There will soon be only five kings left,” said Egypt’s embittered King Farouk when he was forced from the throne in 1952. “The kings of England, Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts and Spades.” Actually, seven European kingdoms are still hanging in. But none is sprier than Britain’s, thanks to a succession formula that is appropriately rigid and yet charmingly funky. Here you will find, for example, a deejay, a farmer, a phone salesman, a midwife.
Under rules codified in the 18th century, rightful candidates move up inexorably except for two disqualifies: They cannot be Catholic (or marry into that faith) or be born out of wedlock. Unlike some European monarchies, which abide by the centuries-old Salic law—the exclusion of women from succession—the Court of St. James’s owes its vitality in great part to females. Victoria and the current Queen, for instance, are two of history’s longest-reigning sovereigns. This is not to say that Britain’s accession rules are totally nonsexist. A monarch is succeeded by his or her eldest son, then by that son’s sons in descending order of age, and only then by that son’s daughters. The line starts again with the monarch’s next youngest son, and so on, ending with the sovereign’s daughters and their children. After the children are accounted for, the sovereign’s brothers come next, followed finally by sisters. From there, the line marches through uncles, aunts and full courts of cousins. Herewith, the royal bullpen:
1. HRH THE PRINCE OF WALES, 41.
2. HRH PRINCE WILLIAM, 8.
3. HRH PRINCE HENRY, 6.
4. HRH THE DUKE OF YORK, 30.
5. HRH PRINCESS BEATRICE, 2.
6. HRH PRINCESS EUGENIE, 6 mos.
7. HRH PRINCE EDWARD, 26.
8. HRH PRINCESS ANNE, 40.
9. PETER PHILLIPS, 12.
Anne’s son is the highest-ranking commoner.
10. ZARA PHILLIPS, 9.
Horse-crazy, like her mom.
11. HRH PRINCESS MARGARET, 60.
The highest-ranking divorcée, for now.
12. VISCOUNT LINLEY, 28.
13. LADY SARAH ARMSTRONG-JONES, 26.
Persistently linked with actor Daniel (Little Dorrit) Chatto.
14. HRH THE DUKE OF GLOUCESTER, 46.
An ardent patron of ASH (Action on Smoking and Health).
15. THE EARL OF ULSTER, 15.
Will inherit Barnwell, Gloucester’s splendid 16th-century manor house.
16. LADY DAVINA WINDSOR, 12.
A victim of primogeniture; her brother gets the works unless Dad makes special provision.
17. LADY ROSE WINDSOR, 10.
18. HRH THE DUKE OF KENT, 55.
A cousin to both the Queen and Prince Philip, he is well-known to Wimbledon fans for his center-court trophy presentations.
19. LORD DOWNPATRICK, 22 mos.
Moved up in the succession because his father wed a Roman Catholic (see crown 19).
20. LORD NICHOLAS WINDSOR, 20.
An Oxford student once arrested for pot possession. Let off with a warning.
21. LADY HELEN WINDSOR, 26.
22. LORD FREDERICK WINDSOR, II.
Moved up the list because his father, Prince Michael, married a Catholic.
23. LADY GABRIELLA WINDSOR, 9.
24. HRH PRINCESS ALEXANDRA, 53.
Stands in (at 6 ft.) for the Queen at foreign royal weddings.
25. JAMES OGILVY, 26.
Alexandra’s son; a London investment banker.
26. MARINA OGILVY, 24.
A Royal Pain (see Story, p. 95).
27. ZENOUSKA MOWATT, 5 mos. Marina’s daughter.
28. THE EARL OF HAREWOOD, 67.
Twice-married chairman of English National Opera.
29. VISCOUNT LASCELLES, 39.
The Earl’s son sired two children out of wedlock before marrying their mother.
30. THE HON. ALEXANDER LASCELLES, 10.
31. THE HON. EDWARD LASCELLES, 7.
32. THE HON. JAMES LASCELLES, 37.
33. ROWAN LASCELLES, 12.
34. TEWA LASCELLES, 5.
35. SOPHIE LASCELLES, 17.
36. THE HON. JEREMY LASCELLES, 35.
A Virgin Records executive who downplays his golden-oldie royal connection.
37. THOMAS LASCELLES, 8.
38. ELLEN LASCELLES, 6.
39. AMY LASCELLES, 4.
40. THE HON. GERALD LASCELLES, 66.
President of the British Racing Drivers’ Club and a respected jazz critic.
41. HENRY LASCELLES, 37.
An American Express manager in London.
42. HG THE DUKE OF FIFE, 61.
A Scottish gentleman farmer, His Grace was formerly married to Caroline Dewar (of the Scotch whisky family).
43. THE EARL OF MACDUFF, 29.
A London stockbroker.
44. THE HON. CHARLES CARNEGIE, 15 mos.
45. LADY ALEXANDRA CARNEGIE, 31.
An ex-nursery school teacher.
46. HM KING OLAV V OF NORWAY, 87.
47. HRH CROWN PRINCE HARALD OF NORWAY, 53.
When he married a commoner, it nearly caused a constitutional crisis.
48. HRH PRINCE HAAKON MAGNUS OF NORWAY, 17.
A high school student into acting and wind surfing.
