How Will Prince Harry & Meghan Markle’s Resignation Affect the Line of Succession?

Earlier today, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced that they’re stepping down as “senior” members of the royal family. So, what does it mean for the British line of succession?

Unfortunately, we’re not entirely sure, since it’s rare for royals to resign of their own accord. However, if the rumors are true, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision will likely affect the lineup in years to come. Here’s what you need to know.

prince harry meghan markle surprised
Geoff Pugh/WPA Pool/Getty Images

1. How Will It Affect The Line Of Succession?

It’s hard to tell, since they’re not totally abandoning all royal responsibilities. Since Prince Harry won’t be considered an active member of the family, it’s possible he could get bumped down in the line of succession, even though he is the second-born son of Prince Charles. (He’s currently sixth in line.)

Then, if a new member joined the family, that person would precede Prince Harry, since he’d no longer have priority to the throne. If that happens, then Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor would also be in jeopardy of losing his rank.

But don’t expect for anything to happen anytime soon. According to Myka Meier, royals expert and author of Modern Etiquette Made Easy, the lineup should remain as is…for now.

prince harry meghan markle line of succession
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

2. Will Prince Harry Be Removed From The Line Of Succession Entirely?

We’d be shocked if the Sussexes were excluded from the line of succession, especially since they’re still planning on serving Queen Elizabeth and the Commonwealth. While they could very much be bumped down, it would be unprecedented for them to be removed entirely. The monarch rarely banishes someone from the lineup, even in extremely controversial cases like Prince Andrew.

prince harry meghan markle waving at wedding
Steve Parsons/WPA Pool/Getty Images

3. Will It Change…anything?

Not really. According Kaitlin Menza, co-host of the Royally Obsessed podcast, the announcement will have a bigger impact on Prince Harry’s personal life, versus the line of succession.

“The stepping back is more of symbolic change, as Harry and Meghan are immensely popular around the world,” Menza exclusively told PureWow. “At the end of the day, Harry is the sibling of a future king, and thus no more ‘important’ than, say, Princess Margaret or Prince Edward. Yes, we know those people as characters, but we don’t—or didn’t—see them every day and track their daily moves. I imagine Harry’s life might be more like theirs, or even quieter.”

One thing’s for sure: That crown isn’t looking too likely for little Archie…


Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...