QUEEN Elizabeth’s record-breaking reign as British monarch means more than 65 years have passed since the last royal succession.
Prince Charles is due to be next on the throne, but how does the rest of the royal lineage and Prince Louis line up? Here is the lowdown…
News Group Newspapers Ltd The Queen arrives at Royal Ascot with The Duchess of Cornwall after attending the State Opening of Parliament
Who will become King after Queen Elizabeth?
The throne will pass to Prince Charles if the Queen abdicates, retires or dies – and according to reports, abdication could be a real possibility.
Her Majesty is said to have told her inner circle that if she is still on the throne at the age of 95, she will ask for a piece of legislation to grant her eldest son full power to reign while she is alive.
Royal commentator Robert Jobson told the Mail On Sunday he has spoken to a number of high-ranking courtiers who say preparations for the transition of the Crown are gaining pace.
The new baby will be the fifth-in-line to the throne
And at this year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, The Queen said she wished for Charles to succeed her as head of the group of countries.
Next in line after Charles is eldest son Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and then his children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and the new baby boy, Prince Louis.
Prince Harry – who was third in line to the throne in 2013 – is now sixth in line.
Following his engagement to Meghan Markle, any children that they produce would come after him in the line of succession.
PA:Press Association Prince Charles is the next in line to the throne
How does Royal succession work?
The rules of Royal succession have changed significantly in recent years.
Leaders of 16 British Commonwealth countries (including Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Jamaica) voted in 2011 to alter the centuries-old tradition to include daughters as well as sons.
Previously daughters could only inherit the throne if there were no living sons.
The line of succession
1. The Prince of Wales (Prince Charles)
2. The Duke of Cambridge (Prince William)
3. Prince George of Cambridge
4. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge
5. NEW BABY BOY
6. Prince Henry of Wales (Prince Harry)
7. ANY OFFSPRING OF PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN MARKLE
8. The Duke of York (Prince Andrew)
9. Princess Beatrice of York
10. Princess Eugenie of York
11. The Earl of Wessex (Prince Edward)
12. James, Viscount Severn
13. The Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor
14. The Princess Royal (Princes Anne)
15. Mr. Peter Phillips
16. Miss Savannah Phillips
17. Miss Isla Phillips
This system, which dated back 300 years, is based on the rules of primogeniture which gives preference to the firstborn male heirs of a king or queen.
This change in royal succession means Princess Charlotte, as William and Kate’s daughter, is ahead of her younger brother.
Previously if the third child was male he would leap the princess in the line of succession.
This new rule only takes into account children born after 2011, meaning Prince Edward’s youngest child, James, born in 2007, is ahead of his older sister, Louise, born in 2003.
PA:Press Association The royal baby, Kate and William’s third child, was born weighing 8lbs 7oz at 11:01 am on April 23, 2018 and is now fifth in line to the throne
Can the monarch marry a Catholic?
Commonwealth leaders also decided in 2011 to remove the rule that no heir could assume the throne if he or she married a Roman Catholic.
Then Prime Minister David Cameron said at the time: “The idea that a younger son should become monarch instead of an elder daughter, simply because he is a man just isn’t acceptable anymore.
“Nor does it make any sense that a potential monarch can marry someone of any faith other than Catholic.
“The thinking behind these rules is wrong.”
The Roman Catholic rule can be traced to the 16th-century reign of Henry VIII.
The King broke with the Roman Catholic Church to divorce his wife, Queen Catherine, and marry Anne Boleyn.
The changes, under the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, came into force in March 2015 but apply to people born after October 28, 2011.
Live Science reported that because one of the duties of the British monarch is to head the Church of England, no Roman Catholic can hold the crown.
The basis for the succession was determined in the 17th century.
When James II fled the country in 1688, Parliament held that he had “abdicated the government” and that the throne was vacant.
The throne was then offered, not to James’s young son, but to his daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange, as joint rulers, following the “Glorious Revolution”.
Getty Images Prince William with his son Prince George, then two, snapped after the Christening of Princess Charlotte on July 5, 2015
Will Prince Charles step aside and let Prince William become king?
At 69-years-old, Prince Charles is the longest-serving heir in UK history – having been first in line from the age of three – and would become the oldest ever British monarch to take the throne.
Some royalists have argued that Prince Charles should step aside to allow Prince William to become King because he enjoys better approval ratings with the public based on a poll last year.
Prince Charles has faced controversy over his divorce from Princess Diana and his affair during their marriage with wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.
He has also been accused of “meddling” in politics by stating his opinion on issues like the environment and farming, alternative medicine and architecture in private letters to Government ministers.
In 1936, Edward VIII – the Queen’s uncle – famously abdicated after less than a year on the throne so he could marry divorcee Wallis Simpson.
Getty Images – WireImage Prince Harry has said that the country still needs the ‘magic’ of the monarchy
What has Prince Harry said about becoming king?
Prince Harry says no Royal wants to be King or Queen — but they would do it for “the greater good”.
The 32-year-old said: “Is there any one of the Royal Family who wants to be king or queen?
“I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time.”
He told Newsweek magazine: “We are involved in modernising the British monarchy.
“We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people.”
And he insisted the Royals were still vital, adding: “We don’t want to dilute the magic.
“The British public and the whole world need institutions like it.”