This Is How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Baby Is Changing the Line of Succession

Where is the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's child in line for the throne?

Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of SussexShutterstock

The moment that British royal enthusiasts have been waiting for since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said “I Do” has finally come to pass: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have welcomed their first baby! Kensington Palace announced the news of Meghan’s pregnancy back in October, shortly after the couple’s nuptials last May. With a new young royal in the family, this means that the line of succession will change, just as it did when William and Kate’s son Prince Louis was born last year.

Queen Elizabeth’s oldest son, Prince Charles, will remain first in line to inherit the throne after his mother. Since Prince William is older than Prince Harry, he and his three children will maintain their spots in line—second, third, fourth, and fifth, all ahead of Harry, who is now sixth in line. Harry and Meghan’s child will come immediately after Harry in the line of succession. This will make the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s newborn seventh in line for the throne. Despite that, though, the new baby won’t hold a royal title—here’s why.

The arrival of the new baby means that Queen Elizabeth’s second son Andrew, who currently holds the seventh spot in line, has fallen to eighth, and everyone else below him in line will also fall one spot.

Unless William and Kate have another child, the new baby will maintain the seventh spot in line for many years, until the next generation of royals is born (that is, when Prince George and his siblings grow up and have children). Thanks to a 2013 law stating that gender would no longer affect a royal’s place in line, Archie’s spot will drop in the future regardless of whether their royal cousins have sons or daughters. (This law also means that Princess Charlotte didn’t lose her spot when her little brother, Louis, was born.)

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Meghan Jones
Meghan Jones is a word nerd who has been writing for RD.com since 2017. You can find her byline on pieces about grammar, fun facts, the meanings of various head-scratching words and phrases, and more. Meghan graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2017; her creative nonfiction piece “Anticipation” was published in the Spring 2017 issue of Angles literary magazine.