Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on February 6, 1952, and ruled until her death on September 8, 2022, making her the longest-reigning monarch in British history. Her eldest son Prince Charles is next in line in succession to the throne, but will he ever get his chance? One royal expert believes that Prince Charles will never become King, and the title will be given to Charles's son Prince William instead. The expert's comments were unsettling to many, but could it be the uncomfortable truth?
Charles Is Next In The Line Of Succession
The line of succession in the British royal family is a tradition that's taken very seriously, dating back to 1066 when William the Conqueror first arrived in England.
So it would be very surprising and out of character for the palace if Charles was skipped in favor of his eldest son, Prince William. And, of course, William's eldest son Prince George, who follows William, is still a child.
The Rules Of Succession Were Modernized
As mentioned, British royal family traditions run deep, and it's rare for anything to be amended. However, there was a change in the rules for succession to the throne in 2013.
The law was amended so that the eldest child, whether male or female, would inherit the throne. This means Princess Charlotte holds her place in line to the throne and isn't passed over for her younger brother Prince Louis.
Prince Harry Is Behind His Nephew Prince Louis
Since Prince William is the eldest son, his three children are in line for the throne before Prince Harry, William's brother. That makes Prince Harry sixth in line to the throne.
Next in line after Harry are his children, Archie and Lilibet. Even though Harry's family no longer live in the UK, taking up residence in California instead, they still hold their spot!
Harry Still Has A Chance
Although Prince Harry has stepped down as a senior member of the royal family and moved to the US, he's still in the line of succession to the throne. To remove him would require an act by the British Parliament.
Until then, there's still a chance that he could become King. Of course, it's highly unlikely that would ever be the case, even if his father Prince Charles forfeits the crown.
The Queen's Uncle Forfeited The Throne In 1936
If Prince Charles were to forfeit the throne, it wouldn't be the first time in history. Queen Elizabeth's uncle King Edward VIII stepped down from the throne so that he could marry the love of his life, a twice-divorced American.
This shook up the line of succession to the throne.
King George VI Was Next In Line
Since Edward VIII forfeited the throne, King George VI was next and took his place. His two daughters were young at the time and would be next in line after his rule.
Queen Elizabeth II's father passed away suddenly, and she bravely took the throne at age 27, where she remained Queen until her death in 2022.
Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson Had Unpopular Opinions
In the end, Edward VIII probably wasn't the best fit to rule as King. Along with his soon-to-be wife, Wallis Simpson, Edward had views that didn't sit right with the majority of the people of the Commonwealth.
The couple's opinions on political matters and connection with the Third Reich made some question their loyalty and commitment to the United Kingdom and the British royal family. In many ways, their situation might not be so different than what's transpired since Prince Harry and Meghan wed.
The Palace Is Opposed To Divorce
Prince Harry isn't expected to take the throne, so he was given some leeway and permission from the Queen to marry a divorcée. Meghan had previously been married to Trevor Engelson, a Hollywood producer.
Although the marriage was approved by the palace, it doesn't mean the pairing was entirely welcomed. The British royal family has a long history of being opposed to divorce.
The Church Is Also Strongly Against Divorce
Although divorce is more common in modern times, the Queen also served as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, which is strongly opposed to divorce.
The church even forbids divorcées to remarry if their former spouse was still alive. The church finally bent that rule in 2002 to allow divorced people to remarry if they're considered to be an "exceptional" circumstance.
Only Recently Has The Palace Loosened The Rules
Just days before Harry and Meghan's big wedding, Royal Historian Hugo Vickers told the Associated Press that the marriage was a progressive step for the British royal family in regards to divorce.
Vickers explained, "It would have been probably terribly difficult for [Meghan} to have married into the royal family in the 1950s."
Charles's First Marriage Ended in Divorce
Everyone remembers Princes Charles's marriage to Diana Spencer-- the People's Princess captivated the hearts of the people the royal family serves. That unhappy marriage led to divorce in 1996.
Charles went on to remarry Camilla Parker Bowles, the woman who had caught his attention even before his marriage to Diana.
The Palace Didn't Believe Camilla Was A Suitable Wife
The palace didn't approve of Prince Charles marrying the true love of his life, Camilla. She didn't have as 'clean' a past as the young Diana Spencer and therefore wasn't deemed a "suitable" wife for the eldest son of the Queen.
The palace pushed Charles to look in another direction. By the time Charles stood at the altar with Princess Diana, Camilla was already married to Andrew Parker Bowles.
