also excluded from the succession the descendants of Henrys eldest sister Margaret Tudor, who were
Robert II, rst of the Stewarts
the rulers of Scotland.
When Henry VIII died in 1547, the young Edward succeeded him, becoming Edward VI. Edward VI was the
rst Protestant Sovereign to succeed to the rule of England; he strongly opposed having the Catholic Mary be
his heir. Therefore, he attempted to divert the course
of succession in his will. He excluded Mary and Elizabeth, settling on the Duchess of Suolks daughter, the
Lady Jane Grey. The Lady Jane was also originally excluded on the premise that no woman could reign over
England. Nonetheless, the will, which originally referred
to the Lady Janes heirs-male, was amended to refer to the
Lady Jane and her heirs-male. Upon Edward VIs death
in 1553, Jane was proclaimed reigning Queen of England; however, she was not universally recognised and after nine days overthrown by the popular Mary. As Henry
VIIIs will had been passed by an Act of Parliament in
1544, Edwards contravening will was unlawful and ignored.

The House of Stewart (later Stuart) had ruled in Scotland


since 1371. It had followed strict rules of primogeniture
until the deposition and exile of Mary I in 1567; even then
she was succeeded by her son, James VI.

2.3 After the union of the crowns


2.3.1 Stuarts

Elizabeth I of England was succeeded by King James VI


of Scotland, her rst cousin twice removed, even though
his succession violated Henry VIIIs will, under which
Lady Anne Stanley, heiress of Mary Tudor, Duchess of
Suolk, was supposed to succeed. James asserted that
hereditary right was superior to statutory provision, and
as King in Scotland was powerful enough to deter any
rival. He reigned as James I of England, thus eecting
Mary was succeeded by her half-sister Elizabeth, who the Union of the Crowns, although England and Scotland
broke with the precedents of many of her predecessors, remained separate sovereign states until 1707. His succession was rapidly ratied by Parliament.[10]

2.3

After the union of the crowns

members of the house of Stuart following the 1603 Union After the death of her last child in 1700, Princess Anne became
the last individual left in the line of succession determined by the
of the Crowns.
Bill of Rights.

Jamess eldest surviving son and successor, Charles I, was


overthrown and beheaded in 1649. The monarchy itself was abolished. A few years later, it was replaced
by the Protectorate under Oliver Cromwell, eectively
a monarch with the title of Lord Protector rather than
King. Cromwell had the right to name his own successor, which he exercised on his deathbed by choosing his
son, Richard Cromwell. Richard was ineective, and was
quickly forced from oce. Shortly afterward, the monarchy was restored, with Charles Is son Charles II as King.
James II and VII, a Catholic, followed his brother Charles
II, despite eorts in the late 1670s to exclude him in
favour of Charless illegitimate Protestant son, the Duke
of Monmouth. James was deposed when his Protestant opponents forced him to ee from England in 1688.
Parliament then deemed that James had, by eeing the
realms, abdicated the thrones and oered the Crowns not
to the Kings infant son James but to his Protestant daughter Mary and to her husband William, who as Jamess
nephew was the rst person in the succession not descended from him. The two became joint Sovereigns (a
unique circumstance in British history) as William III of
England and Ireland (and II of Scotland) and Mary II of
England, Scotland and Ireland. William had insisted on
this unique provision as a condition of his military leadership against James.
The English Bill of Rights passed in 1689 determined
succession to the English, Scottish and Irish Thrones.
First in the line were the descendants of Mary II. Next
came Marys sister Princess Anne and her descendants.
Finally, the descendants of William III & II by any fu-

ture marriage were added to the line of succession. Only


Protestants were allowed to succeed to the Thrones, and
those who married Roman Catholics were excluded.
After Mary II died in 1694, her husband continued to
reign alone until his own death in 1702. The line of succession provided for by the Bill of Rights was almost at
an end; William and Mary never had any children, and
Princess Annes children had all died. Therefore, Parliament passed the Act of Settlement. The Act maintained
the provision of the Bill of Rights whereby William III &
II would be succeeded by Princess Anne and her descendants, and thereafter by his own descendants from future
marriages. The Act, however, declared that they would
be followed by James I & VIs granddaughter Sophia,
Electress and Dowager Duchess of Hanover (the daughter
of Jamess daughter Elizabeth Stuart), and her heirs. As
under the Bill of Rights, non-Protestants and those who
married Roman Catholics were excluded.
Upon William IIIs death, Anne became Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland. Because the Parliament
of England settled on Sophia, Electress of Hanover
as Annes heir-presumptive without consulting Scottish
leaders, the Estates of Scotland retaliated by passing the
Scottish Act of Security. The Act provided that, upon
the death of Anne, the Estates would meet to select an
heir to the throne of Scotland, who could not be the same
person as the English Sovereign unless numerous political and economic conditions were met. Anne originally
withheld the Royal Assent, but was forced to grant it when
the Estates refused to raise taxes and sought to withdraw

