The royals that are a heartbeat away from the top job

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

So the Netherlands has a new monarch after Queen Beatrix’s decided to abdicate in favour of her son, Willem-Alexander. But the wait goes on for the heirs to 11 other hereditary monarchies who joined the new Dutch king to celebrate his accession. Prince Charles must have felt right at home

Prince Philippe, Duke of Brabant

The heir apparent to the Belgian throne for 20 years, Philippe is married and has four children with his wife, Countess Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz. A controversial book last year claimed he was gay, an allegation he denied. A Lieutenant-General in the Belgian Army, he is widely regarded as unworthy to follow in the footsteps of his father, King Albert II.

Prince Alois and Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein

Alois Philipp Maria is the Hereditary Prince of Liechtenstein and Count Rietberg, while his wife is Sophie, Duchess of Bavaria. Alois, 44, has been Regent since 2004, waiting to take over the top job from his father, Hans-Adam II. Alois already has considerable power and threatened to veto an referendum on legalising abortion in 2011.

Prince Guillaume and Princess Stephanie of Luxembourg

The hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg is 31 years old, and has been heir apparent since 2000. He revealed in interviews on his 30th birthday that he had a "Dear Miss" on the go, and married Stephanie, a Belgian princess, in October last year. Their parents are seventh cousins. No surprise there.

Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain

Felipe, Prince of Asturias, 45, became heir apparent at 18. His father, the future King Juan Carlos I, was picked by General Franco to succeed him after his death, which came in 1975. After the 2004 Madrid bombings, Felipe took part in public protests against Basque separatists who, it later transpired, had nothing to do with the atrocity.

Prince Salman bin Hamad Bint Isa Al Khalifa and Hala bint D'aij Al Khalifa of Bahrain

The people of Bahrain are no doubt grateful for the many varied talents of their monarch-in-waiting, the First Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Bahrain Defence Force. His wife, Hala bint D'aij Al Khalifa, didn't make the picture.

Prince Haakon and Princess Mette-Marit of Norway

The Crown Prince of Norway has been heir for 22 years. Aged 39, he is a four-star general and son of the current King, Harald V. He is also a cousin, in varying degrees of removal, to the monarchs of Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden, and the United Kingdom too. His wife, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, is also 39.

Prince Frederik and Princess Consort Mary of Denmark

The Crown Prince of Denmark, 44, has been waiting to be king since he was three. Interested in climate change and sustainability, he runs marathons in a little over three hours. To the delight of those who like this kind of thing, the Princess Consort, Mary, is an Australian he met in a pub in Sydney during the 2000 Olympics.

Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand

The Royal Son and Crown Prince of Siam was yet to have his umbilical cord cut when he became heir apparent. Born in July 1952, he has been hanging around for only four months less than Prince Charles. His father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, has been on the throne for 66 years.

Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden

The 35-year-old princess, who is also the Duchess of Västergötland, is the eldest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia. She only became heir to the throne in 1979 when Sweden's laws of succession were amended along non-sexist lines. Her husband, Daniel, was a personal trainer before royal business took over.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands

The Dutch monarchy has a unique tradition of abdication, rather than hanging on until the end. Willem-Alexander became the country's first king since 1890 when his mother Queen Beatrix, 75, stepped down on Tuesday after 33 years on the throne. Almost a million people took to the streets of Amsterdam to watch.

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

The Prince of Wales is 64 and the longest serving heir apparent in the photo – just. He has been waiting patiently for "mummy" to move on since he was three, and has kept himself busy by gardening and writing to politicians. His wife, Camilla, has only been waiting since 2005 – a blink of an eye in comparison.

Prince Naruhito and Princess Masako of Japan

The monarch-in-waiting is a fairly straightforward character, but there is debate about whether his only child, daughter Aiko, should follow him, or if it should be his nephew. As hereditary ruling goes, Japan's gig is pretty much the cushiest, involving little more than apologising to other Asian countries for Japan's conduct during the war.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?