Prince Harry is only one who cares about line of succession, but that's because of Meghan, says royal expert

PRINCESS Eugenie’s new baby boy has already flexed his tiny muscles.

His birth has pushed his great Uncle Edward, the Queen's third son, down to number 12 in the line of succession to the throne.

When Prince Edward, 56, was born in March 1964, he became third in line ahead of big sister Anne. The sad thing about the line of succession for the royal family is that there is only one way – and that is down.

Imagine being baby Prince Andrew, born in February 1960, and being feted as second in line to the throne. He held that position for more than 20 years before he was knocked off his perch by the arrival, in 1982, of his brother Charles’s son Prince William.

Andrew, then aged 22, went to fight in the Falklands War and came home a hero, but he had lost his place in the hierarchy. No wonder Andrew can be arrogant. His formative years were spent being pandered to by all the royal staff who called him Andy Pandy and laughed at all his childish pranks.

He was cheeky and adorable and very naughty. He thought nothing of making those charged with looking after him feel uncomfortable. Life was a great big joke and he loved it. He was the favourite as he appeared to be everything his elder brother Charles was not.

Then along came Edward who was so beautiful as a baby the Queen thought it was unfair a boy child should have such long eyelashes. Edward was everything his elder brothers were not. He was an angelic child but his cherubic looks lasted about as long as his position in the hierarchy.

 He too, was eventually deposed by the arrival of Prince William. Genealogists calculate Prince William is destined to be the most British Monarch since James 1. He will become heir apparent to the throne on the accession of his father.

His son Prince George is now number 3, followed by his sister Charlotte at number 4 and Prince Louis at number 5. Girls are also now allowed to take precedence over their brothers, if they are born first.

Prince Andrew, who became Duke of York on his marriage, and his descendants take precedence over younger brother Edward, so do his children. That makes Princess Beatrice number 9, with younger sister Eugenie at 10 and her new baby boy at number 11 – pushing Edward the Earl of Wessex down a rung to 12, followed by his children at 13 and 14. 

Edward’s elder sister Anne, Princess Royal, who was after all, the Queen’s second child is now at 15, which seems a bit unfair.

But Anne does not give a fig and is probably delighted that when she was born, girls were not in the least important if they had brothers. She declined royal titles for her children Peter and Zara, who are way down the list at 16 and 19.

The only modern Prince who really cares where he is in the list, is probably Harry. It is not because he minds for himself.

But his wife Meghan could not understand why, when she had married the future King’s second son, they were so much less important than William and Kate and their tribe of children.

Back in the 1980s, there were many on the succession list that no one on the outside the royal family knew much about. The dashing Duke of Kent is a cousin not only of the Queen but also of Prince Philip through his mother, Princess Marina, daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece.

The Duke married a commoner, the elegant Katherine Worsley in 1961 and they had three children – the Earl of St Andrews, Lord Nicholas Windsor and Lady Helen Windsor, now Mrs Tim Taylor, a beauty who at one time was never out of the gossip columns.

At the time they were 13, 14, 15 and 16. Today the Duke of Kent is number 38, way below the untitled children of Zara and Mike Tindall.

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