When it comes to the British throne, there is one thing that comes to our mind. Will Prince Charles be passed over in favour of his elder son, Prince William, as Queen Elizabeth‘s successor?
The longstanding speculation popped up again this month. The headlines claimed that Queen Elizabeth herself has decided to skip Charles, in the line of succession, and hand over the realm to Prince William.
Has the Queen already declared Prince William and Kate Middleton as the future King and Queen Consort?
Despite what many Royal fans may hope, this rumor is not true, at least now. Prince Charles will, no doubt, be the British monarch (except for any unforeseen circumstances). To start, the Queen of England, Elizabeth, doesn’t really have the power to choose her successor on an urge. According to the 1701 Act of Settlement of Parliament determines the succession to the throne and requires that a monarch’s heir must be his or her direct successor (and a Protestant of course). Well, that’s Prince Charles, not William. Because the Queen doesn’t truly have any political power, it’s not up to her to change this law. It would, instead, have to be taken up in Parliament, and definitely, it wouldn’t be a quick and easy process.
Could Charles ever opt to abdicate?
Highly unlikely. Referring to this, some may point to King Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne in 1936 after just 11 months. The simple reason was, his desire to marry a divorced woman, Wallis Simpson. This was something the Church of England didn’t approve of, at that time, as both of Simpson’s former husbands were still alive. (The Prime Minister wasn’t thrilled either.)
Charles himself is divorced, as is his second wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. It is very well known that he was unfaithful in his first marriage to the late Princess Diana, with Camilla. Why is the situation so different now? Short answer: It is no longer 1936.
In 2002, the Church of England relaxed their position on remarriage if a former spouse is still alive. Though this has changed considerably, Charles and Camilla were still not allowed to marry in the Church of England (they instead had a civil ceremony). All this drama unfolded because their relationship played a huge role in the breakdown of Charles’s marriage to Princess Diana. In fact, divorce has become quite prevalent in the royal family: Three of the Queen’s four children have been divorced, as was her late sister, Princess Margaret.
Also read: History made by Prince Charles; Prince of Wales in the limelight again, this time for a good reason.
At this point, Charles and Camilla have been married for more than 12 years. (A recent poll found that only 14 percent of Britons want Camilla as Queen.) Still, Charles’s biographer Sally Bedell Smith believes that Charles will make Camilla his Queen, not his Princess Consort, as was originally announced when the couple tied the knot in 2005.
And yes, while William and Kate are more popular than Charles and Camilla, the throne is not a popularity contest. To the Queen, this a duty that has been given to her by God for the rest of her life — whether it be long or short, as she said in her now-famous 21st birthday speech in 1947. Also it’s one that she’ll hand down to her son.