Well-loved royal couple Prince William and Kate Middleton, according to several news reports, was reportedly named by Queen Elizabeth II as the immediate successors to the British monarchy, skipping over Prince Charles who, at present, is the first-in-line to the throne. However, it appears that the rumors are simply just that and it’s very unlikely that Prince Charles will be passed over in favor of his eldest son.
Earlier this month, reports came out that Queen Elizabeth II has chosen her grandson Prince William as the next heir to the crown instead of her eldest son Prince Charles. According to sources, Queen Elizabeth II allegedly believes that having a young king would ensure that the House of Windsor would live on for many generations to come, Closer Weekly reported.
Moreover, it was said that the Queen reportedly sees Prince William and Kate Middleton as “having the energy and star quality to do the job in a modern world.”
Following the unverified report, a recent poll showed that only 36 percent of Brits believe that Prince Charles made a positive contribution to the throne and to Britain. His numbers went down by 60 percent from a survey conducted four years ago, Inquirer reported.
The Duke of Cambridge, on the other hand, has the highest popularity rating among all the members of the royal family, with 78 percent believing that he has made a positive contribution to the country. He is followed closely by his brother, Prince Harry, with a 77 percent approval rating, and Duchess Kate with 73 percent.
Despite the numbers showing that most Brits seem to prefer Prince William and Kate Middleton over Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles, William being named king before his father is not in the cards. As a matter of fact, the decision is not for Queen Elizabeth II to make.
The 1701 Act of Settlement is the law that determines the order of succession to the British throne and it provides that the incumbent monarch’s heir must be a direct successor and a Protestant. This means that Prince Charles is next in line, and not Prince William.
The said law is an act of Parliament and any amendment to it can only be done by Parliament and not by the Queen herself. Majesty magazine editor-in-chief Ingrid Seward told People, “the Queen herself doesn’t have the power to make those sort of decisions.”
The only way William can become king sooner than expected is if his father, Charles, abdicates. However, this too seems unlikely.
Abdication is frowned upon in the royal family, and Queen Elizabeth II herself has very dark memories of it. Edward VIII, brother of Queen Elizabeth’s father King George V, abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson. According to Vogue, the abdication “affected her deeply, and she is well aware how much damage an abdication can cause to the brand of the royal family.”
The Prince of Wales is said to share the same sentiments and does not want his son to bear the burden of kingship too soon. Seward said that he wants William to enjoy life with his family before he takes over bigger responsibilities that come with leading the British monarchy.
“[Prince Charles] wants his son to have the chance of a family life before he takes up the burden of kingship – a King has no family life as it is so restricting.”
Additionally, Seward claimed that Prince William himself does not want to be king before his father.
Moreover, Prince Charles has been the first in line to the throne ever since he was four years old and he has been groomed all his life to be king. He’s also been preparing for the job for decades, working as a full-time royal and taking more responsibilities as his mother grows older.
While the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge may be the more popular royals, it does not determine their place in the succession. Who becomes the next ruling monarch is not a matter of popularity. The British monarchy has been passed on from generation to generation, with the rule of law guiding its every movement.
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