The Line of Succession

The succession to the British throne is governed by the Act of Settlement, which defines the succession in the Protestant heirs of Sophia, Electress of Hanover. Roman Catholics, or those married to Catholics are excluded by the act from inheriting the throne.


New legislation in 2013 will end the centuries old system of male primogeniture, meaning male heirs will no longer take precedence over women in line to the throne. The bill will also end the ban on anyone in the line of succession marrying a Roman Catholic.

Alternative lines of Succesion

The Jacobite Succession

Michael Abney-Hastings