Changes in succession rules and the birth of new family members have made it difficult to determine who is next in line. Charles, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, and Duke of Rothesay, Queen Elizabeth's eldest child, has been at the head of the line of succession since his birth in 1948.
The Queen became the first British monarch to commemorate a platinum jubilee, honoring 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, and the Realms.
There were a series of events for the four-day celebration of the jubilee. The events involved Trooping the Colour, a service of thanksgiving, the big jubilee lunch, and the platinum jubilee pageant.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on June 5, 2022 | Source: Getty Images
The last day of the celebration had the jubilee pageant, which included a military parade, cultural representation across the Commonwealth, and a musical finale. Queen Elizabeth II surprised royal fans with her appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on the final day.
On the balcony, three generations of her family surrounded her. Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, and their three children delighted thousands of fans for the once-in-a-lifetime jubilee event.
WHO WILL TAKE THE THRONE AFTER QUEEN ELIZABETH?
The succession to the British throne is a constantly changing issue. Since the 17th century, both descent and Parliamentary laws have defined the rules of order. However, the rules governing succession have also changed to keep up with changing times.
The Perth Agreement, signed in 2013 and fully implemented in 2015, equalized the rights of daughters and sons in the British royal line of succession. Male heirs are no longer allowed to overtake the daughters in line to the throne under the new rule.
Being the Queen's oldest child, Charles, Prince of Wales, is the heir apparent to the British throne and has been at the forefront of the line of succession since his birth in 1948.
His wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is not in the line of succession, but the Queen made her the pending Queen Consort in February 2022. Camilla will become Queen Consort when her husband takes the throne.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is the second in line of succession as he is Charles and Diana's firstborn child. William's first son, Prince George, is the third in the line of succession, followed by his sister Princess Charlotte and their younger brother, Prince Louis, who is fifth in line of succession.
Even though Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, stepped back from his royal duties and moved to California with his family, he is still sixth in the line of succession.
She vowed to serve the country for the rest of her life.
Prince Harry's son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, is seventh in the line of succession and the eighth great-grandchild of the Queen. The eighth in the line of succession is Prince Harry's daughter, Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor, the eleventh great-grandchild of the Queen.
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR PRINCE WILLIAM TO BECOME KING AFTER QUEEN ELIZABETH DIES?
According to Buckingham Palace, there are two ways for one to succeed to the throne: by ancestry and by the laws put into place by the British government.
For anybody born after October 28, 2011, Parliamentary statutes provide that the succession to the throne is determined by: descent, religion, legitimacy, and sex.
When Queen Elizabeth II dies or steps down, Charles, not William, will take the throne first. Charles is Queen Elizabeth II's eldest son; hence he is first in line after the Queen.
However, if Charles dies before the Queen, William would automatically become King when the Queen dies or steps down. Once Prince William is crowned King of England, Kate Middleton will be crowned Queen of England.
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II | Source: Getty Images
HOW DID ELIZABETH BECOME QUEEN?
Queen Elizabeth was not born to be a Queen, even though she is now Britain's longest-serving monarch. Her uncle, Edward VIII, was the King but ruled for only 325 days before abdicating the throne in 1936.
Since he was childless, George VI, Elizabeth's father, suddenly became the heir to the throne. When Elizabeth turned 21, she vowed to serve the country for the rest of her life. In 1952, George VI died at 56, and Elizabeth became Queen at 25.