Iraq Banner Desktop

Store Banner Mobile

AI illustration of Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. Source: Michael/Adobe Stock

How Does the Line of Succession to the British Throne Work? (Video)


The British line of succession is a complex historical tapestry woven over centuries, marked by twists and turns. Beginning with Egbert in 827 AD, the hereditary path to the throne was often disrupted by political intrigues, mysterious deaths, and familial disputes. The Norman conquest in the 11th century solidified the practice of primogeniture, ensuring the king's first legitimate son inherited the crown. However, this rule faced challenges, including instances where female heirs were bypassed or when younger siblings had to outlive their elders to ascend. The War of the Roses brought further turmoil, with power struggles and shifts in legitimacy.

The House of Tudor emerged from the chaos, led by Henry VII, setting the stage for a relatively stable succession until the Stuart era. James II's Catholicism prompted Parliament to invite William of Orange, a Protestant, to depose him. The Bill of Rights and Act of Settlement further clarified succession rules. Queen Victoria's ascent initiated the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, later renamed Windsor. Queen Elizabeth II's reign witnessed amendments to succession laws, ending male primogeniture. Charles succeeded Elizabeth II, and the current line of succession involves a mix of direct heirs and distant relatives, demonstrating the enduring fluidity of monarchy in Britain.

Top image: AI illustration of Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. Source: Michael/Adobe Stock

By Robbie Mitchell



The current line of succession not only demonstrates the "enduring fluidity of monarchy in Britain", but also the widespread desire to be ruled from the cradle to the grave as perpetual children, rather than face adulthood and the truth of this world full on..

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

Next article