Young Royals Who Will Grow Up To Be King

Much of the world watched in awe and anticipation as King Charles III was coronated in May 2023 at the age of 74. Charles spent most of his life as a prince and was, ostensibly, as ready as a person could be for such a major moment, but he did not necessarily always feel that way. Per Time, a 20-something Charles once shared that he had to come to terms with his place in the line of succession. "I think it's something that dawns on you with the most ghastly, inexorable sense," he shared. "I didn't suddenly wake up in my pram one day and say 'Yippee,' you know."

Charles' mother, on the other hand, did not have as much time to prepare before she became the sovereign. Queen Elizabeth II's coronation took place when she was just 27 years old. It wasn't always a given that she would one day rule: Her father, King George VI, became king after his older brother, Edward VIII, abdicated the throne in 1936. Per Time, George wrote in his journal that he "broke down and sobbed like a child" when he learned he would be king — a role he was not prepared for.

Needless to say, becoming king is a big deal, and a number of royal institutions across the globe have young princes who are learning the ropes ready to step up to take on the duties of their families and country. Here are some of the young royals who are set to become king one day.

Crown Prince Moulay Hassan of Morocco

Morocco is a small constitutional monarchy that has been ruled by King Mohammed VI since 1999. Born May 8, 2003, Mohammad IV's son, Prince Moulay El Hassan, is the future heir to the throne.

Unlike the British royals, whose facial expressions and behavior are dissected at every public event, the heir to the Morocco monarchy has lived a quieter life out of the public eye. Very little is known about his personality, but he's known to be accomplished, studious, and multilingual. He also studied governance and economic sciences at Mohamed VI Polytechnic University, according to Business Insider Africa.

Prince Moulay Hassan might have been stayed out of the spotlight during his childhood, but the future king has stepped up to host several events in the last few years. For example, when he attended the One Planet Summit in 2017 at the age of 14, he not only represented his country but was the youngest participant at that year's event. In 2022, he helped honor the country's soccer team when they visited the palace following the World Cup. A few years before that, he welcomed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle when they visited his country. And the list goes on. While the people of Morocco wait to see what kind of ruler this young man will become, he's already shown promise as an intelligent and cultivated royal.

Prince George of Wales

British royal watchers around the world rejoiced when the Prince and Princess of Wales announced they were expecting. Everyone waited on the edge of their seat for the newest heir to the throne to be born. Prince William is, of course, first in line after King Charles III. But after the Prince of Wales? Why, that would be William's firstborn. 

In 2011, William married Princess Catherine. A little over two years later, their first child, George Alexander Louis, arrived. From that moment on, the world has fawned over the cute little royal. Since then, Prince George gained not only a sister but a brother as well. He also began his royal education at Lambrook School. 

Finding out you might someday be king is no small potatoes, and Prince William waited a little before he gently told Prince George that he will wear the crown one day. Royal historian Robert Lacey told Marie Claire, "William has not revealed to the world how and when he broke the big news to his son. Maybe one day George will tell us the story himself. But sometime around the boy's seventh birthday in the summer of 2020, it is thought that his parents went into more detail about what the little prince's life of future royal 'service and duty' would particularly involve." Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are next in line after George. 

Prince Jacques of Monaco

If you are familiar with European royal families, you've probably seen the faces of Prince Jacques Honore Rainier and Princess Gabriella Therese Marie, children of Prince Albert II of Monaco, who has ruled Monaco since 2005. These adorable twins have followed their parents to events around the world, getting used to the frequent royal appearances that are a necessity of royal life. Born in 2014, Princess Gabriella was the first royal born, but due to Monaco's rules of succession following the male line, Prince Jacques is the hereditary prince, according to People.

While Prince Jacques can be seen on multiple occasions gracing the crowd with a mischievous grin or a suave look, according to Prince Albert, Gabriella is the one with a playful personality. He told the Monaco Tribune, "She'll sometimes try to use her brother and get him into trouble. But Jacques stands up to her now, and when he has had enough, he says, 'No!'" In the same interview, he said, "Jacques talks more, engages more, in public," which is very important for a future king. Being in the public eye sure runs in the family, and we don't just mean their royal lineage: The twins are the grandchildren of Grace Kelly, Princess Grace of Monaco.

Prince Christian of Denmark

Denmark is also a monarchy, with Queen Margrethe II maintaining the helm of one of the oldest monarchies in the world. Her firstborn, Crown Prince Frederik, is first in line for the throne; her grandson Prince Christian Valdemar Henri John is second. Margrethe's second-born son, Prince Joachim, is sixth in line. 

Born in 2005, Prince Christian is the first of four of Crown Prince Frederik's children, including his sister Princess Isabella, Prince Vincent, and Princess Josephine. Prince Christian would typically receive a royal pension on his 18th birthday, but he's currently forgoing it so that he can step back from royal duties while he works to continue his education, according to Fox News. However, that doesn't mean he will forgo his duties altogether; the prince will become more involved once he hits 21 and has secured the level of education a future ruler needs. 

In addition to Crown Prince Frederik's family, the Danish royals made waves in 2022 when the queen stripped the titles from Prince Joachim's children, making them counts and countess. Per Hello! magazine, the queen maintained the move was planned for a while to contribute to the success of the monarchy; however, it did bring further discord among the royal family. But Prince Joachim's family still maintains their royal succession status, meaning he's in line for the throne after his nieces and nephews. 

