PRINCE HARRY and Meghan Markle shocked the world in January when they decided to step down as senior members of the royal family. Is Prince Harry still in line to the throne?
The Sussex’s move saw the Queen organise a crisis summit to decide the future role of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. While the couple has accepted and honoured their decision to step down on March 31, they will no longer receive public funding or be able to use HRH titles.
Is Prince Harry still in line to the throne?
It has been confirmed despite Harry and Meghan’s exit, the prince will remain sixth in line to the throne.
The royals’ official website reads: “As the grandson of Her Majesty and the second son of The Prince of Wales, Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex remains sixth in line to the throne of the British Monarchy and the Order of Precedence is unchanged.”
This is due to the positioning being based on legislation, meaning the Government would have to step in if someone were to be removed from the line.
Historian Marlene Koenig told Royal Central: “Succession to the throne is based on legislation including the Succession to the Crown Act, which includes the Act of Settlement.
Prince Harry is currently sixth in line to the throne (Image: Getty)
Harry and Meghan Markle made the shock decision to step down as senior royals in January (Image: Getty)
“It would take an act of Parliament to remove someone from the line of succession.”
The couple has retained their HRH titles, they are just not allowed to use them for the time being. Royals have been stripped of their HRH titles in the past.
Prince Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, lost her title in 1996 after divorcing from Prince Charles.
Royal analyst Victoria Arbiter said of Harry and Meghan: “They remain HRH, they simply won’t be using their HRH status.
Prince Charles is currently next in line to the throne (Image: Getty)
“And the reason for that is because the monarchy has to be very careful that there’s no indication of people cashing in or monetising the monarchy or their association to it.”
While it is rare for an act of Parliament to remove someone from the line of succession, it has happened before.
Edward VIII abdicated from the throne in 1936, sparking a constitutional crisis which ended in the King denouncing his position in a bid to marry American divorcée, Wallis Simpson.
Currently, Prince Charles is first in line and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will become Queen when he assumes the throne.
Following Prince Charles, Prince William is next in the line of succession (Image: Getty)
The Duke of Cambridge is in second place and will follow in his father’s footsteps one day with Kate, Duchess of Cambridge as his queen.
The couple has three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, who are third, fourth and fifth in line respectively.
In 2011, Commonwealth leaders agreed to change the laws of succession. This means both sons and daughters have an equal right to the throne of Britain.
Previous to this, the crown was passed lineally in birth order – but was subject to male preference over females.
Despite Prince Harry standing sixth in line at the moment, he will be moved further down if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have more children.
The couple’s son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, is not a HRH or a Prince, as he is too far down the line of succession.
Harry and Meghan could have used the courtesy titles Earl of Dumbarton or Lord Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
The couple, however, took the decision not to give their son a title, likely out of a desire to give him the most normal childhood they could.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK