The death of Queen Elizabeth II puts her eldest son, now King Charles III, on the throne. He became king because he was first in the royal line of succession, a snaking lineage that weaves through the generations of this thousand-year-old institution’s family tree.
Prince William now replaces Charles as heir to the throne, followed by his three children. Indeed, children comprise more than half of the top two dozen in the line of succession.
The rules for succession are varied and sometimes strict. According to the Royal Family’s website (temporarily taken down in the wake of the queen’s death), no Roman Catholic can take the throne. Until recently, those who married Roman Catholics were also disqualified.
From top-tier royals such as William and his eldest son, Prince George, to lesser known family members, like, Lucas Tindall (23rd in line to the throne), here’s how the line of succession plays out now: