For nearly 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II has reigned as the monarch of the United Kingdom. She might not be going anywhere for now, but there will be a time when the throne has to go to someone else. It should go to her firstborn son, Charles. But where does this leave William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge?
Did you know that the Queen gave birth to Prince Charles inside Buckingham Palace? He was born on the 14th of November 1948. He was the firstborn son of Philip and Elizabeth, who were the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh.
The couple got married a year before the birth of Charles. Of course, they are also the parents of Prince Andrew, Princess Royal Anne, and Prince Edward. Charles went to a private school before he went on to study at Trinity College at Cambridge University in 1967.
The Prince’s Trust
He made history the first heir to the throne to get a bachelor’s degree at the institution. Let us not forget that he also trained at the Royal Air Force College and the Royal Naval College. From 1971 to 1976, Prince Charles underwent a duty tour during his time at the Royal Navy.
He has since been involved in charity work. In 1976, he also created The Prince’s Trust. It is an organization that helps both kids and adults facing difficulties at school or with employment. However, it is arguable that he is better known for his private life over his charity work.
Even so, not a lot of people know that he and Camilla Parker Bowles dated even before he met Lady Diana! Two royal biographies claim that the royal family did not think that Camilla would be a suitable bride for him.
Charles and Camilla called it quits, after which the prince walked down the aisle with Diana at St. Paul’s Cathedral on the 29th of July 1981. Less than a year after that, Diana welcomed their first child into the world.
Prince William was born on the 21st of June 1982! Two years after this happened, they welcomed another son. Prince Harry was born on the 15th of September 1984. When Harry and William were growing up, Diana made sure to provide her royal children some semblance of normalcy and an awareness of their privilege.
She took them to school as much as she could and even brought them to amusement parks. There was more to it than that, of course. She also made sure to bring them to royal engagements, including a trip to a homeless shelter.
However, it was not long before cracks started to appear in the marriage between Charles and Diana. In 1992, the couple separated and then divorced 4 years after that. In those days, the prince reportedly said that their marriage had since become irreparable, and he was in a relationship with Camilla!
It is said that Diana had her affairs as well. One of the most famous rumors was that she was involved with James Hewitt of the British Army. Until now, rumors persist that Hewitt is the true father of Prince Harry.
Starting Over Again
With that said, everyone involved has all asserted that there is no truth to this since Harry had already been born before Diana and Hewitt started seeing each other. Sadly, the family experienced a tragedy of epic proportions in 1997.
On the 31st of August, Diana perished in a car crash in Paris. She was no more than 36 years old when she passed away. Charles then went to France to bring her body to the United Kingdom. The prince needed to survive his own storm while the nation got ready for her funeral.
The public was in grief after hearing the news. The outpouring of emotions was unlike anything that modern-day British society had ever seen. Charles had to bear the brunt of the backlash. Some suggested that she would not have even been in Paris at the time if he did not divorce her.
Charles had not been seen with a different woman for two years after the death of his ex-wife. In 1999, however, he and Camilla showed up together at a birthday bash at the Ritz hotel in London. They seemed to have started a relationship again.
Next In Line
In February 2005, they confirmed that they were engaged. In April, they tied the knot in a civil ceremony. Camilla later got the title of the Duchess of Cornwall. There is more to Prince Charles than his love life.
Over the course of his adult life, he has had to carry out duties for the royal family and the Commonwealth. The royal also worked on charities with a focus on education, the environment, and youth.
Not To Offend
Besides being a passionate environmentalist, it is neat to note that Prince Charles is interested in architecture. It is fascinating to hear that he would not be in line for the throne if one decision were not made many decades ago.
It concerned Edward VIII, who took over in 1936 after King George V, his father, passed away. Apparently, however, he was very smitten with Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee. However, the British government and the Church of England disapproved of the union between his bride and the king.
A divorcee was not considered to be a fitting wife. This was the reason Edward chose to abdicate the throne! He was the sovereign ruler for less than a year when he made this decision! “I have found it impossible to carry on the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge the duties of a king, as I would wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love,” Edward declared back then.
This decision meant that the throne was going to go to his younger brother. The Duke of York then became King George VI. The year after this happened, Edward and Wallis tied the knot. What happened back then continues to hang over the British royal family.
The royals still treat divorce with far more caution than the average person does. This is likely why the Queen was not present at the religious part of the wedding ceremony when Charles and Camilla got married in 2005.
Of course, it is very much possible that Queen Elizabeth wanted to attend since her eldest child would get married again. However, rumors claim that she did not want to appear like she was giving her son more important than the Church of England’s beliefs.
The Church might allow divorce and remarriage like before, but it continues to advise against the practice. In 2005, The Daily Telegraph said that a so-called anonymous “friend of the Queen” said that Elizabeth II herself said, “I am not able to go. I do not feel that my position permits it.” The same source added, “The Queen feels she has to put her role with the Church before her role as a mother.”
The divorce came up once more when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were getting married in 2018. She was a divorcee herself, having been formerly married to a producer by Trevor Engelson’s name.
Before the royal wedding happened, people wondered if the Queen was planning to be at the wedding ceremony. Royal butler Grant Harrold spoke to Daily Express and said, “Prince Charles’ wedding was 13 years ago, [and] times have changed. It could be a change of heart… You have the unfortunate Edward and Wallace Simpson episode, and 70 years later, nobody blinks an eyelid.”
True, it has been over 80 years since George VI became King. The royals and the world at large truly have changed since then. For the uninformed, King George VI was the father of Queen Elizabeth II.
What Diana Said
When he took over the throne, the future queen was only 10 years old. Margaret, her younger sister, was only 6 years old back then. This meant that Elizabeth went on to be the heir apparent. She was only 25 years old when she acceded to the throne after her father passed away in 1952.
The development appeared to have come as a surprise to Elizabeth. While her father had experienced a decline in his health for a while, it looks like she did not expect this to happen so soon. When he passed away, she and Prince Philip had been on a trip to Kenya.
As a matter of fact, they spent the night at a place called the Treetops Hotel in Aberdare National Park. Time said that, at the time, she had been “in high spirits over her ‘tremendous experience’ and vowed to come again soon with her father.” She also said that her father would “love it” there.
One BBC reporter added that Elizabeth had been “talking about her father and proudly describing how bravely he’d stood up to his illness.” At any rate, Elizabeth went on to become the monarch. This meant that Charles was now the heir to the throne.
At the time, he was only 3 years of age. Elizabeth might now have the record for the longest reign in British history, but this also meant that Charles is the longest-serving heir to the throne. Charles celebrated his 70th birthday in November 2018.
It was also noted that he is the oldest heir apparent in history. When he finally ascends the throne, he will be the oldest monarch the British royal family has ever seen. Previously, it was a distinction held by William IV.
What To Do
He had been almost 65 years old when he became the reigning monarch in 1830. This is why there have been rumors that Charles might abdicate the position and let it go to William instead.
This looks like a popular theory, at least when it comes to the British population. As a matter of fact, StatistaCharts surveyed for The Week and found out that nearly half of the British public would like to see William take over the throne instead.
It turns out that Diana allegedly had mixed feelings about her ex-husband becoming the monarch. It should not come as that big surprise since the divorce did not end on the best terms. In 1995, she talked about this when she appeared on Panorama.
This was the question journalist Martin Bashir gave her: “Do you think the Prince of Wales will ever be king?” “I don’t think any of us know the answer to that,” Diana answered. She then added, “There was always conflict on that subject with [Charles] when we discussed it, and I understood that conflict. Because it’s a very demanding role, being Prince of Wales, but it’s an equally more demanding role being king.”
It was more telling when she said, “Being Prince of Wales produces more freedom now, and being king would be a little bit more suffocating. And because I know the character, I would think that the top job, as I call it, would bring enormous limitations to him – and I don’t know whether he could adapt to that.”
Despite this, it appears that Prince Charles intends to take over the throne when the time comes. It also seems that Queen Elizabeth is preparing him for the position by handing him some responsibilities.
Title After Title
For example, he has put a wreath for Remembrance Day in the past couple of years instead of her. But what would actually happen when Queen Elizabeth passes away? If you wanted to know, there is already a series of plans for this eventuality.
Prince Of Wales
The operation is allegedly called Operation London Bridge. The supposed plan indicates that the news of her passing would be spread among civil servants using a single phrase: “London Bridge is down.”
In 2017, The Guardian came out with a report that said the BBC, the British public service broadcaster, will be informed of this piece of news with a system known as the Radio Alert Transmission System or RATS.
Duchy Of Cornwall
Apparently, RATS also has another unofficial meaning: “royal about to snuff it.” Sir Christopher Geidt, the private secretary of the Queen, is then supposed to let the prime minister know about her death before it gets out.
The PM has to tell the 36 nations of the Commonwealth and the 15 countries under the monarchy’s rule. When the public finds out about the news, pilots will also have to announce it during flights.
Meanwhile, flags need to put in half-mast position. It is also expected for the people working in the United Kingdom to get the day off. Stock exchanges and banks will probably be closed on the day of the burial as well.
There might be other signs and symbols of respect. For example, the BBC ceased to show any kind of comedy on television until the funeral was over after the passing of George VI. However, her body will probably be at Westminster Hall for 4 days so that the public can mourn her passing before the actual funeral.
After this, she will likely be buried at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. This is where both of her parents were laid to rest. There is a perfect chance that the days of both her funeral and the coronation will be turned into public holidays as well.
Not Necessarily A Prince
Charles will automatically be the king and likely release a statement on the day of the Queen’s passing. He would then decide on which of his given names to use for his reign. His options include Philip, Arthur, and George.
Otherwise, he will just be called King Charles III. Meanwhile, his wife can get called Queen Camilla. People have always argued about the matter of Camilla’s title. In 2017, a biographer named Sally Bedell Smith told People about this process of figuring out a suitable title for her.
She said, “It was obviously fudged when [Charles and Camilla] got married. Diana was so uppermost in many people’s minds. So, they concocted the notion of a Princess Consort, which is made up.”
Bedell Smith then added this: “[The royal family] obviously had worked very hard to have [Camilla] accepted, and she has been accepted. If she were anything less than Queen Consort [when Charles is king], it would imply inferiority on her part… Most of the constitutional experts agree that [Camilla] is entitled to be queen.”
But what do these things mean for Prince William? Upon the death of George VI and the crowning of Elizabeth II, Charles became the Duke of Cornwall. However, he was able to accumulate several other titles since then.
Stay The Same
These include the Lord of the Isles, Duke of Rothesay, Duke of Cornwall, Earl of Chester, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, and Great Stewart of Scotland. Charles might have received most of his titles while Elizabeth was the Queen of the UK, but this does not apply to all of them.
For example, the title the Prince of Wales has been in effect ever since 1301. However, this does not automatically go to all heirs. As a matter of fact, this is a title that is reserved only for the male heir apparent.
Prince And Princess
During the reign of George VI, there was no one to hold this position since he just had daughters. Six years after Queen Elizabeth took over the throne, she appointed Charles the Prince of Wales!
As the Duke of Cornwall, Prince Charles gets to enjoy a salary from the Duchy of Cornwall. The territory had been created by Edward III back in the 14th century. It is composed of 131,000 acres of properties and land.
On top of that, it also comes with an investment portfolio already! The Duke of Cornwall, Charles, gets a salary from the estate to finance different private and public enterprises.
Believing In Him
These endeavors may include charity initiatives. Aside from that, this fund can also help his close family members like his kids and his grandkids. Aside from that, there is also the Duchy of Lancaster.
Made up of properties and land, it owns the Queen. She gets more funds from the British government through the Sovereign Grant. It is not surprising to hear that her eventual passing will set a bunch of changes into motion.
