Karin Vogel of Rostock, Germany, could become the queen of England. She is a descendant of Sophia of Hanover, a relatively obscure German princess selected by the English Parliament in 1701 to inherit the crown. Sophia's genes have dictated the succession ever since.
Should the 85-year-old Queen Elizabeth II die, her son Charles, if living, would succeed her. Second in line is Charles's son Prince William, whose wedding to Kate Middleton Friday will be a global media event. William's little brother, Prince Harry, is No. 3. The line goes on and on. The royal family's website lists the first 38 successors but neglects to name the rest.
Daniel Willis, of Denver, Colorado, and Bill Reitwiesner, a computer technician at the Library of Congress who died in November, have compiled a list of living heirs to the throne as of 2001. They list Karin Vogel as number 4,973 on the list.