Queen Elizabeth has ruled the United Kingdom for almost 70 years. She may be good and well now, but there will come a time when someone else must step up. The title should go to her son, Charles, but what does that mean for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William, and Kate?
On November 14th, 1948 Queen Elizabeth gave birth to, her firstborn, Prince Charles right inside of Buckingham Palace. His parents, Philip and Elizabeth, were the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh when he came into the world.
Just a year before Charles was born, Elizabeth and Philip wed. The two Royals are also parents to Prince Andrew, Princess Royal Anne, and Prince Edward. Before Charles went to Trinity College at Cambridge University he attended private school.
The Prince’s Trust
Charles made history as the first heir to the throne to receive a college degree. Young Charles also attended the Royal Naval College and the Royal Air Force College. When he was in the Royal Navy, Charles was on a tour of duty from 1971 until 1976.
Charles then became heavily involved in the world of charity, later creating the Prince’s Trust in 1976. His organization helps adults and kids who face difficulties in work and in school. While his work is admirable, most of us know him better for his private endeavors.
Despite his public life, many people aren’t aware that Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles dated before he met his late wife Princess Diana. Two separate biographies state the royals didn’t approve of Camilla for Charles. And so Diana comes into the picture.
After Charles and Camilla broke up, the Prince met Diana. On July 29th, 1981 Diana and Charles wed at St. Paul’s Cathedral. The two had their first child, William, less than a year later.
On June 21st, 1982 Prince William was welcomed into the world. Just 2 years later on September 15th, 1984 their second son, Harry, came along. Harry and William grew up with the guidance of their mother who tried to make their lives as normal as possible. She also made sure they were aware of how privileged they were.
Diana didn’t just hand her sons off to royal nannies, she often brought them to school and to their favorite amusement park. She also took them along on royal duties, homeless shelters and all.
It didn’t take long, however, for Charles and Diana’s marriage to fall apart. They separated in 1992 and later divorced in 1996. Prince Charles commented that his relationship with Diana was unrepairable and that he was currently dating Camilla.
Diana was not new to affairs either, she was supposedly involved with British Army soldier James Hewitt. People still claim that Prince Harry is actually the son of James and not Charles.
Starting Over Again
But, that rumor simply isn’t true seeing that Diana became involved with James Hewitt after Charles was born. All things aside, in 1997, the unthinkable happened, an accident that devastated the entire world.
In Paris on August 31st, 1997, Princess Diana passed away in a fatal car crash. The 36-year-old was taken from the world too soon. Charles headed to France to bring her body home. He needed to make it out of the storm and also prepare for Diana’s funeral.
Modern-day British society had never seen anything like the outpouring of condolences they received after Diana’s death. The world grieved after hearing the tragic news, and who did they blame? Charles. Some say Diana would never have been in Paris had they not divorced.
2 years after Diana’s death was the first time Charles was seen with another woman. Camilla and Charles attended a birthday bash at the Ritz Hotel in London in the year 1999. It looked as if they had begun a relationship.
Next In Line
In February 2005 the world found out that Charles and Camilla were engaged. Just 2 months later, the pair married in a civil ceremony and Camilla was named Duchess of Cornwall. However, there is more to Prince Charles than his affairs.
Throughout his life Charles has carried out duties for the commonwealth as well as the royal family. His charity focus has been on youth, education and the environment.
Not To Offend
Prince Charles also has other interests, including architecture. Had he not made one fateful decision many years ago, Charles would not have been in line for the throne. Who would have taken his spot?
In 1936, King George V took over the throne after his father Edward VIII died. King George became interested in an American divorcee by the name of Wallis Simpson, but he wasn’t allowed to pursue his desires. The Church of England and the British government decided the King would not marry this woman.
According to royal rules, a divorcee is not a fitting wife. Can you believe that Edward abdicated the throne! He ruled for less than a year before stepping down. He said, “I have found it impossible to carry on the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge the duties of king, as I would wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love.”
This now meant that his younger brother would take the throne. King George VI then became the Duke of York. Edward and his love Wallis tied the knot just one year later and then something big happened that still follows the family.
The royal family still sees divorce as a huge deal- a much bigger deal than the average person. When Charles and Camilla married, it is important to note that, Queen Elizabeth did not attend the religious part of the ceremony.
Some say the Queen simply didn’t want to see her son marry again, but other rumors claim a different reason. It is widely believed that the Queen didn’t want people to believe she would put her son over the Church of England’s beliefs.
