What Age Can Prince George Become King? How The Royal Family Succession Rules Work

As third in line to the British throne, Prince George is likely to become king one day. That said, his predecessors (Prince Charles and Prince William) are much older than him and he has quite a few years before reaching adulthood. All of which makes us wonder: At what age can Prince George become king? And, — assuming Prince George isn’t an adult yet — if Charles and William died, who would be king? We answer all your burning questions about the royal family succession rules, ahead.

Prince George
Prince George is third in line to the British throne. | Andrew Milligan – Pool/Getty Images

What age can Prince George become king?

At five-years-old, Prince George has a ways away before his 18th birthday. And while he will likely reach adulthood before ascending the throne, there’s a chance the young prince could face his most important life (and royal) role much sooner than expected.

What age can Prince George become king? According to the royal family Regency Acts 1937 and 1953, he can become king at any age. However, that doesn’t mean a five-year-old can technically run the monarchy. In the event that Prince Charles and Prince William died, Prince George would become monarch. However, a regent will take his place until his 18th birthday — which also acts as his date of accession.

If Charles and William died, who would be king?

According to the Regency Acts, a regent oversees all royal functions on behalf of the king or queen. So while Prince George would technically be the monarch, his placeholder would make all decisions until he reaches majority. So, who would be Prince George’s regent? The law says the next person in the line of succession who is over the age of 21. And since Prince George has two younger siblings, the first eligible person would be Prince Harry, who is right after Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis in the line of succession. Right now, Prince Harry is sixth in line to the throne. But, if Prince Charles and Prince William died, he would be third in line to the throne.

Will Prince Harry ever become king?

Prince Harry might not want to be king, but according to the rules of succession, it’s a possibility. That said, his chances are very slim and he is likely to become regent over the king. As a regent, Prince Harry will get to do a lot of king-like things, only every decision would be on behalf of his nephew, George.

The Regency Acts might change again once Prince William is king

If Prince George is under the age of 18 at the time of Prince William’s ascension, Prince William will likely change the Regency Acts — just like his grandmother and great-grandfather did. When King George VI became monarch, the then Princess Elizabeth was under the age of 18. So, he made some changes to the law to accommodate her age (and other legalities). And, once Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II, she also made some changes, as her son, Prince Charles, was underage.

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!