It is interesting to note that recent years have witnessed certain changes in the royals’ titles. For one, Charles’ children used to go by Prince William of Wales and Prince Henry of Wales.
At the moment, their titles have been changed thanks to their marriages. When William got married in 2011, he and his wife Kate Middleton became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Their kids, meanwhile, are now called Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis of Cambridge.
Older And Wiser
When Harry and Meghan got married in May 2018, they became the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Harry and Meghan now have a child of their own, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. However, even before his birth, everyone knew that he would not necessarily bear the “Prince” title.
The Greater Good
It all boils down to a decree issued by King George V, the Queen’s grandfather, in 1917. What did it say? To be specific, the king announced, “The grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes of these Our Realms.”
In essence, you are not a prince unless you are a male royal in the direct line to the throne. However, the “male” part of this ruling has changed in the past. Before William and Kate welcomed their first child into the world, the British government started following “absolute primogeniture.”
This means that the firstborn child of the heir could inherit the throne despite their gender. With this, a younger boy in succession no longer comes first if there is an older girl. Gender equality has entered the mix.
However, Harry and Meghan have opted to reject potential royal titles for this son. They want to wait until he is no longer a baby. Archie could have been the Earl of Dumbarton, a title that Harry has in Scotland, but he will simply be called “Master Archie” in the meantime. This may all still change, however, after the passing of the Queen. It would mean that everyone will move up the succession, after all. Charles will inherit the throne, and William will become the heir.
As the future monarch’s grandchild, Archie will now be entitled to be “Prince” if he wants the title. Is Harry going to get a new title once his father inherits the throne? This does not sound likely. Of course, it is certainly very possible that Charles will grant him a new dukedom. However, it is just as likely that Harry will remain the Duke of Sussex with Meghan as the Duchess of Sussex. Is that not confusing enough for you at this point? Well, there is more.
William now holds the titles of Baron Carrickfergus and Earl of Strathearn. However, William will need to take on new responsibilities when his father becomes the king. His titles will have to change as a consequence of this. As the heir apparent to the throne, once Charles becomes king, William becomes the Duke of Cornwall. The duke has actually already begun to attend duchy meetings. Aside from that, he and his wife Kate are expected to become the Prince and Princess of Wales. In November 2018, Charlie Proctor of Royal Central said that there are plans underway for the transition.
“As per tradition, when Prince Charles does take to the throne, William and Kate will become the Prince and Princess of Wales, meaning he will take on additional duties to assist the monarch,” he explained. “Just like Prince Charles is preparing to become king, William is already preparing to become Prince of Wales, ready for the duties and responsibilities he will have to take on.” Proctor went on to say, “I think it is important to say that just like his father, William is also preparing to become king. There is no chance that William will be Prince of Wales for more than 60 years. As such, he must also learn the ropes because his time on the throne may come sooner rather than later.” Queen Elizabeth believes that Charles can inherit the duties that will become the United Kingdom’s monarch.
During his 70th birthday party, the Queen gave a moving toast. “Over his 70 years, Philip and I have seen Charles become a champion of conservation and the arts, a great charitable leader – a dedicated and respected heir to the throne to stand comparison with any in history – and a wonderful father,” the Queen of the Kingdom said. Aside from that, the Queen also talked about his second wife. She continued, “Most of all, sustained by his wife, Camilla. He is his own man, passionate and creative. So this toast is to wish a happy birthday to my son, in every respect a duchy original. To you, Charles. To the Prince of Wales.”
However, let us bear in mind that Charles is more than 70 years old by now. Likely, he will only have a short reign. William will need to get ready to take over the throne, but he also has to groom young George to become the monarch. The little boy apparently has no idea that he is in the succession line, but he is bound to learn sooner than later. However, some people do not even think that Charles will go on to be the king, no matter if Elizabeth chooses to abdicate or not.