While the Church of England may not forbid remarriage and divorce, it is still frowned upon. In 2005, an anonymous “friend of the Queen” said that Queen Elizabeth II said, “I am not able to go. I do not feel that my position permits it.” The source also said, “The Queen feels she has to put her role with the Church before her role as a mother.”
When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle decided to wed in 2018, divorce came up once more. You see, Meghan had been previously married to Trevor Engelson, a Hollywood producer.
Many people wondered if the Queen would attend Harry’s wedding ceremony. Grant Harrold, a Royal butler 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.”
Queen Elizabeth II’s father, King George VI, became King over 80 years ago, but it should be said that a lot has changed since then. Things would have been a whole lot different had King George VI remained King.
What Diana Said
When King George VI became King, Queen Elizabeth was only 10. Her sister Margaret was just 6 years old, meaning Elizabeth would someday take over the throne. At just 25 years old, Elizabeth’s father passed away and she became Queen of England.
Elizabeth was quite surprised when this happened. Although her father was sick for quite some time, his death completely blindsided her. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were in Kenya when the news broke.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip had been in Aberdare National Park at the Treetops Hotel. Time commented that Elizabeth talked about how her father would have loved it there. The same source said she was “in high spirits over her ‘tremendous experience’ and vowed to come again soon with her father.”
A BBC reporter also said that Elizabeth was “talking about her father and proudly describing how bravely he’d stood up to his illness.” Anyhow, Elizabeth went on to become Queen. This obviously meant that her son Charles was the next in line to rule.
Elizabeth became Queen when Charles was just 3 years old. Since Queen Elizabeth is the longest reigner in British history, Charles is the longest-serving heir. This administration holds a lot of records! Can you believe Charles turned 71 in November 2019; he has been heir to the throne for 68 years…and counting.
Charles holds another record as the oldest heir in history. When Charles finally becomes King, he will be the oldest monarch ever. William IV held this record before Charles took the cake.
What To Do
William IV became King in 1830 when he was 65 years old. Some believe that because of Prince Charles’ age, he will abdicate the throne and give the title to his son William instead. We’ll just have to wait and see.
According to the British population, this is a likely outcome. StatistaCharts conducted a survey and recorded that half of the UK wish to see William take over instead of his father.
Diana allegedly had mixed feelings about Charles becoming King as well. This isn’t too surprising to hear seeing that their divorce didn’t end too well. Diana spoke on this very topic when she appeared on Panorama in 1995.
Journalist Martin Bashir asked Diana, “Do you think the Prince of Wales will ever be king?” The Princess answered, “I don’t think any of us know the answer to that. 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.”
She added, “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 all of the rumors, Prince Charles plans to become King when it’s his time. Queen Elizababeth has already began preparing her son for the position. Charles has taken on many more responsibilities as of late.
Title After Title
On Remembrance Day, Charles puts a wreath instead of the Queen, this has been going on for a few years now. When Queen Elizabeth passes away, what will happen? The Royals have been planning for this day for some time now; there is already a series of plans.
Prince Of Wales
Operation London Bridge is the name of the supposed plan. The news of her death would be passed around by word of mouth using the single phrase: “London Bridge is down.” With technology today, however, we think it’ll get around in other ways.
The Guardian claims that, the British public servic broadcaster, BBC will hear of Queen Elizabeth’s death first. They will eceive the news through RATS, a Radio Alert Transmission System.
Duchy Of Cornwall
Another unofficial meaning of RATS is “royal about to snuff it”. The royal secretary of the Queen, Sir Christopher Geid is supposed to tell the UK’s prime minister of her passing before the public finds out.
The Prime Minister is in charge of telling 15 countries under the rule of the monarchy, and 36 of the Commonwealth nations. When the news gets out, pilots must announce the Queen’s death during flights.
Flags will be put at half-mast and the people in the UK will get the day off of work. On the day of the burial, banks and stock exchanges will most likely be closed. This is all to honor and show respect for the Royal highness.
Other signs and symbols of respect will be exhibited throughout the country as well. When George VI passed away, the BBC didn’t air any comedic shows until the funeral was concluded. It is likely that the same will be done for the Queen. She will rest outside of Westminster Hall for 4 days after her passing before the funeral so that the public can mourn the loss.
The Queen will be buried at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle alongside her parents. Her funeral and coronation day will probably be public holidays as well. This allows the public to mourn their beloved Queen.
Not Necessarily A Prince
Charles automatically becomes the King and will release a public statement the day she dies. He will then choose between the names Philip, Arthur and George. These are his given names and he must choose one of these for his reign.
Or, he could just be called King Charles III. His wife Camilla also has the possibility to become a Queen. Many believe she shouldn’t be given the title of Queen and so, there’s a big debate surrounding Camilla’s title.