49. HRH PRINCESS MÄRTHA LOUISE OF NORWAY, 19.
An ex-boyfriend splashed the story of their romance over the Norwegian newspapers.
50. HRH PRINCESS RAGNHILD, 60.
The first princess of any reigning European house in modem times to marry a commoner.
51. RAGNHILD ALEXANDRA LORENTZEN, 22.
Her brothers lost their places in line when they married Catholics.
52. PRINCESS ASTRID, MRS. FERNER, 58.
Became Norway’s unofficial First Lady after the death of her mother, the Crown Princess.
53. ALEXANDER FERNER, 25.
Sells mobile telephones in Norway.
54. CARL-CHRISTIAN FERNER, 17.
55. CATHRINE FERNER, 28.
Trained in haute couture.
56. CATHRlNE’S SON, 5 mos.
The boy has not yet been named.
57. BENEDIKTE FERNER, 27.
Runs an Oslo shoe boutique.
58. ELISABETH FERNER, 21.
Last descendant of Edward VII in line of succession.
59. HRH PRINCESS MARGARITAOF ROMANIA, 41.
60. HRH PRINCESS HELEN OF ROMANIA, 39.
Has helped Ethiopian refugees in the Sudan.
61. NICHOLAS MEDFORTH-MILLS, 5.
Firstborn of Helen and her professor husband.
62. ELISABETTA MEDFORTH-MILLS, 1.
63. HRH PRINCESS IRINAOF ROMANIA, 37.
Lives with her husband, John Kreuger, in Oregon, where they raise horses.
64. MICHAEL KREUGER, 5.
65. ANGELICA KREUGER, 3.
66. HRH PRINCESS SOPHIE OF ROMANIA, 32.
A free-lance artist born in Athens.
67. HRH PRINCESS MARIA OF ROMANIA, 26.
Studied to be a nursery school teacher.
68. HRH PRINCE PETER OF YUGOSLAVIA, 10.
Father married a Catholic and is ineligible, but his children were baptized in the Eastern Orthodox faith, which is okay.
69. HRH PRINCE PHILIP OF YUGOSLAVIA, 8.
70. HRH PRINCE ALEXANDER OF YUGOSLAVIA, 8.
71. HRH PRINCE TOMISLAV OF YUGOSLAVIA, 62.
Brother of the late King Peter II.
72. NICK K. GEORGE, 32.
73. GEORGE K. GEORGE, 6.
74. MICHAEL K. GEORGE, 4.
75. KATARINA K. GEORGE, 30.
Married to Desmond Silva, a senior British barrister.
76. CHRISTOPHER K. GEORGE, 30.
Former British Army officer.
77. VLADIMIR K. GEORGE, 26.
Former London tourism worker; saxophonist.
78. DIMITRI K. GEORGE, 25.
Studying computer science in London.
79. MARIA TATIANA K. GEORGE, 33.
80. HIH GRAND DUKE VLADIMIR OF RUSSIA, 73.
(HIH stands for His Imperial Highness.)
81. HIH GRAND DUCHESS MARIA OF RUSSIA, 37.
Russian monarchists were dismayed when a woman, Vladimir’s daughter, was named his successor.
82. HRH PRINCE GEORG OF RUSSIA, 9.
83. HSH PRINCE EMICH OF LEININGEN, 63.
(His Serene Highness.)
84. HSH PRINCE KARL-EMICH OF LEININGEN, 38.
Resides in Leiningen Palace, where Queen Victoria’s mother installed one of Germany’s first water closets.
85. HSH PRINCESS CÄCILIA OF LEININGEN, 2.
86. HSH PRINCE ANDREAS OF LEININGEN, 34.
Owns a Frankfurt auto dealership.
87. HSH PRINCE FERDINAND OF LEININGEN, 8.
88. HSH PRINCE HERMANN OF LEININGEN, 7.
89. HSH PRINCESS OLGA OF LEININGEN, 4.
90. HSH PRINCESS MELITA OF LEININGEN, 32.
91. HSH PRINCESS STEPHANIE OF LEININGEN, 32.
Midwife in a Frankfurt clinic.
92. HSH PRINCE KARL VLADIMIR OF LEININGEN, 62.
Runs a horse farm in Israel.
93. HSH PRINCE KARL BORIS OF LEININGEN, 30.
Married a Bulgarian; lives in Philadelphia.
94. HSH PRINCE HERMANN FRIEDRICH OF LEININGEN, 37.
A Toronto finance worker.
95. HSH PRINCE FRIEDRICH OF LEININGEN, 52.
Breeds basset hounds.
96. HSH PRINCESS KIRA-MELITA OF YUGOSLAVIA, 60.
97. HSH PRINCESS MECHTILDE, FRAU BAUSCHER, 54.
98. ULF BAUSCHER, 27.
99. BERTHOLD BAUSCHER, 24.
100. JOHANN BAUSCHER, 19.
A dynasty The Windsors are related to all of Europe’s royal families, including Albania’s.
40: The Earl of Harewood’s three oldest sons join the list (29,32,36) but not the youngest, Mark Lascelles; he was born out of wedlock and, though now legitimate, loses out to Uncle Gerald.