Prince Charles suffers from Queen's popularity says royal expert
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Prince Charles is the longest-serving Prince of Wales in British royal history, having been awarded the title in 1958 aged just nine-years-old. Charles’ preparation for the crown has been long, so understandably he may not have considered the option of not taking the throne when the Queen dies. But equally, Charles could decide he would rather not rule, and his son Prince William would be his successor.
When the Queen dies, Prince Charles is next in line and as such, he will automatically become King.
However, as one royal insider suggested, Charles may have the option of rewriting constitutional law when the time comes, culminating in the throne passing to Prince William.
Stewart Pearce, who worked with Princess Diana and helped her master her public speaking, told the Daily Star: “She [the Queen] is preparing to leave, and when she leaves the whole psycho-physical nature of monarchy will change.
“And who knows, constitutional law may be rewritten. He [Charles] may not take the throne, he may hand it to his young son.”
How could Charles pass the throne to Prince William?
One way Charles could pass the throne to William is by abdicating, a very unusual practice in the British Royal Family.
In other monarchies across Europe and Asia, abdication is far more common, such as with King Juan Carlos I of Spain, who abdicated in favour of his son King Felipe VI in 2014.
But in Britain, abdication comes with some significantly negative connotations, with the last King to abdicate being Edward VIII in 1936.
Facing opposition from the church and some members of the public, Edward decided to renounce the throne after less than a year in the job.
His love match with American socialite Wallis Simpson had failed to gain approval due to Wallis’ status as a twice-divorcee, as divorce went against church teachings at the time.
When King Edward VIII abdicated, the throne passed to the next person in the line of succession.
As Edward had no children, the crown fell to his brother, Prince Albert, who later became known as King George VI.
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And due to the abdication, Queen Elizabeth II took the throne at the age of 25 when her father died, aged only 56.
Had Edward not abdicated, she would still have been Queen eventually as Edward had no children, but she would not have been Queen until Edward died in 1972, when Elizabeth was age 46.
Almost a century later, attitudes have significantly changed, so abdication may be an option for Charles if he doesn’t want to be King.
However, if Charles does decide to abdicate, it will be a huge legislative issue that will need to be addressed by Parliament.
Under the current constitutional laws, the throne can only pass to Prince William when Prince Charles dies.
How would abdication work?
Prince Charles has never signalled his intention to abdicate in favour of Prince William, but if he did want to do so, it would be a complicated process.
The Constitution Unit at University College London (UCL) explained on its department website: “Under common law, Prince Charles will automatically become King the moment the Queen dies.
“Prince William could only become King if Prince Charles chose to abdicate.
“That would require legislation, as happened with the Declaration of Abdication Act 1936.
“The line of succession is regulated by Parliament (as in the Act of Succession 1700, and the Succession to the Crown Act 2013); it can be changed only by Parliament and cannot be unilaterally altered by the monarch of the day.”
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