One of the world’s most widely-anticipated births could happen this month, as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expected to welcome their first child in April. With so many young and adorable royals running around these days, you might be wondering if Meghan Markle’s baby is in line to the throne. And if so, where will they fall in the line of succession?
Baby Sussex will be Prince Harry and Markle's first child, and he or she will have several people in line ahead of them. But yes, they will fall into the line of succession to the throne. The line of succession follows a pattern that prioritizes people who are first-born, according to TIME. So, Prince Charles, Prince Harry's father, took precedence over his sister and two brothers. Then, when Prince Charles had children, his first-born, Prince William, also jumped into line ahead of Prince Charles' siblings. Prince William’s first-born, Prince George, became third in line when he was born, according to The Telegraph, and ranked ahead of both his father and grandfather’s siblings.
It sounds a bit confusing, so when it’s laid out simply it looks like this: Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, then Prince Harry. This new baby, as the first-born of Prince Harry, will fall directly in line behind him, according to Entertainment Tonight, meaning they'll be seventh, should Kate Middleton and Prince William not have anymore children. Then comes Prince Charles' three siblings and their offspring.
So, Prince Harry and Markle’s baby will be pretty far down the list for the throne and it’s unlikely they’ll ever ascend to it.
One interesting note, however, is that their baby could have dual-citizenship, since Markle is still an American citizen, according to The New York Times. The Times reported that children born overseas, to a couple with one American parent, who are married, are automatically citizens. One caveat is that the American parent must have lived in the United States for five years, at least two of which must have been after age 14.
At least one person noted on Twitter that could mean there’s the far-off possibility that Baby Sussex could someday run for U.S. president, while also being in line for the throne. Greg Pollowitz joked on Twitter, “They want America back and this is how they’ll do it.”
British law used to state that girls born in the royal family could be bumped from their place in the line of succession by any boys who were born after them, according to the BBC. The change came in 2013 when Prince William and Kate Middleton were expecting their first child, Prince George, the BBC noted. An act passed by parliament decreed that girls remain in their place and could not be usurped, according to TIME. Prince George's younger siblings Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis were the first children affected by the new ruling, which left her as fourth in line and him as fifth.
So with all that said, yes, Markle and Prince Harry's baby will indeed be in line to the throne. But what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex decide to name their bundle of joy is still anyone's guess — let the bets begin.