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Prince William is the crown prince of the United Kingdom. Next in line to the throne are his young children.

If Prince William predeceased his father King Charles, and then King Charles died while Prince William's children were still young, who would serve as Regent for Prince William's child who is next in line to the throne?

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2 Answers 2

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Since 1937, this has been governed by the Regency Act 1937, which sets out the following steps to determine who would serve as Regent:

  1. If a Regency becomes necessary under this Act, the Regent shall be that person who, excluding any persons disqualified under this section, is next in the line of succession to the Crown.

  2. A person shall be disqualified from becoming or being Regent, if he is not a British subject of full age and domiciled in some part of the United Kingdom, or is a person who would, under section two of the Act of Settlement, be incapable of inheriting, possessing, and enjoying the Crown, or is a person disqualified from succeeding to the Crown by virtue of section 3(3) of the Succession to the Crown Act 2013; and section three of the Act of Settlement shall apply in the case of a Regent as it applies in the case of a Sovereign.

Prince William's other children are, of course, also too young to serve as Regent, so we pass down the line of succession to Prince Harry. Harry is not currently domiciled in the UK, so is not eligible. His children are also disqualified by both residency and age, so the Regency would pass to Prince Andrew.

Parliament could, of course, decide otherwise by passing primary legislation. This was the common practice prior to 1937; see, for example, the Regency Act of 1811.

For completeness, the other disqualifications listed in the Regency Act refer to someone within the first six people in line to the throne having married without the consent of the Monarch (Succession to the Crown Act) or are Catholic (Act of Settlement).

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    Presumably given that "Following the 2019 scandal, Prince Andrew was ostracized from the royal family and stripped of his royal titles and duties," lots of people would be happier if Harry relocated to the U.K. to take up that role. I wonder what happens if he did so after William and Charles were to pass, could Harry divest Andrew of the Regency without an act of Parliament? english.elpais.com/international/2023-01-11/…
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Jan 11, 2023 at 22:26
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    and following the 2023 book lots of people are pretty upset with Harry...
    – James K
    Commented Jan 11, 2023 at 22:29
  • Also makes me wonder what forum a dispute like that would be resolved in.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Jan 11, 2023 at 22:35
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    Is it not the case that steps have recently been taken as regards both Princess Anne (Princess Royal) and Prince Edward (Duke of Wessex), in order to give them more influence over affairs in the absence of the King - should he be ill or out of the country.? My guess is that Parliament would find itself having to endorse the named regent, which in the circumstances would eliminate both Princes Andrew and Harry (both of whom are currently outside the formal protocols of the Royal Family). Almost certainly Princess-Regent Anne or Prince-Regent Edward I would suggest would oversee matters.
    – WS2
    Commented Jan 12, 2023 at 0:11
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – CDJB
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 9:44
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The Regency Act 1937 says that the Regent is the next person in line to the throne who is over 21, domiciled in the UK (and eligible - ie not a Catholic)

Following William, the next in line (over 21) is Prince Harry, but he is not domiciled in the UK, After Harry comes Prince Andrew, who would seem to be eligible.

Parliament could modify this if it so desired, by simple Act of Parliament.

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