How will the British line of succession change after Meghan and Harry’s next baby?

This could change everything!

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27: Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle during an official photocall to announce their engagement at The Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace on November 27, 2017 in London, England. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been a couple officially since November 2016 and are due to marry in Spring 2018.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's second child will change the British line of succession
(Image credit: (Photo by Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson/Getty Images))

The British line of succession is ever-changing whenever there is a new arrival into the royal family. And the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s recent baby news has got people wondering - will the British line of succession change after Meghan and Harry’s next baby?

The couple brought joy to so many faces on Valentine’s Day, when they announced they were expecting their second child - just seven months after Meghan revealed she’d suffered a miscarriage. 

After stepping down as senior royals and moving to their family home in Santa Barbara last year, Meghan and Harry - who share one son, Archie - were free to announce their baby news exactly how they wanted. And opted for a sweet black and white snap taken remotely via an iPad by longtime friend and photographer, Misam Hariman - for the occasion.

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What was even more poignant about the couple’s announcement was the sweet nod to Harry’s late mother, as they shared their news on the same day Princess Diana revealed she was pregnant with Prince Harry 37 years ago.

Despite stepping back from the royal family last year, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s children still appear in the British line of succession.

And, with their pregnancy news coming just days after Princess Eugenie gave birth to her first child, we think it’s time to have a look at what the British line of succession is looking like thanks to the new arrivals… 

Princess Diana, Princess of Wales with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry attend the Heads of State VE Remembrance Service in Hyde Park on May 7, 1995 in London, England

Meghan and Harry's announcement included a nod to Princess Diana 

(Image credit: Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

How will the British line of succession change after Meghan and Harry’s next baby?

When Meghan and Harry’s second baby arrives in summer, he or she will be eighth in line to the British throne - after Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Prince Harry and their first son, Archie. 

Therefore when the new baby is born, everyone that is currently below eighth in line to the British throne will be bumped down a place.

Meghan and Harry have made it clear they don’t want their children being raised in the spotlight - hence their decision to seek a more “peaceful” life in America. So, are the couple still royal? And how come their children are still in line to the British throne?

Despite stepping back as a senior royal, Prince Harry is royal by blood and is therefore still in line to the throne by birthright. 

And, if for some reason none of the Cambridge family take the throne, Prince Harry would become King and Meghan would become Queen Consort.

Although Meghan and Harry chose not to give their son a royal title - instead naming him Master Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, he could still have a royal title in the future, if Prince Charles - upon succeeding the throne - offers him one as the grandchild of a sovereign. 

The current royal regulations state that royal children are not titled by birth - as previously decided by King George V in the 1917 Letters Patent. This means only grandchildren of the sovereign receive royal titles, not great-grandchildren. 

If Archie or the Sussexes’s second child does eventually get a title, it will be because the Prince of Wales has helped make it happen. 

The same went for Prince George, Charlotte and Louis - who were not born Princes and Princesses. Her Majesty had to issue a Letter’s Patent declaring their titles.

How has the birth of Princess Eugenie’s child changed the line of succession?

Princess Eugenie - the youngest daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson - gave birth to her first child in February, and the Queen was said to be delighted about the news.

Their baby boy - whose name is yet to be released - will briefly be eleventh in line to the throne, but will be pushed back to twelfth when Meghan Markle gives birth in the summer. 

Princess Eugenie of York is currently tenth in line to the throne, with her sister, Beatrice, ninth and their father, Prince Andrew, eighth in line. They will also all be bumped down a space when the new Sussex baby arrives later this year. 

Queen Elizabeth II meets guests as she attends the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on May 29, 2019 in London, England

The Queen is the longest-reigning Monarch in British history

(Image credit: Photo by Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images )

Who is first in line of succession to the British throne?

Prince Charles. He will ascend the throne when Queen Elizabeth passes away or abdicates.

There was speculation that Prince Charles could become King as soon as next year if the Queen stepped down to enjoy her final years in peace, but these rumours have largely been dispelled.

The Palace’s decision to make plans for her upcoming Platinum Jubilee in 2022 public, and reveal there will be an extra bank holiday two years prior to the event, certainly put a stop to reports that Prince Charles will step up any sooner than his mother’s death. 

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales seen during his meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi at Clarence House on October 22, 2020 in London

Prince Charles is next in line to the British throne 

(Image credit: Photo by Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Having served an incredible 68 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth is the longest-reigning monarch in British history. And it’s a job she sees for life.

Back in 1947, at the age of just 21, Princess Elizabeth dedicated her life to being Queen.

“I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”

Georgia Farquharson
Georgia Farquharson

Georgia studied Print Journalism at university in Nottingham, England before going on to work on several leading celebrity magazines, as well as freelance writing for international magazine Grazia Middle East. An enthusiastic, hard-working and ambitious writer, Georgia recently launched her own communications consultancy, farq media. As Director and Founder, Georgia helps businesses with their Public Relations strategy, as well as influencer and celebrity marketing. She also represents several influencers of her own. She lives with this motto in mind; "if your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough."