Britain's royal family: Fourth in line for the Game of Thrones

  • AFP, London
  • Updated: Apr 22, 2015 11:21 IST

Prince William's second child, due later this month, will be born fourth in line to the British throne, which can prove a tricky place to be.

Whoever is fourth in the line of succession bears the burdens of being close to the throne, but without a specific individual role to fulfil.

The position of fourth in line has changed hands since the last person to be born thus -- prince William of Gloucester, who died in a plane accident and after
whomeorge VI, who was born in the position in 1895 behind his grandfather and future king Edward VII, his father George V, and brother Edward VIII.

Births, deaths and Edward VIII's abdication in 1936 have nudged senior royals up and down the list.

Queen Elizabeth's late sister princess Margaret and their uncle prince Henry had repeated turns in the position.

Through twists of fortune, some stay high in the royal ranks, while others slide ever further down the order.

"It's very unlikely that this new baby will reign," said Robert Jobson, a royal commentator.

The latest fourth in lines have included:

Prince William of Gloucester, fourth in line to the throne between 1941 and 1948

A grandson of George V, he was the last person born fourth in line to the throne. His father was Henry, Duke of Gloucester, the younger brother of kings Edward VIII and George VI, Queen Elizabeth's father. Elizabeth, her sister Margaret, and Henry were directly ahead of William. A licenced pilot, he was killed in a plane crash in 1972, aged 30. The current Prince William, born 10 years later, is named after him.

Prince Henry, 1948-1950

The birth of Elizabeth's first child Prince Charles in 1948 pushed Henry back down into fourth place. King George V's third son finished a two-year term as governor-general of Australia the year before.

Princess Margaret, 1950-1952

The birth of Elizabeth's second child Princess Anne in 1950 meant Margaret moved back down to fourth, the position she was born in in 1930.

Prince Henry, 1952-1960

The death of his brother George VI and the accession of George's daughter Elizabeth meant Henry moved back up to fourth again.

Princess Margaret, 1960-1964

The arrival of Queen Elizabeth's second son Prince Andrew, who overtook his sister Anne in second place as male offspring took precedence, meant Margaret slid back to fourth once more. She died 11th in line in 2002.

Princess Anne, 1964-1982

The birth of Queen Elizabeth's third son Prince Edward meant Anne moved down to fourth in line. The new succession laws, which came into force last month, mean that younger brothers born since October 28, 2011 no longer overtake their older sisters. The new baby will make Anne 12th in line.

Prince Edward, 1982-1984

Charles's son Prince William was born second in line to the throne, meaning Edward dropped to fourth place.

Prince Andrew, 1984-2013

Two years later, Charles's second son Prince Harry was born third in line, pushing Andrew back into fourth slot for nearly three decades, the longest spell anyone has had at fourth in well over a century.

Prince Harry, 2013-2015

Only children born to those ahead of Harry could move him further down the line, and William's first child, Prince George of Cambridge, was born third in line behind Charles and then William, meaning he should one day inherit the throne as the eldest child of the eldest child of the eldest child of the sovereign.

Baby Cambridge, 2015-

The new baby will be born fourth in line. After William married Kate in 2011, new royal succession laws, ending male primogeniture, were hurridly agreed by prime ministers from the 16 Commonwealth realms, including Britain, Australia and Canada, to avoid the potential scenario of a male second child overtaking a female first-born in the line of succession and keeping her from one day inheriting the throne. However, the situation was averted by William's first-born being a boy. William was named.

The last person to inherit the throne after being fourth in line was Queen Elizabeth II's father, George VI.

also read

Rupee up 9 paise at 63.85 against dollar
Show comments