Prince Harry Could Become King If 1 Tragic Event Happened, Royal Expert Explains

Royal followers are well aware that Prince Harry stepped back from royal duties in early 2020 to forge a new path for his life. However, he didn’t actually “quit” the royal family. Instead, the Duke of Sussex is still an important part of the line of succession, which could become relevant in the not-so-distant future.

Snarky British citizens used to call Harry the “spare heir” because he’s the second son and unlikely to see the throne. But it could happen if there’s one specific yet possible tragedy.

Prince Harry is sixth in the line of succession

Prince Harry
Prince Harry | Samir Hussein/WireImage

Queen Elizabeth currently sits on the throne. Next up Prince Charles will become king after waiting a record 72 years as heir apparent. Modern royal fans can’t help but wish his eldest son Prince William will become king before Charles because he’s younger and more popular with the public. However, from a family steeped in tradition, that’s very unlikely to happen. Prince William is currently third in line.

Harry used to be fourth behind his brother until the Duke of Cambridge started having children. One by one they started edging him down the line. Now behind Prince William, there are three people: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis respectively.

This leaves Harry sixth in line, except for one intriguing loophole.

If Prince William dies with young kids, Prince Harry becomes king

The Cambridge family
Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis | Aaron Chown – WPA Pool/Getty Images

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British royals have a reputation for living a long time. Queen Elizabeth is turning 95 in April 2021. However, once Prince William does become king, there’s no guarantee he’ll last into his golden years. And if he dies before Prince George turns 18 then Prince Harry will need to step in.

It’s all thanks to the 1937 Regency Act, Express reported. Royal expert Iain MacMarthanne explained that the next person in line would stand in as Regent if the reigning monarch died while the heir apparent was a child. Then the rightful ruler would assume the throne once they came of age.

“The 1937 Act determined that the Regent would be the person next in line who had attained their majority,” MacMarthanne explained. “Therefore, in the event of Prince William having become king, and dying before Prince George had reached his majority, and there having been no further provisions passed by Parliament … given present circumstances, whereby Prince Harry, as next in line who had attained a majority, would become Regent.”

Prince Harry doesn’t want to be king

Prince William and Prince Harry
Prince William and Prince Harry | Toby Melville – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Even before he escaped to California to live an alternate life far from royal pressures, Prince Harry expressed disdain for the role. In a 2017 interview, the Duke of Sussex insisted that no one really wants to be king or queen.

“We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people,” he told Newsweek. “Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time.”

His sense of duty would likely encourage Prince Harry to step up if his older brother tragically died before George turned 18. But we all hope that hypothetical never really happens.