Prince William is now heir to the British throne following the accession of Prince Charles following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The 40-year-old Duke of Cambridge is expected to become the new Prince of Wales, with his wife Kate Middleton taking on the new title of Princess of Wales.
William is the oldest royal among the top eight in line, and is followed by his three children Prince George, nine, Princess Charlotte, seven, and Prince Louis, four.
The new line of succession to the British throne after the Queen’s death
Prince William is now heir to the British throne following the accession of Prince Charles following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Top: The Queen on the Buckingham Palace balcony with Prince Charles, Prince William and his children Prince George and Princess Charlotte during the Platinum Jubilee pageant in June
Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge during a visit to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices in Cambridgeshire in June
Prince Charles, the Queen and William on the Buckingham Palace balcony on June 5, 2022
Her Majesty will arrive at Balmoral Castle to start her summer holiday on 21 July
The Queen attends an audience with the President of Switzerland at Windsor Castle on April 28
(Left to right) The Duchess of Cornwall, The Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth II, The Duke of Edinburgh and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace on 8 December 2016
After the Cambridges are Prince Harry, his children Archie and Lilibet and then Prince Andrew and his two daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York.
William has become a hugely popular member of the royal family in recent years, with his April 2011 wedding to Kate watched by an estimated two billion people.
The couple’s down-to-earth nature and regular trips abroad have helped them engage with global communities, including one in Pakistan in October 2019.
William has also become more involved in royal affairs, with a notable intervention following Prince Andrew’s interview about his friendship with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Prince George, Prince William, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and the Duchess of Cambridge stand on the balcony during the platinum jubilee pageant at Buckingham Palace in June
Prince Harry, his wife Meghan and their son Archie in South Africa on September 25, 2019
Prince Charles and Camilla in the grounds of Clarence House in London in December 2018
He is said to have spoken to the Queen and Prince Charles about Andrew’s future after the disastrous interview and recommended he be removed from public life.
The new heir is also said to have described his uncle as a ‘threat’ to the royal family and ‘closed the door’ on his return to public life.
Charles is now de facto king, although he is expected to be officially proclaimed the monarch at an accession council meeting at St James’s Palace in London.
As the Prince of Wales title is not Charles in his own right, but rather given to the heir, he will leave it the moment he ascends the throne.
However, there is no automatic succession to the Prince of Wales title – the heir must be created Prince of Wales by the monarch.
The title is only ‘merged in the Crown’ and renewed at the sovereign’s pleasure – which is why Charles became the 21st Prince of Wales not on the day of his birth, but rather the age of nine in 1958.
He was only ‘invested’ – in the ceremony recognizing the creation of a new Prince of Wales – 11 years later in 1969.
Technically, Charles’ wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles, has been Princess of Wales until now, but she has used the feminine equivalent of Charles’s Duke of Cornwall title, the Duchess of Cornwall.
The Duchess of Cornwall is not believed to use the title Princess of Wales out of respect for Charles’ ex-wife Princess Diana, who died in Paris in August 1997.
Camilla will now become Queen Consort after the Queen has given this approval.
After the Queen’s death, Charles will also become head of the Commonwealth – and it has been claimed that Harry will take a more active role in this.
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex is now 13th in line ahead of his two children with Sophie – James, Viscount Severn, 14, and Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, 15.
Edward’s family is followed by Princess Anne, the 16th-ranked Princess Royal – and her son Peter Phillips, along with his daughters Savannah and Isla Phillips.
After Mr. Phillips is Zara Tindall, 20, and her two children with ex-rugby player Mike Tindall – Mia, Lena and Lucas Tindall.