It’s been one week since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced they’re stepping down as “senior” members of the royal family. While we have countless questions about their transition, we’re still stuck on the fact that there’s such a thing as a “senior” family member.
As it turns out, there’s a little-known hierarchy that separates active and non-active royals. According to Royal Central, the term “senior” refers to “any member who continually carries out duties in their own right and on behalf of the crown.” Basically, this includes any person who regularly attends royal engagements on behalf of Queen Elizabeth, in addition to serving their title. Everyone else is considered a “minor”—or “non-working”—royal.
So, who are the “senior” members of the royal family? Keep reading for all the details.
1. Queen Elizabeth
Title: Queen of England (for short)
As the longest-standing British monarch, this one’s a given.
2. Prince Philip
Title: Duke of Edinburgh
Although he resigned as the queen’s public consort back in 2017, he’s still considered an active member of the royal family.
3. Prince Charles
Title: Prince of Wales
He’s first in line to the British throne, so he has no choice. (No offense, Prince Charles.)
4. Camilla Parker Bowles
Title: Duchess of Cornwall
5. Prince William
Title: Duke of Cambridge
He’s second in line to the British throne and, therefore, expected to carry out his royal duties.
6. Kate Middleton
Title: Duchess of Cambridge
In addition to attending events, Middleton also has a joint charity with her husband, The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.