Prince Taufa'ahau Manumataongo of Tonga

Surrounded by beautiful views and white beaches, the Kingdom of Tonga is part of several islands within the Pacific Ocean and a constitutional monarchy. The monarchy is headed by King Tupou VI, who took the throne in 2015. His firstborn son, Crown Prince Tupoutoʻa ʻUlukalala, is first in line.

The crown prince started his own family of young princes and princesses. His oldest son, Prince Taufa'ahau Manumataongo, is second in line for the throne after his father. The young prince was born in 2013. Since the birth of their first son, the crown prince and princess have gone on to have three other children: Princess Halaevalu Mataʻaho, Princess Nanasipauʻu Eliana, and Princess Salote Mafile'o Pilolevu. 

Prince Taufa'ahau and his siblings can typically be seen with their mother, Crown Princess Sinaitakala Fakafanua, during royal events and while fulfilling their duties. Much like the cute Prince George, the Tongan prince has a lot of growing to do before taking his rightful place as king. 

Crown Prince Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan

Known as the Dragon King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck became the king of the Buddhist country in 2008 when he was only in his late 20s. He went on to win the hearts of his people when he chose to marry the commoner, Jetsun Pema, according to BBC. The royal family celebrated the birth of their first son, Crown Prince Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck, in February 2016. He's also known as the Gyalsey, which means "prince."

The crown prince might be young, but that doesn't mean he isn't already learning the royal duties. At age 6, he accompanied his parents on several royal engagements, including the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Central Monk Body of Bhutan. He also attended the opening of the tech and research laboratory, Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck Super FabLab, alone, according to Town and Country. The celebrated royal family also added a new member to their family in 2022 with the birth of Prince Jigme Ugyen Wangchuck.

Being the youngest current crown prince might be enough to make you stand out among the royal crowd, but the youngster also has another claim to fame. To celebrate his first birthday, an insect called the Meglestes gyalsey was named after him. Could you imagine your name living in science books for eternity?

Prince Hisahito of Japan

The current head of the Japanese royal family is Emperor Naruhito. While Emperor Naruhito has a daughter, Princess Aiko, the imperial law of Japan prohibits a woman from taking the throne. (What's more, as we've seen with Mako Komuro, if a princess weds a commoner, she'll lose her title and spot within the Japanese royal family entirely.) Given that the current royal emperor had no sons, his brother, Fumihito Akishino, is the crown prince of Japan and next in line.

The crown prince has three children, including a son who is second in line for the throne. Prince Hisahito was born in 2006 in Tokyo and entered the Senior High School at Otsuka, University of Tsukuba, in 2022. Thanks to the crown prince's liberal education policy, the prince was the first in many decades not to enroll in a high school affiliated with Gakushuin University, a prestigious private university in Tokyo favored by elite members of society and royals alike, according to Kyodo News. While the prince has not started his royal education, he enjoys school, playing sports, and studying dragonflies.

Similar to most current monarchies, the Japanese government is a constitutional monarchy, and the royal family is there to fill a ceremonial role. Additionally, the prior emperor Emeritus Akihito stepped down in 2019 and was the first emperor to do so in the last 200 years. 

Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti

While Thailand's government used to be an absolute monarchy, it converted to a constitutional monarchy in 1932, following in the footsteps of many other functioning monarchies across the globe.

Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti was born to King Maha Vajiralongkorn and his third wife, Srirasmi Suwadee. Per UPI, Srirasmi was stripped of her princess title and cast from the royal family after a number of her relatives, including her own parents, were accused of defaming the monarchy. She and the king divorced in 2014, and the following year, her parents were sent to prison. Needless to say, King Maha does not exactly have an amicable relationship with Prince Dipangkorn's mother. 

The youngest son of the king, Prince Dipangkorn, was born in 2005 and has four older half-brothers from his father's second marriage. However, those children were cast out upon his divorce, and the current prince became the presumptive heir to the throne. He is currently the only recognized son of the king, but he would lose his status if the king were to have a son with his current wife. Additionally, there's been speculation that his eldest sister, Princess Bajrakitiyabha, could be named the successor. The future of Prince Dipangkorn might not be secured within the monarchy, but he's preparing for his future by studying abroad and volunteering.

Prince Lerotholi Seeiso of Lesotho

There are three royal kingdoms in the continent of Africa, of which Lesotho is one. Completely surrounded by South Africa, this small independent nation is a constitutional monarchy. When King Letsie III was crowned in 1997, King Charles III was in attendance; Letsie attended Charles' coronation in 2023. In 2000, King Letsie married Queen 'Masenate Mohato Seeiso, and they went on to welcome three children. The youngest, Prince Lerotholi David Mohato Bereng Seeiso, was born in 2007. Given the parliamentary rules of the country, King Letsie's only son will take the crown upon his father's death.

The only son of the current king was baptized in a Catholic church on June 7, his mother's birthday. The prince will become the ninth king of the Kingdom of Lesotho after his father. Though little is known about Prince Lerotholi Seeiso's daily life, it is known that both of his parents are highly involved in HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns and helping those with disabilities. The regents also work to encourage young people through youth programs. What's more, his uncle, Prince Seeiso Bereng Seeiso of Lesotho, is also very active in charitable organizations, even teaming up with Prince Harry to cofound an organization called Sentebale that benefits children living with HIV. It sounds like Prince Lerotholi has some good footsteps to follow.