Can Meghan Markle Become Queen? Here's Where The Duchess Of Sussex Falls In Line
After months of anticipation, recently Meghan Markle officially joined the royal family. She and Prince Harry got married on May 19 at Windsor Castle before 1,900 of their nearest and dearest friends. After the ceremony, Markle received a new title, becoming the Duchess of Sussex. But you may be wondering, can Meghan Markle ever become Queen of England? There's about a million to one chance — but look, Donald Trump became president, so you really just never know. There are basically no rules anymore. (Except in the succession of the monarchy, where there are so many rules.)
First of all, you have to take a look at the line of succession to the throne. Strap in, because these British monarchy rules are old, extremely complicated, and make little to no sense to outsiders. Right now, according to Town and Country, Prince Harry is fifth in the line of royal succession. Queen Elizabeth sits on the throne, a position she has has held since 1952 when her father, King George IV, passed away. That's a long time to be Queen. After her, her son Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, will become the King. Then Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, will inherit the throne, making Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, become the Queen.
Then you would think next in line would be Prince Harry, the newly announced Duke of Sussex, but it's actually... tiny, sassy Prince George. The line follows the first born, if you need a simple way to think about it. So after William, the line goes George, Charlotte, and their new baby Louis, who was born on April 23. And then Prince Harry would be King, if and only if William and all his children did not take the crown for some reason, meaning there is only an infinitesimal chance that Markle would ever be Queen, though it is technically, theoretically possible. She is technically in the line of royal succession.
Since Middleton and Markle would be simply inheriting their husbands titles of King to become Queen, that raises another question: Why is Queen Elizabeth's husband titled Prince Philip? Good old sexism, apparently. It's basically the royal version of the debate of women taking their husbands' names. As explained in a slightly confusing guest post on Royal Central, here's why Prince Philip isn't King:
"Under English common law, a wife traditionally takes her husband’s name and rank upon marriage and as a title legally forms part of one’s name in most cases, titles within the Royal Family work in much the same way as if an untitled couple were to marry and the wife took her husband’s name as her own."
You would think the rules would be a little different when the rank and title you have is literally the "Queen of England," but apparently not, so Prince Philip he is.
Regardless of whether they ever actually become King and Queen, Prince Harry and Markle were given new titles after getting married. Similar to William and Middleton, they became Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as William and Kate are the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. So technically, also, Markle isn't a princess.
Markle might never have the title of Queen, but would she want to, anyway? Prince Harry doesn't even think so, so probably not. In an interview with Newsweek last year, he said, "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." Let's be honest, he would know that better than anyone else. Besides, being a duke and a duchess is not so bad at all.