HISTORY

Electress Sophia of Hanover (16301714)

English Bill of Rights of 1689. For transcript see National


Archives

troops from the Queens army. Englands Parliament responded by passing the Alien Act 1705, which threatened
to cripple Scotlands economy by cutting o trade with
them. Thus, Scotland had little choice but to unite with
England to form the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707;
the Crown of the new nation (along with the Crown of
Ireland) was subject to the rules laid down by the English
Act of Settlement.

2.3.2

Hanoverians and Windsors

Anne was predeceased by Sophia, Electress of Hanover,


and was therefore succeeded by the latters son, who became George I in 1714.
Attempts were made in the risings of 1715 and 1745
to restore Stuart claimants to the Throne, supported by
those who recognised the Jacobite succession. The House

of Hanover nonetheless remained undeposed, and the


Crown descended in accordance with the appointed rules.
In 1801, following the Acts of Union 1800, the separate
crowns of Great Britain and Ireland were merged and became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Between 1811 and 1820, when George III was deemed
unt to rule, the Prince of Wales (later George IV) acted
as his regent. Some years later the Regency Act 1830
made provision for a change in the line of succession had
a child been born to William IV after his death, but this
event did not come about.
The succession was next called into doubt in 1936, when
Edward VIII abdicated. (Edward VIII had desired to
marry Wallis Simpson, a divorcee, but the Church of
England, of which the British Sovereign is Supreme Governor, would not authorise the marriage of divorcees.)
Consequently, Parliament passed His Majestys Declaration of Abdication Act 1936, by which Edward VIII
ceased to be Sovereign. The Act provided that he and his
descendants, if any, were not to have any right, title or
interest in or to the succession to the Throne. (In fact Edward died childless in 1972.) On his abdication Edward
was succeeded by his brother George VI, who in turn was
succeeded in 1952 by his own elder daughter, Elizabeth
II. By this time the monarch of the United Kingdom no
longer reigned in the greater part of Ireland (which had
become a republic in 1949), but was the monarch of a
number of independent sovereign states (Commonwealth
realms).

Queen Elizabeth II progresses past the Coronation Chair, placed


in front of the altar in Westminster Abbey, at her coronation in
1953
Benjamin Harriss Protestant Tutor, a primer popular for
decades and the source for the New England Primer. Edition of
1713. Hanoverian propaganda extended to books for childrens
education

2.4

Commonwealth realms, 20c. and after

Each of the Commonwealth realms has the same person as monarch and, to maintain that arrangement, they
have agreed to continue the same line of succession; some
realms do so through domestic succession laws, while others stipulate whomever is monarch of the United Kingdom will also be monarch of that realm. In February
1952, on her accession, Elizabeth II was proclaimed as
sovereign separately throughout her realms. In October
2011, the heads of government of all 16 realms agreed
unanimously at a meeting held in Perth, Australia, to proposed changes to the royal succession laws that would see
the order of succession for people born after 28 October 2011 governed by absolute primogeniturewherein
succession passes to an individuals children according
to birth order, regardless of genderinstead of malepreference primogeniture. They also agreed to lift a
ban on those who marry Roman Catholics. The ban
on Catholics themselves was retained to ensure that the
monarch would be in communion with the Church of
England.[11] The changes came into eect across the
Commonwealth realms on 26 March 2015, after legislation was made according to each realms constitution.[n 3]

3 Current rules
The Bill of Rights and the Act of Settlement (restated
by the Acts of Union) still govern succession to the
throne. They were amended in the United Kingdom by
the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, which was passed
mainly to make succession to the Crown not depend on
gender and to make provision about Royal Marriages
(according to its long title), thereby implementing the
Perth Agreement in the UK and in those realms that, by
their laws, have as their monarch automatically whoever
is monarch of the UK. Other realms passed their own legislation.
Anyone ineligible to succeed is treated as if they were
naturally dead. That individuals descendants are not
also disqualied, unless they are personally ineligible.