Prince Charles's Affair Was Revealed
Prince Charles and Princess Diana were married, but it wasn't a happy union. From the first day of their honeymoon, it was clear to Diana that Charles still had feelings for Camilla. And those feelings went too far.
Soon, it was revealed to the world that Prince Charles was having an affair with Camilla while still married to Diana. It wasn't good for Charles's reputation and it certainly didn't look good for the palace.
The Queen Ordered The Couple To Divorce
It isn't favorable for the Queen to get so strongly involved with personal affairs, but she wasn't left with a choice. The media continued to cover Prince Charles's well-documented affair with Camilla, further tarnishing the royal family's reputation.
Finally, Charles and Diana were officially separated. Although the palace and church are strongly against divorce, the Queen ordered the couple to do so immediately.
Diana's Tragic Death In 1997
Charles and Diana's divorce was finalized, and it seemed as though the family could soon be at peace. Then on August 31, 1997, tragedy hit hard.
Princess Diana lost her life in a car accident in Paris. In a blink of an eye, the People's Princess and mother of Prince William and Harry was gone.
As The World Grieved, Charles Was Criticized
People across the United Kingdom and beyond grieved the loss of Diana. She had lost her life so suddenly, and it sent shockwaves throughout the UK.
England was filled with sorrow, and people gathered at Buckingham palace to place flowers at the gate. Many of the visitors couldn't help but notice that the palace hadn't lowered the flag to half-mast to mourn Diana's death. Dana supporters voiced that if Charles hadn't cheated, Diana might not have been in Paris in the first place.
Prince Charles's Reputation Was On The Line
Brits were devastated by the loss of Diana and were slow to embrace Prince Charles under the circumstances. Decades after the fact, Charles brought closure to the situation and moved forward with his relationship with Camilla.
Still, Diana supporters let it be known that they were not happy with the way Prince Charles was handling himself.
It Was Two Years Before Charles Appeared With Camilla
As his former spouse was now deceased, the church would approve of Charles starting a new relationship. Prince Charles respectfully waited two years after the death of Diana before stepping out in public with Camilla for the first time.
The passing time allowed the social tension to air out and eventually, the situation deescalated.
The Queen Declined To Attend Prince Charles And Camilla's Wedding
The Queen didn't approve of Camilla as a wife for her son the first time around, and on Prince Charles's wedding day to Camilla, the Queen opted not to attend.
Royal experts including correspondents for The Daily Telegraph reported that this is likely due to the Queen's religious beliefs concerning marriage. She did make an appearance at the couple's reception.
Royal Expert Says Prince William Has A Better Reputation Than Prince Charles
In a May 2021 interview with Vanity Affair, Royal Expert Anna Pasternak revealed that she thinks Charles will never take the throne and that Prince William will become King. In her eyes, the damage Charles caused couldn't be undone.
She said, "It may be that there is such a groundswell of public opinion against [Charles] that it's deemed by the firm preferable for William to ascend... because he's younger... more relatable."
Camilla Turned Down A 'Princess' Title
Well aware of her place in the British royal family, Camilla didn't jump at the opportunity to receive the royal title of 'princess'. Upon her marriage to Prince Charles, Camilla could have chosen to become Princess of Wales, as Diana had.
But she respectfully declined the title and elected to be distinguished as the Duchess of Cornwall.
While Camilla's reputation has come a long way since being seen as Prince Charles's mistress in the '90s, that doesn't necessarily mean the public is ready to see her take on the role as Queen.
If and when Prince Charles takes the throne, Camilla will likely receive the title of 'Queen consort'.
Prince Charles Isn't The Most Popular Royal
Still, there's a chance that the line of succession will skip Charles entirely. The public's approval ratings can't entirely be ignored, can they?
In 2021, a survey found that only 36 percent of respondents thought Prince Charles made a positive impact on the British monarchy. It appears as though his affair may have not been forgiven or forgotten.
Most Think There Are Plans In Place For Charles's Coronation
Now that the Queen has passed, Prince Charles is expected to make a formal announcement to the nation.
From there, it is expected that Charles will make many public appearances as the face of the royal family, and his first days as king will begin.
The Future Of The Throne
The palace is very tight-lipped about the future of the British royal family and the public won't be notified of a final decision until the coronation date is set.
Prince Charles has a rocky reputation with Brits, and Royal Expert Pasternak commented she's "not 100 percent sure that we will see Charles ascend to the throne." For now, we'll have to wait to find out.