Ex-royal butler Paul Burrell told Now to Love in 2018 that “we will never see King Charles and Queen Camilla sat on the throne of England.” Why? Burrell said, “Because when the Queen dies, she’ll be 100-and-something; she will never abdicate. When she dies, I think Charles will do the right thing and say, ‘I’m far too old for this responsibility.’” There is another issue at play here, however. There is the notion that certain royals do not want to become kings and queens.
At the very least, some of them want to live their lives first. Author Gill Knappett claimed in her book Charles, Prince of Wales, that William does not plan to “climb the ladder of kingship” until he is older. Harry has also come out and let everyone know that the monarch’s role is not one that his relatives want all that much. “We are involved in modernizing the British monarchy. We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people,” he explained to Newsweek in 2017.
Carrying Out Their Duties
“Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time.” The Queen might never abdicate the throne, maybe because she thinks of it as her duty and not a privilege. In 1947, she said something along these lines during the speech she gave on her 21st birthday. She explained, “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service.”
The Queen May Still Be Alive
Suspicions have been circulating in the British press that when the Queen gets older, she can transfer the throne to her son, who’s completely equipped to carry on all the monarchy’s duties whilst she is still living. It will be considered a ‘regency.’ But there are also factors Queen Elizabeth would never give up the throne.
Prince Charles Will Become Regent If The Queen Is Incapacitated
Although a regency with Prince Charles as heir will be established if the Queen can not actually behave as queen, such as serious mental or body disorder. According to the Constitution Unit of the University of London’s (UCL) School of Public Policy, medical evidence is required. Three people out of the following have to agree to declare the sovereign is incapacitated: the Queen’s consort (her husband, Prince Philip), the Lord Chancellor, the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Lord Chief Justice, and the Master of the Rolls.
Prince Charles’ Will Immediately Become King
In all possibility, however, the Queen will hold the crown before she dies. This will happen when Queen Elizabeth dies: Prince Charles will become king when her passing. The ‘Accession Council’ would convene at St James’s Palace, London, composed of a collection of sovereign counselors known as the Privy Council, to acknowledge the change and proclaim Charles as the king officially. Oddly enough, the King would take an oath to protect the Church of Scotland (this is because the sovereign is only the head of the Church of England, not the Presbyterian Church of Scotland).
Coronation Is Different
The minute the Queen dies, Prince Charles will become King. Yet, it is almost inevitable that the conservative state would observe the occasion of the coronation. There have been suggestions that the Prince of Wales’ celebration could be a bit more recent than the previous, and that might make sense because Britain’s last coronation took place in 1953. The Constitution Unit of UCL hinted that a modernized tribute might be considered. Historically, to display their gratitude, coronations often contained a tribute where peers kneel before the new king. Where representatives of civil society may be included, maybe. It adds that the reform will make sense to enhance the notion of a modern reign that applies to everyone, not just the upper classes.
Prince Charles Will Move
The Royals’ official line is that when Charles becomes Monarch, Prince Charles and Camilla will move out of Clarence House and into Buckingham Palace. Over the past few years, though, royal insiders have thought this may not be the case. The palace is currently undergoing massive repairs at the cost of £ 369 million, but we expect that our future King can use the palace in whatever way he can.
It Will Be Different For Prince William And Kate
There will be adjustments for Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as Charles accedes the throne. As Sovereign, he would no longer be entitled to income from the Duchy of Cornwall. Instead, these would be passed on to William. The Duchy is a private estate, founded in 1337, originally formed to provide freedom to Edward III’s son and heir, Prince Edward. It was ruled that any potential Duke of Cornwall will be heir to the throne and entitled to the Duchy’s income.
A Title Change For Camila
On succeeding to the throne, the Prince of Wales would not be the first royal to experience a title upgrade. Cornwall’s Duchess, Camilla, married Charles at the Guildhall in Windsor in 2005. A King’s spouse immediately becomes Queen by common law, but Camilla does not take this title. When the Queen dies, the 73-year-old will be recognized as the “Princess Consort.” Clarence House said in a statement to the paper: “The intention is for the Duchess to be known as Princess Consort when the Prince accesses the throne.”
