On 14 February, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle revealed they were to become parents again as they released an image showing Meghan’s baby bump.
In the black and white portrait of the couple, taken in the backyard of their California home underneath a tree, they revealed they are expecting their second child and two-year-old son Archie was “going to be a big brother”.
The happy news came three months after Meghan revealed in a personal New York Times essay that she had suffered a miscarriage in July 2020.
During a tell-all interview with US television host Oprah Winfrey, they said their expectant baby is a girl who is due in the “summertime”.
With the Queen’s grandson Harry a royal by blood, his children are included in the line of succession to the throne, despite Harry and Meghan no longer being working members of the royal family.
What will the line of succession be?
When son Archie was born on 6 May 2019, he became seventh in line to the throne after his father, cousins, uncle and grandfather.
When Harry and Meghan’s daughter is born, she will become eighth in line to the throne after her brother. Her birth will move the Queen’s second son, Prince Andrew, down to ninth in the line of succession.
Above her, the line of succession will remain unchanged following her arrival.
What is the line of succession ahead of her?
The Queen’s first-born son Charles, who in 2017 became the longest-serving heir apparent, will remain first in line.
Second in line is Charles’ eldest son and Prince Harry’s older brother, The Duke of Cambridge.
Third, fourth and fifth in line to the throne are Prince William’s children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, respectively.
Prince Harry is sixth in the line of succession, with his son Archie in seventh and their expectant daughter eighth.
Legislation on succession and gender
Thanks to a legislative act that passed in 2013, girls born in the line of succession no longer have their position overtaken by any younger brothers born after them.
Before the legislation was enacted, the line of succession was partly determined by gender. That meant royals such as the Queen’s daughter Princess Anne were leap-frogged by their younger male siblings in the line of succession.
It states: “In determining the succession to the Crown, the gender of a person born after 28 October 2011 does not give that person, or that person’s descendants, precedence over any other person (whenever born).”
In 2018, Princess Charlotte made history when she retained her position in the line of succession despite the birth of her younger brother, Prince Louis.
If Meghan and Harry were to have a son in the future, their daughter’s position in the line of succession would not be undermined.