The Duke of York will see his place handed over when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcome their first child any day now.
The arrival is due towards the end of this month, and when he or she arrives Prince Andrew will automatically lose his role.
Andrew, who has been the centre of recent rumours he and ex-wife Sarah Ferguson are back together, will drop down the pecking order in the line to the throne.
He is currently seventh in line, behind Harry in sixth, but when the baby is born he or she will take Andrew’s place.
This means the Duke of York will drop to eighth in line to the throne – a position currently held by his daughter Princess Beatrice.
And it won’t matter if the baby is a boy or girl as the male preference primogeniture was thrown out in changes to succession law in 2013.
Royal “spare” Andrew has seen himself kicked further and further down the line of succession following a flurry of royal babies in the last six years.
Prince William and Kate Middleton have had three children since 2013 – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
All three are now third, fourth and fifth in line to the throne respectively, meaning Andrew has dropped from fourth in line to the throne to soon-to-be eighth.
He was once even second in line, behind his heir brother Prince Charles – the next King – before the Prince of Wales and Princess Diana had two children, William and Harry.
Despite the royal baby being set to skip Andrew in the line of succession, he or she won’t automatically have a HRH title and become a Prince of Princess.
Instead, any child born while the Queen is on the throne will be known as Lord or Lady Mountbatten-Windsor.
This is due to a law from over 100 years ago which was instated by Harry’s great-great-grandfather King George V in 1917.
His Letters Patent stated: “The grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line (save the eldest living son of the eldest son of Prince of Wales) shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes of these Our Realms.”
However, the Queen can – like she did for William and Kate Middleton’s children – issue a new Letters Patent to bestow a HRH title on Meghan and Harry’s child.
- Meghan Markle
- Prince Harry
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