A Royal Restructure
When Prince Charles becomes Sovereign, there may still be several improvements to the Royal Family’s make-up. Charles was apparently still seeking to reduce the scale of the Royal Family. Royal Central’s deputy editor, Brittani Barger, told the paper: “I think the Andrew crisis has definitely strengthened the desire of Prince Charles for a slimmed-down monarchy.”
The National Anthem Will Also Change
A marginally minor adjustment, you might assume, but one that will require some getting used to nonetheless. The patriotic lyrics have been used by the British for almost 70 years: “God save our gracious Queen, long live our noble Queen.” Of course, if Charles takes the throne, Her Royal Highness would have to be substituted for “gracious King.” God Save the King was a song first sung publicly in London in 1745 and became known at the beginning of the nineteenth century as the National Anthem.
Prince Charles’ On Bank Notes
Many who hold on to coins and banknotes may see the face of Prince Charles, not the Queen, staring back at them until he is king, despite more citizens preferring cashless transactions. This may not be the first time that Charles has been etched on coins. In 2018, a commemorative set of £ 5 coins for the Prince’s 70th birthday was issued. His portrayal was combined with the Queen’s official portrait, on the other hand.
Prince Charles Might Change His Name
The Prince of Wales has been known as Charles for decades, but it is not unheard of for monarchs in the Royal Family’s history to use another royal name. The Constitution Unit at UCL states that the Prince will have his own regnal title free of charge. It said: “King Edward VII chose Edward as his regnal title, although Albert’s first name was known to him until now.” The unit added:’ Charles Philip Arthur George is the Christian name of Prince Charles. “He might choose to become King George VII, or King Philip, or King Arthur, instead of becoming King Charles.”
A More Outspoken Monarch
The monarch is meant to be outside politics, but in its tendency to share their opinions on social and environmental problems, Prince Charles is, in reality, something of a rebel. “In contrast to the Queen, who is careful not to express strong public views and instead encourages people she meets to talk about their own experiences at garden parties, receptions, and walkabouts, Charles is known to hold strong views on a variety of subjects, including organic farming, architecture, and sustainable development,” Harris says. “In the 21st century, climate change and conservation of the environment are key political issues, and Charles will certainly not be seen as an impartial figure on these issues, as his views are well known.”
He May Temper His Opinions
In a recent BBC interview, Prince Charles noted that his vocal style would be toned down as he becomes king. “He said, “The notion that I’m going to carry ahead in just the same manner anyway if I have to succeed is absolute nonsense. I realize that becoming sovereign is a different exercise.” But he also said that the line between charitable works and “interference” in politics is not always clear; for instance, when he created the Prince’s Trust in 1976 to assist underprivileged youth.” He said, “I was always intrigued if it was meddling to worry about the inner cities as I did 40 years ago.” “I’m very proud of that if that’s meddling.”
All Eyes On Prince William
Prince William will carry on new names as Charles has become King, including the conventional style granted to the king-in-waiting. As Charles becomes Sovereign, William becomes Duke of Cornwall, and will be invested [formally named] as Prince of Wales,” says Harris.” But that’s not the only direction William’s position will change: it will not be long until Prince William takes the throne himself, since his father is already at an advanced age. “There will be a lot of public interest in William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and how William will be preparing to assume the throne eventually, as the Prince of Wales will be in his 70s when he succeeds to the throne,” Harris notes.
Prince William Will Inherit The Crown
Although there are reports that after Queen Elizabeth passes away, Prince Charles will abdicate. Prince William would possibly have to wait before his father dies to claim the throne. If Prince Charles dies when Queen Elizabeth is on the throne, it won’t change since the succession line is already established. If Charles dies before taking the throne, Queen Elizabeth’s title would be inherited by Prince William. If Prince William did the same thing, so Prince George, the second in line, would assume control after the ruling king had died.