Prince William is now heir to the throne of the United Kingdom after Prince Charles’s accession following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The 40-year-old Duke of Cambridge is expected to become the new Prince of Wales, with his wife Kate Middleton taking on the new title of the Princess of Wales.
William is the oldest royals among the top eight in line, and is followed by his three children Prince George, nine, Princess Charlotte, seven, and Prince Louis, four.
Following the Cambridges are Prince Harry, his children Archie and Lilibet, and then Prince Andrew and his two daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York.
William has become a hugely popular member of the Royal Family in recent years, with his wedding to Kate in April 2011 watched by an estimated two billion people.
The couple’s down-to-earth nature and regular foreign trips have helped them engage with global communities, including one in Pakistan in October 2019.
William has also become more involved in royal matters, with a notable intervention after Prince Andrew’s interview about his friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
He is said to have spoken to the Queen and Prince Charles about Andrew’s future following the disastrous interview and recommended his removal from public life.
The new heir was also said to have described his uncle as a ‘threat’ to the royal family and ‘closed the door’ on his return to public life.
Charles is now effectively king, although he is expected to be officially proclaimed as the monarch at an Accession Council meeting at St James’s Palace in London.
Since the Prince of Wales title isn’t Charles’s per se, but rather given to the heir apparent, he will vacate it the moment he ascends to the throne.
However, there is no automatic succession to the Prince of Wales title – the heir apparent has to be created Prince of Wales by the monarch.
The title is only ‘merged in the crown’ and renewed at the Sovereign’s pleasure – which is why Charles became the 21st Prince of Wales not on the day of his birth, but rather aged nine in 1958.
He was only ‘invested’ – in the ceremony acknowledging the creation of a new Prince of Wales – 11 years later in 1969.
Technically, Charles’s wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles, has been the Princess of Wales until now, but she has used the feminine equivalent of Charles’s Duke of Cornwall title, the Duchess of Cornwall.
The Duchess of Cornwall is thought to not use the Princess of Wales title out of respect for Charles’s ex-wife Princess Diana, who died in Paris in August 1997.
Camilla will now become Queen Consort after the Queen gave this approval.
Following the Queen’s death, Charles also becomes head of the Commonwealth – and it has been claimed Harry will take a more active role in this.
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex is now 13th in line ahead of his two children with Sophie – James, Viscount Severn, 14, and Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, 15.
Edward’s family is followed by Princess Anne, Princess Royal in 16th place – and her son Peter Phillips, along with his daughters Savannah and Isla Phillips.
Following behind Mr Phillips is Zara Tindall in 20th and her two children with former rugby player Mike Tindall – Mia, Lena and Lucas Tindall.