3.1 Marriages
The Act of Settlement 1701 provides that Protestant
"heirs of the body" (that is, legitimate descendants) of
Sophia, Electress of Hanover, are eligible to succeed to
the throne, unless otherwise disqualied. The meaning of
heir of the body is determined by the common law rules
of male preference primogeniture (the male-preference
criterion is no longer applicable, in respect of succession
to the throne, to persons born after 28 October 2011),

whereby older children and their descendants inherit before younger children and a male child takes precedence
over a female sibling.[15] Children born out of wedlock
and adopted children are not eligible to succeed. Illegitimate children whose parents subsequently marry are legitimated, but remain ineligible to inherit the Crown.[n 4]

all and every Person and Persons who shall is, are or
shall be reconciled to or shall hold Communion with the
See or Church of Rome or shall profess the Popish religion or shall marry a papist shall be subject to such Incapacities as the Bill of Rights established.

The Royal Marriages Act 1772 (repealed by the Succession to the Crown Act 2013) further required descendants
of George II to obtain the consent of the reigning monarch
to marry. (The requirement did not apply to descendants
of princesses who married into foreign families, as well
as, from 1936, any descendants of Edward VIII,[n 5] of
which there are none.) The Act provided, however, that
if a dynast older than twenty-ve years notied the Privy
Council of his or her intention to marry without the consent of the Sovereign, then he or she may have lawfully
done so after one year, unless both houses of Parliament
expressly disapproved of the marriage. A marriage that
contravened the Royal Marriages Act was void, and the
resulting ospring illegitimate and thus ineligible to succeed, though the succession of the dynast who failed to
obtain consent was not itself aected. This also had the
consequence that marriage to a Roman Catholic without
permission was void, so that the dynast was not disqualied from succeeding on account of being married to a
Roman Catholic. Thus when the future George IV attempted to marry the Roman Catholic Maria Fitzherbert
in 1785 without obtaining permission from George III he
did not disqualify himself from inheriting the throne in
due course.[2] A marriage voided by the 1772 act prior
to its repeal remains void for all purposes relating to the
succession to the Crown under the 2013 act.[16]
The constitutional crisis arising from Edward VIIIs decision to marry a divorcee in 1936 led to His Majestys
Declaration of Abdication Act 1936, which provided that
Edward VIII and his descendants would have no claim to
the throne. The Act is no longer applicable, because Edward died in 1972 without issue.

PERTH AGREEMENT REFORMS, 26 MARCH 2015

The precise meaning of the aforementioned clauses is


subject to contention. Under one interpretation, the religion of an individual at the precise moment of succession
is relevant. Under another interpretation, anyone who has
been a Roman Catholic at any time since 1689 (then
or afterwards) is forever ineligible to succeed. The former interpretation allows a Roman Catholic to convert
to Protestantism and succeed to the Throne just before a
vacancy on the throne occurs devolving the crown on the
rst dynast in the line of succession; the latter does not.
In either case, however, other denominations of faith are
not aected; it is clear that any non-Catholic may convert to Protestantism and succeed to the Throne. It is a
requirement that the monarch must be a Protestant.[1]
The Act of Settlement further provided that anyone who
married a Roman Catholic was ineligible to succeed. The
Act did not require that the spouse be Protestant; it only
barred those who marry Roman Catholics. Since the passage of the Act it has been determined (in the case of
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent) that an individual is not
barred because his or her spouse later converts to Roman Catholicism after their marriage. The Succession to
the Crown Act 2013 removed the bar on individuals married to Roman Catholics, though not on Roman Catholics
themselves.

3.3 Treason

Under the Treason Act 1702 and the Treason (Ireland)


Act 1703, it is treason to endeavour to deprive or hinder any person who shall be the next in succession to the
crown ... from succeeding ... to the imperial crown of
Under the 2013 Succession to the Crown Act, the this realm. Since the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, the
rst six persons in line to the throne must obtain the maximum penalty has been life imprisonment.
sovereigns approval before marrying.[16] Marriage without the Sovereigns consent disqualies the person and the
persons descendants from the marriage from succeeding 4 Perth Agreement reforms, 26
to the Crown,[16] but the marriage is still legally valid.

