Where Will Meghan Markle Be In Line To The Throne?

Katie Frost
Photo credit: Getty Images

From ELLE

When Meghan Markle marries Prince Harry on Saturday, the Queen is likely to grant the bride and groom a dukedom, just like she did for Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011.

This will give the newlyweds the royal titles of the Duke and Duchess, probably of Sussex. Even if this doesn't happen, the former actress would become Her Royal Highness, Princess Henry of Wales at the very least.

Along with the inevitable discussion surrounding royal surnames, Markle's new prestigious title also brings up questions around succession rights and the line the throne.

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Could Markle ever become Queen? In short, it's highly unlikely. This is because the succession to the British throne is regulated through descent, which means those marrying into the royal family do not acquire succession rights. For example, the line of succession does not include the Duchess of Cambridge, as she has married into the royal family and is not in the royal bloodline.

Harry's position in the current line of succession is also important. When the Queen passes away, Harry's father, Prince Charles, will will succeed his mother as he is her oldest son. Charles' oldest son Prince William is second in line, and after new rules on succession removed the male bias, he is followed by his three children, George, Charlotte and the newest addition to the family, Louis. This puts Harry sixth in line, which means the chances of him ever ascending the throne are slim.

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Even if Harry did become king, Markle wouldn't become queen in the ruling sense, although she may be given the title of Queen Consort, which would be expected as the wife of the monarch.

However, parliament has discussed making the wives of kings 'Princess Consorts' as part of the Succession to the Crown Act, Royal Central reports. This is part of a debate around how to make the titles in royal marriages equal. As it stands, if the female's title out ranks her husband's, she will keep that title and the male will retain his, which is why Prince Philip is not King Philip.

So, there's a very small chance that Markle could one day become Princess Meghan. Of course, that's presuming that a new law is passed and that Prince William and his children don't take to the throne. In the meantime, there's no doubt the confusing subject of royal titles will continue to be debated for years to come.

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