Factbox: Britain's royal line of succession

Fri Jun 1, 2012 3:26am EDT
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-- The succession to the throne is regulated not only through descent, but also by parliamentary statute. The order of succession is the sequence of members of the royal family in the order in which they stand in line to the throne.

-- The basis for the succession was determined in constitutional developments which culminated in the Bill of Rights (1689) and the Act of Settlement (1701).

-- Parliament, under the Bill of Rights and the Act of Settlement, also laid down various conditions which the Sovereign must meet.

-- A Roman Catholic is specifically excluded from succession to the throne; nor may the sovereign marry a Roman Catholic - royal family members who marry a Catholic must give up their right to the throne.

-- The sovereign must, in addition, be in communion with the Church of England and must swear to preserve the established Church of England and the established Church of Scotland. The sovereign must also promise to uphold the Protestant succession.


-- The queen decides which members of her family are accorded the status of members of the royal family and also, from time to time, approves their precedence in the line of succession.

-- The queen determines both separate precedence (for ladies and gentlemen) and also joint precedence.   Continued...