March 2015

3.2

Religion

Rules relating to eligibility established by the Bill of


Rights are retained under the Act of Settlement. The
preamble to the Act of Settlement notes that the Bill of
Rights provides that all and every person and persons
that then [at the time of the Bill of Rights passage] were,
or afterwards should be reconciled to, or shall hold communion with the see or Church of Rome, or should profess the popish religion, or marry a papist, should be excluded. The Act of Settlement continues, providing that

Main article: Perth Agreement


Following the Perth Agreement, changes to the line of
succession came into eect on 26 March 2015.[17] The
positions of the rst 27 in line remained unchanged, including Princess Anne and her children and grandchildren, until the birth of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge
on 2 May 2015. The rst to be aected by the changes,
on the day they came into eect in March, were the children of Lady Davina Lewisher son Tne (born 2012)
and her daughter Senna (born 2010)who were reversed

9
in the order of succession, becoming 29th and 28th in line
respectively.[18]

4.1

List of changes in the line on and after


26 March 2015

Note: this section is limited to the line of eligible


descendants of George V.

26 March 2015: Legislation changing the succession


from male-preference primogeniture to absolute primogeniture came into eect for all persons born after 28 October 2011. Change: The places in the order of succession of the two children of Lady Davina
Lewis and the two children of her younger sister,
Lady Rose Gilman, were reversed: Senna Lewis
(born 2010) became 28th and her younger brother,
Tne (born 2012) 29th; Lyla Gilman (born 2010)
became 31st and her younger brother, Rufus (born
2012) 32nd.
26 March 2015: The legislation removed the disqualication of an eligible person on marriage to
a Roman Catholic. Change: Reinstatement made The Accession Council normally meets in St Jamess Palace to
George Windsor, Earl of St Andrews 34th, and proclaim the new sovereign.
Prince Michael of Kent 44th, in the line of succession.
and reigning as King James VI of Scotland. This prece 2 May 2015: Princess Charlotte of Cambridge was dent has been followed since. Now, the Accession Counborn fourth in line. Change: The next in the order cil normally meets in St Jamess Palace. Proclamations
of succession (Prince Henry of Wales) and all after since James Is have usually been made in the name of
him moved down one place.
the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, the Privy Council, the
16 January 2016: Isabella Windsor was born 48th Lord Mayor, Aldermen and citizens of the City of Lonin line. Change: The next in the order of succession don and other principal Gentlemen of quality, though
(Lady Gabriella Windsor) and all after her moved there have been variations in some proclamations. The
proclamation of accession of Elizabeth II was the rst
down one place.
to make mention of representatives of members of the
Commonwealth.

Accession

In the Commonwealth realms, upon the death of a


sovereign, the heir apparent or heir presumptive succeeds to the throne immediately, with no need for conrmation or further ceremony.[19][n 6] Nevertheless, the
Accession Council meets and decides upon the making
of the accession proclamation, which by custom has for
centuries been ceremonially proclaimed in public places,
in London, York, Edinburgh and other cities. The anniversary is observed throughout the sovereigns reign as
Accession Day, including royal gun salutes in the United
Kingdom.[21]
Formerly, a new sovereign proclaimed his or her own
accession. But on the death of Elizabeth I an Accession Council met to proclaim the accession of James I
to the throne of England. James was then in Scotland

Upon his or her accession, a new sovereign is required


by law to make and subscribe several oaths. The Bill of
Rights of 1689 rst required the sovereign to make a public declaration of non-belief in Roman Catholicism.[n 7]
This declaration, known as the Accession Declaration, is
required to be taken at either the rst meeting of parliament of his or her reign (i.e. during the State Opening
of Parliament) or at his or her coronation, whichever occurs rst. The current wording of this declaration was
adopted in 1910 as the previous wording was deemed to
be controversial and overtly anti-Catholic. Rather than
denouncing Roman Catholicism, the sovereign now declares him or herself to be a Protestant and that he or she
will uphold and maintain the Protestant succession. In
addition to the Accession Declaration, the new sovereign
is required by the Acts of Union 1707 to make an oath
to maintain and preserve the Church of Scotland. This
oath is normally made at the sovereigns rst meeting of

10

the Privy Council following his or her accession.


[22]

After a period of mourning, the new sovereign is usually anointed and crowned in Westminster Abbey. Normally, the Archbishop of Canterbury ociates, though
the sovereign may designate any other bishop of the
Church of England. A coronation is not necessary for
a sovereign to reign; for example, Edward VIII was never
crowned, yet during his short reign was the undoubted
king.

