Is Prince William Heir Apparent?

It’s no secret that Prince William holds an important role in the royal family. That said, he is not the most important person in the monarchy — at least, not yet, anyway. Is Prince William heir apparent? Find out where he is in the British line of succession, plus how that will change in the future, ahead.

Prince William
Prince William | Daniel Leal-Olivas – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Is Prince William heir apparent?

Right now, Prince William is not heir apparent. However, that will change in the near future. As soon as Queen Elizabeth passes away and Prince Charles ascends the throne, Prince William will become next in line to the throne, aka Prince Charles’s heir apparent.

In the British royal family, heir apparent refers to the person next in the line of succession. This is often the monarch’s eldest child (case in point: Prince Charles is Queen Elizabeth’s eldest child and heir apparent). However, if a monarch doesn’t have children it would be a sibling or even an uncle, aunt, or cousin.

What’s so special about being heir apparent? For one thing, it means you are the next monarch. But, also, some very important royal titles are involved. Male heir apparents are qualified for both the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall titles which are two of the most prominent royal titles. Additionally, the heir apparent is the monarch’s righthand person, working closely on both philanthropic and official manners like hosting State Banquets and knighting civilians for their positive impact on and contributions to society.

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“Child Bereavement UK is a truly remarkable organisation. With great sympathy and sensitivity, you have spent the last 25 years working with children, young people and families to help them navigate the difficult path of grief. By providing professionals and people across the UK with the tools and guidance they need to support friends, family and colleagues who are bereaved, you are helping to create a support network aimed at providing comfort to those in the most painful situations. And you shine a beacon of light in the darkness as families learn to live with their loss, and find hope – and laughter – again.” The Duke of Cambridge, Royal Patron of Child Bereavement UK since 2009, attended the charity’s 25th Birthday Gala Dinner in honour of its work since 1994. At this evening’s dinner he met Ian and Jo Browell, who were supported by Child Bereavement UK when their daughter Lizzy died suddenly aged just 8 years old. Ian and Jo credit the charity with helping them rebuild their lives after their bereavement and called the organisation an “absolute rock” for them and their other daughter, Jessica, now 16. At the launch of The King’s Cup in May, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met Sefofo and Eddie, who were supported by Child Bereavement UK when their baby brother Raphael died. The charity will be represented by one of the eight boats in the Regatta later this year, which will raise awareness and funds for eight of Their Royal Highnesses’ patronages. Child Bereavement UK supports families and educates professionals, both when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, and when a child is facing bereavement — follow @ChildBereavementUK to find out more about their vital work supporting bereaved families. PA/Kensington Palace @ChildBereavementUK #childbereavementuk #CBUK25

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As heir apparent, Prince Charles has worked closely with Queen Elizabeth to not only support Her Majesty but prepare for his future reign as monarch. Right now, both Prince Charles and Prince William are busy supporting the queen in some prominent royal duties and learn as much as they can from the family’s longest reigning monarch before Prince Charles ascends the throne and Prince William becomes the new heir apparent (along with Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall).

The British line of succession

In short, the British line of succession is based on birth order. So, as the oldest child of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles is the next in line to the throne. However, it has recently seen some changes which could change the future of the royal family’s monarch.

Prior to 2013, the line of succession favored male members of the family — meaning, should a monarch’s daughter have a younger brother, she would lose her place in line to the throne. However, in 2013, Queen Elizabeth changed the rules with the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013, which states that all female royals born after October 28, 2011, keep their place in the line of succession no matter the gender of their younger siblings. So far, Princess Charlotte is the first royal to benefit from this law change, as she was born fourth in line to the throne and that did not change when her younger brother, Prince Louis was born.


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