NEW YORK — Five people among the first 100 descendants of Queen Victoria in line for the British throne live in the United States, but it is highly unlikely any of these "Yanks" will succeed Queen Elizabeth II.
The five are Princess Irina of Romania, who is now Mrs. John Kreuger, No. 55 in succession; Michel Kreuger, No. 56; Princess Sophie of Romania, No. 57; Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia, No. 66, and Maria Tatiana K. George, No. 70.
The list of Americans in strict hereditary line of succession is in the book "The Royal 100" (Viking: $12.95) by Alan Hamilton, a London Times correspondent who specializes in reporting on the Royal Family. It was compiled with the aid of genealogical experts.
Although there is no official list of the royal succession, it is established by the 1702 Parliamentary Act of Settlement that ensured Queen Anne would be the last sovereign of the traditionally Roman Catholic royal house of Stuart. The act holds that anyone who professes the Catholic faith or marries a Catholic is automatically disbarred from the line of succession, as in the case of Prince Michael of Kent, the queen's first cousin, who took a Catholic bride in 1978.
The only other ground for disqualification is birth out of wedlock, which is the case in several of Queen Elizabeth's cousins, notably Mark Lascelles, son of the Earl of Harewood, even though he was later legitimized by his father. The earl is also the queen's first cousin.
The first 10 in line for the throne are all members of the queen's immediate family. They are her eldest son, the Prince of Wales and his sons, Prince William of Wales and Prince Henry of Wales; her second son, Prince Andrew; her youngest son, Prince Edward; her daughter, Princess Anne, and her children, Peter and Laura Phillips; and her sister, Princess Margaret, and her son, Viscount Linley.
After 45 more heirs belonging to the British and Norwegian royal houses, a member of the Romanian royal house who lives in Oregon turns up. She is Princess Irina, wife of Swedish-born John Kreuger, who breeds horse and cattle on his American ranch. Irina, 33, is the third daughter of ex-King Michael of Romania. She was educated in England and Switzerland and once worked for Christie's auction house in London.
Other American residents in line are:
No. 56: Michael Torsten Kreuger, the year-old son of Irina and John Kreuger.
No. 57: Princess Sophie of Romania, 29, fourth daughter of ex-King Michael. She is studying fine art and photography at the University of North Carolina.
No. 66: Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia, 57, youngest of the three sons of King Alexander I, who was assassinated in 1934. An erstwhile farmer in England, Andrej is now married to the former Mitsi Lowe, a wealthy American with roots in Yugoslavia, and lives in Palm Springs. He is a prominent Rotarian.
No. 70: Maria Tatiana K. George, 29, the elder child of Prince Andrej by his marriage to Princess Christina of Hesse, a niece by marriage of Queen Elizabeth. She works as a photographer in Los Angeles under a name derived from the Yugoslavian royal dynasty's family name, Karageorgevic (Black George).
"Few below the obvious candidates at the top of the list harbor the slightest belief or desire that they will ever sit in Westminster Abbey to have the Crown of St. Edward placed upon their head," Hamilton concludes.