Here's How the Third Royal Baby Affects the Line to the Throne


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New babies tend to shake things up in any circumstances, but when it comes to the royals, a new baby can have a huge impact on the future of the country. Queen Elizabeth is the reigning monarch of England now, but who is going to come after her, and more importantly, where will Prince William and Kate Middleton's new baby take his or her place in line?

  • Prince Charles will become King once Queen Elizabeth leaves this earth.

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    There's been a lot of talk about possibly skipping Charlie and giving the title directly to William, but royal experts tend to agree that this isn't going to happen.

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    According to PEOPLE magazine, it's not the reigning monarch's privilege to choose their own successor. An act of Parliament known as the 1701 Act of Settlement "requires that a monarch’s heir must be his or her direct successor (and a Protestant)." 

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  • Only after Charles will William inherit the crown.

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    Of course it's anyone's guess as to whether Charles will deicide to abdicate and hand the role of King to his firstborn son sooner rather than later. There have been rumors that his wife Camilla would prefer the quieter life afforded to her as the Duchess of Cornwall, as opposed to being Charles's queen.

    Whether it's relatively soon, or decades down the road, William will become king after Charles, though. 

  • Next in line is 4-year-old Prince George.

    Pool/Reuters/Splash News

    Up until 2013, Williams's younger brother Prince Harry was next in line. However, once William and Kate Middleton began their family, Harry got knocked down the royal totem pole. He doesn't seem to have minded though, as he clearly adores his little nephew. 

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  • Sweet Princess Charlotte is next.

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    At least until her big brother George grows up and starts his own family, that is. We have a feeling she'll take after her Uncle Harry in how she feels about being the "spare to the heir," and won't begrudge her brother a bit. 

  • Then comes Kate Middleton's unborn baby, knocking Harry one more place down the list.

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    Well, technically this won't happen until the baby's arrival in April, but it will take Prince Harry one place further down the line to potentially becoming king someday. Interestingly, until a few years ago, this baby might have knocked Charlotte down the line too, if it's a boy. A new rule for the modern era however, strictly looks at birth order, not gender.

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  • Finally, sixth in line, is our favorite royal redhead.

    Neil Warner/Splash News

    Prince Harry doesn't seem to mind one bit being moved down the line as his brother and sister-in-law have continued to expand their family. The three of them are the best of friends, and it seems as though Will and Kate get on well with his new fiance Meghan Markle as well. 

    No doubt Harry is as thrilled to add a new baby to the line in front of him as he was when George and Char were born.