Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Sept. 8, 2022, was the United Kingdom’s monarch for 70 years, first ascending to the throne in 1952 when she was only 25! She served as the longest-reigning and longest-lived monarch in British history. Furthermore, Elizabeth reigned as queen throughout so many pivotal moments in England’s history during both the 20th and 21st centuries. Before she took the throne, she married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in 1947. Prince Philip sadly died in 2021 at age 99.
With Prince Philip, the queen gave birth to four children, the oldest of whom is Charles, Prince of Wales, 73. Charles will ascend to the throne as England’s King now that his mother has passed. All of the queen’s children are in the royal line of succession, but Charles will likely be the only one who will become king. Learn more about Queen Elizabeth II’s four children here.
Charles, Prince of Wales
The queen’s oldest son is Charles, who was born in November 1948, before she’d ascended to the throne. Charles has held the title of Prince of Wales since he was nine years old in 1958, per the BBC. Charles has held the title for 59 years, making him the longest reigning Prince of Wales. When Prince Philip died, his title of The Duke of Edinburgh was also passed on to Charles. Charles often visits other countries and meets with officials on behalf of the queen as part of his royal duties.
Charles has also been subject to controversy throughout his life. Most notably, he was married to Princess Diana from 1981 until 1995. Diana was tragically killed in a car accident the year after they divorced. His relationship with Diana was scrutinized, as he was discovered to have had an extramarital affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. Charles went on to marry Camilla in 2005, and she became the Duchess of Cornwall. With Diana, Charles had two sons: Prince William and Prince Harry. When Harry married Meghan Markle in 2018, Charles was the one who gave her away at the alter.
Anne, Princess Royal
Anne, Princess Royal, 72, is the queen and Prince Philip’s second child, and she is their only daughter. Princess Anne is the 15th person in the royal line of succession. She was given the Princess Royal title in 1987. She has also been married twice. Her first marriage to Mark Phillips lasted from 1973 until 1992. The pair had two children: Zara Phillips and Peter Phillips. She’s been married to Timothy Laurence since 1992.
Princess Anne has led an exciting life. When she was younger, she was an avid horse-rider and loved equestrian sports. She’s also tough as nails and stopped a 26-year-old man from trying to kidnap her in 1974. “It was all so infuriating; I kept saying I didn’t want to get out of the car, and I was not going to get out of the car,” she told the BBC in 2005. “I nearly lost my temper with him, but I knew that if I did, I should hit him and he would shoot me.”
Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Prince Andrew, 62, was born in February 1960. He was given the Duke of York title in 1986, when he married Sarah Ferguson. The pair had two daughters together: Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, but their marriage ended in divorce in 1996. He is eighth in the line of succession.
Andrew came under fire in 2019 when Virginia Giuffre accused the royal of sexually assaulting her while she was a victim of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. She described the encounter as “disgusting.” Andrew and Buckingham Palace both denied the allegations and Andrew said he’d never met Virginia. “He knows what happened, I know what happened. And there’s only one of us telling the truth, and I know that’s me,” she told the BBC. In November 2019, Andrew resigned from all public duties for the “foreseeable future.” In May 2020, it was reported that he had no plans to return to public duty, according to Town and Country Magazine.
Prince Edward, Earl Of Wessex
The youngest of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s children, Prince Edward, 58, was born in March 1964. He was given the Earl of Wessex title in 1999, when he married Sophie Rhys-Jones. Edward and Sophie have two children together: Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn. He helps several charities and is “passionate about organisations and causes which provide opportunities to young people,” according to the royal website. He is number 12 in the line of succession.