Prince Harry's Path to Becoming King Isn't Straightforward, but It's Possible


Feb. 7 2024, Updated 11:01 a.m. ET

Prince Harry speaking during Project Healthy Minds' World Mental Health Day Festival 2023 on Oct. 10, 2023

Although Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle haven't been nearly as public lately as they were at the height of their separation from the Royal family, he's still a member of the family. As a result, he will always be the subject of some level of scrutiny. Right now, though, the focus is squarely on Harry's father, King Charles III, who was recently diagnosed with cancer.

Article continues below advertisement

Following the news that Charles's health may be in jeopardy, some people naturally wondered what the line of succession for the throne would look like, and whether it's still possible for Harry to be the king. Here's what we know about whether Harry could still wind up on the throne.

King Charles at his coronation wearing his crown.
Source: Getty Images
Article continues below advertisement

Can Prince Harry be king?

Given how publicly critical he has been of certain parts of the Royal family, it may be surprising to learn that it's still technically possible for Harry to become the King of England.

Although he abandoned the world of royal protocols when he moved to the U.S., and publicly denounced the press and certain members of his family because of the way they treated his wife, he could still become king and is currently fifth in line to the throne.

Harry's position in the line of succession is a birthright, and it can't be taken away from him except through an act of parliament. For him to become the monarch, though, many things would have to happen. Prince William, Harry's older brother, is currently first in the line of succession and is expected to become king upon his father's death.

Article continues below advertisement

For Harry to become king, William would have to die, as would his children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, who are second, third, and fourth in the line of succession, respectively. After Harry in the line of succession is his son, Prince Archie, and then his daughter, Princess Lillibet. So yes, Harry could become king, but it would only happen after some sort of remarkable tragedy.

Article continues below advertisement

What happens if Prince William abdicates?

It seems exceedingly unlikely that William would abdicate if he ascends to the throne (he has been preparing to take the job since birth), but if he did, and Prince George was not yet 18, then it's possible that Harry could be called upon to serve as King Regent until George turned 18. In that event, though, Harry would just be a temporary steward of the throne until his nephew was ready to become the actual king.

In that circumstance, it's also not clear that Harry would be the person to be called on to act as Regent because other senior royals could take on the role.

Even if Harry was called to serve as King or King Regent, it seems distinctly possible that he would choose to abdicate for the sake of his own family and mental health. He clearly doesn't enjoy the scrutiny that comes with being a royal, and that scrutiny would only increase if he ever became king.

More from Distractify

Latest The British Royal Family News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 Distractify. Distractify is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.