See also
Alternative successions of the English crown
British monarchs family tree, including current
House of Windsor
British prince
British princess
Jacobite succession
List of Edward VIIs six children
List of George Vs six children & descendants
List of heirs to the British throne
List of heirs to the English throne

[3] In Quebec, the validity of the Canadian parliaments legislation is under judicial review. After legislation related to the Perth Agreement had been enacted in the
realms where it was required according to their respective constitutions, on 26 March 2015, ocial announcements were made that the changes took eect on that day.
But, whether the Canadian parliaments Succession to the
Throne Act, 2013, had fullled the commitment was at
the time under judicial review in Quebec. A hearing began in June 2015 to resolve questions about the interaction
of the act with the formula for amending Canadas constitution. The federal government was due to reply by 10
October, with another month for a reply from the challenging parties.[12][13][14]
[4] Neither the Legitimacy Act 1926 nor the Legitimacy Act
1959 changed the Law of Succession.
[5] Per the His Majestys Declaration of Abdication Act 1936.
[6] A letter from Tony Newton as Lord President of the Council to Tony Benn indicated this was the eect of the Act of
Settlement after Benn had indicated he intended to block
the next accession at the Privy Council.[20]
[7] This declaration was similar to what members of both
Houses of Parliament were originally required to take by
the Test Acts. Eventually, by the time it was changed in
1910, the monarch was the only one left required to make
the declaration.

8 References

List of heirs of Scotland

[1] Succession. Ocial website of the British Monarchy.


Retrieved 7 May 2016.

List of monarchs in the British Isles

[2] Bogdanor (1995), p. 55.

Posthumous birth

[3] Lord Frederick Windsor and Sophie Winkleman welcome second baby and reveal name. Hello!. 20 January
2016.

Royal Succession Bills and Acts


Accession Declaration Act 1910
Patrilineal descent of Elizabeth II
Perth Agreement 2011 and other articles, linked directly or indirectly Wikipedia book

REFERENCES

Notes

[1] Most sources, including Whitakers Almanack, exclude her


as a conrmed Catholic, but Debretts includes her in line.
[2] Albert and Leopold Windsor were listed on The Ocial Website of the British Monarchy until 2015 and in
the 2013 edition of Whitakers Almanack as following Estella Taylor (b 2004) and eligible to succeed; MSN News,
Debretts and Whitakers Almanack 2015 lists them after Lady Amelia Windsor and before Lady Helen Taylor.
They were baptised as Catholics, and are not listed in line
in editions of Whitakers earlier than 2012.

[4] Line of succession to the throne. The Sydney Morning


Herald. 7 February 1952. p. 6.
[5] Reitwiesner, W. A. Persons eligible to succeed to the
British Throne as of 1 Jan 2001. Wargs.com.
[6] Lewis, David. Persons eligible to succeed to the British
Throne as of 1 Jan 2011. Wargs.com.
[7] Chrimes, S. B. (1999). Henry VII. Yale University Press.
p. 50. ISBN 9780300078831.
[8] Rotuli Parliamentorum A.D. 1485 1 Henry VII.
[9] Smith, G. Barnett (1892). History of the English Parliament. Ward, Lock, Bowden & Co. p. 298.
[10] Succession to the Crown Act 1603.
[11] Girls equal in British throne succession. BBC News. 28
October 2011.
[12] Kilkenny, Carmel (15 June 2015). Quebec challenge
to Britains Line of Succession. Radio Canada International.

11

[13] Blancheld, Mike (22 July 2013). Quebec government to


mount legal challenge to new royal succession law. National Post.
[14] Davies, Caroline (31 May 2015). Canadian law professors challenge 'colonial' law on royal succession. The
Guardian.
[15] Blackstone (1765).
[16] Succession to the Crown Act 2013. UK Parliament.
Section 3.
[17] Clegg, Nick (26 March 2015). Commencement of Succession to the Crown Act 2013: Written statement. UK
Parliament.
[18] What do the new royal succession changes mean?".
Royal Central. 26 March 2015.
[19] Accession. Ocial website of the British Monarchy.
Retrieved 7 May 2016.
[20] Bogdanor (1995), p. 45.
[21] Gun Salutes. Ocial website of the British Monarchy.
Retrieved 7 May 2016.
[22] Coronation. Ocial website of the British Monarchy.
Retrieved 7 May 2016.

Sources
Blackstone, William (1765). Chapter 3: Of The
King, and His Title. Commentaries on the Laws of
England, Vol. 1. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Bogdanor, Vernon (1995). The Monarchy and the
Constitution. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 9780-19-829334-7.
Bryant, A. (1975). A Thousand Years of British
Monarchy. London: Collins.
Cox, Noel (1999). The Law of Succession to the
Crown in New Zealand. Waikato Law Review. 7:
4972.

10

External links

Full text of the Succession to the Crown Act 2013.

12

11

11
11.1

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