God save the Queen! More like, God help the Queen if she ever needs to explain her family tree because that ish is CONFUSING.
Here’s the lowdown on the Royal family, including who’s who, all the drama, and who is in line for the throne (hint: not Harry, like ever)…
THE QUEEN, ELIZABETH II
Clocking in at 92 years old, the Queen is world’s longest reigning monarch- her reign began in 1952 and continues to present day. She is occupied by “engagements”: any kind of meeting, celebration, fundraiser, knighting, or formality that takes up her time. These range anywhere from the first Sapphire Jubilee for a queen to knighting Sir Elton John. The Queen is married to Prince Philip, although they now live apart after 70+ years of marriage. The pair have four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward.
CHARLES, PRINCE OF WALES
We’re going right down the line of succession here. Prince Charles is the ex-husband of the late (and beloved) Princess Diana. The couple split after news of Charles’ affair to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. As the eldest son, he is first in line for the throne after the Queen steps down or dies. He has two children, William and Harry.
WILLIAM, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE
William is in line after Charles, as his oldest son. Do you see a pattern here? William is married to the incredibly fabulous Kate Middleton, and they have three children together, George, Charlotte, and Louis. Like his parents and grandparents, his job is to serve as something in between a diplomat and politician. The bulk of these duties involve charity work.
GEORGE, PRINCE OF CAMBRIDGE
Are you surprised to see William and Kate’s four year old son as next in line for the throne? Why is it not William’s brother, Harry? Well, rules of succession to the British throne put the first-born son and all of his offspring ahead of any younger siblings. So, not only is Prince George third in line for the throne, but he is followed by his siblings Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
HARRY, PRINCE OF WALES
This succession leaves Prince Harry at…6th in line for the throne. We know he is doing his best not to be bitter, as he fills his time with activities that are not preparing to be
King. He is an active athlete and sports fan, playing anything from traditional polo to competitive motocross. Harry was an active member of the military from 2010-2015, and he devotes the rest of his time to participating in different charity events.
ANNE, PRINCESS ROYAL
What’s worse than being 6th in line for the throne? Being 13th in line for the throne, and having your nieces and nephews beat you out for a single digit spot. Not only did the whole “eldest sibling thing” take down Anne’s chances of becoming Queen, but also the rule that all male children will jump ahead of female children in the line of succession. This rule, however, will not impact Princess Charlotte as it was amended in 2010.
Despite their popularity and importance in British culture, the Royal family doesn’t do much of political importance. The Parliament are the ones that make laws and control most of the government. It’s easier to think of the Royal family as one big charity team that has a deep rooted tradition in British society. In short, if you took away the Royal family, the political structure of Britain would be intact but the public would be a mourning, outraged mess. Now the next time the British monarchs come up in American news, as they most certainly will, you’ll have the lowdown on every Prince, Princess and Duke.