Biographer Sally Bedell Smith told People, “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.”
“[The royal family] obviously have 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 by common law and tradition, [Camilla] is entitled to be queen,” said Bedell Smith.
What does all of this mean for Prince William? When George VI died and Elizabeth II was crowned, Charles was entitled to the title Duke of Cornwall. Since that time he has ranked in a few other titles and worked his way up in stature.
Stay The Same
Of course, Charles has been given some of these titles whilst Elizabeth was the Queen of the UK however, not all of them were obtained during this time. A few of his titles 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.
One of the titles, Prince of Wales has been underway since 1301. Although this is the case the title does not go to all heirs, only for the apparent male heir- this whole title business is rather confusing, especially who is entitled to which titles.
Prince And Princess
George VI had only given life to daughters and thus during this era, there was no-one to hold the title whilst he reigned. Once Queen Elizabeth took the throne, she had to delegate this title to Charles as Prince of Wales, this occurred six years after she was throned.
Prince Charles also serving as the Duke of Cornwall receives a salary from the Duchy of Cornwall. This specific title and territorial management was asserted by Edward III in the 14th century. The land is measured at 131,000 acres with various properties.
Adding to the benefits, the title is passed on with an investment portfolio. Charles as the Duke of Cornwall receives a salary from the estate in which he must use it to fund enterprises that are both private and public in nature.
Believing In Him
Amongst these funded endeavors are charity initiatives, assistance for close family members which includes his own children and grandchildren. His additional income is from the Duchy of Lancaster. Thus, he as some spending freedom but many tasks delegated along with the monetary benefits.
The Duchy of Lancaster is comprised of properties and land that is currently owned by the Queen. The Queen receives the rest of her income from the Sovereign Grant and it is undoubtedly foreseen her passing will result in many changes.
The ways of the royals have never been susceptible to much change however, modernity is causing a few changes amongst the royals. An example of this is seen as Charles’ children used to be referred to as Prince William of Wales and Prince Harry of Wales.
The change has come about due to their marriages and titles passed on to their children. William married Kate Middleton in 2011 and was titled the Duke of Cambridge, his wife the Duchess. However, George, Charlotte, and Louis have all been titled with Prince or Princess of Cambridge.
Older And Wiser
Consecutively when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle married in 2018 they were titled as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. However, their son has not been titled as ‘Prince’ which was supposedly known before his birth. Their son is simply regarded as Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
The Greater Good
The grandfather of the Queen issued a decree in 1917 that has resulted in all these consecutive incidents. What did he decree? “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,” announced the King.
Of course, as times change the royals have tried too and this applied with gender norms as much as anything else. You are only a prince if you are a male royal in direct line for the throne. The “male” aspect has been differentiating and has been altered in the past. Wiliam and Kate welcomed their first child into the world and led to the rupture of their ” absolute primogeniture” practices.
This meaning that regardless of gender any firstborn child of the heir is in line to inherit the throne. Additionally, if there is a younger male he is no longer instantly the successor. The royals have modernized with the times and are up to defeat the patriarchy.
Harry and Meghan on the other hand, have chosen to reject titles involving their son Archie, they want him to get a bit older before this occurrence. Archie most likely would have been Earl of Dumbarton, this title is currently held by Harry in Scotland. For now, baby Archie will be referred to as “Master Archie.” Once the Queen passes on this is all subject to change as everyone moves up in succession and change is inevitable. Charles will become King and William will be the heir to the throne.
if Archie decides he wants the title of “Prince’ he can most certainly have it as he is the grandson of the successor. Harry is less likely to get a new title after his father becomes King. Charles may grant him new dukedom but the likelihood is that he and Meghan will simply remain Duke and Duchess of Sussex. If this whole title and monarchy naming is not confusing enough, it goes on…
Baron Carrickfergus and Earl of Strathearn are deemed as William’s titles at the present time. Although, William will have to succumb to more responsibility once his father inherits the throne. Thus, his titles are for sure changing. Once Charles becomes King, William will become the Duke of Cornwall and he has even started to attend duchy meetings- in preparation. He and his wife Kate will also become the Prince and Princess of Wales. Charlie Proctor of Royal Central mentioned in 2018 that these plans are underway and the family is preparing for change.
Proctor went on to say, “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.” Further mentioning, “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.” There is no doubt that Queen Elizabeth has the utmost faith in her son to uphold the monarchy.
At Charles’ 70th birthday his mother gave an exceptional speech that left the audience extremely touched, “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,” Queen Elizabeth said. She was more than happy to discuss his current spouse as she went on to say, “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.”