Could there be a Queen Meghan?

Suppose one night William, Prince of Wales and his wife and kids get some bad romaine lettuce in their Caesar salad and everyone keels over dead. It could happen.

That places the new Duke of Sussex, aka Henry, aka Prince Harry, aka Mr. Meghan Markle, third in line for the throne, after his grandmother, Elizabeth II, and his father, who presumably will be Charles III. Voila, Harry eventually becomes King Henry IX, unless he picks a different regnal name.

So if that happens, will Meghan Markle be properly Queen Meghan? My understanding is that Camilla will remain the Duchess of Cambridge, not Queen Camilla, when her husband becomes King; is Markle in the same boat, stuck at Duchess of Sussex no matter what?

Meghan has no history of being compared to St Diana, so no, she’ll be Queen.

I thought you had to be English to be Queen (Consort) (or King (Consort)). That’s why Prince Philip wasn’t called the King Consort, or King Philip.

Some Royal Facts

You may need to draw a diagram. :confused:

The title of Princess Consort has been mooted for Camilla when Charles becomes King. As AK84 says, Meghan has none of the Diana baggage, so in the unlikely event I can’t see too many objections to her becoming Queen Meghan.

In general, a queen-married-to-a-king, is very, very different than a queen regnant (in her own right). George the Fifth’s wife, Queen Mary, and her daughter-in-law, Queen Elizabeth (aka the Queen Mum) occupy a much smaller place than does Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.

Also, Charles has stated that if and when he succeeds to the throne, he will reign as George VII.

Nothing to do with nationality*. He wouldn’t be called King because he’s not the monarch (and the last time anyone tried to make a reigning Queen’s husband into a King, it did not end well - and that was a King Philip too). Why they decided not to reinvent the Prince Consort title, I don’t know, but at least this way he’s never confused with Albert.

*See every foreign-born Queen consort back from Alexandra to mediaeval times.

Philip isn’t the King because husbands of ruling Queens are not called King in the UK. The only exception to this was Philip of Spain who was married to Mary I (and that ended badly), and William III, who was married to Mary II, but was second in line for the throne anyway (behind Mary’s sister Anne), and he was allowed to keep the throne after Mary’s death, and Anne succeeded him when he died.

King George V’s wife, Queen Mary, was German.
Edward VII’s wife, Queen Alexandra, was Danish.
William IV’s wife, Queen Adelaide, was German.


Nitpick, but given that the queen isn’t “in line” for the throne, wouldn’t Harry be second in line?

This comes up fairly often, and I’ve stated the same myself on occasion, but this all seems to boil down to newspaper speculation. Charles himself is very unlikely to have stated anything publicly, it being somewhat crass to anticipate your own mother’s death.

It does seem petty not to let her be Queen Camilla.

Clarence House, the Prince of Wales’s official residence and administrative offices, recently removed from its website the phrasing that Camilla will be known as Princess Consort upon Charles’s accession to the throne.


Tbh, I think she’ll end up being known as Queen Camilla. Perhaps not formally, but in common usage. The public tend to stick on a name, whether technically 100% accurate or not eg the Queen Mum, Princess Di etc.

The King or Queen is the head of the Church. Prince Charles will become King by right of birth, and this can not be taken away from him. But his extra-marital relationship with Camilla directly resulted in the end of both their marriages.

The church, therefore, takes a very sour view of their current marriage. It is naught to do with her “being compared” to Diana, and a great deal to do with her having screwed around with someone else’s husband rather than her own.

While the Church of England lately takes a kinder view of those who were not at fault in the end of their own marriages, they are still not condoning the act of cheating. And yes, it affects everything about Charles and Camilla’s marriage, which therefore occurred at the registrars office, although it was later “blessed” in a chapel.

And it affects the honors to be bestowed upon her as a result of that marriage.

I don’t mean to sound personally condemning here, I’m just passing on the church’s views.

I get that, but I also get that Charles plans to be Defender of Faith, not *The *Faith. The C of E’s views just may not matter very much when the time comes. I’m pretty sure he was far from solely responsible for his divorce from Diana, also.

No, he’s 6th. The rule is first born then all their first born descendants, recursively, until you get to the end of the branch, then go back up one generation to next born. So Charles, then Charles eldest descendant William, then William’s eldest descendant George. George has no descendants, so then its William’s next descendant Charlotte, who has no descendants, then William’s next descendant Louis. Louis has no descendants, and we’ve exhausted William’s descendants, so now it goes up a level back to Charles next descendant, Harry. Harry has no descendants, so after him it would go to Elizabeth’s next born Andrew, and his kids, etc. etc.

Also note that if someone in line predeceases the monarch, their descendants aren’t removed from the line of succession. So if William dies tomorrow, then George becomes 2nd in line, Harry 5th, etc.

The Byzantine Empire’s inheritance rules were pretty bizarre. You couldn’t inherit the throne unless you were born AFTER your parent held the throne. Your older siblings were ineligible, unless there were no younger siblings born after the coronation.

Is that why a new Byzantine emperor’s first task was to have all of his siblings strangled?

In the real world, yes, he’s sixth in line. I was responding to a hypothetical scenario, set out in the OP, in which William and his family succumb to food-borne illness. Unless they remain in line but in ghost form.

Monaco’s traditional rules were weird, too. (They revised the laws a few years ago. Now they use more conventional rules.)
The throne had to pass from ancestor to descendant. (Usually father to son, sometimes grandfather to grandson.)
Once a new Prince inherited, only his descendants could inherit. All of the collateral branches ceased to be eligible.
Bastards were not eligible to inherit, but if the parents married, the child was retroactively legitimated.
Almost uniquely in Europe, adoptive children were eligible to inherit. A couple of Princes with no legitimate heirs used this rule to adopt an illegitimate descendant.

That was the Turkish Sultan, not the Byzantine Emperor. Under Ottoman law, all sons had equal inheritance rights. A new Sultan had to eliminate his brothers in order to avoid a civil war.